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PDP suspends National Secretary, Oyinlola

By The Citizen
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The newly-reinstated National Secretary of the People Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, on Monday was suspended by the ruling party for anti-party activities.

The former Osun State Governor was suspended along with three other key members of the New PDP faction, Alhaji Abubakar  Baraje;  the  Deputy National Chairman, Dr. Sam Jaja;  and the Deputy National Vice-Chairman (North-West), Amb. Ibrahim Kazaure.

Their suspension came barely six days after the  Court of Appeal  restored  Oyinlola as the PDP   national scribe.

The announcement came on the day the New PDP vowed to ensure that the Bamanga Tukur-led National Working Committee  of the PDP was served  the court order  to pave the way for the ex-governor's return  as the national secretary of the party.

The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh,  at a news conference   in  Abuja,  said the suspension of the four politicians  was   to serve as a deterrent to others.

He explained that    the decision   was taken at a  meeting of the National Working Committee of the party  on Monday.

Metuh  said  that Baraje, Oyinlola, Jaja and Kazaure  had breached some sections of the PDP constitution.

He specifically listed Section 58:1(B),(G)(H)(I)  which reads, 'Subject to the provisions of this constitution, the party shall have power to discipline any member who:

(B) says or does anything likely to bring the party into disrepute, hatred or contempt' and (G);  'engages in disorderly conduct at meetings or rallies or at any party function;  and (H) '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.'

Sources at the  Wadata Plaza national headquarters of the party, said the walkout staged by some members of the party, including the  suspended politicians  and some governors at  the PDP  mini- national convention   in Abuja on August 31, would be used against  Oyinlola and others.

Metuh said the  four men  were expected  to appear before the PDP Disciplinary Committee soon.

He accused Oyinlola, Baraje and the two others of stealing identity of the party, which he said had been  settled by a law  court.

Metuh said, 'There is only one PDP, there can never be two PDP. The court has pronounced on this and I  tell you that there is only one PDP.

'But we have witnessed an attempt at political identity theft where some aggrieved people are colluding with some unknown people to steal our identity. That has failed.

'We have appealed to our brothers that this is not a Nollywood production or drama. This is a party in power and we have to work with the President to deliver the dividends of democracy.

'The NWC after its meeting today(Monday)  has announced, in line with the constitution of our party, and after a preliminary investigation suspended   Baraje,   Oyinlola,   Jaja and   Kazaure.

'The suspension of these four members are to be referred to the disciplinary committee for further action.'

Metuh said the party had  been slow in taking decisive actions against them for a long time because it thought that  they would change their ways.

He said when this was not forthcoming, the PDP had no option   but  to suspend the four men.

This action,  according to him, is   to serve as a deterrent to other members of the PDP  and also to show the committed members   that they must remain loyal.

Asked why the seven governors, who are members of the New PDP were  not also suspended, Metuh said they  were not holding positions in the splinter group.

The governors are Abdulfatah Ahmed(Kwara); Aliyu Wamakko(Sokoto); Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Babangida Aliyu (Niger); Murtala Nyako(Adamawa); Musa Kwakwanso (Kano) and Sule Lamido (Jigawa).

Metuh said, 'The party has decided to suspend these four because of their positions (in the New PDP). That is our position for now.'

On why the party took the decision a few days after the Court of Appeal   ordered the reinstatement of Oyinlola, Metuh said  its leadership  had been busy.

He   said that while   Tukur had been busy with international engagements,   the party was   involved in  legal matters regarding the November 16 governorship election in Anambra State.

The spokesperson for the ruling party also said that the party had yet to be served  the Court of Appeal judgment.

But  Oyinlola said their  suspension  was part of the impunity  they  had been complaining about in the PDP.

He wondered why only four people were singled out for punishment, even when the party was yet to query them.

The former governor claimed that  the party took the decision with a view at circumventing the appellate court judgment.

He said, 'This is part of the impunity we are protesting against. None of us has been queried or requested to give explanations for any alleged offence.

'And if they are reacting to the issue of the New PDP, why did they decide to leave out the serving state governors, senators and members of the House of Representatives who have been very vocal?

'It is all an attempt to circumvent the ruling of the Court of Appeal. Certainly, the last has not been heard about this matter and I am sure that the  truth will prevail over falsehood.'

Also, the National Publicity Secretary of the New PDP, Chief Chukwuemeka Eze, said the PDP under Tukur lacked what he called democratic character.

He said that Tukur and his men  did not understand the PDP constitution.

Eze  said, 'The problem we are having with Tukur and his NWC is that they lack not only democratic character but also common understanding of the PDP Constitution.

'To us this is an abuse of the judiciary and  the provision of  the 1999  Constitution on fair hearing and most importantly,  the PDP Constitution of 2012 as amended in Article 21 section 9.'

The section reads,  'Notwithstanding any other provision of this constitution relating to discipline, no Executive Committee at any level except NEC shall entertain any question of discipline as may relate or concern a member of the NEC, public officer holder i.e. ministers, ambassadors, special advisers or any member of the legislative houses.'

Eze added that  Tukur and his men should also read Article 21:10, which says, 'No disciplinary committee at any level except the  NEC shall impose any punishment provided under Article 21.7 of the constitution arising from any disciplinary on any person named in subsection 21.9 of this constitution.'

He said with these sections of the party's constitution and considering that Oyinlola by his position as the national secretary of the party, the suspension was null and void.