PDP crisis: Amaechi loyalists dismiss expulsion order

Monday’s expulsion of 18 loyalists of Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State by the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been described as a “constitutional misstep” which is uncalled for.
Some of the members of the party who reacted to the expulsion in Port Harcourt on Tuesday said the development is one that can further polarise the party.
In fact, they said they would never lose sleep over the purported expulsion.
First to react was Deputy Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Leyii Kwanee, who called for intervention from the national leadership of the PDP to save the party in Rivers State.
Speaking to newsmen, the Deputy Speaker said the call has become necessary because of the systematic manner the party is being destroyed in the state.
He described what is happening in the state as a grand design by the opposition party, “Which has used its top notchers to infiltrate the PDP in the state” with a view to incapacitating it.
Kwanee cited instances of Abiye Sekibo and Jerry Needam “who had been strong critics of the party and now deciding and speaking for the party.”
The Deputy Speaker said recent actions of the Felix Obuah-led executive of the PDP in the state were “intended to tear and perforate the umbrella (PDP symbol) beyond redemption.”
The essence, he said, is to render the party in the state ineffectual, should there be reconciliation at the national level on the Rivers State crisis.
Kwanee stated that the expulsion of the 18 members runs fouls of Article 21.4, 5 & 6 of the constitution of the party.
He said before expulsion, the affected members ought to be suspended and informed in writing of their offences and such allegation properly investigated and the affected persons given the opportunity of fair hearing and self defence.
In the present case, Kwanee said this was not done and, therefore, to that extent the expulsion of the affected party members was a gross violation of the constitution of the party and principle of natural justice.
Also on Tuesday, state Commissioner for Works, Victor Giadom, described his expulsion as “another unconstitutional misstep” that would further polarise the party in the state.
Giadom, who equally spoke to journalists in Port Harcourt, called on his supporters to ignore the purported expulsion, saying only the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP had powers to discipline public officers of the party.
The commissioner said he was neither invited formally to appear before any evaluation committee nor disciplinary committee of the party before it came up with his purported expulsion
“As a public officer it is only the national body that can expel. I was not invited to any evaluation committee. I heard about their activities in the newspapers. I know that the party has its own channel of communication which is not through the newspapers,” he said.
Reaffirming his membership of the party, Giadom said he would not lose sleep over the expulsion.
Also, Secretary of the Godspower Ake faction of the PDP in the state, Adokiye Oruware, said the “performance evaluation” was alien to the party’s constitution.
According to him, it had never been done in any chapter of the party around the country.
Describing the expulsion as a nullity, Oruware said it was shocking that the Obua-led faction could take such when other factions were in court.  “The whole exercise is a nullity. It is ultra vires, it can’t stand. They are aware of a subsisting suit in court. They were served with all the processes,” he said.
A former member of the House of Representatives in the state, Lasbrey Amadi, who also spoke, called for effort to rescue the party from total disintegration.
He recalled that the party found itself in a similar situation at the national level several years ago and that practical steps were taken to save it from collapse.
He advised President Goodluck Jonathan to be wary of those fanning the embers of disunity in the party, stressing that they meant no good.
“There is need to save the party. Those overheating the system are not helping Mr. President,” he pleaded.

Daily independent
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