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CPC, ANPP, TUC, Others Condemn Amaechi’s Suspension

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IMAGE: Gov. Amechi »

Onyebuchi Ezigbo  and Jude Okwe
The suspension of Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State from the Peoples Democratic Party by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party, has continued to receive swipe from several stakeholders across the country. Many of those who spoke decried what they described as party high-handedness.

The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) expressed worries over Amaechi’s travails in the hands of the PDP.
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Rotimi Fashakin, the party regretted that what started as a spat between President Goodluck Jonathan and  Amaechi, had snowballed into the suspension of the governor.

It said: "The CPC, undoubtedly, is pained by the portent of this infra-dig to the entrenchment of inspiring democratic values in the polity. We believe that there are democratic instruments available for resolving differences between a president and a governor in a presidential system, without unduly overheating the polity.

"It is in this vein that we view the suspension of Amaechi as the manifestation of a party at war with itself. It beggars belief that the PDP decided to jettison the law of natural justice of not being a judge in one’s case. It is a party whose implosion is imminent. Unfortunately, there is no voice of reason anymore because this despicable leadership style ensures obsequious subservience!”

  The Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) and the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) also condemned Amaechi’s  suspension.
  In a statement by the National Publicity Secretary (ANPP), Hon. Emma Eneukwu, the party described  Amaechi's suspension by the PDP as a colossal affront to democracy.

"We ask? What is the crime of Amaechi? We proffer an answer: he won election as chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) by 19 votes to 16 scored by his closest challenger.

"We wonder how a political party that lays claim to democratic usages could rise to suspend one of its own for winning an election! This action rubbishes its claim to any democratic credential, as it has clearly shown that it practises despotism and the tyranny of a cabal,” the statement added.

On its part, the CNPP described the action of PDP as 'medicine after death', adding that Amaechi has already been declared winner of the NGF election  which no one can abort.
CNPP spokesman, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, in a telephone interview with THISDAY yesterday urged the president not to work with anti-democrats.

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has said the ongoing feud in the NGF with the alleged involvement of the presidency is an attestation to the poor leadership qualities among Nigerian leaders.

The President General of the TUC, Comrade Peter Esele, in a telephone conversation with THISDAY, yesterday said it was shameful that the parties were not bickering over real challenges plaguing Nigeria such as insecurity, poor infrastructure, lack of power supply and others; rather they chose to bicker over an issue as inconsequential as the chairmanship of the forum.

Esele, who described the feud as a show of shame, added that the chairmanship of the NGF did not affect the lives of the citizenry in any way as the governors and president were elected to govern their states and the country respectively.

“If the presidency has a hand in what is happening in that forum, the presidency was also elected to govern. We have issues of security, issues of power, infrastructure, education and other problems. I want to see a fight between the presidency and the governors over all the real issues affecting our country and not about who governs the NGF,” he said.

“When 36 governors cannot conduct free and fair elections, one governor saying they all participated, and another saying he is the authentic Chairman of the NGF, it says a lot of the quality of leadership that this country has and it is a big letdown,” Esele noted.
Reacting to the development, constitutional lawyer, Professor Itse Sagay, said all that happened from the NGF election on Saturday and the suspension of Amaechi yesterday were signs of the kind of party the PDP is.

He said by taking such a hard stand on Amaechi, the PDP had exposed its lack of respect for the rule of law and human rights, adding that it would not get away with such abuse of power.

“It’s a sign of the stock which the PDP is made of. It is an organisation that has contempt for democracy, human rights and the rule of law. For them to think they can order a governor who was elected by his people as if he is their housemaid is an insult to Amaechi, Nigeria and democracy. It’s an affront and the PDP will pay dearly for this,” he said.

Also, a governor who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the development in the PDP had called the media to a challenge and warned that they have a responsibility to protect democracy, either now or later.

“You guys have to protect the system and it is better you protect it now because whether or not you like it, if you do not protect it now, you will protect it later but at a cost.

“Remember during the Gen. Sani Abacha days, you guys suffered the most. So, if you do not protect the system and it collapses again, you are the ones that will suffer the most because these guys have never handled power before and that is why they are misbehaving.

“Imagine, we conducted an election and you now come out to say you’re rejecting the result, what nonsense! We could choose to have Amaechi in the morning and remove him by night. But certainly not because someone wanted it,” he said.

Also reacting to the suspension, Chairman of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Cross River State chapter and founder of the Christian Central Chapel International (CCCI), Bishop Emmah Isong, said  the public would continue to question the democratic credentials of those governors and PDP leaders who were out to frustrate the Rivers State governor’s re-election in a free and fair exercise.

‘’What Amaechi is doing whether wrong or right, is good for our democracy. For this unjust gang up, his ghost will haunt our leaders tomorrow. There is absolute abuse of power at the federal level. Has Amaechi no right to speak, hold his opinion on any issue and even criticise the federal government?

‘’It is obnoxious to persecute anybody for holding contrary opinion on any issue.  When did political ambition in Nigeria become a crime? What makes a flower beautiful is the differences in its petals. There should be freedom of speech and even ambition. Let the federal government accept criticisms and opposition," he said, stressing that Nigeria was no longer under military rule.

Article Credit: Thisday Newspaper

Updated 6 Years ago

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