The national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Bamanga Tukur, has filed a suit before a Federal High Court in Abuja, against officials of the splinter group of the ruling party includingKawu Baraje, Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Sam Sam Jaja.
This move contradicts earlier claims by Tukur that the party would resolve its family crisis through internal laid down mechanisms, saying that “There will always be internal wrangling. But there will always be solutions through our established internally-built crisis resolution mechanism”.
In the suit with registration no: FHC/ABJ/504/2013 filed on his behalf by his counsels Adebayo Dayoand Semiu Sodipo, the party chairman said the defendants had shown flagrant disrespect to the court for going against an order that sacked Oyinlola as the national secretary of the party and prescribed a procedure for his replacement.
He said that the suit became imperative because Oyinlola had failed to abide by the procedure the court laid down by which he could reclaim his seat as the national secretary of the party.
Oyinlola was named national secretary of the factional group that emerged last Saturday. Barajewas elected chairman while Jaja emerged as the deputy national chairman.
Tukur has also urged the court to commit the defendants to prison for at least a year and is seeking an order nullifying the appointment of Oyinlola, just as he asked the court to grant “further orders as it may deem fit to make in this circumstances.”
Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, the chairman declared the other faction led byBaraje as an impostor and has threatened that any lawmaker who aligns with them would lose their seat.
“There is only one lawfully recognised PDP and I am firmly in charge. Let me state categorically that the PDP as the sole custodian of the sacred mandate of over 160 million Nigerians and who in the last 14 years has lifted high the banner of democracy will not fold its arms while some undemocratic and unpatriotic elements destroy our common destiny by causing divisions and confusion among the people,” he said.
In addition, Tukur said: “All persons elected on the platform of our great party at all levels who identify with these enemies of the oneness and greatness of our party shall have their seats declared vacant as required by law.”
He assured that no stone will be left unturned in ensuring that any individual who attempts to subvert the leadership of the PDP “shall reap in full, the consequences of such actions”, adding that the party has adequate mechanism for internal conflict resolution and encouraged all aggrieved members to channel their complaints through the appropriate medium.
About 22 senators and 57 members of House of Representatives have allegedly joined the Baraje-led faction led which was formed last Saturday during the party’s special convention.
Meanwhile, Baraje has called Tukur’s threats mere bluffs that further show he is unfit to lead the party.
“To wake up and threaten that he is going to recall members supporting us, shows that he is not fit to be national chairman of PDP. They are all jokers. In any case, the process of declaring seats vacant or recalling members of National or State Assembly is well known in the constitution,” he said.