People's Democratic Party (PDP) suspends Ken Nnamani, Peter Odili and others.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

From Left to Right: The former speaker, House of Representatives, Bello Masari; the former special adviser to the President on Media, Doyin Okupe and former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, at the PDP reform forum in Abuja on Thursday. Photo: NAN

The People's Democratic Party (PDP) was yesterday thrown into further disarray after the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party announced the suspensions of the former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, and 28 other members of the PDP Reform forum.

The meeting of the National Working Committee coincided with the PDP Reform Forum's meeting, in which the former Senate President addressed over 2000 people in Abuja.

The NWC meeting considered the recent uprising by the reformers and expressed its surprise at the refusal of members of the party, operating under a group called the PDP Reform Forum, to appear before it, despite extensive invitations to them.

Earlier in the day, the Reform Forum had their own meeting in which they had accused the PDP leadership of having failed in the past three years to move the party power.

In a statement signed by its National Secretary, Abubakar Kawu Baraje, the party said it is of the view that the concerned members had adequate notice but declined to utilise the opportunity granted them by the invitation to explain their roles.

The party stated that the decision to dishonour the invitations to appear before it is a calculated attempt to disregard lawful directives of the party in order for them to continue to ridicule it, contrary to Article 12.1 of the PDP Constitution.

The NWC then invoked Article 21.4 of the party constitution to suspend Mr. Nnamani, Aminu Masari, Onyema Ugochukwu, Adolphus Wabara, Peter Odili and 24 other members of the PDP Reform Forum.

The working committee added that the case would be referred to the National Disciplinary Committee for further action.

At odds with party leaders 
But Mr. Nnamani, who is the Chairman of the steering committee of the Forum, stressed the need for better organisation of the ruling party in the interest of the entire country.

"The party must tolerate other people's views and not some people sitting down and dictating how things should move without minding others, which is anti-democracy," said Mr. Nnamani, as he addressed the 2000-strong audience.

Nnamani said some state governors were invited by the group to discuss the "nose-diving" status of the party but because of their selfishness and their fear that such a gathering could lead to a change of leadership structure, they refused to turn up.

The former Senate President regretted that the party has seriously derailed from the ideals and goals of the founding fathers, such that today, all the grand visions of the party have virtually vanished and nobody is talking of providing meaningful governance and improving the living standard of Nigerians anymore.

He said the umbrella under which hid before had disappeared owing to lackluster and inept leadership of the party.

Former Minister of Education, Chinwe Obaje, said reform could never be a negative trend in any progressive society, but a necessary change of attitude that must be embraced by those in positions of authority. According to her, reform is a continuous process which no human organisation must derail from to ensure progress.

Inept leadership 
Mrs. Obaje said the mission of the forum was not to pull the party down but to campaign for good polity within the party.

Doyin Okupe said, without reform, the party would not last based on its current structure and leadership. "PDP leadership is totally and grossly inept," he said, adding that most of the problems within the party were caused by the overbearing power of the governor's forum.

The former governor of Taraba State, Jolly Nyame, said he supported the group and was ready to associate with it. "You don't have to be in power before you can be a reformer," he said.

The former Organising Secretary of the party, Dahiru Umar, said that more than N4 billion was left in the party account for the current leadership to execute the building of the party's headquarters in Abuja, but noted that nothing had been achieved with the amount.

Some members of the group who attended the meeting were former Senate President Adolphus Wabara, Amanga Nimi, Adamu Waziri, Rochas Okorocha and Iro Dan-M


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