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Strike Out Oyinlola’s name- PDP tells INEC

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Working Committee (NWC) yesterday sealed the exit of its former National Secretary, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola.

It wrote to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that Oyinlola’s name be deleted from the party’s record as the National Secretary.

Oyinlola, former Osun State governor, was replaced by Onwe Solomon Onwe on Monday, following last Friday’s ruling of the Federal High Court, which nullified the process that got him into office.

It was gathered that the PDP also strengthened Onwe’s hand as Acting National Secretary by informing security and administrative agencies of his appointment.

An NWC member said the party took the step in line with the order of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.

He said: “The order was specific that we must notify INEC and we have done so. We also wrote security agencies to normalise their records and comply with our new protocol.

“So, do not forget that the court said: ‘That an order is hereby granted directing the 3rd defendant (the Independent National Electoral Commission) to rectify the records of the 2nd defendant by deleting the name of the 1st defendant as the National Secretary of the 2nd defendant and replacing same in accordance with the provision of the Constitution of the 2nd defendant with candidate nominated at a valid congress of the South-West Zone Chapter of the PDP to be held within 21 days of the order of the Court.”

Also yesterday, National Chairman Bamanga Tukur held a fence-mending session with members of the NWC at his residence in Wuse II in Abuja.

The meeting focused on how to reassure the Southwest that it would not be marginalised.

At the session were Onwe, Financial Secretary Bolaji Akpan Anani, National Woman Leader (Mrs.) Kema Chikwe, National Organising Secretary and National Treasurer Hon. Bala Bawa Kaoje.

A party source said: “The meeting between the National Chairman and the NWC centered on how to work as a team and keep the PDP united at all levels. Tukur sought for their assistance and they also in turn pledged their support in reforming the party.

“They vowed to bridge the communication gap which existed among the NWC members in the recent past.

“The NWC members pleaded with Tukur to reach out to PDP leaders in the Southwest to clear any misgiving, which Oyinlola’s sack would have caused in the geopolitical zone.”

To intervene in the crisis within NWC, House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal and his deputy, Mr. Emeka Ihedioha, met with Tukur.

Oyinlola’s loyalists have kicked against moves to conduct a fresh Southwest Zonal Congress to pick his successor.

Besides claiming that the office of the National Secretary cannot be subjected to a zonal congress, pro-Oyinlola members of the party may go to court to stop any plan to have a fresh congress.

The Speaker and his deputy, in company of the Deputy Leader of the House, Hon. Leo Ogor, had a 45-minute audience with Tukur.

A source said: “The House leadership came in respect of the party’s crisis, but they kept the focus of their talks secret. No one could say what the kernel of the discussion was and the response of the PDP National Chairman.

“Tukur’s aides described the visit as a “solidarity one”.

Details of how Tukur decided to name an Acting Secretary remained sketchy yesterday. The NWC on Monday had about an hour session with one of the counsel to PDP, Chief J.K. Gadzama (SAN), before they mandated Tukur to appoint an acting Secretary, it was learnt.

A member of the NWC, who spoke with our correspondent, said: “It will not be correct to say that Tukur arbitrarily or unilaterally appointed the Acting National Secretary, Onwe S. Onwe.”

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