...Says He Is The Natural Successor
…party Dismisses His Claim To Chair
Patrick Osadebamwen, Abuja
Former Political Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan, Barrister Ahmed Gulak yesterday stormed the Party’s National Secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party in company of supporters and announced himself as the new substantive chairman of the party.
Gulak who was in company of Dr. Doyin Okupe said his taking over of the leadership of the party was in accordance with Court ruling of Wednesday striking out the motion filed by the defendant PDP and Prince Uche Secondus.
This was precedent upon the court order of December 16, 2016 which was that withing 14 days Ahmed Gulak or another party member from the Northeast zone.
Gulak said the failure of the National Working Committee (NWC) to make such appointment of any member of the party from the Northeast to replace Dr. Adamu Muazu who resigned after the defeat of the party in 2015.
He noted that following the expiration of the 14 days period given to Prince Uche Secondus to vacate the office of the chairman for someone from the Northeast to takeover the leadership of the party, the NWC has lost the rights and privileges to so appoint any leader of the party from the zone.
Therefore, Gulak assumes the office of the chairman of the party legally to avoid a vacuum in the party leadership.
“At the expiration of 14 days on the 29th December, 2015, the Defendants failed; refused or neglected to obey Court Orders by appointing me or another person from the North-East zone.
“By the operations of the law and the Court order, I now assume duty as the National Chairman of our party; especially as the Court has today struck out the motion sor Stay of Execution.
“Based on our sincere commitment and loyalty to our great party. We cannot continue to leave our party headless.
“Failure to assume duty as the National Chairman will leave the Party organs especially the NWC; The NEC and National Caucus improperly constituted as every meeting of these organs must, in accordance with our constitution, be chaired by the National Chairman.”
Gulak who said “the struggle is not about me but about our great party which must be repositioned for the tasks ahead adding that he is here to partner with any other person to build the PDP and not to be the undertaker.
Others on his entourage are: Abdullahi Ondoma, Hon. Chuks Eze Anambra, Hon. Jonathan Asake- Kaduna, Dr. Ayakhemy whiskey – Bayelsa, Hon. Moshood Adegoke – Lagos state, Hon Benard Mikko – Rivers, Engr. Muhammad Baba Kachalla – Borno and Barr. Ibrahim Shehu, Dr. Eddy Ola Fesho – Ondo, Wing Comdr. Wisdom Wolo – Bayelsa.
Barely an hour after Barrister Ahmed Gulak stormed the national secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to assume the office of the chairman, legal adviser of the party, barrister Victor Kwon dismissed the action of Gulak as illegal.
Barrister Victor Kwon who addressed the media jointly with the PDP Deputy National Publicity Secretary Abdullahi Jalo said Gulak knows the processes for the emergence of a national leader in spite of the court order.
The party said for national leader to emerge, normally we go to the zone to organize the stakeholders of the party and send three nominees to NEC for ratification not without the Caucus, BOT and the NWC, including the governors to scrutinise, deliberate and select a person sent to NEC for approval.
Gulak’s non compliance to this process nullifies his claim of take over of the PDP chairman’s office.
Kwon said the party investigation showed that the the matter was not listed in Court today and therefore the claim of Gulak that the Court struck out the party’s application (The PDP Appeal CA/ A/24/2016) for stay of execution was unfounded.
Kwon argue further that the Order of the court was in respect of the party’s constitution which has mechanism for appointing a national leader.
He said the High court of the FCT gave a Court order for the PDP to appoint any person from the Northeast as National Chairman.
Not being the final Court, the Party filed an application for Injunction Pending Appeal and stay of execution and has not received any notification to the effect of any hearing on the matter today.
The party maintained that in spite of the fact that the Party is pursuing it’s legitimate rights it is a law abiding party that recognizes the rights and privileges of its members especially those of the Northeast.
He said that the leadership of the party has begun consultation and are going to arrive at a person that is acceptable in Northeast and the nation in general as the party bears a national spread.
He stressed that the appointment will be made very soon.
Kwon who said It is really, really surprising that Gulak is acting like this. Kwon labelled Gulak a fifth columnist recruited to sabotage the party and challenged him to contact stakeholders of the Northeast and lobby members of NEC.
He stressed that Gulak cannot proclaim himself as the national chairman of the party in defiance of the internal mechanism for such sensitive office.
Corroborating the National legal adviser, the deputy National Publicity secretary Abdullahi Jalo maintained that it is a taboo for anybody to go and call himself chairman, Gulak knows the process, the northeast leadership must support the candidate of choice from the zone.
Chairman of the national ex-officio of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Hon. Udo Ekpeyong, also disowns Gulak claims to the chairmanship of the party.
He said he is not a party to the Gulak’s scheme to lead the PDP stressing that the internal mechanism of the party in the forms the Caucus, Board of Trustees and the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party was capable of resolving it’s leadership question.
Ekpeyong said the ploy by Guak to earn the support of the Party’s ex-officio must have made him to put his name in an 11-man committee to reorganize the party.
Distancing himself from the publication, Ekpeyong said he has spent about 18 years in building the PDP and cannot be a party to those who are seeking it’s downfall.
“My attention has been drawn to the press release by the former political adviser Gulak publishing names of an 11 man committee to look into the affairs of the party.
“Although my name is wrongly spelt here, I am the only Udo Ekpeyong of the ex-officio, I am not a party of this Press release,
“I have been in politics for almost 18 years in building the party and join hands to destroy the party. It is the duty of the Caucus, BOT and NWC to handle which forms the mechnism.
“I come from a state that things are well organize and we organize people. Because he needs the support of the ex-officio he published my name. And will not be part of this.I detest this in all entirety”