– Declares His Suspension From PDP ‘Null And Void’
In politics, supporting the candidate of an opposition political party is considered taboo and can lead to severe consequences, including expulsion from the party.
But Anyim Pius Anyim, a former Senate President and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has openly admitted and defended his support for an opposition candidate in the March 18 governorship election in Ebonyi State.
A former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim slammed the Iyorchia Ayu-led National Working Committee of the PDP for suspending him from the party over his support for the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the election.
The former SGF had supported APC’s Francis Nwifuru ahead of the election, basing his decision on an “existing charter of equity” which prescribes rotation of the governorship position among three political zones in the state.
Nwifuru had won the election by polling 199, 131 votes to defeat PDP’s Ifeanyi Chukwuma Odii, who polled 80, 191 votes to come second in the election.
THE WHISTLER reported that the PDP WC approved suspension of Anyim and three other chieftains of the party for anti-party activities at a meeting on Thursday.
But in his response on Friday, the former SGF said he was disappointed in the PDP NWC members whom he said should have undertaken “a thorough self-examination on why they performed so poorly in the 2023 elections rather than seek to further divide the party by shifting blames”
Anyim recalled complaining to the PDP leadership that it was unfair for the party to pick a governorship candidate from a zone where the incumbent governor, Dave Umahi, hails from after occupying the office for eight years.
He stated that he carefully considered his options and believed that the opposition APC candidate was the best choice for the state for the sake of unity.
While declaring his suspension ‘null and void’, Anyim stressed that his decision was not an act of defiance or disloyalty, but rather a reflection of his commitment to the state’s zoning agreement.
“It smacks of arrogance for the NWC to put up a bold face instead of showing remorse and being sober for leading the party to such colossal loss in the 2023 general elections, thereby dashing the hopes and expectations of party members and indeed Nigerians,” the former SGF said in a personally signed statement.
“It is clear that arising from the leadership style of the NWC, many members, intentionally and proudly, worked against the party including members of the NWC. Therefore, it is a display of innate cowardice for NWC to choose soft targets to suspend and fear those that daily demonize them.
“It is difficult to explain why the NWC is in a hurry to suspend leaders of the party without recourse to fair hearing, without which their action is null and void.
“In the case of Ebonyi State, the NWC imposed a candidate from the sitting Governor’s zone, contrary to the zoning formula in the state. Every effort to let the NWC see reason fell on deaf ears. On the day the party’s presidential rally was held in Ebonyi State, I told Dr. Ayu that I was boycotting the rally because I cannot support the candidate, they imposed on Ebonyi State. Dr. Ayu did nothing.
“He did not care even as I did not attend the Ebonyi rally. The NWC may wish to know that I am proud to have supported the APC Gubernatorial candidate in Ebonyi State to win the election because that conforms to the equitable formular in Ebonyi State. It is therefore my expectation that the NWC should reverse itself in the interest of the party.”