The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) made a significant announcement on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, replacing the suspended Chairman of the party, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, with the National Vice-Chairman (North), Umar Damagum, as the acting chairman of the PDP.
The appointment was announced at an emergency meeting, held on Tuesday, by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Debo Ologunagba, at a press conference. Ologunagba stated that the action was necessary following a High Court Order in Benue State of March 27, 2023, restraining Ayu from parading himself as the party’s chairman. Ayu’s suspension had been imposed last Thursday over allegations of anti-party activities, after many other chieftains in the party had also been suspended.
During the press conference, Ologunagba disclosed, “The presiding judge, Justice W.I. Kpochi, gave the interim order on Monday in the suit No. MHC/85/2023 filed at the court by Terhide Utaan with Ayu and the PDP as defendants. On Tuesday, March 28, 2023, we acknowledge the order of the Benue State High Court, dated March 27, 2023 with regards to the chairmanship position of our great Party.”
After a careful consideration of the court order and in line with Section 45 (2) of the Constitution of the PDP (as amended in 2017), the NWC resolved that the Deputy National Chairman (North) His Excellency, Amb. Umar Ililya Damagum, assumes the National Chairmanship of our party in acting capacity with effect from Tuesday, March 28, 2023.”
The PDP spokesperson further remarked that the NWC had charged all leaders, critical stakeholders, teeming members, and supporters of the party to remain calm and united at this critical time.
The National Vice-Chairman (North), Umar Damagum, who assumed the position of the acting national chairman of the party after the declaration by the NWC, stated, “We are here to fulfill all righteousness; we have a court order restraining the chairman, our national chairman, and we are law-abiding. I will be here with you in acting capacity pending the determination of the court. I want to use this opportunity to employ you to give me the cooperation as all used to have with you. I will have a meeting immediately after this session with the NWC to review what is happening in the party.”