The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has suspended a former Senate President, Pius Anyim and a former governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, and two others from the party.
The others suspended are Dennis Ityavyar from Benue State and Aslam Aliyu from Zamfara State.
It also referred the governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, to its disciplinary committee for alleged anti-party activities.
The party said this in a statement on Thursday by its spokesperson, Dele Ologunagba, after a meeting of its National Working Committee (NWC) in Abuja.
The statement said, “The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has after very extensive review of the affairs of our Party in the country and pursuant to the provisions of the PDP Constitution (as amended in 2017) referred the Governor of Benue State, Dr. Samuel Ortom to the National Disciplinary Committee over his reported involvement in anti-party activities.
“The NWC also approved the suspension of the following from the Party with effect from today, Thursday, March 23, 2023.
1. Ayodele Fayose (Ekiti State)
2. Sen. Pius Anyim (Ebonyi State)
3. Prof. Dennis Ityavyar (Benue State)
4. Dr. Aslam Aliyu (Zamfara State)
“The PDP urges all leaders, critical stakeholders and teeming members of our party across the country to remain united and focused at this critical time.”
Mr Ortom, who is billed to face the party’s disciplinary committee, is not only a member of the G-5 governors but also worked against the party during the presidential election.
The G-5 governors, led by Governor Nyesom Wike, are demanding the resignation of the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, to balance the party’s leadership structure
The governors said the exit of Mr Ayu will ensure the leadership balance in the opposition party.
Mr Ortom, who was once the PDP national auditor, had in February canvassed support for the candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, against his party’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
“This is not about party. I am not in the Labour Party but I am working for Peter Obi. Peter Obi will make sure that we sleep with our two eyes closed. These unnecessary killings that are going on in our country will stop,” he said.
“Of the three presidential candidates, Peter Obi has the character, competence to lead Nigeria,” he added, urging the electorate not to vote for political parties but individual candidates who can deliver on their promises.
Mr Ortom lamented that political parties had let Nigerians down and it was high time they chose “individuals, those people who can deliver.”
“We must, in this 2023, fashion a new Nigeria, Nigeria that will give the people equity, fairness, and justice.
“The PDP has failed Nigerians, APC has failed Nigerians, political parties have failed Nigerians, even the Labour Party has failed Nigerians,” he decried.
Mr Ortom, who hails from the same Benue North-west Senatorial District as the PDP national chairman, lost his bid to represent the district in the upper chamber in the 25 February National Assembly elections.
Although the party did not state their offences, sources in the party said Messrs Anyim and Fayose were also suspended for alleged anti-party activities.
Mr Anyim, a former secretary to the government of the federation and a presidential aspirant on the party’s platform, reportedly backed the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in his native Ebonyi State, Francis Nwifuru, in the 18 March election against the PDP candidate, Ifeanyi Odii.
He explained that he supported Mr Nwifuru because of the “existing charter of equity” in the state.
Mr Fayose is believed to have sympathy for the G-5 governors.
The former governor reportedly called on the people of Sokoto State recently to vote against Governor Aminu Tambuwal, who is the PDP candidate for the southern district of the state. The 25 February election in the district was declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Earlier, the PDP had earlier suspended and eventually expelled Mr Fayose’s son, Oluwajomiloju, from the party for anti-party activities.
The younger Fayose was in February suspended alongside six others including former Enugu State governor, Chimaroke Nnamani.
At the time he was expelled Oluwajomiloju was the PDP candidate for Ekiti Central Federal Constituency.
He lost the election.