Iyorchia Ayu, the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described his suspension from the party as an exercise in futility.
Vangeryina Dooyum, the secretary of Igyorov ward of the PDP in Gboko local government area of Benue State, had announced the suspension of Mr Ayu on Sunday, alleging anti-party activities.
Mr Dooyum, flanked by the ward chairman, Kashi Philip, also said the opposition chief failed to remit his annual dues hence the disciplinary action supported by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State.
However, in a statement released on Monday, Mr Ayu, who cited provisions of the party’s constitution while describing the suspension as an exercise in futility, said only the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the PDP is empowered to suspend him.
“For starters, 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 statement reads.
“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.”
In a related development, some members of the ward executives who were earlier reported to have endorsed the action against the national chairman have denied involvement.
In a letter addressed to the state chairman of the party, they claimed their signatories were forged.
“The executive committee (members) have never discussed in any of our meetings prior to election or post 2023 General Election about the conduct of the National Chairman,” the letter, signed by the deputy ward chairman and 15 others, reads.
“The Executive Committee Members have stated clearly that they have no knowledge about the letter and have not authorized anybody whatsoever to generate such mischievous letter on behalf of the Executive Committee.
“The purported signatures on the letter are forged and no member of PDP Executive Committee of Igyorov Council Ward have (sic) signed that letter nor caused to be signed on his or her behalf. The names of the Executive Committee Members are wrongly written and spelled which show the desperation of the mischief makers. The content of the purported letter itself is contradictory on the holding of the presidential and National Assembly Elections on the March 25, 2023 while the letter itself is dated 24th March, 2023.
“The letter was written before the purported Commission of the offence which shows clearly that it is the hand work of the mischief makers.”