Governor of Jigawa State and founding member of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Sule Lamido, yesterday joined the ranks of party chieftains who have frowned at the suspension of Governors Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State and Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State by the National Working Committee, NWC, of the PDP over alleged anti-party activities.
Governor Lamido made this view known in an interview he granted the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Hausa Service and monitored in Abuja yesterday.
The PDP suspended Governor Amaechi shortly after he was elected as Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum last month for flouting a directive by Rivers State Chapter of the PDP to recall the suspended council officials of Obiakor Local Government.
His counterpart in Sokoto State, Aliyu Wamakko, was suspended a fortnight ago for alleged gross disrespect to the national chairman of the party, Dr Bamanga Tukur.
According to Governor Lamido in the BBC interview, the PDP is actually a very strong political party with an equally strong leadership, but at the same time, is very weak legally.
“The present leadership of Bamanga Tukur is strong but it acts illegally,” Lamido was quoted as telling the BBC Hausa Service.
He claimed that the National Chairman had been running the party on the basis of illegality because, among other things, he (Tukur) had failed to convene the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting since he assumed leadership of the party.
According to the governor, the “PDP Constitution directed that NEC meeting must hold at least once in three months, but it is unfortunate that this has not been adhered to since Bamanga Tukur became the Chairman of the PDP.
“It seems there is a failure of leadership in the PDP, but most importantly, members of the party know their rights, and they know what they are supposed to do in order to protect the interest of Nigerians,” Lamido said.
On the issue of suspension of the two governors by the NWC of the party, Governor Lamido described the action as a blunder and a demonstration of the lack of knowledge of what the party needs.
“Since our party leadership doesn’t operate in the interest of the PDP, to us, both Governors Wamakko and Amaechi are still members of the PDP, and we are supporting them. At the local level, they have the support of their people. So, maybe the leaders at the national level would wake up one day and realise that they have committed a blunder.
“The party’s action sounds nonsensical, a blunder, because it doesn’t tally with what is the right and appropriate thing to do in the current circumstances,” the governor added.
On the controversial Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) election which has allegedly divided it into two factions, Lamido, a pro-Amaechi supporter, told the BBC that as far as he was concerned, there is no faction in the NGF because it is not a political group.
He added: “If PDP leadership says it doesn’t agree with our election of Governor Amaechi, that is its problem. It’s leadership should come to our forum and say why.”
Governor Lamido also used the interview to affirm his faith in the party and stressed that no matter the gravity of the crises facing the PDP, its members considered them as internal and would be resolved to its logical conclusion.