Prof. Adewale Oladipo, Chief Okey Muo-Aroh, and Eddy Olafeso were disqualified by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday, a day before the party’s national convention.
The three were among the candidates fighting for positions in the party’s elective offices ahead of the party’s convention on October 30 and 31.
Oladipo was running for Deputy National Chairman (South), Muo-Aroh for National Secretary, and Olafeso for National Publicity Secretary, while Muo-Aroh was running for Deputy National Chairman (North).
This was announced by Ahmadu Fintiri, Chairman of the PDP National Convention Committee and Governor of Adamawa State, in Abuja on Thursday when the party presented its convention logo and symbol.
While answering questions from reporters, Governor Fintiri explained why they were disqualified “I’d like to tell you about the three people who failed to satisfy the screening committee’s expectations.
Dr. Olafeso Eddy Eniola, who initially expressed interest in running for the position of National Publicity Secretary, and Prof. Adewale Abiodun Oladepo and Barr. Okey Muo-Aroh are the other candidates.
“All of them were disqualified because they went to court to sue the party.
The national convention was likewise to be halted.
So, if you tried to halt the convention by taking the party to court without exhausting the internal mechanisms for resolving your issues, the committee decided you couldn’t benefit from it as well.
“Moreso the provision of section 51 sub 1L in our party Constitution has clearly spelt out that you must exhaust all the internal mechanism in the party.
“The same Constitution of our great party have also made a provision that if you have not exhausted section, 58 (1L), you can be punished under Section 59 (1e). So you can see that the steering committee have done what is needful of them.
“You must be disciplined in the party for us to survive. And I think we have to move away from the past as we are trying to open a new chapter for the party.”
In his remarks earlier, Fintiri lamented that the nation is at a crossroad, adding that “as a nation we are at the crossroad and we have to do the needful beginning from this convention to ensure that we get our best to steer us with their skills, with their experience and their integrity, so that NIgerians can move forward.
“We have to rewrite all the mistakes that we have committed in the past. Our leaders have agreed that we made a mistake and they have apologized to Nigerians. And with this, I think we also need to bring people of high integrity to manage the affairs of the party, and to get us wining the 2023 general elections, particularly the President.”
He said that despite the tight and challenges associated with this convention, the committee didn’t ask for any extension of time, adding, “we expect our members across the country to also make sacrifice and put time into this convention, because it is very key for the survival of our party.
“We need to revamp, reengineer this party and position it into winning spirit. This, I believe we will achieve.”
He disclosed that the screening committee has completed and submitted its report, adding, “31 candidates have indicated interest to contest for all the positions across from the National Chairman to the least position. 27 of them have been cleared, one has withdrawn and three have been disqualified.
“If they have any reason not to agree with why they were disqualified, this party is very democratic. You have the opportunity tomorrow to appear before the Appeal Committee, and they may be considered, they may not be considered, depending on the reason they may be putting forth. But I’m satisfied with the job done by the screening committee.
“It has paved the way for us to move forward. I assure you, on 30/31 we will have one of the best, open, transparent, and democratic convention in the history of this country.
“We’re still working on the delegate list. There are some litigations coming along with this, so we have to be sure that we have clean list of delegates. It will be very difficult at the moment to speak about the actual number of delegates that will be attending this convention, but the basic I can give you at the moment is that, not less than 4000 delegates will be in attendance of this 2021 convention.
Reacting to his disqualification, Muo-Aroh said that since he became member of PDP in 1999, he has never taken the party to court, even when he was disqualified sometimes ago while contesting for the position of National Publicity Secretary.
Expressing his anger over his qualification, Muo-Aroh said he will appear before the appeal committee on Saturday, adding, “I have been in the party since 1999 and I have not taken the party to court before. I am just coming from the Supreme Court where I went to defend our candidate for the Anambra state governorship candidate. I have collected my certificate and I will do the needful.”