The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Ondo State is gearing for another round of crisis as a gale of suspension of some members by the Ahmed Makarfi-faction of the party is witnessing a backlash.
The faction on Tuesday suspended 22 members including the Chairman of the Modu Sheriff faction of the party, Biyi Poroye, and the factional deputy governorship candidate in the governorship election, Ebenezer Alabi, for their involvement in anti-party activities.
The other members suspended also belong to the Ali Modu-Sheriff faction of the party, which fielded businessman Jimoh Ibrahim as its candidate for the just concluded Ondo governorship election.
But Mr. Poroye described the suspension as a nullity, as those who carried out the suspension did know understand the procedure for suspending members of the party.
“By the grace of God I am the authentic chairman of the party in Ondo State, those causing trouble are not true members of the party and do not know the procedure for suspending members,” he said.
Also suspended was a former Senator, Omololu Meroyi, former Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Bakita Bello, and former Deputy Speaker, Dare Emiola.
Others include, former commissioner in governor Olusegun Mimiko’s cabinet, Sola Ebiseni; Johnson Alabi, Olu Ogunye, Olabisi Johnson, Yemi Ajonibode, Musa Megida, Issac Alase and Ademola Gentry.
A statement by the Publicity Secretary of the party, Banji Okunomo, which conveyed the suspension of the members, noted that Jimoh Ibrahim was not included in the list of suspended members because he was never a member of the party.
“It will amount to wasted exercise including a non-party member in the suspension list,” Mr. Okunomo said.
He said the suspension was in line with Section 57 of the constitution of the party and the powers conferred on the State Working Committee of the party.
He said they were suspended from the party “with immediate effect for gross anti- party activities.”
Mr. Okunomo said that the suspension became necessary following the judgement of the Court of Appeal which failed to recognised Biyi Poroye-led executive of the party in the state.
“By virtue of Court of Appeal judgement, Biyi Poroye did not only seize to be Executive member of the party as claimed but they have also turned out to be ordinary member of the party while the Clement Faboyede led Executive remains the only recognised Executive of the party in the state,” he said.
He however called on the affected members to appear before the disciplinary committee of the party on Monday, by10a.m. at the party Secretariat in Akure.
He said the resolution of the SWC of the party was further ratified by the State Executive Committee of the party at a meeting held on Tuesday
The list of suspended members also include the former Deputy National youth leader, Deniss Alonge, Yemisi Akinjomiju, Yemisi Alumnae, Ade Adebaore, Adegboruwa Taiwo Omowole Oluwaghehinmi, Gbamila Ogunji, Abiye Ademoyegun and Dare Akinbo
But Mr. Poroye expressed disappointment that at a time when the party should be reviewing its failure at the governorship polls to see what went wrong, some members were trying to cause problems within the party.
“For the first time, the party is going to the polls in the state and is failing to win an election for the governorship seat,” he lamented.
“We have set up a committee to review the election and we are going to sanction those who are found to have worked against the party during the election.”
He said the verdict of the Appeal Court did not nullify his leadership of the party in the state, arguing that Governor Olusegun Mimiko brought the problems that rocked the party.
He accused him of being the cause of the loss suffered by the party in Saturday’s election, by foisting his own will on the party.
Also Mr. Alabi, who was chairman of the party just before the return of Mr. Mimiko to the party, said his suspension was a joke.
Mr. Alabi said the Mimiko group was transferring the aggression of losing Saturday’s election on some people, warning that he would react better after reading the suspension letter.