Sokoto State Governor-elect Aliyu Wamakko

Sokoto State Governor-elect Aliyu Wamakko

The Peoples Democratic Party on Thursday denounced insinuation that it suspended Sokoto State Governor,   Aliyu Wamakko,  because of the outcome of the   Nigeria Governors? Forum election won by   Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi.

The party explained  in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, in Abuja that Wamakko was punished for  ?disrespect and act of insubordination? to its National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur, and his office  in April.

According to the PDP, when the governor was queried, he instead directed the Sokoto State Secretary of the party, Mallam Aminu Sokoto, to reply the national chairman.

This, the PDP said, amounted to gross disrespect to Tukur and his office.

Wamakko?s suspension from the party on Wednesday came few days after Amaechi was suspended for refusing to reinstate a local government chairman in the state.

Metuh said the action against Wamakko was taken after a very wide and exhaustive consultation in accordance with the party?s constitution.

He added in the statement that the governor needed to be disciplined because  the party?s leadership was not comfortable with his  statements and conduct  in April.

Wamakko was said to have frowned on the manner the Presidency and the party imposed the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Chief Godswill Akpabio, on   PDP governors as their chairman.

Metuh?s statement reads in part, ?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.

?However, it was not possible for the national chairman to speak with the governor despite several attempts. The national chairman thereafter vide a letter dated April 12, 2013 requested an explanation from him to the NWC within seven days.

?Instead of replying the national chairman, Wamakko directed the Sokoto State Secretary of the party   to reply the national chairman. This amounted to gross disrespect and act of insubordination to a national officer and a lawful organ of the party which is in violation of Article 58.1 (c ), (h) and (m) of the PDP constitution.?

Article 58.1 (c ), (h) and (m) of the party?s constitution prescribes sanctions for any member, who:

? disobeys or neglects to carry out lawful directives of the party or any organ or officer of the party

? 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 or;

? fails, refuses or neglects to treat a petition, complaints or appeal  speedily.

Metuh said the National Working Committee of the party in letters dated April 17 and May 23, 2013   requested  the governor to appear before it on May 8, 2013, to clear the issues raised against him but that he declined.

Wamakko, according to him,  was again  asked to meet with the NWC members on June  5  but he still  refused.

He added that the  PDP  was angry that the governor travelled out of the country on the same day he  was billed  to appear before the NWC without an explanation.

Metuh  said   the NWC also wrote to Bello requesting  explanations for his action  as a state party officer, in replying Tukur.

He said the governor and the party?s secretary in Sokoto State did not only  refuse to respond to   any of the letters   but  failed to  honour  invitations extended to them.

He added that the party?s secretary had also been suspended from the PDP.

?The NWC frowned on this act of gross indiscipline and disrespect to the party and was therefore left with no other option but to invoke relevant articles of the PDP constitution in furtherance of the determination to enforce discipline at all levels within the party,?Metuh said.

Efforts by one of our correspondents to speak with Wamakko failed as he was said to be out of the country.

But a source close to him said the governor would set the record straight.

He, however, notedthat the action of the party might have been influenced by an aide of  Tukur, who he (Tukur)  had wanted to use to replace Wamakko during the rerun governorship election in the state.

Meanwhile, the PDP in the North-West has faulted the suspension   of Wamako, saying it is capable of destabilising the  party in the geo-political zone.

?The suspension is unfortunate.  We would have done a wide consultation because we have enemies within. PDP is a party not a club.  It has its  constitution. I am not saying   what they have done is wrong but all I am saying is that they  should have been a wide consultation before the action,? the PDP  Chairman  in the  zone,   Ambassador Ibrahim Kazaure, said.

Kazuare argued that the party  should have  explored  other means of resolving the matter against the governor before the suspension order  was slammed on him.

He also  cautioned the people of the South-South  against  statements  that could rock the boat of the party  ahead of the 2015 general elections.

Source: Punch


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