A week after his return from medical vacation, the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Iyorchia Ayu, Tuesday, presided over a stormy meeting of the National Working Committee of the party.
The meeting was also attended by the NWC members demanding the resignation of the national chairman.
A national officer of the party, Timothy Osadolor told newmen that the PDP Deputy National Chairman (South), Taofeek Arapaja; (South-South), Dan Orbih, as well as the National Vice Chairman, (South-South), Stella Effah-Attoe all turned out for the emergency meeting.
Last week, Arapaja and five others returned various amounts paid into their bank accounts to the party, questioning Ayu’s authority to approve such amounts.
The NWC members were said to have returned N122.4m rent stipends paid into their account, alleging that they got the strange bank credit alerts after they queried the whereabouts of over N10bn realised as nomination fees during the party’s primaries.
The N10b was said to have been depleted to N1bn in uncertain circumstances, leading to tension in the NWC.
They also questioned the morality of the payment against the backdrop of media reports which accused the chairman of bribing NWC members to silence them for demanding accountability over the depletion of the N10b party fund.
But a confident Ayu returned to the Wadata plaza headquarters of the party Tuesday where he chaired the NWC meeting.
Speaking with newsmen, the PDP National Youth Leader, Osadolor explained the agenda of the meeting and the implication of the weighty allegations made by Arapaja and five others.
He stated, “They (NWC members) all attended. I am aware that the embarrassment the six officers brought to the party was part of the agenda of the meeting. As a national officer, I am aware that the constitution of the party frowns on any action that will bring the party to public opprobrium, which they have done.
“The NWC has the character and capacity to institute disciplinary measures against any of its officers. That is on the table.’’
Asked if the six officers may be sanctioned, Osadolor stated: “PDP is a democratic party that can checkmate the excesses of its members and put its house in order.
“I don’t see how they can commit an infraction on the party’s constitution and go scot-free. There is no way they will escape the disciplinary committee that will be set up today (Tuesday). The issue is too weighty to be swept under the carpet.”