The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is facing a leadership crisis following the defiant statements by Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, that no one in the party can suspend or expel him.
NAIJA LIVE TV reports that Wike, who was a presidential aspirant in the 2023 general elections, has been at loggerheads with the party leadership since he lost the ticket to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
In a recent interview, Wike said nobody can suspend him in PDP.
“How can anybody talk about expelling me? With all due respect, I have not seen that person,” he had said.
“Nobody will do it. So the issue that they will do it does not arise. Who will discipline me? I should be the one calling for the discipline of people who violated the party’s constitution on rotation. “We are just waiting for the presidential panel to finish, you will know who actually are those who are working well for the party.
“How can anybody talk about expelling me? A state that brought a governor? A state that brought three senators? A state that produced 32 House of Assembly members? A state that produced 11 out of 13 House of Representatives members?
“The person that would suspend me is the one that couldn’t produce a governor, is the one that couldn’t produce three senators?
“I have not seen that person, with all due respect. Nobody will do it. So, the issue of they will do it does not arise,” the minister had said.
Wike’s statements have sparked a debate within the PDP, with some members calling for his suspension or expulsion. However, others have said that it would be difficult to remove Wike from the party because he has a lot of support within the party.
The PDP leadership is currently divided on how to deal with Wike. Some members of the National Working Committee (NWC) have called for an emergency meeting to discuss the matter, but others have said that it is too early to take any action.
A source who is an ally of the presidential candidate of the PDP in the 2023 general elections, Atiku Abubakar, said Wike will be punished after the conclusion of the ongoing elections litigation by the party.
He said the party’s leadership and elders, including members of the National Working Committee and National Executive Committee, have been urged to maintain decorum until the issues are resolved.
The source, however, admitted that Wike is grounded in the NWC and NEC of the PDP, which might make it impossible to expel him from the party. He also stated that leaders of the opposition caucuses in the two chambers of the National Assembly are loyalists of the outspoken former governor of Rivers State, noting that a good percentage of the NWC members who are expected to initiate his expulsion are also loyalists of the minister.
The source went on to reveal that Wike financed the campaigns of many governors, senators and members of the National Assembly, who are key stakeholders in the PDP. He said until a fresh leadership is installed in the PDP, Wike will continue to disrespect the party.
He said: “Wike was right when he said nobody can remove him or suspend him. He knows that he controls the different organs of the PDP form NWC to NEC, and even National Assembly caucuses.
“Wike funded the elections of many PDP governors who are in office and they must have a say when you want to suspend Wike or expel him from the party completely. That’s the truth and the PDP leaders understand this.
“Again, we’ve decided to focus on the different court cases on elections, especially the presidential tribunal. As soon as they’re resolved and we know where we stand, the issue of Wike will be decided. “One of the ways to deal with him is to hold an emergency convention. That’s on the way. Once that’s done Wike’s allies will be pushed out and neutral people whose loyalty is to the party, will come on board.
“We’ll revisit the composition of the minority caucuses in the National Assembly who are loyal to Wike. Like I said, for now, we are focusing on other priorities. But when all that is done, we will go back to Wike and handle his case, unless he repents.”
Wike has always defended himself. Upon his assumption of office almost, the former governor claimed that the PDP leadership in his ward, local government, state and zone approved his decision to accept the ministerial position offered to him by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. He had also claimed that his decision was not opposed by any organ of the party.
Besides Wike, other PDP leaders, especially serving governors, who worked against the interest of the party before and during the 2023 general elections were said to have been pencilled down for some sanctions.
Some of the leaders are governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde; former governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi; former governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, and Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, among others. Other PDP leaders who also admitted to not working for the party’s presidential candidate in the election are former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose and Chief Bode George, as well as their supporters in the party.
There has been no disciplinary action against any of the governors and leaders since then.
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