The PDP said Mr. Wamakko declined several opportunities to clear himself of anti-party allegations.
The spokesperson of the PDP, Olisa Metuh, in a statement Thursday said the decision to suspend Mr. Wamakko came after very wide and exhaustive consultations, in accordance with the provisions of the constitution of the PDP and in the overriding interest of the party.
The Party also claimed that the Sokoto Governor was not suspended because of the Nigeria Governors Forum election, which returned Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi -who is also suspended by the NWC-as Chairman
“It is important to note that the reason for the suspension of Governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko predates the Nigeria Governors’ Forum’s election,” the statement said.
Mr. Wamakko is believed to be among the 8 PDP governors that voted for Mr. Amaechi to defeat the candidate allegedly backed by the party, Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau.
Origin of Wamakko’s ‘sins’
The statement added that “sometime in early April, the leadership of the party was concerned with the statements and conduct of the Governor whereupon the National Chairman placed several calls to draw the attention of the Governor to the matters concerned.
“However, it was not possible for the National Chairman to speak with the Governor despite several attempts. The National Chairman thereafter vide a letter dated 12th April, 2013 requested an explanation to the NWC within seven days.
“Instead of replying the National Chairman, Governor Wamakko directed the Sokoto State Secretary of the Party, Mallam Aminu Bello Sokoto to reply the National Chairman. The State party Secretary in a letter dated April 14, 2013 and on the official letterhead of the Sokoto State Government House, replied the National Chairman on behalf of the governor.
“This amounted to gross disrespect and act of insubordination to a National Officer and a lawful organ of the party which is in violation of Articles 58.1 (c ), (h) and (m) of the PDP constitution which prescribed sanctions for any member who (c ) “disobeys or neglect to carry out lawful directives of the party or any organ or officer of the party”, (h) “engages in any conduct likely to cause disaffection among members of the Party or is likely to disrupt the peaceful, lawful and efficient conduct of the business of the Party” and (m) “fails, refuses or neglects to treat a petition, complaints or appeal timeously” respectively,” the statement added.
The PDP statement did not mention the specific statement or actions of the Sokoto Governor.
It also added that in spite of Mr. Wamakko’s apparent disrespect to Mr. Tukur, “ the NWC, vide a letter dated April 17, 2013 kindly requested His Excellency, Dr. Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko to appear before it on the 8th of May, 2013 to clear the issues thereof.”
“The NWC also wrote to the State Secretary, Sokoto PDP, Mallam Aminu Bello Sokoto requesting explanations for his actions as a state party officer, in replying the National Chairman.
“Regrettably, Dr. Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko never honoured the invitation and refused to respond in any way despite repeated invitations from the NWC, an action which is in clear violation of Article 58.1 (c), of the PDP constitution. In the same vein, the State Secretary, Sokoto PDP also refused to respond to the National Working Committee (NWC).
“Consequently, the NWC at its 336th meeting held on May 22, 2013 suspended the State Secretary, Sokoto PDP Mallam Aminu Bello Sokoto and communicated the decision to him in a letter dated May 22, 2013.
“The NWC thereafter extended yet another invitation to His Excellency, Dr. Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko in a letter dated May 23, 2013 in which it requested him to appear before it on Wednesday, June 5, 2013 to clarify the issues.
“Unfortunately, in complete disregard to a lawful organ of the Party, His Excellency, Dr. Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, instead of appearing before the NWC traveled out of the country on Tuesday June 5, 2013 without any form of response to the party,” the statement said.
No other option left
The statement also said the action of Mr. Wamakko left it with no any other option to take than enforce the relevant articles of its constitution.
“The NWC frowned at this act of gross indiscipline and disrespect to the party and was therefore left with no other option than to invoke relevant articles of the PDP constitution in furtherance of the determination to enforce discipline at all levels within the Party.
“We wish to state that the leadership of the Party has immense respect for all elected and appointed political office holders and in the same vein expects all political office holders to reciprocate by respecting the constitution and lawful organs of the Party upon which platform they hold office.
“The NWC hereby restates that no individual or group within the party is, and must be seen to be above the constitution and lawful organs of the party. All party members are under the rule of the constitution of the party and must so abide,” it said.