Top chieftains dump PDP in Kogi as party crisis deepens

Peoples Democratic Party PDP

The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kogi State, especially in Kogi Central Senatorial District, has deepened with the exit of some top chieftains ahead of the state assembly polls rescheduled for March 18.

Top stakeholders of the party, who didn’t want to be mentioned, cite “security reasons” as a major reason for the development.

They alleged that the party, known in the past for its democratic leanings, had been hijacked by desperate, self-serving politicians.

A former Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, representing Okene II Constituency, Momohjimoh Lawal, who resigned a few days after the presidential and national assembly elections, said in his letter of resignation, dated March 4 and addressed to the chairman, Abuga/Ozuja Ward, that it was expedient for him to take some rest from active politics.

“Having come this far, and witnessing the vicissitude of my political adventure in the PDP so far, it has become expedient that I take some rest from active politics.

“I wish to therefore tender my resignation from the party with effect from today to enjoy a deserved rest for now,” Lawal said in the resignation letter.

Though Lawal did not state what many believed to be his real reasons for dumping the main opposition party, sources in the PDP in the state, who are his close associates, said many of them had been sidelined on all fronts since the emergence of new leaders.

Recall that the candidate of the party for Kogi Central Senatorial District, Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan, had defected from the Social Democratic Party (SDP) to the PDP about a year ago and is assumed to dictate what happens in the party, for now, especially since no governorship candidate has emerged.

Akpoti-Uduaghan is regarded as the leader of the party in the state, especially in Kogi Central Senatorial District.

Another chieftain of the PDP from Adavi Local Government Area, Kogi Central Senatorial District, who resigned on March 8, 2023, M.I. Onimisi, said he had been a member of the PDP for 15 years, but had decided to move on because he had suffered gross injustice.

“I have suffered betrayal and gross injustice and I have waited patiently for wrongs to be corrected, yet nothing was done…I hereby resign from the party (PDP) effective from today,” Onimisi wrote in his resignation letter, addressed to the chairman, Karaworo, Ebegogo, Iresuha Ward.

Spokesperson for the Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan Campaign Council, David Itopa, announced his resignation from the senatorial candidate’s team three weeks before the presidential election.

In his resignation letter, posted on his Facebook page, Itopa, who is also from Okehi Local Government Area, did not state categorically why he was withdrawing from Akpoti-Uduaghan’s Campaign Council.

He simply wrote: “It is not news that I have always been and will always remain a committed member of the PDP, however, for personal reasons, I wish to tender my resignation from the Kogi Central PDP and Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan Campaign Council as the Head of Media Committee.

“I sincerely wish the PDP success in the 2023 general elections.”

The former spokesperson was suspended by his ward executive over alleged anti-party activities a day after he resigned, a move believed to have been masterminded by Akpoti-Uduaghan.

“The Executive Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party, Eika Ohizenyi Ward, is in receipt of several petitions bordering on anti-party activities against you. As you are aware, allegations of this nature, if successfully substantiated, constitutes an offence under Paragraph 58(I) of our Constitution and punishable under Paragraph 59 of same,” the party said in the letter suspending Itopa.

PDP members, who spoke in confidence, said many more members were tired of the situation in which a single politician would dictate what happens in the state at the expense of the wellbeing of the party.

A top official of the party said: “It is a good thing that the assembly elections have been postponed.

“Maybe our people would get their acts together and call these power mongers who know everyone in Abuja to order before it would remain only them in Kogi PDP.”

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