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Monday, 5 August 2013

Atiku protests mistreatment by PDP, says he’s being ostracized

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar
Former Vice President Atiku also wants to attend BoT meetings and August special convention.
A former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has protested to the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, about the manner he is being treated by the ruling party since he revalidated his membership about three years ago.
In a letter dated July 11 to the National Chairman of the PDP, Bamanga Tukur, Atiku specifically complained about the exclusion of his name from the list of statutory delegates to the August 31 Special National Convention of the party.
He also complained about the systematic withdrawal of the respects and privileges accorded to him as a former vice president, in line with the PDP Constitution and sought the rectification of the mistake.
Mr Abubakar served as vice president in the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo between 1999 and 2007.
He however defected to the defunct Action Congress (AC) where he contested the 2007 presidential election, but lost to the late President Umaru Yar’Adua.
The former vice president, who is from Adamawa State as Mr Tukur, returned to the party after securing a waiver which was granted him by the party’s National Executive Committee, NEC, at its September 2010 meeting.
In the letter, made available to PREMIUM TIMES, Atiku recounted that he read a news report in a national daily which contained the list of delegates from Adamawa State, his home state, to the convention but that his name was omitted.
He added that his inquiries at the PDP national secretariat confirmed the omission and that after waiting in vain for a response from the party to correct or refute the publication, he decided to write the national chairman to draw his attention to what he regarded a “mistake.”
“In the said report, the delegate list for the Special National Convention submitted by the Adamawa state Chapter did not contain my name and further inquiries at the PDP National Secretariat also confirmed same,” Atiku said.
“After waiting for a public statement for the party, correcting and refuting the abnormally in vain, I decided to draw your attention to this mistake.
Mr Abubakar recalled that NEC, at its meeting of September 15, 2010, approved his application for a waiver to return to the PDP, alongside similar applications from Imo, Abia, Edo, Anambra and Kogi, which enabled him to participate in the party’s activities, including contesting its 2011 presidential primaries.
He reminded the national chairman that his return predated the amendment of the party’s constitution in 2012 and therefore his name should have been on the list.
He stressed, “It is in this regard, that I consider the omission of my name as a mistake since it contradicts Section 32 subsection 1 (a) of our party constitution which states that Board of Trustees members of the party shall consists of all past and serving Presidents and Vice Presidents of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who held or hold the respective posts as members of the party and who are still members of the party.”
Atiku requested the party to restore the respects and privileges conferred on occupants of the office of the Vice president and founding members of PDP.
“As a bonafide member of our party, I look forward to the respect and privileges conferred on the Office of the Vice President and founding fathers of the party by our party constitution.
“I therefore request for a correction and restoration of my right to attend the forthcoming Special National Convention of our great party and also membership of the Board of Trustees.
“While looking forward to a public statement in this matter, may I assure the National Chairman of my highest esteem and regards for our great party and all its leaders.”
It was learnt that Mr Abubakar, who contested against President Goodluck Jonathan at the 2011 presidential primaries, is feeling that he is being tactfully de-registered so that he does not realize his full rights as a member of the ruling party.
A source close to the former vice president told PREMIUM TIMES, “His suspicion is that attempts are being made to capture him retroactively so as to deny him his full rights or even push him out of the party as happened before.
“Atiku recalls that prior to the 2007 general elections, the PDP, which he and like-minds formed in order to push the military out and provide a formidable platform for a viable democracy was hijacked and in place of its elected leaders, a set of spineless and zombie-like leadership was imposed on the party.
“Following this, a dubious process of re-registration was invented, through which many bonafide members including the former Vice President were de-registered. Atiku was denied re-registration when he presented himself at his ward in Adamawa State.”
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