Suspension of Hunkuyi, others tearing Kaduna PDP apart
Fresh political crisis has emerged in Kaduna State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as old forces position themselves to control the party’s apparatus in preparation for the 2023 polls.
Political gladiators in the state believe the crisis that suddenly emerged in PDP, when the state’s Central Working Committee (CWC) suspended the former Senator representing Kaduna North Zone, Suleiman Hunkuyi and six others, was part of the game plan to purge the party of those that are allegedly no longer loyal, and are clandestinely working for their selfish interests towards the coming Council elections and 2023 polls.
Those now considered black legs in the party were said to have been dissatisfied with the fact that PDP machinery in the state was being controlled by the former Governor and erstwhile Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Muhammed Makarfi and the state PDP chairman, Felix Hassan Hyet. They, therefore, decided to break their domineering influence.
Sensing trouble from Hunkuyi and his associates, the party bigwigs decided to keep an eye on the activities of those they termed ‘political fugitives in PDP,’ and immediately slammed suspension order on them to pave way for an investigation.
So, the party, through the Central Working Committee, immediately inaugurated a seven-man disciplinary committee to investigate Hunkuyi and others accused of anti-party activities and also believed
to be political rebels.
Those said to be led by Hunkuyi and accused of fanning embers of anti-party activities include Hashim Garba of Kubau Local Government; Dr. Mato Dogara from Lere Local Government; Ibrahim Lazuru from Lere Local Government, Dr. John Danfulani from Kachia Local Government; Lawal Imam Adamu from Soba Local Government and Ubale Salmanduna from Zaria Local Government.
While inaugurating members of the investigative and disciplinary committee, Hyet had said those accused of anti-party activities should not be spared.
Members of the disciplinary committee include Ishaq H Danmahawayi as Chairman, Hassan Jumare, Maria Dogo, John M Bezard, Daniel Amos, Lawal Balarabe and Barrister Simon Arabo as Secretary.
They were mandated to ascertain the participation or involvement of any suspended member, either collectively or as a group in tampering with the results of ward congresses held last March. They were also to determine the role(s) of suspended members in trying to destabilise the party and promote indiscipline, as well as ascertain the participation or involvement of any or all the suspended members in the recent publications in the social media that have created negative image of the party, among others.
“In carrying out this assignment, the committee should be guided by both the 2017 party Constitution as amended and the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended…” Hyet said.
Shedding more light on the reasons for suspension, Hyet told The Guardian: “Senator Hunkuyi has a long history of dumping the party each time he contested election and lost.”
He alleged that Hunkuyi flouted the party’s Constitution during the 2019 elections, and that rather than contesting for senatorial seat as a decampee, Hunkuyi contested for gubernatorial and senatorial seats against the MoU between him and the party’s national officials.
He said: “Senator Hunkuyi contested in 2003, 2007 and 2011 against Mohammed Makarfi, Namadi Sambo and Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa and lost all. And whenever he contested and lost, he would disappear until the next round of election, when he would come up to claim to be the best candidate.”
Hyet explained that all those creating problems in the party are not real members, but decampees that belong to Hunkuyi’s camp.
He said: “The PDP in the state believes that the trouble makers in the party are creating problems simply to ensure that the party does not do well in the local government elections next year. They are political spoilers.
“You know that the three-year tenure of local government chairmen will end next year. So, I don’t think their issue is about 2023. It is that of local government elections because that is the bedrock of politics. So, they think if they mess us up, we can’t do anything. And if the party has nothing to present at the local government elections, it means we will be completely disadvantaged…”
He said the decision to suspend the erring members would serve as a deterrent to other party members in the state.
Meanwhile, Danfulani, one of those suspended, has described as kangaroo, the committee investigating him and others over alleged anti-party activities.
In a statement titled, “The Kangaroo Disciplinary Committee: Vital Dregs,” Danfulani said: “At 15:10hrs of May 20, 2020, I received an invite via SMS from a member of PDP’s disciplinary committee to appear before them at 11am of Thursday May 21, 2020… Again, at 23:16hrs of May 20, 2020, the same member sent another SMS containing allegations against me by the state chapter of the party…
“I refused to honour their invite, but dispatched a three-page letter of protest to the North West organ of the party. Our legal counsel also sent a two-page warning of court contempt to them. My/our two correspondences drew their attention to grave danger before them…
“The summary of the first charge is censoring of freedom of speech and conscience. This is Grade One hypocrisy because PDP fought against attempt to censor freedom of speech by the National Assembly in 2019…
“On their second charge, their legal adviser should have schooled them that matters in courts can’t be a subject of discussion by anybody or committee. This demonstrated that the
knowledge of the law of their legal team is rusty…
“Their ultimate goal is my illegal ousting from PDP. But they know they can’t, because PDP isn’t their personal organisation. I will quit on my own accord, but no Jupiter can push me out because of my opposition to his or their anachronistic totalitarian and czarist attitude. The battle is just starting…”
Expectedly, the feud in Kaduna PDP has already started producing reactions. Recently, the PDP Kaduna Youth chapter commended the suspension of Hunkuyi and others.
The youth forum, under the aegis of Forum of Kaduna State PDP Young Persons For Progress and development, in a statement, lampooned Hunkuyi and others for allegedly working against the party.
The statement signed by the group’s Chairman and Secretary, Comrade Danjuma Sarki and Bello Hallo read: “Our organisation received the news of the suspension of some members of our party in Kaduna State with applause and commendation. We wish to categorically state that the action taken on May 16, 2020 by the Working Committee of the State Caretaker Committee, after preliminary hearings is a step in the right direction and in full compliance with the provision of the PDP Constitution Section 57 (3), which stipulates that “The Working Committee at any level of the party, and the Executive Committee (at the ward level) may, after preliminary hearings, suspend a member from the party for a period not exceeding one month, during which period the member so suspended shall lose his right to contest any election, and shall be referred to the appropriate Disciplinary Committee.
“As a responsible political party, which believes in the rule of law, PDP must not fold its arms and watch some members, who are alleged to have flagrantly breached some sections of the Party’s Constitution be allowed to go scot-free…
“Therefore, we urge the party to diligently investigate all the allegations levelled against them, with a view to applying appropriate sanctions on anyone found guilty, no matter how highly placed he is…”
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