A former National Secretary and member of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prof Wale Oladipo, has faulted calls for the removal of the party’s National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu.
Speaking to The PUNCH, Oladipo noted that the party’s NEC passed a vote of confidence in Ayu without any objection from any leader in the party.
Naija News reports that Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and his allies have called for the removal or resignation of Ayu as a condition to support the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar.
But Oladipo stated that anyone who wanted the PDP chairman out should have attended the party’s NEC to object.
He said, “Apart from our national convention, the next organ charged with making decisions in our party is NEC. NEC in its wisdom passed a vote of confidence in the NWC as presently constituted under the leadership of Dr Iyorchia Ayu. How can I as a member go against the decision of NEC?
“Anyone who had an objection (to Ayu’s chairmanship) ought to have come to NEC to object. After all, a motion was moved to pass a vote of confidence in the present leadership in the party, but before it was seconded, we gave the leaders the opportunity to raise a counter-motion; none was raised. So it was adopted. We have passed a vote of confidence in Ayu and his team and I stand by that.”
The PDP NEC member also described the controversy over the housing allowance for the NWC members was “unfortunate”.
According to him, the payment of housing allowance to members of the National Working Committee (NWC) did not breach the service manual approved by the party’s national convention.
He said, “I was the national secretary of the party, it is unfortunate that some people find themselves in high offices without knowing the laws guiding their positions. We have what we call a service manual. The manual is approved every four or two years, as the case might be, by the national convention of our party.
“The national convention is the highest decision-making organ of our party. The service manual must be approved by the national convention. The current service manual was approved by the last national convention. Until it is revoked by another national convention, it is the law guiding the operations of the party.
“There are entitlements for NWC members and part of it is the housing allowance. That is the two-year rent; N14.4m per year. There is nobody (in the NWC) who has not taken a housing allowance before. So, for anybody to turn it into a scandal is very unfortunate.”