The National Caucus of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said the suspension of Gov. Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers will not be lifted until a resolution of his case challenging the action.
The party organ gave the explanation late on Tuesday after a meeting, presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Amaechi was suspended on May 27, over allegations concerning his refusal to heed the party’s instruction to reinstate the elected council chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Council in Rivers.
In an interview with State House correspondents after the closed-door meeting which ended at about 11 p.m., the Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, Mr. Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom, said the body was briefed on Amaechi’s suspension.
According to Akpabio reversing Amaechi’s suspension from the party would amount to interfering with a competent court, sitting on the case challenging the action.
He said that it was easy for the National Working Committee (NWC) to lift the suspension of Sokoto governor Aliyu Wamakko because the matter was not in court.
Wamakko, who was suspended on June 5 for alleged serial disobedience to party authority, had been recalled by the party.
Said Akpabio: “The PDP National Caucus was fully briefed on all issues pertaining to the party. We made an appeal to the NWC to look at the suspension but the one of the Rivers State Governor is sub-judice because he has gone to court.
“The one of Sokoto did not go to court and so the suspension was lifted,” Akpabio said.
Akpabio said that the meeting also deliberated on the lingering crisis within the party and agreed that a high-powered team headed by the president should immediately embark on reconciliation.
He said the team would consult with aggrieved members, to bring them back to the fold, adding that the PDP also considered the report by INEC, which faulted the election of some members of the National Working Committee.
He refuted media reports that President Jonathan had ordered that the PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, and other executive members should resign.
“I believe that he (Tukur) is the National Chairman. In fact, NEC will look at INEC’s report that some national officers were not properly elected,” said Akpabio.
“We will look at that as a party. I don’t see any problem with the national chairman,” he added.
Akpabio also disclosed that the meeting set up a special committee to look at the guidelines that would be presented at the NEC meeting on Thursday for approval.
“Members were drawn from the National Assembly which of course includes the senate leader and also the whip of the National Assembly,” he said.