By Vincent Ujumadu, Awka
THE Anambra State branch of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday threatened the governorship candidate of the party, Prof Chukwuma Soludo with expulsion from the party for allegedly accusing members of the party and some of its gubernatorial aspirants of having a hand in the kidnap of his 78 year old father, which, to the party, amounted to describing them as criminals.
In an interview last night, the state publicity secretary ofÂ PDP, Mr. Afam Iluno, said that the PDP rally which took place coincidentally on the same day the kidnap occurred had the full backing and approval of the state police command, adding that Soludo was also invited to the rally but he choose not attend the function.
But in a swift reaction, the Soludo Campaign Organization said the threat to expel Prof. Soludo was a huge joke, insisting that there is no executive of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra State. According to the Director of Media and Publicity of Soludo Campaign Organization, Mr. Ngozi Agudosi, who spoke with reporters in Awka, the National leadership of the party has commenced arrangements to set up a Caretaker Committee for the Party in Anambra State.
The publicity secretary of the party had said that the party could no longer tolerate a situation where the image of the party in the state was being dragged to the mud.
â€œWe have heard the story making the rounds about the purported and unfortunate kidnap of the father of Chukwuma Soludo. It is sad that allusions are being made to the PDP as part of the kidnap and again the name of the partyâ€™s BOT member Chief Chris Uba being dragged to the mud. In as- much as the party condemns the act of kidnapping, the party shall not fold its hands and watch the party being ridiculed.
â€œThe party still views Soludo as one that is not a good party man by his demonstration of cheap blackmail which is aimed at eroding the gains of PDP in Anambra State. This is anti party and the PDP in Anambra views this as a slap on the image of this great party and it is clear in the constitution what the consequences of anti party are. We are already going through the due process of the law that guides the party and if he is found culpable, he would face expulsion,â€ Ilounoh said
But Agudosi, speaking for Soludo argued that the executive being represented by Mr. Afam Ilounoh as publicity secretary had expired and therefore has no such powers as claimed.
He said that Soludo never accused the PDP ofÂ having a hand in the kidnap of his father, Pa.. Simeon Soludo as was alleged by some party members in the state.
Reacting to the statement credited to the state police commissioner, Philemon Leha that Soludo is yet to make an official entry on the kidnap of his father, Agudosi said he disagreed with the commissioner because he doesnâ€™t need to write a petition.
â€œSoludo is a national and international figure. Every media house in Nigeria has been reporting on that. Besides, the elder brother to Soludo has done that and it is not within the powers of Soludo to do so since he is not the eldest in the family,â€ he further said.