The crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party got messier on Friday with the ruling party asking the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, to write a formal letter to the Dr. Bamanga Tukur-led National Executive Council for his suspension to be lifted.
Amaechi said at the weekend that he would not write the letter.
The lifting of Amaechi‚Äôs suspension was one of the conditions given by a faction of the party, New PDP, for reconciliation to take place in the troubled party.
The party, which spoke through the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the party, Abdullahi Jalo, told our correspondent in Abuja that only the NEC could decide Amaechi‚Äôs fate.
He said the Dr. Bamanga Tukur-led PDP was not averse to making peace with all aggrieved members of the party but that the decision to suspend Amaechi was not taken by an individual.
The party chieftain, however, said the embattled governor also had a role to play in speeding up the process of his recall by writing to Tukur, the National Chairman of the party, requesting for his suspension to be lifted.
He further explained that it was the NEC which Tukur heads that would make recommendations to the National Executive Committee.
He added that it was when the NEC was satisfied with the explanations and the recommendations made by the NWC that the suspension would be lifted.
Jalo said, ‚ÄúTo suspend a governor and recall him is an issue that can only be handled by the National Executive Council which is the highest ruling body of the party.
‚ÄúIt is beyond an individual to sit down and say okay, Amaechi, we have lifted your suspension. The NWC has to sit down to access the conditions given to Amaechi before they take it to NEC.
‚ÄúThe NEC is the one to decide the fate of Amaechi after he must have settled all the issues. No individual can decide that he be recalled. It is the National Working Committee that will make recommendations which will be taken to NEC; the NEC is the final body that can recall him.
‚ÄúIt is only the NEC that can decide his fate. The NEC will say whether they are satisfied with what he has written to them or not.
‚ÄúYou know the President and the Vice-President are seated in the NEC with the national chairman of the party. The governor has to approach the party through the national chairman.‚Äù
Amaechi, who spoke through the Chief of Staff, Government House, Tony Okocha, however, said he would not write such an application.
According to him, his suspension was in contravention of the PDP constitution. ‚ÄúThere will be no such thing. He will not write any application to any person or group. We have approached the court for a proper interpretation of the party‚Äôs constitution.‚Äù
The governor expressed fears that the PDP might expel him if he withdrew the cases he had filed against the party.
Amaechi had gone to court to stop the PDP from expelling him from the party.
The governor had also approached the court to stop the State House of Assembly from impeaching him.
The governor‚Äôs aide said, ‚ÄúYou know that emancipation is not a gift of an oppressor. We are Nigerians and we know the legal system.
‚ÄúThat the matter is in court does not remove the possibility of an indoor settlement but we fear that the moment he (Amaechi) withdraws the matter in court, the PDP will leverage on that to expel him.
‚ÄúIt is a booby trap that nobody will want to fall for, given what we know the PDP for. The PDP does not stick to agreement. You know that they (PDP) cannot expel him now that the case is in court.‚Äù
Jalo however insisted that Amaechi had offended the party and that the party sanctioned him accordingly.
‚ÄúIn any case, these are purely issues within the PDP. Amaechi is part of us, part of us in the sense that he has not left the party for another party. He is still a member of PDP; we are still in the same family. In this regard, there were series of meetings between the aggrieved governors including Amaechi and the leadership of the party including the leader of the party that is the President.
‚ÄúYou can now say without mincing words that it is highly possible for the sanctions on Amaechi to be lifted.‚Äù