Pics from the PDP convention where Atiku & 7 governors pulled out

These are photos from the PDP convention that took place in Abuja yesterday where former VP Atiku Abubakar and seven other governors pulled out to form a faction of the party.

See more photos from the convention and a statement from Atiku’s PDP chairman explaining why they pulled out from GEJ’s PDP…after the cut…

Why We Are Taking Over From Tukur, Factional Chairman of the PDP, Abubakar Baraje explains..

“We address you today as leaders of
PDP, who are worried by the increasing repression, restrictions of
freedom of association, arbitrary suspension of members and other such
violations of democratic principles by a faction of our party led by
Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.

While we have done everything humanly possible to bring to the
attention of critical stakeholders within the party the dangers inherent
in the course being charted by that leadership, it has become very
clear that the desperate permutations towards 2015 general elections
have blinded certain people from the consequences of their actions.

Not only has the constitution of the party been serially  abused by
Alhaji Tukur and his fellow travelers, all the organs of the party have
been rendered virtually ineffectual by a few people who act as though
above the law. Unfortunately, it is obvious that that they get
encouragement from the presidency whose old calculations are geared
towards shutting out any real or imagined opposition ahead of the
party’s presidential primaries for the 2015 elections.

As leaders of our great party, we consider it a sacred responsibility
to save the PDP from the antics of a few desperadoes who have no
democratic temperament and are therefore bent on hijacking the party for
selfish ends. While the list of their violations of the tenets of our
great party is long, we will highlight just a few:

The National Executive Committee of the PDP at its belated meeting of
20 June 2013 approved 20 July2013 for the conduct of a special national
convention.

However, that date was changed to August 31 without reverting to NEC
(the only authority vested with such powers) by a few people, apparently
acting on the authority of the presidency.

Notwithstanding the fact that INEC had noted that the PDP congresses
in nine states were not properly conducted, the illegal delegates from
such states are being paraded at the so-called convention being held
today in a cynical attempt to circumvent the law and further bring the
name of the party to disrepute.

In gross violation of the PDP constitution which stipulates that the
NEC meeting must hold at least once in a quarter, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur
and a few people have been running the party like a personal fiefdom
without recourse to that important decision-making organ of the party.

The NEC of the party accepted the resignation of the former members
of the NWC whose offices were affected by INEC observations based
principally on the agreement that the affected officers would be
returned to their respective offices at the convention. However, against
the decision of the NEC. And in a not-so-clever bid to exclude some
perceived opponents of the few powerful members who are trying to hijack
the party, these positions have been made Open to some Yes-men within
the party.

Notwithstanding INEC instance that Senator Any Uba is the duly
elected candidate of the party in Anambra State and against the
background that he is so recognized by majority of our party members,
the Bamanga Tukur-led Executives announced a purported suspension of
Senator Uba and some other members close to him in defiance of
subsisting court orders.

Despite that the PDP Constitution is very clear that the state
chapter of the party cannot discipline a national officer, the Deputy
National Chairman, Mr. Sam Jaja, has reportedly been dismissed by some
renegades who have hijacked the Rivers State chapter of our party with
the connivance of the Bamanga Tukur leadership.

The persistent change in the list of the party’s delegates in many
states as part of a deliberate attempt to rig the party’s nomination of
candidates, especially at the presidential and gubernatorial levels,
with a view to foisting on the PDP some unpopular candidates who are
bound to lose at the polls. The suspension without due process of the
Governors of Rivers and Sokoto states. Even when the illegal suspension
on Sokoto State Governor has been lifted, the Rivers Governor remains
purportedly suspended for no just cause.

The illegal dissolution of the Adamawa State chapter of the party is a
clear abuse of power by Alhaji Bamanga Tukur thus causing confusion in
his home state.

Given the foregoing, it is very clear that the Bamanga Tukur
leadership cannot guarantee for our millions of party members democracy
anchored on free choice and the rule of law. We have therefore taken it
upon ourselves to rescue the party from their dictatorial leadership.

It is indeed noteworthy that from 1999 to date, Nigerians have
constantly voted the presidential candidates presented by our great
party but not only dies such trust come wig enormous responsibility, we
recognize that we cannot continue to take the people f granted.

From now, the new leadership of the party under us will strive to
build a fairer as well as a more transparent and accountable PDP that
will putty interest of members and indeed all the people of Nigeria
above that of one single individual.

For all the members of our great party who may have become
disillusioned by the anti-democratic tendencies of the Bamanga Tukur’s
leadership, there is a new lease of life in the horizon. It’s a new day
for the Peoples Democratic Party.

As we take over the leadership of the PDP, our immediate priority is
to revive the culture of robust debate of all contending issues while
providing a level-playing field for all our members. These were the
ideals that differentiated our party from others and endeared us to
Nigerians.

We are not, and have never been a political party where one man would
be taking decisions for all members and where once you do not kowtow
before the presidency, you are deemed a rebel that must be crushed. That
is not the PDP bequeathed to us by our founding fathers. That, I dare
say, is no longer what PDP under our leadership will represent from
today.