National Chairman of the New Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, has resigned his position as chairman, Nigeria Railway Corporation governing board, citing the crisis rocking the ruling party as his reason.
Baraje, in a letter addressed to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, said his resignation was with immediate effect.
In another letter dated November 6 addressed to President Goodluck Jonathan, through the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Audu Umar, NRC board members passed a vote of no confidence on Baraje, who along with former PDP Deputy National Chairman, Dr. Sam Sam Jaja; controversial PDP National Secretary, Olagunsoye Oyinlola and National Vice Chairman, North-west of the splinter group, Alhaji Ibrahim Kazaure, were suspended by the PDP on Monday.
Baraje, in the letter to Anyim which he personally signed, said: “I hasten to express my sincere gratitude to His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, through your good office for the confidence he placed in my ability to have appointed me to such an exalted position as chairman, Nigeria Railway Corporation.
“His Excellency, Mr. President, will recall that this appointment came from his discretion in allotting some positions to our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). However, it is no longer news that there is an ongoing disagreement in principle between some top stakeholders of our party of which I am among on the one hand and the current leadership of the party on the other.
This quagmire has upturned my belief in the present leadership of our great party and has consequently made my continued stay as the chairman, Nigeria Railway Corporation governing board uncomfortable."
“Realising that the position of the Nigeria Railway Corporation chairmanship was allocated to the party and of which I am supposed to symbolise, I would appreciate if your good office could please convey to His Excellency, Mr. President, of my intention to relinquish this position with immediate effect because I can no longer represent the interest of the party whose leadership I no longer believe in.”
However, earlier, NRC board members had passed a no-confidence vote on Baraje.
They accused him of dereliction of duties, claiming that he had failed to promptly convene board meetings as prescribed by the NRC Act.
In the letter addressed to Jonathan, they said it was statutory for the board to hold a minimum of four and maximum of eight meetings in a quarter.
The letter, a copy of which was obtained from yesterday, was signed by the Committee Chairman on Mechanical, Electrical, Signal and Telecommunication, Mr. Ehiozuwa Johnson Agbonayinma.
They expressed concern at the inability of the board under Baraje to meet up with the minimum requirement in the last quarter, and pointed out that the board was yet to have a meeting in the current quarter.
The core of their grouse as contained in the letter copies of which were sent to Vice-President Namadi Sambo and Anyim, is that Baraje’s “inability or refusal” to convene board meetings, as statutorily prescribed, has stalled board progress in the discharge of its duties.
But in a swift move, Baraje who must have got wind of the onslaught, had hurriedly before his suspension on Monday, sent a text message to chairmen of the seven committees asking them to submit to him reports of their committees before November 15.