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Edo: PDP NWC suspends Orbih, begins probe

The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has suspended its National Vice Chairman (South south), Chief Dan Orbih, over utterances relating to the September election in Edo state.

 The decision was taken at the main opposition party’s 588th meeting on Wednesday, in Abuja.

 The NWC at the meeting unanimously condemned the embarrassing actions and utterances of the suspended official over the Edo state governorship primary election.

 Consequent upon the decision, Orbih has been barred from participating in all meetings, activities and programs of the NWC pending the conclusion of investigation by the committee.

A press release made available to Blueprint quoted the national publicity secretary, Hon. Debo Ologunagba as saying: “The suspended official’s actions and utterances are inconsistent with the provisions of the constitution of the PDP (as amended in 2017) and the demand of his office as a national officer of the party.

 Consequently, the NWC has set up a six-member committee headed by the Deputy National Chairman (South) Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja, to investigate the issue, pursuant to the provisions of the constitution of the party.

While acknowledging the support the people of the state has accorded its candidate, Dr. Asue Ighodalo, the NWC charged all leaders, critical stakeholders and teeming members to remain united and continue to work hard for the victory of the party and candidate in the September election.

 In a related development, the party has also cautioned the former members of the Rivers state House of Assembly who lost their seats upon defection from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APC) to desist from actions and utterances that are capable of disrupting peace and governance in the state.

The party  counseled the former lawmakers to wake up to the reality that they are no longer members of the Rivers state House of Assembly by virtue of the self-executory provision of Section 109 (1) (g) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and as such cannot gather or issue any notice to the state governor in the capacity of members of Rivers state House of Assembly.

The PDP’s caution is coming against the backdrop of a purported seven-day ultimatum issued by the former lawmakers from an unknown location to Governor Siminialayi Fubara to re-present the 2024 Rivers state budget which has already been passed and signed into law.

The statement reads: “This action by these individuals seeking to assume the powers of the Rivers House of Assembly is apparently with the intention to cause a crisis, undermine and disrupt the Democratic and Constitutional Order in the state in clear violation of Section 1 sub-section 2 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). 

“Having irretrievably lost their seats upon their defection from the PDP, the political party platform upon which they were elected into the Rivers state House of Assembly, they cannot enjoy the powers, rights, privileges, recognition and obligations of members of the Rivers state House of Assembly.”

The party has consequently called on the Inspector General of the Police to note the subversive action of the former lawmakers, protect the institution of democracy, peace and security in Rivers state.

The party added: “The people of Rivers state should remain vigilant, law-abiding and continue to work together for the continued stability and  peace of the state.”