Party suspends guber aspirant, moves to discipline lawmaker over anti-party activities in Edo
The National Caretaker Committee (NCC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday accused the ousted party National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, of promoting falsehood in his desperate bid to cling to office. In a statement issued yesterday by a member of the committee, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, the party reacted to the allegation made by Sheriff that clandestine visits were made to a key figure of the All Progressives Congress (APC) by the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led committee, describing it as unfounded.
“The attention of the NCC of the PDP has been drawn to assertions made in the media by Sheriff that clandestine visits were made to a key figure of the APC. In addition, he alleged that the chairman and secretary of the committee had a pact to reserve the presidential ticket of the PDP to the said APC chieftain.
“The public is kindly reminded to recall that it was barely two weeks ago the former chairman alleged that Makarfi is only pursuing his presidential ambition and not concerned about the job given the committee by the National Convention. Now, he has changed the story.
“The public is also kindly reminded that one of the problems that led to the removal of Sheriff was attempting to convert himself from a three months chairman to not only a substantive chairman but the party’s presidential candidate for 2019. He went further to start offering running mate position to different individuals.
“It is also a fact that as soon as Sheriff was appointed as chairman, many founding members of the party left it. On the other hand, as soon as the NCC was appointed, people started retracing their steps back to the party. “For avoidance of doubt, any high profile visits/meeting to/with the committee or by the committee are always reported to key leaders of the PDP. Therefore, there is nothing for Sheriff to disclose.
“The committee is willing to receive any individual or group irrespective of their political dispositions. We are also prepared to visit anybody willing to receive us as long as it is in the interest of our great party and country.
“The committee will continue to work day and night to build followership for the party during our short period of stay. Finally, the committee still wishes to renew its call to Sheriff to embrace dialogue leading to peaceful resolution of the situation at hand,” Adeyeye stated.
Meanwhile, a member representing Egor/Ikpoba-Okha federal constituency of Edo State, Ehiozuwa Agbonayima, has incurred the wrath of the state PDP for what it termed anti-party activities.
This was because he supported the collection of nomination and expression of interest from the Sherriff-led faction of the party.
This came as the State Working Committee (SWC) of the PDP at the weekend said it had suspended one of the governorship aspirants in the June 20 primaries, Matthew Iduoriyekemwen, “from the party for one month, pending further disciplinary action in accordance with chapter 10 of the party’s constitution of 2012 (as amended).”
The state Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Chris Nehikhare, at a press briefing in Benin City, the state capital, said: “All members of the party in the state are enjoined to disregard the antics of Sheriff and Iduoriyekemwen in their desperate attempt to discredit the outcome of the governorship primary held on June 20, 2016, where Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu was duly nominated as the candidate of our great party.”
Agbonayinma who explained why he pitched his tent with Sheriff, while speaking to journalists at the Benin airport at the weekend, said as a lawmaker, he relied on a subsisting court rulings in favour of Sheriff as the authentic PDP national chairman.
While promising to back out if there is a contrary ruling before the party’s primary slated for June 30, 2016, he denied being sponsored by some forces in the state to further cause crisis within the state chapter of the PDP.
He vowed never to engage in any activity that would undermine the peace and development of the state.
According to him, “I am a lawmaker and not a law breaker. I m not the only one contesting, there are others. I should be seen as a peace maker and I am committed to ensuring that.’’
He said his quest to succeed the state Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, was aimed at protecting the state against poachers who do not want the progress of the state ahead of the forthcoming September 10 governorship poll in the state.
“If I win the nomination, I assure you that I will give power back to the people. Until there is a contrary court judgment setting aside the subsisting court ruling, Sheriff remains the chairman of our great party. The previous preliminary PDP primary is a null and void, because the constitution of our great nation, the constitution of our great party, PDP, must be adhere to. We must support the rule of law and, as a lawmaker, I should not be seen violating the laws of the party or the country.”
Also, the state working committee of the PDP yesterday in its communiqué at the end of an emergency meeting held in the state capital, tagged Sheriff “a bull in a China Shop.”
Nehikhare, who read out a communiqué issued at the end of the SWC, said: “Edo State PDP had its gubernatorial primary on the June 20, 2016, and three aspirants participated. The process which was adjudged free, fair and transparent was watched live on national television and chaired by Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State.”
He explained that “Ize-Iyamu was declared the winner with 584 votes, while Matthew Iduoriyekemwen scored 91 and Chief Solomon Edebiri, 38 votes.
“With the successful completion of the primary, the party immediately activated its post primary conflict resolution mechanism by reaching out to the losers of the election in order to assuage their loss in the democratic contest.
“In as much as we tried, we discovered that one of the aspirants was adamant in working against the tenets of our party; his behavior and utterances immediately after his loss have become not only embarrassing to the party but also to the vast majority of the Edo people who are yearning for a change of government and party in the state.”
Nehikhare further pointed out that: “He has teamed up with the embattled former national chairman of our party and even gone ahead to purchase a kangaroo nomination form for the same governorship slot which he lost just a few days ago. His behavior is unacceptable, irresponsible and selfish.
“This conduct is not surprising as the SWC has uncovered his unholy alliance with the Oshiomhole-led government of the state to destabilise the state PDP in their desperate attempt to retain power in the forth coming gubernatorial election.”
“At this point, it is pertinent to note that despite this unholy plot, the Edo people are wiser and are prepared to effect a change of government by voting in the PDP candidate, Ize-Iyamu, in the September 10 election.”
The opposition party’s scribe said the SWC resolved that: “The conduct of Iduoriyekemwen by associating with Sheriff with the intention to destabilise the party in the state, amounts to anti-party activity. Consequently, Iduoriyekemwen is hereby suspended from the party for one month, pending further disciplinary action in accordance with chapter 10 of the PDP constitution of 2012 (as amended).”
He stated further that:“For also associating with Sheriff with the intention to destabilise the party in the state, Hon Ehiozuwa Johnson Agbonayima is hereby recommended to be disciplined by the National Caretaker Committee in accordance with chapter 10 of the party’s constitution.”
The party’s scribe added that: “All party members in the state are enjoined to refrain forthwith from associating or in any way dealing with Sheriff, Iduoriyekemwen and E.J. Agbonayima pending the conclusion of the disciplinary processes now being undertaken by the party.”