January 21, (THEWILL) – Seven suspended members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Ekiti State on Saturday, described the action of the National Working Committee (NWC), of the party as unnecessary distraction, insisting they remained bona-fide members and candidates of the party for the February 25 National Assembly election.
THEWILL reports that the NWC of the PDP on Friday, suspended the seven National Assembly candidates of the party in Ekiti State over alleged anti-party activities.
The suspended members include: two Senatorial candidates, Alhaji Lateef Ajijola (Ekiti Central) and Hon. Funso Ayeni (Ekiti North) as well as House of Representatives candidates, Otunba Yinka Akerele (Ekiti North 1), Hon. Babatunde Ajayi (Ekiti North 2), Lere Olayinka (Ekiti Central 2), Oluwajomiloju Fayose (Ekiti Central 1) and Mrs Emiola Adenike Jennifer (Ekiti South 2).
In a joint statement on Saturday, the suspended members urged supporters of the party in the State to remain calm, assuring that nothing will be left undone to ensure their deserved victory in the forthcoming elections.
While describing the party’s action as unfortunate and unguided, they said by the Constitution of the PDP, the purported suspension is null and void because none of them was informed of committing any offence.
“We were never informed of any wrong doing. They didn’t tell us our offense so that we can defend ourselves as provided by the party’s constitution and the constitution of Nigeria.
“Section 57 (6) of the PDP constitution is clear and unambiguous. It states that ‘Any decision taken against a member who has not been informed of the charges against him or has not been given any opportunity of defending himself shall be null and void.’
“Also, Section 33 of the Electoral Act is very clear on candidates for elections and as it is, we remain candidates in line with law and we shall remain focused. Our party is a constitutional institution and we will ensure it obeys its constitution.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Section 33 of the Electoral Act provides clearly that; ‘A political party shall not be allowed to change or substitute its candidate whose name has been submitted under Section 29 of this Act, except in the case of death or withdrawal by the candidate.’
“We are therefore unperturbed. Rather, we are being propelled to work harder to ensure victory in the elections while we explore appropriate means of handling the issues.
“Ultimately, it will be victory for us as candidates of the PDP.”
“Members as well as supporters of the party should keep up with this spirit as we continue with our campaign activities”, the statement added.