By Laleye Dipo in Minna
The crisis rocking the Social Democratic Party (SDP) has deepened resulting in the sack of 23 out of the 36 state chapter chairmen of the party and dissolution of the state executive committees.
THISDAY learnt that the action was prompted by the Prof. Tunde Adeniran-led faction of the party, according to the removal letters served on the party chieftains.
Some of the chairmen removed are those of Niger, Kwara, Rivers, Kano, Adamawa, Edo, Kaduna, Anambra and Jigawa States.
The letters of suspension dated August 1, 2019 were signed by the National Secretary of the faction of the party, Shehu Musa Gabam, who cited article 19 of the party’s 2018 constitution as amended in which he accused them of insubordination to constituted authority.
It was learnt that in the case of Niger State, a non-SDP man, Buhari Yakubu Yerima, was mandated to take over from Pastor Isaac Bello Brown, the chairman elected at the state convention of the party in 2017.
However, it was gathered that the suspended chairmen and members of their executive committees have decided to challenge their removal in court.
“We are the elected chairmen of the party in our states, no one has the right to remove us with fiat,” one of the chairmen told THISDAY in Minna last weekend.
He said that there was no petition written against them neither were they investigated for any misdemeanor.
When contacted, the Niger State Chairman of the party, Pastor Brown, confirmed the story, saying he was asked to hand over to a United Democratic Party (UDP) member, whereas the man has never been an SDP party man.
Brown confirmed that all those affected have agreed to challenge their removal in the court of law, saying: “Very soon, we will drag Professor Adeniran and Shehu Gabam to court.”
He said he had petitioned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) through a letter with the caption: “Petition against illegal appointment of factional state chairman/ Dissolution of state executive committee in Niger state.”
Part of the petition reads: “We will be taking further judicial action in the state high court to protect our rights and uphold the provisions in our constitution against unelected usurpers.
“We will be grateful if your commission associates itself with and enforces the constitution of our party prohibiting unelected state executive committee.”
When THISDAY sought to speak with the Niger State acting Chairman, Yerima, on the matter, his subordinates said he had travelled to Abuja.