More Govs To Go As PDP’s Crises Worsen
The rocking the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, across Nigeria, worsened Wednesday when it claimed another high profile casualty. The victim is the Sokoto State Governor Dr. Aliyu Wamakko, who was suspended by the National Working Committee, NWC, of the party over what it described as anti-party activity.
Wamakko’s suspension followed that of the Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, in the wake of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum election during which he trounced the party’s anointed candidate Jona Jang of Plateau State. And since then the governors’ forum has remained fractured, with the two governors laying claim to the chairmanship of the forum.
The National Working Committee of the PDP announced the suspension of Wamakko in a statement after it rose from its 338th meeting in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. The NWC added that the issue has been referred to the disciplinary committee of the party for further action.
One of the reasons given for the governor’s suspension is that he failed to honour the NWC’s invitation.
The statement signed by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, reads in part: “The National Working Committee (NWC) at its 338th meeting held on Wednesday, June 5, 2013, extensively discussed the state of the party across the nation and its members as well as the repeated breaches and disregard to the party’s constitution by his excellency, Dr. Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, the executive governor of Sokoto State.
“The NWC notes that on several occasions, Governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko had ignored invitations and lawful directives of the NWC in this regard and has continued to show complete apathy to the affairs of the party and contempt to an organ of the party.
“This is in furtherance of the determination of the leadership of the party to enforce discipline at all levels.”
Wamakko is said to have rejected the selection of Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom state as chairman of the newly formed PDP Governors’ Forum. It was formed to weaken the influential NGF headed by Governor Amaechi, who is in the bad books of the Presidency.
Sources said more heads will still roll as the governors of Kano, Kebbi, Jigawa and Niger states are likely to be suspended for similar reasons.
These are PDP governors that backed Amaechi, instead of the candidate of the party, Jona Jang, during the 24 May Nigeria Governors’ Forum contentious election.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, may also get the same dose of the bitter pill for allegedly hobnobbing with leaders of the opposition parties.
Most chapters of the PDP in the states are in turmoil. In Rivers, Ogun, Lagos and other states, the party has been polarised as entrenched interests seek to control the party’s machinery at the state level.
Attempts by the National Chairman of the party, Bamanga Tukur to reconcile the warring factions of the party in the states proved futile as the crises worsen by the day.
Meanwhile, some politicians in Sokoto State on Thursday expressed support for Governor Aliyu Wamakko after he was suspended by the National Working Committee (NWC) of Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) on Wednesday.
Alhaji Muktari Mapia, the party’s Deputy Treasurer in the state, on Thursday expressed surprise over the suspension order, saying the NWC should rather work out a political formula that would strengthen internal democracy in the party.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Sokoto, Mapia described the NWC’s action as obnoxious
He said “the party badly needs internal democracy to confront the opposition come 2015 rather than suspending a faithful and loyal member who has contributed positively towards the development of the party.
“It is only Sokoto State where all the councillors, local government chairmen, House of Assembly members, House of Representatives and Senate members belong to the same political party.”
Mapia said the electorate in the state belonged to PDP based on political structures put in place by Wamakko.
“Any party that Gov. Wamakko chooses to go, we will be fully behind him because he has demonstrated to be a good leader that has the interest of our people at heart,” he said.
Mapia called on members of the NWC not to allow themselves to be “deceived by some unscrupulous Abuja-based politicians who hail from the state and cannot win in a polling unit”.
He said that the exemplary leadership of Wamakko had made it possible for the people to enjoy the dividends of democracy.
Also, Alhaji Abdullahi Bafarawa, a PDP chieftain in the state described Wamakko’s suspension order as a big joke.
“The national chairman of party has allowed the Abuja politicians who have nothing to offer to deceive him in taking that decision,” he said.
Bafarawa said that the opposition was watching the development, adding that the action posed a threat to the party come 2015.
“All hands should be geared towards political reconciliation among faithful members so as to confront the opposition,” he said.
He called on the party’s supporters to remain calm as Wamakko was “a leader that wishes all well in the politics of development of the state and the country at large”.
The Chairman of PDP in Sokoto North Local Government Area, Alhaji Muhammadu Dangoggo, expressed dismay over the action of the NWC, saying: “we are fully in the party because of Wamakko and we will follow him anywhere he goes.
Dangoggo said “only God gives and takes leadership and He will do so in 2015 and beyond.”
An opposition politician, Alhaji Ibrahim Chika, said “we in the opposition will welcome Wamakko into our fold with open arms if he decides to ditch PDP and join our party.”