Damagum Continues As PDP Acting Chairman

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Acting National Chairman of the leading opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Umar Damagum, will continue in office.

Speaking to reporters after the National Caucus meeting in the early hours of Thursday, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, disclosed that Damagum will continue to serve as the Acting National Chairman of the party until another NEC meeting after today’s session.

The PDP National Caucus is a crucial assembly of party stakeholders that convenes before the NEC meeting and sets the tone for every major decision to be made at the NEC meeting..

Ologunagba disclosed that the PDP National Caucus endorsed Damagum’s continued acting role to allow for broader consultations.

Formerly the PDP National Deputy Chairman (North), Damagum became Acting National Chairman after a court suspended the party’s National Chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu.

The court’s decision followed a request by a PDP member, Terhide Utaan, triggered by a prior vote of no confidence passed on Ayu by his ward executives in Igyorov ward, Gboko Local Government Area of Benue State.

Recently, 60 members of the House of Representatives called for Damagum’s ouster and called for the appointment of a substantive Chairman from the North Central region.

Shortly after this announcement, members of the House minority caucus, led by Kingsley Chinda, distanced themselves from the group, dismissing it as an unrecognised entity within the Parliament.

The PDP Caucus meeting in the House of Representatives on Tuesday ended in discord, with lawmakers divided between those supporting Damagum’s continuation and those opposing it.

However, the primary goal of the pre-NEC meeting, which aimed to endorse Damagum with a vote of confidence by lawmakers aligned with FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, faced hurdles and did not proceed as intended.

On Wednesday, the PDP’s National Working Committee expressed full support for Damagum.

Nevertheless, after its caucus meeting on Wednesday, the North Central Zone of the party unanimously decided that the zone should nominate the next National Chairman of the party following Ayu’s removal.

He stated, “At the meeting, the national caucus deliberated on the forthcoming local government, ward, and state congresses, scheduled for between June and August 2024. The Caucus endorsed the NWC’s reconstitution of the party’s disciplinary and reconciliation committees. These are standing committees tasked with addressing internal party matters.

“Fourthly, the caucus extended the tenure of the party’s Constitution Review Committee to incorporate new suggestions for amending the party’s constitution.

“Additionally, the caucus also discussed various methods of fundraising for the party, including membership drives, investment initiatives, and other matters that the NWC will address and subsequently present to the NEC for approval.”

The PDP National Publicity Secretary emphasised the party’s dedication to creating a cohesive organisation that will be embraced by all Nigerians.

On Damagum, he said, “The caucus did not deliberate on this matter because there are numerous complexities regarding leadership at this time.

“Therefore, this matter was deferred to the upcoming NEC meeting. The issues presented by the NWC were discussed by the caucus. Umar Damagum will remain the acting national chairman of the party until the subsequent NEC meeting following tomorrow’s (today’s) session.

“The party has recognised the importance of conducting further consultations on that matter. Our priority is maintaining party unity, as we navigate through these issues without causing division. We are committed to following our constitution and any succession plan that aligns with our current circumstances, including ongoing court processes. Our aim is to take actions that promote unity and are by our constitution.”

Ologunagba disclosed that the National Caucus instructed the NWC to review the list of the Rivers State Caretaker Committee.

“The issue of Rivers State Caretaker Committee List was raised at the meeting, and it was resolved that a political solution should be applied to resolve all the issues related thereto.”

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