The Nasarawa State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has suspended indefinitely, 45 members of the party, including elders and founding members, with threats to expel them for allegedly working for the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the state, Mr. Labaran Maku.
The suspension order was conveyed in a letter dated March 5 and signed by the party’s Vice Chairman for Nasarawa-North Zone, Umaru Gwamna Abdullahi.
One of the 45 suspended officers, Kassim Isa, who is the Assistant Director of Publicity for the PDP campaign team, was suspended for allegedly working for his son, who is a candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Akwanga-South as against the PDP candidate, Sunday Chuga.
The party’s women leader in the state, Mrs. Hadiza Victor, who was also served the suspension letter, said her offence was attending several meetings at Maku’s residence in Makama, while still holding her position in the PDP.
She said: “I have been bedridden for about three months now but the party didn’t visit me. When their letter arrived at my sick bed, I jumped up, thinking they sent me a package for my hospital bills. It turned out that the letter was for my suspension, that during my period of absence, I was working for Maku”.
When contacted, the state party spokesman, Yohanna Mark Neto, confirmed the development, saying the officers were working for the APGA governorship candidate in the state but did not disclose the exact number of members suspended.
“Yes, the party has suspended those holding party positions. They are working for Maku and we are saying we suffered this kind of anti-party in 2011, with grave consequences because we lost the governorship election. This time, we have resolved to take decisive actions against those working against our governorship candidate.
“All we are saying is, if they so love Maku, they should leave and join APGA. They cannot hold party positions in the PDP and be working for APGA”.
Mr. Neto added that the disciplinary committee was currently interrogating the suspended officers, noting that they would be expelled from the party if found guilty.
But in a swift reaction, Maku told Daily Trust in a telephone interview that he did not expect anything less from a party, which governorship primary election outcome he petitioned over intimidation.
“I petitioned the party, complaining of this kind of intimidation of members because delegates showed they were going to vote for me. The exercise was manipulated, there were cases of intimidation of delegates. That is what they are continuing till today”, the former information minister said.