Former Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose, has described his purported suspension from the PDP by the Senator Iyorchia Ayu-led National Working Committee of the party as “the last kick of a dead horse.”
Fayose, who reacted to the suspension through his spokesperson, Lere Olayinka, said, “Ayu and his cohorts are only entertaining themselves with the purported suspension as their latest comedy skit.”
He said in a matter of days, the inglorious tenure of Ayu as national chairman of PDP will become history and the party will enjoy a new lease of life.
The former governor said that he and others, who stood by the party when Ayu and his cohorts left it to die, will rescue it and give life back to it in due course. The purported suspension will have no leg to stand on.”
Reacting also, Benue State governor, Ortom, said the party leadership lacks the power to discipline or suspend him.
Ortom, who spoke through his chief press secretary, Nathaniel Ikyur, said there is a subsisting court judgment barring the party from suspending or bringing the governor before any disciplinary committee.
Ortom had obtained an interim order from the State High Court in Makurdi to restrain the PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from suspending or disqualifying him from contesting the forthcoming 2023 senatorial election in Benue State.
Ortom said it is contemptuous of the leadership of the PDP to disregard the court order which barred the party or any organ of the party from issuing any disciplinary measure against him.
According to the governor, “The case is pending in court and there is an order of injunction restraining any organ of the party from carrying out any disciplinary action against the governor. This case is adjourned to 18th April, 2023 and so it is baffling to see such a statement coming from the national leadership of the party.
“I think the national leadership of our great party is losing its sense of direction. Instead of the leadership to sit back and think of ways on how to rebuild the party from the ruins of the defeat from the just concluded elections, they are going about chasing imaginary shadows.
“In any case, the first person the party should refer to the disciplinary committee should be the national chairman of the party, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu. The national chairman lost his polling unit, lost his ward, local government, and even the state.
“As if that is not enough, there are strong indications that the national chairman was involved in anti-party activities in Benue State by working for the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, just to get at me because of my principled stand against certain aspects of the decisions of the national leadership of the party.”
The governor said the party should not be allowed to be ridiculed by some individuals who are bent on destroying the party for their selfish gains.
The national leadership of the PDP had earlier announced the suspension of former governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose; former Senate President Anyim Pius Anyim and former governor of Katsina State, Ibrahim Shema, for anti-party activities.
Also suspended were Prof. Dennis Ityavyar (Benue State) and Dr. Aslam Aliyu (Zamfara State).
The party also referred the Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, to the disciplinary committee for anti-party activities.
This was disclosed by the national publicity secretary of the PDP, Hon Debo Ologunagba, in Abuja yesterday.
Fayose and Anyim had openly confirmed their support for the candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) during the presidential and governorship elections. While Fayose admitted supporting the APC presidential candidate Bola Tinubu and the Governor Babajide Sanwoolu of Lagos, Anyim supported the APC governorship candidate in Ebonyi, Francis Nwifuru.
Although it remains hazy the specific anti-party act that Shema committed, Ortom had, in the build up to the presidential election, campaigned for the Labour Party candidate, Peter Obi. Ortom was the leader of the G-5 PDP governors who refused to campaign for PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar during the election.
The party had earlier expelled former Enugu State governor, Senator Chimaroke Nnamani. Nnamani, who challenged the party’s decision in court, has since left the party.
“The PDP urges all leaders, critical stakeholders and teeming members of our party across the country to remain united and focused at this critical time,” Ologunagba said.
Fayose, Others’ Suspension A Nullity – Wike
On his part, Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike said his Benue State counterpart, Dr. Samuel Ortom will not appear before the National Disciplinary Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over his alleged involvement in anti-party activities.
The governor has also described the suspension of former Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose and others for anti-party activities by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP as a nullity.
The governor stated these at Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday while reacting to NWC decision to refer Governor Ortom to the party’s disciplinary committee and suspension of Fayose and others.
“I want to state clearly and let members of the party and Nigerians hear it clearly: the National Working Committee made up of Dr Iyorchia Ayu, who they say is the chairman of the party; Sam Anyanwu, the national secretary and other members of NWC cannot suspend Ayo Fayose, not to talk about referring Governor Ortom to national disciplinary committee.”
Wike explained that the decision of the NWC to refer governor Ortom to the party’s National Disciplinary Committee was the height of all insults.
“Referring a governor to your so-called national disciplinary committee is the height of all insult, and we will not take it. Therefore, be ready for whatever you see as far as this our party is concerned.”
Governor Wike stated emphatically that the Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom will not appear before the PDP National Disciplinary Committee.
“Governor Ortom, who has stood firm for the unity of this country, Governor Ortom who has come out openly to say that Nigeria must be one, is not the type you will say you’ll refer to that your kangaroo committee.”
The Rivers State governor said if anyone deserves to be suspended from the party, that person is Dr Iyorchia Ayu, who he accused of contravening the PDP constitution on the zoning of elective and appointive offices.
“If there is any person deserving suspension it should be you (Ayu), who played anti-party by refusing to obey the constitution of the party on zoning of political offices as is required. So, whoever tells you to suspend people, please tell the person that he is not serious.”
Governor Wike cautioned Ayu and the NWC to desist from threatening the G-5 governors and members of the Integrity Group with suspension. According to him, Ayu has by his recent action opened up a new chapter of political war in the party.