SW PDP supports party’s plan to appeal tribunal judgement

Olubunmi Osoteku, Ibadan

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The South West caucus of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, has aligned itself with the decision of the National Working Committee, NWC, of the party to appeal the verdict of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal at the Supreme Court.

The Election Tribunal had upheld the election of President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress, APC, as against Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the PDP.

This, as the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, promised to empower and patronize the party members and leaders from the Zone in the scheme of things.

The decisions form part of the resolutions reached at the meeting of the PDP South West Zonal stakeholders, whichh was held at the Oyo State Government House, Agodi, Ibadan.

The South West leaders, who congratulated their host, Governor Makinde, on his election victory and inauguration, also lauded him for the leadership role he is playing in the Zone in order to ensure unity among the party members.

Speaking earlier in a remark, Governor Makinde said his administration would test the Nigerian Federalism to its limit, saying the victory of the party in the State is for the entire Zone and not the state alone.

While calling on the party members to be united in order to achieve better electoral results in the coming elections across the South West states, the Governor appealed for understanding and patience with his government, assuring that the interest of all the leaders and members from the Zone would be taken care of in terms of empowerment and patronage, as time goes by.

In his remarks, the National Vice Chairman, South, Elder Yemi Akinwonmi, who described Governor Makinde as the most popular Governor in the South West and indeed Nigeria, said with the party’s victory in Oyo State, the umbrella party has, by the stakeholders meeting, started working towards the imminent collapse of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the region.

He added that the PDP feels the pulse of the people better, saying there is still hope for the party at the Supreme Court on the appeal of the judgement given by the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.

Presenting the communique at the end of the meeting, Olafeso said the entire Zone was disappointed that justice was not done, in view of the plethora of evidences laid before it in the judgement against the party flagbearer at the last presidential election.

The communique reads in parts, “We leaders of the Party across the South West here gathered, having taken serious views of developments in our nation and region, resolve as follows:

“We congratulate His Excellency, Engr Seyi Makinde, on his election and inauguration as Governor of Oyo State. We thank him for his leadership role in the Zone.”

“We further commend him for the giant strides he continues to take in the administration of the State. These deft moves confirm his determination and preparedness to drive the frontiers of development to new heights in Oyo State and set a new pace for other States to follow. We are indeed proud of achievements recorded within his first 100 days in Office.”

We also take serious view of the verdict of the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal on the petitions of our Party and candidate, His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar, GCON and therefore, put on record our disappointment that justice was not done, in view of the plethora of evidences laid before it, and resolve to support the Party to appeal against same at the Supreme Court.

“Due attention is accorded the verdicts of both the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court on the Osun State Governorship election, particularly the resolve to subject the electoral desires and expression of the people of that State to the technicality of a judge missing just a day’s sitting at the Tribunal level. While we continue to accord due respect to the Judiciary, it is essential that its rulings and verdicts command the respect and confidence of the citizenry in the interest of the nation.

That the party must review the conduct of off-season elections in the South West, with a view to developing a response system that will forestall, arrest and vanquish all APC inspired rigging plans in future elections, beginning with the very next gubernatorial election in Ondo State.

“The Party takes serious notice of the students’ demonstration at the Federal University of Science, Oye Ekiti and the resultant killing of at least two students by the Police. We declare that it is callous and criminal of the Police to use live ammunitions on unarmed student demonstrators, therefore demand that those irresponsible officers who killed them must be fished out for trial.”

The meeting had in attendance leaders from the six South West states of Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Lagos, Ekiti and Ondo.

Party leaders present at the meeting included, the Deputy National Vice Chairman (South), Elder Yemi Akinwonmi; National Vice Chairman (South West), Dr Eddy Olafeso; National Treasurer, Mr Adewale Aribisala; Ex-National Vice Chairman (South West), Mr Tajudeen Oladipupo; Zonal Secretary, Rev Bunmi Jenyo; the Six South West State; party chairmen and Speaker Oyo State House of Assembly, Mr Adebo Ogundoyin.

Others were, former Deputy Governors, Senator Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele (Lagos); Professor Olushola Eleka (Ekiti); a representative of the South West PDP Caucus in the National Assembly, Senator Ayo Akinyelure; PDP governorship candidate in the 2019 election in Lagos, Mr Jimi Agbaje; Chairman Oyo State Advisory Counci, Former Chief Whip, Senator Hosea Agboola and other members of the Board of Trustees.

Ime Njoku