The national vice chairman (South-South) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Steve Oru, has been shot by unknown gunmen. He was promptly rushed to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH),Benin City, where, up until press time, he was lying in critical condition.
Although security agencies could not easily establish who was behind the attack, unofficial sources linked it to armed robbery. Oru was shot at while travelling from Warri to Ughelli in Delta State.
One of his aides who confirmed the attack to LEADERSHIP WEEKEND said that the PDP chief was shot from the back with an AK 47, adding that the bullet hit his collar bone, pierced through his intestines and passed out.
It was also learnt that the mobile police orderly attached to him was not lucky: he was shot dead. The incident, which occurred on February 3, 2013, has been kept from the public glare.
PDP national publicity secretary Chief Olisa Metuh confirmed the incident yesterday.
Meanwhile, the face-off between President Goodluck Jonathan and former president Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday took a turn for the worse with the removal of the PDP national auditor, Chief Bode Mustapha, from the party's National Working Committee (NWC) and the nullification of the South-West zonal congress conducted in March 2012. Most of the winners of the cancelled congress were loyalists of Obasanjo.
The removal of Chief Mustapha came on the heels of the removal of the PDP national secretary, Chief Olagunsoye Oyinlola, by the Federal High Court, Abuja. He is another protege of the former president.
Though Oyinlola is in court challenging his removal, his photographs in the offices at the party's national secretariat in Abuja have been removed, his office locked and his personal staff numbering about 19 asked not to come near the secretariat.
Factions loyal to President Jonathan and Obasanjo are locked in a supremacy battle over the control of the party, including its Board of Trustees (BoT) and the NWC. Party watchers believe that what is playing out is a game plan to neutralise the former president's influence in the party ahead of the 2015 general elections.
In a statement signed by Metuh, the PDP yesterday confirmed the sack of Chief Mustapha and the dissolution of the South-West congress conducted in March 2012.
The party said that Mr Fatai Adewole Adeyanju was the "validly elected national auditor of the PDP".
The NWC of the party, which met on Thursday and presided over by the PDP national chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, according to the statement, deliberated mainly on the Ogun State exco and the South-West exco.
The party's statement reads:
"Following protracted dispute on the Ogun State and South-West zonal exco of the party, a series of suits were filed on the matter, amongst which include FHC/L/CS/1248/2011, FHC/L/CS/282/2012 and FHC/L/CS/347/2012.
-That Chief Bode Mustapha is removed from office as the national auditor of the PDP;
-That Alhaji Fatai Adewole Adeyanju is the validly elected national auditor of the PDP;
-That the PDP is to rectify its records by deleting the name of Chief Bode Mustapha as national auditor and replacing the same with Alhaji Fatai Adewole Adeyanju;
-That the South-West zonal congress of the PDP conducted in March 2012 is nullified;
-That the executive committee constituted for the PDP in Ogun State at congresses conducted by the Bashorun Dayo Soremi-led harmonised executive committee for the wards, local governments and the state in March 2012 are valid exco of the party at the various levels in Ogun State and are entitled to their 4-year tenure;
-That the PDP is to organise a fresh South-West zonal congress at which access is to be given to delegates elected at congresses conducted by or under the supervision of the Soremi-led Ogun State executive and accept the candidacy, for offices zoned to Ogun State, of only the persons nominated at the said congresses for the said offices.
-The National Working Committee of the party met on 14th February, 2013 and gave careful consideration to the issues and decided that, in line with respect to the rule of law which is a cardinal principle of the present administration, the PDP as a law-abiding party, will immediately comply with the said judgement. This is all the more so that same has not been set aside or reversed by any superior court."