Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Barely one week after elections, fresh crisis in the opposition Peoples Democratic Party took a new twist on Sunday as the Benue State chapter at the party’s ward executive suspended the party’s National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu.
Ayu’s suspension came barely a few days after the party’s National Working Committee referred the state Governor Samuel Ortom, to the party’s disciplinary committee for probe over alleged anti-party activities.
The state Secretary of the party’s Igyorov Ward of Gboko Local Government Area, Mr Vangeryina Dooyum, announced Ayu’s suspension at a media briefing on Sunday.
Dooyum, who spoke on behalf of the ward chairman, Kashi Philip, said Ayu was suspended for anti-party activities.
He read a statement signed by 12 out of the 17 members of the ward executive. He stated that the decision to suspend the national chairman was reached after the ward leadership reviewed Ayu’s conduct at the end of the just-concluded general elections.
The secretary in company with the ward chairman and other members, said, “We observed with utmost dismay that Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, who is the National Chairman of the PDP, worked against the success of the party in Igyorov council ward. It is on record that he has also failed to pay his annual subscription fees as provided under Section 8(9) of the constitution of the PDP 2017 (as amended).
“Further investigation also revealed that he did not vote during the governorship and state assembly elections held on March 18, 2023. It was also discovered that most of his closest allies worked for the opposition party, the All Progressive Congress, and hence, the abysmal performance of the PDP in Igyorov Ward.
“In view of the foregoing, we hereby pass a vote of no confidence in Dr. Iyorchia Ayu and suspend him as a member of our party with immediate effect. The suspension takes effect from March 24, 2023.”
But the leadership of the PDP at the state level told The PUNCH that it received the decision by the ward with surprise.
The state Publicity Secretary, Bemgba Iortyom, told our correspondent that the state leadership may meet on Monday (today) over the matter.
Iortyom said, “I am not the state chairman of the party, so I cannot say anything for now but this thing just happened today (Sunday) and by tomorrow (today) the state exco might probably meet over the development.’’
“I can’t say if we are aware of this. Mind you, this action is not emanating from us at the state level; we can only get to say something when we get the full details.”
Attempts to get Ayu to react to the development did not succeed, as his Special Adviser on Communications, Simon Imobo-Tswam, did not pick his calls nor responded to a text message sent to him by our correspondent.
But the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Debo Ologunagba, told The PUNCH that, “Like other Nigerians, I read of the purported suspension this (Sunday) evening and you will agree with me that the party is not in a position to react formally at the moment.
“We will verify the true state of affairs that led to this and react accordingly. Whatever we say now will not be enough but I hope that by tomorrow (Monday), the whole thing will be clearer.”