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ANPP members in govt defy party's quit order

By NBF News
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Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu
The National leadership of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) is in dilemma over the next line of action against two ministers and a few others still serving in President Goodluck Jonathan's government on the platform of the defunct Government of National Unity.

Already, a section of the leadership is moving for the expulsion of the recalcitrant members for flagrantly flouting the party's order.

The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Party had met on December 8, 2010 after which the National Chairman; Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu addressed the nation on the resolutions reached at the meeting.

Among the resolutions, he disclosed were arrived at was the formal pull out of the Party from the Government of National Unity (GNU) and the directive to its members serving in the government to withdraw forthwith.

A month after, the serving party men have refused to quit the government saying they were not aware of the directive. ANPP has two ministers, three special assistants, two ambassadors and chairmen and members of some boards and parastatals.

The two ministers who were appointed after the dissolution of the Executive Council of the Federation (EXCOF) by President Jonathan following the death of President Umaru Yar'Adua are Hajia Yabawa Lawan Wabi, the Minister of State for Finance and Hajia Salamatu Suleiman, Minister of State, Foreign Affairs. Sources told Daily Sun that the party leadership was piqued by the stance of its serving chieftains who had bluntly refused to obey the order of the party which nominated them in the first instance.

The serving ministers, sources revealed, also met secretly after the party's NEC in December and resolved to call the bluff of the party leadership to stay put in government. It was also learnt that the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party met last week prior to the special convention that Produced Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, and discussed the development which it described as insulting and unbecoming of dedicated and committed party men.

Some NWC members were reported to have pushed for the expulsion of the affected serving party members while others were of the view that the Party's National Secretary should be mandated to write them formally and individually on the matter.

Interestingly, it was scooped that the Ministers and other serving officials, who by the party's constitution are members of the NEC had refused to attend meeting of any of the party's organs for fear of being sanctioned.

Onu had while addressing journalists in his office yesterday expressed the frustration of the party leadership in getting its members out of the PDP government when he explained that the party had done what it was supposed to do by writing President Jonathan on the decision of the party to pull its members out of his government.

However, he did not say whether the party would sanction them over their refusal to honour the party's decision, saying, 'any of them still in PDP government is not representing us'

Said he; 'The party entered the GNU to stabilize the country, there were agreements and after the review of our participation, we resolved it was no longer working, we have to withdraw. We have written to President Goodluck Jonathan as the head of the ruling party to formalize our withdrawal and the world press conference asking our members serving in the GNU was televised live and reported by the media.'