The embattled National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Iyorchia Ayu, has kicked against his suspension from the party, saying it violated its constitution.
PREMIUM TIMES reported the suspension of the national chairman by the executive committee of the PDP in Igyorov Ward, Gboko, Benue State.
Mr Ayu, in a statement issued on Monday by his media aide, Simon Imobo-Tswam, said the letter issued by the ward executive is against Article 57(7) of the PDP Constitution as Amended in 2017.
“Article 57(7) of the PDP Constitution as Amended in 2017 expressly prohibits any organ of the party or executive committee of the party at the Ward or State Level from taking any disciplinary measure against any member of the party’s National Executive Committee.
“The purported suspension is, therefore, an exercise in futility as it derives its strength majorly from gross illiteracy, ignorance, gambling and desperation. It has only mischief, drama and propaganda value,” the statement read in part.
The PDP chairman alleged that the suspension letter contained signatures obtained by “coercion” and “forgery.”
“From what we know, the document itself is fraudulent as the signatures of the Ward Executives were forged or obtained under duress. The chairman, his deputy and his legal adviser didn’t sign. The 14th person on the list didn’t sign too. She was at NKST Ambighir for the Holy Communion,” he said.
He added: “The general public is hereby advised to ignore rumours to this heinous effect. Those behind the plot are only investing in expensive illusions.”
Mr Ayu’s suspension came barely three days after the PDP national working committee (NWC) he heads referred the state governor, Samuel Ortom, to the party’s disciplinary committee for investigation over alleged anti-party activities.
Same treatment for other party leaders
Suspension of a National Chairman of a political party is not new in Nigeria’s polity. Adams Oshiomhole, a former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was removed from the party after his ward suspended him.
Mr Ayu’s predecessor, Uche Secondus, also got similar treatment.
Mr Ayu is presiding over a “fragmented” party since the 2022 presidential primary of the party that produced Atiku Abubakar.
Five of the party’s governors, namely Nyesom Wike of Rivers, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Seyi Makinde (Oyo) and Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) and Mr Ortom demanded his removal as a condition to back Atiku.
The party went into the general election without resolving the differences.
In the past couple of weeks, the National Working Committee of the party, led by Mr Ayu, has embarked on disciplinary action against several people in open rebellion against the party.
Some prominent members like former Senate President, Pius Anyim, former Ekiti governor, Ayo Fayose, former Katsina governor, Ibrahim Shema, Dennis Ityavyar from Benue State and Aslam Aliyu from Zamfara State were suspended for alleged anti-party activities.
Mr Ortom was referred to the disciplinary committee for further investigation for alleged anti-party activities.
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