By Amuda Dan Sulaiman Fab
The 16-member National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has become divided over the decision of the Senator Iyorchia Ayu-led Party to suspend those it called ‘dissidents group’ and anti-party elements.
Recall that the main opposition party suspended former governors Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State, Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State, and a former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim, last Thursday. Also suspended were Prof. Dennis Ityavyar from Benue State and Dr. Aslam Aliyu from Zamfara State.
The PDP leadership also dragged Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom before its National Disciplinary Committee over alleged anti-party activities.
The PDP statement added: “The NWC has, after a very extensive review of the affairs of our party in the country and pursuant to the provisions of the PDP Constitution (as amended in 2017), referred the Governor of Benue State, Dr. Samuel Ortom, to the National Disciplinary Committee over his reported involvement in anti-party activities.”
But according to The Guardian, at the meeting, which preceded the suspension slammed on Fayose and Ibrahim Shema, some NWC members had argued that the post-election season should be an opportunity for the party to initiate an internal reconciliation mechanism among its warring members. Those who took that position were said to have equally noted that as party leaders, they must avoid using their positions to settle personal scores.
“But the party’s constitution gave the National Chairman the privilege to have his way at NWC meetings even on crucial issues. So, his decision to proceed with the suspension move prevailed,” a member of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) said.
It was gathered that the leader of the G-5 Governors, Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, escaped being suspended because the NWC believed that he had not openly and officially campaigned against the PDP.
“The thinking of the NWC,” according to a source, “is that the party must be careful not to jump into dangerous conclusions that are not supported by facts.”
According to the source, “the generality of the NWC are of the view that the fact that Wike is locked in a political face-off with Ayu and even Atiku Abubakar does not immediately translate to a case of anti-party. We cannot prove that Wike worked against the PDP in the presidential election.”
Meanwhile, despite the suspension of some party bigwigs, Wike has continued to insist that Ayu must be removed from office as National Chairman.
Similarly, Ayu’s camp has resolved to neutralise the efforts of the opposition, hence the suspension, which is intended to result in full expulsion in a few weeks.