Anambra Crisis; Yar’adua summons Ogbulafor

President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua yesterday summoned the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Vincent Ogbulafor, ostensibly over the lingering crisis in the Anambra State chapter of the party. The sudden call by Yar’Adua led to the putting on hold of the

 inauguration of the new caretaker committee for the state set up by the party’s leadership last week.

But an insider source who pleaded for anonymity says the meeting between Yar’Adua and Ogbulafor has nothing to do with the Anambra crisis.

He described the meeting as “routine”, adding that the Anambra crisis is now before a court that will make definite pronouncement on the matter soon.  

Since Ogbulafor announced that the tenure of the former executives of the party in Anambra had expired and unfolded the list of the caretaker committee Thursday, November 5, 2009, there have been complaints about the decision.

By the announcement, the PDP chairman had dissolved the party’s executives in the state believed to be loyal to the self-acclaimed godfather of Anambra politics, Chief Chris Uba. All the 18-member caretaker committee of the party led by Dr. Osita Ogbu was already seated by 1 pm at the PDP national headquarters at Zone 5, Abuja waiting to be inaugurated.

Around 2 pm, the candidate of the party for the February 6, 2010 Anambra governorship election, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, came in and announced that the national chairman of the party had been summoned to the villa by the President.

He told them further that there was no specific time when Ogbulafor would be back from the State House. Soludo therefore suggested to the committee members that they rather go for lunch since it was already 2 pm.

Neither Ogbulafor nor any member of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party was in sight to perform the swearing-in ceremony even when the committee members waited till about 3 pm.

The National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Prof. Ahmed Alkali, could not offer any reason why the planned inauguration was put off when he was contacted last night.

He only said that the inauguration had been put off. It was gathered that there was no prior announcement of the planned inauguration of the committee for party stalwarts to be part of it.

Members of the committee left the PDP secretariat, but did not return till press time. Some of the former aspirants had complained about the composition of the committee, which they said failed to accommodate the various political tendencies in the state.

According to a statement last week by PDP National Publicity Secretary, members of the party’s caretaker committee include Hon. Vincent Achigwe, Chief Chisata Okoye, Hon. Emmanuel Nsoedo, Chief Alphonsus Oguonu, Hon. K. G. Enemuoh, Mrs. Oby Okeke-Okwubanego, Chief Solomon O. D. Onyekwelu, Chief Dennis Ngene, Chief Odumegwu Sunny, Hon. Mbamalu Emmanuel, Chief Joe Oforkansi, Dr. Ugochukwu Okafor, Hon. Okwudili Uzoka, Ike Onyeabor and Hon. Handel Okoli.

Others are Dr. Harry Oranezi and Hon. Anthony Muobike as Member/Secretary Members of the former state executives were directed to immediately hand over all party property in their possession to the committee.