*North-West PDP faults Wamakko’s suspension
*Says no automatic ticket for Jonathan in 2015
*We’ve been betrayed, says Sokoto State party members
BY LUKA BINNIYAT, ABDALLAH EL-KUREBE & HENRY UMORU
ABUJA—CRACKS on the walls of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday, widened with the North-West chapter of the party differing with the National Leadership over the decision of the National Working Committee, NWC, to suspend Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Aliyu Wamakko.
The North-West, which has seven states – Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi and Jigawa, is a strong PDP bloc.
While the North-West chapter said Wamakko’s suspension was hasty and done without consultation, the National leadership countered that wide and exhaustive consultations were carried out.
The North-West zone also faulted comments of the Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Anthony Anenih that the president and first term governors of the party should get automatic return tickets. This is coming amid strong indications that the PDP National Leadership is poised to suspend more governors and erring members from its fold if they fail to abide with the constitution of the party.
So far, PDP has suspended two governors elected on its platform – Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers) and Wamakko. And against the backdrop of misgivings arising from the recent Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) election, which Amaechi won contrary to expectation of the PDP hierarchy that favoured Governor David Jang of Plateau State, who earlier cornered the endorsement of the 19 governors of the North, more heads may roll in the party ahead of the 2015 polls.
Wamakko’s suspension hasty – Kazaure
Dismissing Wamakko’s suspension as “unfortunate” and “hasty”, the Chairman of the PDP, North West Zone, Ambassador Ibrahim Kazaure, told newsmen in Kaduna shortly before the meeting of the Northern States Governors’ Forum (NSGF) that wide consultations should have been done.
His words: “The suspension is unfortunate, very unfortunate. We should have done a wide consultation because we have enemies within. The PDP is a party not a social club. It has its constitution. I am not saying they (PDP NWC members) are wrong; I am not saying what they have done is wrong; but all I am saying is there should have been a wide consultation before the action was taken. For a governor of a state where we have 100 per cent PDP supporters from the ward up to national levels, this is sad.
“I don’t think his suspension will affect the PDP, but it will affect the candidature of the PDP in the future. PDP gets stronger day-by-day. But the unfortunate thing is that when you train a lion and it begins to eat this person and that person, by the time everybody is finished then what will happen next?
….No automatic ticket for Jonathan in 2015
Kazaure also asked those canvassing automatic ticket for the president and first time governors to have a rethink because the constitution of the PDP does not give room for avoiding primary elections, insisting that at the appropriate time, the PDP constitution would decide. This is in contradiction to the position of the Chairman, Board of Trustees of the PDP, Chief Tony Anenih, who recently said that the President and all Governors of the PDP seeking re-election were to be given automatic tickets to contest.
Said Kazaure: “Religious sentiment is out of my dictionary. God has already ordained who will be the next president. All these things we are doing it is only God that knows who will be the next president. Not you, not me not even anybody in Nigeria knows that.
“The South-South that is talking should understand that it was somebody that died and somebody took over. Do you know what will happen tomorrow? You don’t know. Only God knows what will happen tomorrow. Even if I said you will be the king of your town tomorrow it is not possible, because we don’t decide the future of this country. Whatever God decides is what will happen.”
We’ve been betrayed – Sokoto PDP
Responding to the issues, the Sokoto State chapter of the PDP described as betrayal, the suspension of Governor Wamakko, stating that the national secretariat violated section 21 of the PDP constitution.
A statement by the Commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Arzika Tureta, said: “We the PDP supporters in Sokoto felt betrayed by the decision taken at the National level to suspend the leader of the party without recourse to procedure, justice and equity as enshrined in Article 21 of the PDP constitution.”
Positing that the Governor had always been loyal and committed to the party by achieving 100 per cent success in all elections in the state, the party advised the national secretariat to guard against rumour mongering. “The PDP at the national level is hereby advised to guard against rumour mongering, hear-say and unsubstantiated allegations by Abuja-based Sokoto politicians who are bent on destroying the party at all levels.”
Wamakko was lured into the PDP during the 2007 election when the party’s candidate, now deputy governor, was dropped in preference for him.
All elected officers must respect the party or… —PDP
Meanwhile, the National Leadership of the PDP has asked all officers on its platform to shape up or face sanctions because the party was greater and bigger than any member irrespective of position.
The warning was conveyed through a statement by PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh. “We wish to state that the leadership of the Party has immense respect for all elected and appointed political office holders and in the same vein expects all political office holders to reciprocate by respecting the constitution and lawful organs of the Party upon which platform they hold office.”
Why we suspended Wamakko – Metuh
Explaining why the party suspended Wamakko, the PDP national scribe noted that the governor shunned the National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and the National Working Committee, NWC when he was invited to answer to some questions.
“The decision to suspend Wamakko came after very wide and exhaustive consultations, in accordance with the provisions of the constitution of the PDP and in the overriding interest of the party.“It is important to note that the reason for the suspension of Governor Wamakko predates the Nigeria Governors’ Forum’s election. Sometime in early April, the leadership of the party was concerned with the statements and conduct of the Governor whereupon the National Chairman placed several calls to draw the attention of the Governor to the matters concerned.”