Nigeria’s ruling party chairman resigns: state radio

The chairman of Nigeria’s ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has resigned, state radio said on Friday, giving in to mounting pressure after being charged with conspiracy and fraud.

The PDP’s executive body is expected to meet later on Friday to decide on a replacement for the chairman, Vincent Ogbulafor.

Ogbulafor pleaded not guilty on Monday of conspiring with four others to siphon off 233 million naira in public funds while he was a government minister in 2001.

An Abuja court judge granted Ogbulafor bail and set a June 21 hearing for the case.

Ogbulafor’s departure will add to the growing crisis within the PDP, which has dominated Nigerian politics since the country’s return to democracy just over a decade ago.

Divisions have emerged over who will be the party’s candidate for next year’s presidential elections.

The party suspended a group of 19 senior members last month after they launched an open rebellion calling for reforms which could break the stranglehold of a small elite over the party and throw the presidential race wide open.



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