STATE chairmen of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) have declared the suspension of the party’s presidential candidate Dumebi Kachikwu as null and void.
The National Working Committee (NWC) of the party suspended Kachikwu on Friday over alleged anti-party activities.
His suspension was announced in a statement released by the party’s Deputy National Chairman (Politics), Bamidele Ajadi.
Kachikwu was accused of circulating a defamatory video “which was intended to disparage and impugn the integrity of ADC and its national officers”.
Ajadi also accused Kachikwu of making statements that contravened the values of the ADC.
The ADC official further accused Kachikwu of “crass irresponsibility, gross indiscipline and disingenuous scandalisation’’ adding that he attempted to blackmail the party’s executives to do his bidding.
According to Ajadi, such attitude was improper for someone who wants to be the president of Nigeria.
State chairmen of the party, however, at a news conference in Abuja on Saturday, declared that the tenure of the National Working Committee (NWC) had elapsed and as a result, it could not suspend the presidential candidate.
The state chairmen said the tenure of the NWC elapsed in August.
Addressing the news conference, Kingsley Ogga, Chairman of Forum of State Chairmen of the ADC, noted that the NWC had earlier convened a “fake and kangaroo’’ National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting on August 26.
He said the fake NEC meeting did not comply with the constitutional requirement of seven days’ notice before it held.
“The said meeting was overcrowded with unknown persons and miscreants. State chairmen walked out of the meeting as non-NEC members were seated in large numbers.
“The purpose of the illegal meeting is best known to the national chairman, the national secretary and other members of the NWC.
“The said purpose was revealed when the fake meeting purportedly extended the tenure of the NWC.
“It is, therefore, important to state here that what transpired on August 26 at the ADC secretariat was fake, unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect,’’ Ogga said.
He called on INEC to disregard Kachikwu’s suspension and prevail on the ADC to convene to elect a new NWC.
Ogga added that since the tenure of the NWC had expired, the state chairmen were in charge and would convene a NEC meeting on Monday to elect new NWC members.
“They do not have the capacity to suspend the presidential candidate; their tenure has expired.
“The people constituted to be NEC members are state chairmen and our serving House of Representatives members,’’ he said.
In his remarks, the secretary of the Forum of State Chairmen, Kenneth Odiom, said Kachikwu was duly elected at the party’s primary election and there were no questions about his emergence.
“Nobody in his right senses will suspend a presidential candidate when election is just around the corner. They are claiming that we are at war but there is no crisis in the ADC.
“It is natural for peoples’ tenure to expire and natural for them to bow out of office.
“We are preaching that we want to reposition Nigeria and we cannot manage our affairs; that means we cannot tell Nigerians to trust us with their votes.
“We must of necessity put our house in order through a democratic process to make us a political party that is ready to change Nigeria for good,’’ he said.
Odiom added that a new caretaker committee would be structured in all the geopolitical zones to oversee the affairs of the party for a national convention.
Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.