By Henry Umoru
CRISIS in the Progressive Peoples Alliance(PPA) yesterday deepened with a faction loyal to the Deputy National Chairman, South-West, Lisa Olu Akerele suspending the Chairman, Board of Trustees(BOT), Chief Orji Uzor Kalu from the party and bringing in the former as the Acting National Chairman.
In a communiquÃ© issued at the end of the National Executive Committee(NEC) meeting held at Halal Palace Hotel, Abuja Friday, the members also suspended the National Secretary, Mr. Dahiru Musa Abdullahi and the Financial Secretary, Mr. Mamman Saleh, just as the first National Chairman and Deputy Chairman, BOT, Alhaji Suleiman Ahmed replaced Orji Kalu.
In a swift reaction, the suspended National Secretary, Dahiru Abdullahi in an a telephone conversation with Saturday Vanguard described the group as those chasing shadows, just as he stressed that they had no constitutional powers to convene such a meeting.
â€œIs it possible to suspend a sitting National Executive by those who have resigned? I have the letter which was written by the former Deputy National Chairman, Lisa Olu Akerele, which was addressed to me and it was well delivered and accepted. Where did he now derive the power from asÂ he has resigned from the party? He is no more a member of the National Working Committee(NWC). Did he act as an ordinary member? He is simply chasing shadows with othersâ€, Dahiru Abdullahi said.
According to Akereleâ€™s faction, the suspension which was slammed on Kalu would last pending the outcome of investigation by the Disciplinary Committee headed by former Deputy National Chairman (North), Comrade Adamu Song with Christopher Ijale and Nura Babadiya as Acting National Secretary and Financial Secretary respectively andÂ pending the next convention where new Executives are expected to emerge.
Moving the motion to suspend Kalu and other key officers, the Plateau State PPA Chairman, Davo Gyan said, â€œfollowing the spate of self induced crisis that have led to negative publicity which has put the PPA in bad light in the eyes of the public, it is hereby moved that the following officers be suspended and to face a disciplinary Committee with immediate effect for their involvement in the crisisâ€.
Part of the communiquÃ© reads, â€œNEC in session rejected the resignation of the Deputy National Chairman (South), Lisa Akerele, the National Treasurer, Emma Omokwe, and other paid officers in the National Secretariatâ€.
â€œNEC also decided to observe the provision in the partyâ€™s constitution to the effect that in the absence of the National Chairman, the Deputy National Chairman from his area shall act in that capacity. Consequently, NEC hereby directs the Deputy National Chairman (South), Lisa Olu Akerele to act as the National Chairman pending ratification by the appropriate organ of the party.
â€œSimilarly, NEC took serious exception to the antics of the Chairman, Board of Trustees(BOT) Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, and is, therefore, suspended forthwith pending the outcome of a Disciplinary Committee. Meanwhile, the Deputy Chairman of BOT, Alhaji Suleiman Ahmed is mandated to act as BOT Chairman.
â€œNEC in session further took exception to the far reaching, baseless allegations leveled against the erstwhile National Chairman by the National Secretary, Mr. Dahiru Musa Abdullahi, which cannot be substantiated. For this, Mr. Abdullahi is hereby suspendedâ€™
â€œNEC in session hereby calls on all other officers that have not been mentioned to submit themselves to the authority of the Ag. National Chairman.
â€œNEC in session calls on all party members to remain calm and to continue with their normal party business, and to wait further developmentsâ€.