17th June, 2013
The Alhaji Bamanga Tukur led National Working Committee, NWC of Peoples Democratic Party finally ate the humble pie on Monday as it rescinded its decision suspending the Sokoto State governor, Aliyu Wamakko. The party had at the end of its NWC meeting of 4 June announced the suspension of the Governor over what it described as repeated breaches and disregard to its Constitution.
The PDP NWC had accused Wamakko of ignoring its invitations and lawful directives while showing complete apathy to the affairs of the party.
A communiqué of the meeting, signed by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, said “consequent upon the refusal of the Governor to honour yet another invitation by the NWC to appear before it today, Wednesday, June 5, 2013 without any reason, the Committee, in exercise of the powers conferred by Articles 57 (3), 57 (7), 58. 1(c ),(h), (f) and 59 (1),(2), hereby suspends the Executive Governor of Sokoto State, Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, as a member of the party and refers the matter to the appropriate disciplinary committee of the Party.”
“This is in furtherance of the determination of the leadership of the Party to enforce discipline at all levels within the Party,” the communiqué said.
In a statement issued the next day which was also signed by Metuh, the party further explained that Wamako was suspended for serial insubordination to the Tukur, the party national chairman. Metuh said in the statement that “sometime in early April, the leadership of the party was concerned with the statements and conduct of the Governor whereupon the National Chairman placed several calls to draw the attention of the Governor to the matters concerned.
“However, it was not possible for the National Chairman to speak with the Governor despite several attempts. The National Chairman thereafter vide a letter dated 12th April, 2013 requested an explanation to the NWC within seven days.
“Instead of replying the National Chairman, Governor Wamakko directed the Sokoto State Secretary of the Party, Mallam Aminu Bello Sokoto to reply the National Chairman. The State party Secretary in a letter dated April 14, 2013 and on the official letterhead of the Sokoto State Government House, replied the National Chairman on behalf of the governor.
“This amounted to gross disrespect and act of insubordination to a National Officer and a lawful organ of the party which is in violation of Articles 58.1 (c ), (h) and (m) of the PDP constitution which prescribed sanctions for any member who (c ) “disobeys or neglect to carry out lawful directives of the party or any organ or officer of the party”, (h) “engages in any conduct likely to cause disaffection among members of the Party or is likely to disrupt the peaceful, lawful and efficient conduct of the business of the Party” and (m) “fails, refuses or neglects to treat a petition, complaints or appeal timeously” respectively,” the statement added.
The PDP statement did not mention the specific statement or actions of the Sokoto Governor.
It also added that in spite of Mr. Wamakko’s apparent disrespect to Mr. Tukur, “ the NWC, vide a letter dated April 17, 2013 kindly requested His Excellency, Dr. Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko to appear before it on the 8th of May, 2013 to clear the issues thereof.”
“The NWC also wrote to the State Secretary, Sokoto PDP, Mallam Aminu Bello Sokoto requesting explanations for his actions as a state party officer, in replying the National Chairman.
“Regrettably, Dr. Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko never honoured the invitation and refused to respond in any way despite repeated invitations from the NWC, an action which is in clear violation of Article 58.1 (c), of the PDP constitution. In the same vein, the State Secretary, Sokoto PDP also refused to respond to the National Working Committee (NWC).
“Consequently, the NWC at its 336th meeting held on May 22, 2013 suspended the State Secretary, Sokoto PDP Mallam Aminu Bello Sokoto and communicated the decision to him in a letter dated May 22, 2013.
“The NWC thereafter extended yet another invitation to His Excellency, Dr. Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko in a letter dated May 23, 2013 in which it requested him to appear before it on Wednesday, June 5, 2013 to clarify the issues.
“Unfortunately, in complete disregard to a lawful organ of the Party, His Excellency, Dr. Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, instead of appearing before the NWC traveled out of the country on Tuesday June 5, 2013 without any form of response to the party,” the statement said.
But the Sokoto State Governor who was not in the country when the decision was announced wasted no time in condemning his suspension on his return to the country last week. The Governor also called for the removal of Tukur and other members of NWC who he accused of serially violating the party’s constitution and constituting impediments to the progress of PDP.
The Governors’ view on his suspension received open support of Aminu Tambuwal, the Speaker of House of Representatives and Sule Lamido, the Governor of Jigawa State.
Tukur told journalists that the decision to lift the suspension slammed on Wamakko followed appeals from the PDP Governors Forum led by the Akwa-Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio.
The Sokoto State Governor has also vowed never to recognise the Akpabio led PDP Governors Forum.