The National Executive Council (NEC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has affirmed and ratified the suspension of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha (Imo West) and Senator Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun West) from the party, until when a committee to be set up submits its report about their anti-party activities.
The party, in a resolution made at its meeting, held at its secretariat in Abuja over the weekend, held that no one is indispensable.
But Ondo State government has denied the alleged suspension of Akeredolu, pointing out that the governor attended the meetings of the National Caucus and NEC of the party in Abuja.
The National Working Committee (NWC) of the party at its meeting in Abuja on March 1, 2019, had announced the suspension of the trio for alleged anti-party activities.
Until May 29, 2019, Amosun and Okorocha were two-term governors of Ogun and of Imo States respectively.
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Also suspended then were, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Uguru, and the Director-General of the Voice of Nigeria (VON), Osita Okechukwu.
At the meeting presided over by the party’s National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, on March 1, 2019, the NWC had recommended to the National Executive Committee of the party that the suspended individuals be expelled.
A statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, after the meeting said the NWC also agreed to issue a query to the Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, over what it termed glaring anti-party activities.
The party said the anti-party activities of the governor greatly affected the fortunes of its candidates in the recently conducted presidential and National Assembly elections in the state.
The APC had regretted that the suspended members worked against the interest of the party despite steps taken to ensure they desisted from such.
The statement partly read, “Notably, these individuals have not shown any remorse and have actually stepped up their actions. The party reviewed the serial anti-party activities of the concerned individuals before and during the last presidential and National Assembly elections in their respective states and resolved to enforce party discipline in line with our constitution.
“The NWC noted how the suspended members have continued to campaign openly for other parties and candidates that are unknown to our great party, even as they have constituted themselves as opposition to APC candidates in their respective states.”
SUNDAY INDEPENDENT gathered that Oshiomhole had protested the attendance of Akeredolu and Amosun at the APC caucus meeting, as they were not invited since they, like Okorocha, were still under suspension and no invitation was extended to them for the meeting.
But after a long debate, they were allowed to stay so as to listen to the allegations against them.
Inside sources disclosed that Oshimhole thereafter briefed the meeting about the anti-party activities of Akeredolu, how money meant for the party in Ondo State was hijacked and diverted to work for Action Alliance at the last election.
“The party greatly regretted the loss of the Presidential election in Ondo State due to the anti-party activities of the party leader and the state chairman of the party.
It hereafter affirmed and ratified the suspension of Akeredolu, Okorocha and Amosun from the party until when a Committee to be set up submits its report about their anti-party. The party resolved that no one is indispensable,” a source said.
The APC is to set up a Presidential Committee to move round the states and reconcile the members of the party and investigate the anti-party activities where applicable.
It equally resolved that henceforth, all party primaries shall be by Direct Primary election and passed a vote of confidence on Oshimhole for his leadership quality and for ensuring discipline in the party.
A statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Donald Ojogo, revealed that that governor attended two meetings held by the party’s NEC in Abuja.
“The Ondo State Government is compelled to clarify certain insinuations as series of layer meetings ended this evening with that of NEC.
“Needless to recall that Governor Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu SAN attended both which of course included that of the National Caucus at the Presidential Villa.
“It is perhaps preposterous and conscionable impossible to allow someone under supposed suspension into a meeting as critical as that of the APC NEC,” the statement read in part.
Ojogo described the suspension rumour as the handiwork of some individuals who are not qualified to attend the NEC meetings.
According to him, “These are self-idolating hypothesis by those who are disappointed by their own expectations.
“However, while the government is not in any way surprised by the outright misrepresentations labourously orchestrated, it is apt to say that such are indeed pedestrian and untoward. This is more so that sponsors of such did not attend these layers of meetings.”
He, however, reasoned that the two meetings of the national leadership of the party attended by Akeredolu on Friday made nonsense of the rumoured suspension, calling on the party faithful and people of the state to ignore the suspension rumour.
Ojogo said: “Specifically, a section of the media has been fed with outright falsehood that Governor Akeredolu was asked not to attend the meetings. The fact that he was at both meetings repudiates the incorrect narratives intended to create disunity in the APC.
“This, no doubt, is rehearsal failure on the part of those promoting such insinuations. Ignore them.”