The PDP said Mr. Amaechi disobeyed the party’s state chapter.
Twenty four hours after the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Bamanga Tukur, announced that the national secretariat is not officially aware of the problems in its Rivers State chapter, the party chairman, approved the suspension of the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi.
The issues that Mr. Tukur claimed ignorance of on Sunday are the same reasons for which the party’s National Working Committee, headed by him, held an emergency meeting on Monday morning to suspend the Rivers Governor.
While hosting selected journalists in his house on Sunday, Mr. Tukur said the Rivers PDP crisis is a state matter as the matter has not been brought to the national secretariat.
“It is a state affair for the time being. If somebody is fighting, you have to know what is happening. When they bring to us what is happening, at the centre, we take action,” the party chairman said.
Less than 24 hours later, the PDP spokesman, Olisa Metuh, announced in a statement that the NWC held an emergency meeting on Monday morning, and agreed to suspend Mr. Amaechi from the party.
Mr. Metuh said the NWC’s decision follows the petition submitted by the PDP Rivers Executive Committee against the Rivers state Governor “for violating Articles 58 1 (b), (c), (h) and (m) of the PDP Constitution following his refusal to obey the lawful directive of the Rivers State Executive Committee to rescind his decision dissolving the elected Executive Council of Obiokpor Local Government Area of Rivers State”.
The statement added that “the National Working Committee after preliminary hearing, in exercise of the powers conferred by Articles 57 (3), 59 (3), 59 (5) and 29 (2.b) hereby suspends the Executive Governor of River State, Rt Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi as a member of the PDP and refers the matter to the appropriate disciplinary committee of the Party”.
It also said the decision is in furtherance of the determination of the leadership of the party to enforce discipline at all levels within the Party.
Mr. Metuh did not state when the national secretariat was informed or if the national secretariat made any effort to hear from the governor or mediate in the crisis following the chairman’s Sunday’s confirmation that the secretariat had taken no action on the matter.
Meanwhile, the PDP currently has no disciplinary committee as the party leadership has failed to call a National Executive Council meeting to set up one.
Mr. Amaechi has had a turbulent time with the PDP leadership over his opposition to and criticism of major policies of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration.
The Rivers Governor had criticised the corruption in the management of the petrol subsidy funds, and as chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, led the opposition to the federal government’s deduction from the federation account.
Perhaps his final albatross was his decision to re-contest the position of the NGF chairman, which he won last week after defeating Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau, who had the support of the party and the party’s governors forum, PDPGF.
Mr. Jang and his supporters, led by Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom, have vowed to run a parallel NGF and the Plateau Governor has already declared himself Chairman of the Forum despite losing by 16 votes to 19.