By John Alechenu, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party will be constrained to invoke articles of its constitution to contend with threats to its electoral fortunes by the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike and his four aggrieved colleagues a senior party leader who pleaded anonymity has revealed.
Vanguard gathered in Abuja, on Wednesday, that the new thinking within the party leadership is unfavorable for platitudes.
The party leader said, “Wike and his group have already caused the party damage with their conduct and utterances as things stand.
Section 58 (1) our party constitution is clear on the powers to discipline errant members at any level.”
The section referenced reads: “Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the party shall have power to disciple any member who says or does anything likely to bring the party into disrepute, hatred or contempt, (f) engages in anti-party activities.”
However, the party leader explained that the process and procedures as contained in the document does not confer these powers on an individual.
According to him, whoever is accused of committing an offence must be availed an opportunity to defend him/ herself before a properly constituted panel.
This, he noted, must be after such a person or persons is warned both verbally and in writing.
He, however, noted that these steps can be skipped in cases of gross or serious misconduct which could attract summary dismissal.
Specifically, the party leader said,
“If you look at Sectionn 59 1 (h) of the same constitution stipulates that if any member ‘engages in any conduct likely to cause disaffection among members of
the Party or is likely to disrupt the peaceful, lawful and efficient conduct of the business of the Party;‘ he commits an offence and is liable on conviction to measures including suspension or even expulsion.”
Another party source however said, “We had hoped that some form of settlement would be arrived at but this to some of us appears far fetched Wike and his group from all indications have made up their minds.
“For us, we cannot descend to the point of dancing naked in the market square like they would like us to, we have an election ahead of us the last thing we can afford is this needless distraction. The party has its method of dealing with such issues, we’ll let it handle it.”
The Rivers State Governor, and his counterparts: Samuel Ortom (Benue), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) and Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), have stuck to their guns in insisting that a southerner replace Ayu since the party’s Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, the Director General of his campaign, Aminu Tambuwual are northerners.
An announcement is being expected from Wike and members of his group on their preferred choice for President in the coming days.
Some party leaders are angling to move against the five governors should they go ahead with the threat to announce one of the party’s opponents as their choice. End