by Adeola Balogun
The attempt by the new faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) under the leadership of Abubakar Kawu Baraje to seek official recognition from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been shot down.
The “New PDP’ received a major blow after its attempts to be heralded as the original and official PDP yielded undesirable results. It was a two-pronged defeat for Baraje’s PDP as they were turned down by INEC and also defeated in court by Bamanga Tukur’s PDP.
INEC stood solidly behind Tukur’s faction of the PDP as it said that all processes and appointments made by the original PDP were witnessed and supported by it (INEC) including the controversial appointment of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur as National Chairman which the electoral body declared valid.
INEC’s clarification followed a letter written by the National Secretary of the New Peoples Democratic Party, nPDP, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, asking the commission to recognize Baraje and members of his National Working Committee as the valid leaders of the party.
INEC in its letter to the Baraje faction, which was addressed to the National Secretary of the faction, Mr. Olagunsoye Oyinlola, said that it stood by the elections that brought both Tukur and his officials into office and would therefore not recognise Baraje and his officials.
INEC in its reply, which was received by the Baraje faction on October 3, 2013, said, “The commission acknowledges the receipt of your letters dated 1st and 23rd September respectively wherein you requested the commission’s recognition of the Baraje-led faction and newly-elected NWC.
“You will recall that the commission monitored the National Convention and Special National Convention of the PDP held on the 24th of March 2012 and 31st of August 2013 at the Eagle Square, Abuja, after notices to the commission.
“A NWC was elected at the two conventions with Alhaji Bamanga Tukur as the National Chairman. The commission will not withdraw recognition from the leadership of the PDP elected at the conventions duly monitored by the commission.
“Be guided accordingly,” the commission said.
Vanguard learnt that there was jubilation in the Presidency last night following the leakage of the INEC’s letter to its strategists.