By Segun James
The Lagos State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has suspended three members of its executive committee for alleged anti-party activities.
Those suspended by the party are Mr. Muiz Shodipe, Mr. Taofik Gani and Mr. Nurudeen Adewale, who were the party’s state secretary, publicity secretary and ex-officio member respectively.
Their suspension was announced yesterday by the State Chairman of PDP, Mr. Deji Doherty,
Dorherty said in a statement that the trio were accused of “consistently and flagrantly breaching major provisions of the party’s constitution and have been found to have involved themselves in anti-party activities which could cause disunity among party faithful.”
The suspended members were also accused of “constantly creating disharmony, discord and division in the party by calling unauthorised state executive’s meetings with the intention of creating a parallel structure within the party.”
Present at meeting were 35 exco members who voted in favour of the decision, However, ten members declined to vote while four positions remained vacant due to deaths and cases of ill health.
Also present were 18 out of 20 PDP’s local government chairmen who also voted in favour of the decision. But the chairman of Eti-Osa however abstained while the chairmanship seat of Lagos Mainland is vacant.
The suspended exco members would face the party’s disciplinary committee in accordance with relevant provisions of the party’s constitution while their assistants would act in their respective capacities pending the recommendations of the disciplinary committee.
He said: “All the members present, unanimously resolved to invoke the relevant disciplinary provisions as enshrined in the party’s constitution i.e., Chapter 10, Section (1), (2), (3) and (4) and Section 58, subsection (a), (b), (c), (f), (h), (i), and (j) as amended in 2017.
“The executive Committee members categorically stated that this decision should act as a deterrent and should be the first step in moving the party in the right direction as it concerns party discipline.
The state chairman reiterated that discipline in the party is paramount and told members that the party is supreme, irrespective of status.
“The action taken is in furtherance to the promise made a year ago, to instill discipline in the party as mandated by the national body,” the party said.
Doherty advised that all party members must accord all elders and leaders of the party their due respect, stressing that politics should not be seen as a do or die affair, an avenue to settle scores and exhibit violence.
He urged members to channel all engagements on the social media platforms towards strengthening the party’s structures rather than weakening and causing disunity in the party.
The executive committee members also advised all members of the party that have instituted court cases against the party for one reason or the other to withdraw them and utilise the party’s internal mechanisms for dispute resolution.
The committee called on anyone who has any form of complaint or grievance to channel such through the Truth, Mediation and Reconciliation Committee headed by a former state chairman of the party.
They also advised all progressive minded members of the party to remain resolute in ensuring peace within the party because disunity has been the clog in the wheel of progress of the party in the state.
They added that the party is bound for greatness if the spirit of oneness is sustained.
Meanwhile, the suspended state publicity secretary in a statement alleged that the party’s state chairman has left the party at a virtual state working committee.
He said: “In an action just taken voluntary, the chairman did not give any reasons but feelers point to attempt to evade defending numerous financial accusations, disillusioned leadership and apparent anti party activities hanging on him.”
Gani said that the deputy chairman is expected to take over.
But the State Legal Adviser Mr. A.T Muyideen, in another statement, said that “I have been inundated with the news making the rounds that the State Executive Committee (SEC) of our great party-PDP- in Lagos State suspended our state secretary, state publicity secretary and a state Ex-Officio.
“As the state legal adviser of our great party and custodian of the constitution of the party in Lagos State, I know as a fact that there was no forum, constitutionally convened, where the alleged “suspension” was legally initiated and approved by the appropriate organ of the party.
“To the extent of not only distance myself from this ‘suspension’ but also of the strong conviction that the publication themed ‘suspension’ is violent contravention of the Constitution of PDP as same did not passed the legal validity test.
“It is important to note that as the executive committee members of our party, we have held ourselves out as trustees to our numerous members and the electorate, hence we must at all times be mindful of consequences of our actions and inactions vis-a-vis the promotion of our party within the public sphere. What impression will a reasonable man on the street hold of our party in Lagos?
“It is saddening, disheartening and shameful that our state chapter (Lagos State Chapter) is the only state in the federation that our great party is yet to reign, despite the enormous wealth committed to same.
“As a matter of urgency, we need to take steps to launder and redeem our ‘jogun omi’ image and stop promoting internal conflicts in the party. We have been tagged tigers when it comes to intra party wrangling but suddenly become dormant in the real elections in Lagos.
“I, therefore, call on all stakeholders to bury the ‘I must be noticed’ attitude on the news pages and focus on the mobilisation of members to our party in Lagos State for future successes.
“As a loyal member of our party and the party’s legal umpire in Lagos State, I, therefore, hold the view that the publication purporting to suspend our state secretary, state publicity secretary and a state ex-officio having not being a child of the constitution should be disregarded while enjoining all the party faithfuls to ensure peace and refrain from any act that is capable of polarising our party.”