By Bolaji Buhari
Lagos – The Lagos State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) on Monday said that the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party was taking steps to address the challenges facing the chapter.
The Publicity Secretary of the party in the state, Mr Taofik Gani, made the statement in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) in Lagos.
NAN reports that the party has been enmeshed in a crisis lately as two chieftains, Dr Adegbola Dominic and Mr Segun Adewale are laying claim to its chairmanship in Lagos state.
Adewale was a factional Chairman of the party in the stare during the national leadership tussle between Sen. Ahmed Makarfi and Sen. Ali Modu Sherrif in 2017.
While Adewale was aligned with the Sheriff faction, another factional chairman, Mr Moshood Salvador, was aligned with the Makarfi group.
The Supreme Court on July 12, 2017 sacked Sherrif, and affirmed Makarfi as National Chairman.
Following the judgement, the national leadership directed Adewale, who had been occupying the party secretariat, to submit the secretariat keys to Chief Olabode George, an ally of Makarfi, and work with Salvador on a power sharing agreement.
Adewale agreed to have Salvador as Chairman, with members of his(Adewale’s) group included in the executive.
Salvador, as a sitting Chairman, dumped the party for the All Progressives Congress(APC) in 2018, after disagreements with George and other party leaders .
His exit paved the way for the emergence of Dominic as the new chairman as he had the support of everyone including Adewale.
However shortly after the 2019 general elections, Adewale called a press conference, where he made a fresh claim at the party chairmanship.
He claimed that Dominic was appointed Chairman for three-months, just to fill the vacuum left by Salvador and that his term had expired in December 2018.
Adewale added that he was the automatic chairman having stepped down for Salvador, a claim Dominic had described as “arrant nonsense’’ while saying he was the the authentic chairman.
The situation, coupled with the dismal performance of the party in the governorship elections, had caused disenchantment in the party, with key members like Sen. Adeseye Ogunlewe, a former minister, and others dumping the party for the APC.
Speaking to NAN, Gani said the party’s national leadership had intervened in the crisis and that it was taking steps to resolve the problem.
He said that an NWC team, led by Sen. Ben Obi, met with all disagreeing parties, including the governorship candidate, Mr Jimi Agbaje on Wednesday in Lagos on the way forward in the chapter .
“The issues are being resolved .The NWC has waded in.The Ben Obi-led team was in Lagos and they met with all parties including Agbaje on Wednesday and Thursday .
“Everybody spoke his mind and it was a fruitful meeting. The team is back to Abuja to submit its report.
“The NWC will get back to us on the way forward. The PDP will overcome its present challenges and bounce back as a better party in the state,’’ he said.
Gani said disagreements were normal in politics and that all disagreeing parties had shown commitments to the future of the party.
The spokesman said the party would undergo repositioning after the reconciliation process to play its role better as an opposition party in the state.
He added the party would work hard to ensure the APC is dislodged in 2023.
NAN reports that Adewale and Dominic also confirmed attending the meeting with NWC members.
NAN however gathered that George, a former Deputy National Chairman of the party, was absent as he was out of the country.