‘Forged Signatures Used To Suspend Me’ — Ayu
The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Iyorchia Ayu, has said his purported suspension was invalid and unconstitutional even as he alleged that signatures of those who suspend him were forged.
Ayu was responding to his suspension which was announced on Sunday by his ward executive led by Sunday Kashi Philip, the Ward Chairman of Igyorov Ward of Gboko Local Government Area, LGA, of Benue State.
A statement on Monday by his Special Adviser on Media and Communications, Simon Imobo-Tswam, described the suspension exercise as fraudulent and illegal.
THE WHISTLER had reported that Ayu was suspended by 12 out of 17 members of the Ward Executive citing anti-party activities.
Dooyum said in the statement that, “We observed with utmost dismay that, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu who is the National Chairman of the PDP worked against the success of the party in Igyorov Council Ward.”
But Ayu responded on Monday saying the action was an exercise in futility that is derivable from gross “ignorance and desperation.”
The under pressure chairman said, “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 levels from taking any disciplinary measure against any member of the party’s National Executive Committee.
“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.”
Ayu further noted that, “But more than this, the so-called suspension letter was written by an illiterate beforehand, and only given to the coerced members to sign somewhere in Makurdi.
“This is why the original date is typexed and 24 March imposed on it. And this is also why it states that the presidential/NASS and governorship/state assembly elections held on 25th and 18th March, 2023 respectively.
“From what we know, the document itself is fraudulent as the signatures of the ward executives were forged or obtained under duress.”
THE WHISTLER checked the PDP constitution (2012 as amended) to confirm Ayu’s claim that only NEC can suspend him or any NEC member.
Section 57 (7) provides that “Notwithstanding any other provision relating to discipline, no Executive Committee at any level, except the National Executive Committee, shall entertain any question of discipline as may relate or concern a member of the National Executive Committee, Deputy Governors or members of the National Assembly.”
The Ward Executives, in suspending Ayu acted in variance to the provision of the constitution.
However, Ayu’s purported suspension was not unconnected to the crisis in the party over calls by a group of five governors that he should step down.
The group called the G-5, led by the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, said Ayu has lost all moral right to stay on as chairman following his role during the conduct of the party’s presidential primary election and the selection of the vice president candidate of the party in the just concluded presidential election.
Ayu was accused of showing his preference for the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar and his Vice Presidential running mate, Ifeanyi Okowa even after the later came second to the Rivers State Governor during the selection process.
The group eventually refused to support the PDP presidential campaign during the election.
But the Ayu-led National Working Committee, in a swift reaction to the role the group played, announced the suspension of some of them.
This, this paper gathered, may have led to the scheme to oust Ayu at all cost to abort the suspension of some of the members of the group opposed to the National Chairman.