By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA: The National Think Tank Committee NTTC of the Action Alliance AA has ratified the suspension of the party’s National Chairman, Chief Kenneth Udeze and the National Secretary, Vernimbe James who were earlier suspended on June 14, 201 for anti-party activities and sundry violations of the party constitution.
At a meeting of the NTTC, its highest decision making body in Abuja on Sunday, the officials who held the meeting at the front of the party Secretariat accused the suspended officials of absconding with its Secretariat keys and other party appurtenances.
The meeting which was supervised by three officials from the Legal Department of the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC saw the appointment of Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar as Acting National Chairman and Mr Eli Moses as Acting National Secretary.
Addressing journalists at the end of the three-hour meeting, the acting National Chairman said; “The suspended national chairman, Kenneth Udeze and secretary, Vernimbe James were suspended indefinitely due to their failure to hold party meetings for a long time and they have absconded with our party secretariat key and other things. They locked the office and absconded. That was why we held our meeting outside. We have communicated with them for long through various forms of communication asking them to come forward and attend this meeting but they never responded”.
Also speaking, the acting secretary said the party was following all guidelines of INEC in reopening its office rather than resorting to self-help.
He said; “The values we have for our house and because the house was locked by somebody who was in the party before, we decided not to break into the house. By INEC guidelines, a two third of executives can hold a meeting anywhere and this is why you even have INEC officials monitoring this meeting and the Secretariat will be reopened shortly.
He explained the high presence of security at the meeting, saying it was just to provide routine cover and deter agents of the suspended officials from destabilising a meeting of such magnitude.
Hon. Uchendu Ahanekwu, chairman of the party in Imo state who spoke on behalf of the state chapters hailed the decision of the NTTC to put the party on the part of renaissance.
He restated the earlier position of the party to the effect that none of its state chapter executives has been dissolved.
“The highest organ of our party has spoken. They have also reversed the unilateral decision of the suspended chairman who claimed to have dissolved the Imo, Lagos, Osun and Oyo States chapters. But we made enquiries and discovered that the decision was not that of the National Think Thank Committee which is the highest decision making organ of our party. Today, the NTTC has reversed all other so-called decisions of the former chairman including his claims that we have withdrawn from the Governorship Election Tribunal in Imo state”, he explained.
He said the party is in full support of Uche Nwosu’s ambition to “reclaim his governorship mandate in the state”.
He said; “It is so unfortunate what is happening today especially in my state, Imo. Only God knows how he does his things that a very vibrant and astute politician of Imo state extraction came into the party with a whole lot of credentials. We won comfortably 8 Houses of Assembly and two federal constituency seats. However, we have other cases in court like in Okigwe, Imo North, we are hopeful where INEC is yet to declare a winner and we are very close to victory.
“In all this, our former national chairman in person of Kenneth Udeze who ab initio was not helpful to the party in the state and didn’t do anything for us, we kept faith believing he will have a change of mind but it came to a height where he connived with the PDP in Imo state to deny us of our victory. And he said we won’t have a headway with Uche Nwosu at the tribunal.
It is very disheartening that a man who claims to be learned will go on air to say that the party has withdrawn from the case which is still before the tribunal. I want to assure Nigerians that the purported sack of Imo state executive and those of other states is a nullity because he (Udeze) had since been suspended earlier in June”, he added.