The national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Iyorchia Ayu, has dismissed his purported suspension from the party by his Igyorov Ward party executives in Benue State, describing those who instigated the action as ignorant.
Ayu said he cannot be suspended by his Ward leadership because the party’s constitution prohibits any organ of the party or executive committee of the party at the Ward or State Level from taking any disciplinary measure against any member of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC).
Ayu, who noted that the exercise was in futility, further added that the letter used in suspending him was fraudulent as the signatures of the Ward Executives were forged or obtained under duress.
He added that about nine members of the Ward Exco were still being held hostage in a location in Makurdi, Benue State capital for obvious reasons.
Some party executives at the Ward level had on Sunday declared Ayu suspended for alleged anti-party activities.
Ayu’s suspension was effected by the PDP Ward executives in Igyorov Ward of Gboko Local Government Area of his native Benue state.
Addressing the media on Sunday, on behalf of Kashi Philip, the ward chairman, the ward secretary, Mr. Vangeryina Dooyum, said Ayu was suspended for alleged anti-party activities.
Reading from a text signed by 12 out of the 17 members of ward executives, the secretary stated that the decision to suspend the national chairman was reached after the leadership reviewed his conduct at the end of the just-concluded 2023 general elections.
But, Ayu in a statement by his special adviser on Media and Communications, Simon Imobo-Tswam, on Monday, dismissed the action as unconstitutional and the promoters as ignorant.
He said, “Our attention has been drawn to rumours that the PDP National Chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, has been suspended by the Executive Committee of his Ward.
“We wish to state categorically and with all emphasis at our disposal thus:
“1. The PDP National Chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, has not been suspended by his Ward. Some members of the Exco are only being teleguided by political gamblers to cause mischief and nothing more.
“2. For starters, Article 57(7) of the PDP Constitution as Amended in 2017 expressly prohibits any organ of the party or executive committee of the party at the Ward or State Level from taking any disciplinary measure against any member of the party’s National Executive Committee.
“3. The purported suspension is, therefore, an exercise in futility as it derives its strength majorly from gross illiteracy, ignorance, gambling and desperation. It has only mischief, drama and propaganda value.
“4. But more than this, the so-called suspension letter was written by an illiterate before hand, and only given to the coerced members to sign somewhere in Makurdi.
“6. This is why the original date is typexed and 24 March imposed on it. And this is also why it states that the presidential/NASS and Governorship/State Assembly elections held on 25th and 18th March, 2023 respectively.
“7. From what we know, the document itself is fraudulent as the signatures of the Ward Executives were forged or obtained under duress.
The chairman, his deputy and legal adviser didn’t sign. The 14th person on the list didn’t sign too. She was at NKST Ambighir for the Holy Communion.
“8. In fact, the same applies for Nos. 5, 8 and 16. At the time they were supposed to be in Makurdi with the other coerced, intimidated and induced members of the Exco, they were actually in their villages, going about their normal businesses.
“9. Up till now, about nine members of the Ward Exco are still being held hostage in a location in Makurdi for obvious reasons. And expectedly, their mobile numbers have been switched off. It is instructive.
“10. The general public is hereby advised to ignore rumours to this heinous effect. Those behind the plot are only investing in expensive illusions,” he stated.