By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The North East chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday said the suspension of the zonal vice chairman of the party, Mustapha Salihu, still stands, even as they claimed that the Constitution of the party clearly empowered the regional executive to suspend or sack any erring party official at their level.
Recall that the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party, in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Lanre Issa-Onuli, said the zonal leadership of the party does not have such powers, which he claimed resides with the NWC of APC.
However, the Zonal Youth Leader of the party, Kasim Bello Maigari, who was flanked by the zonal Secretary, Abubakar Sadiq, while briefing journalists, said according to Article 21B(6) of the APC Constitution, the organs of the party, which included the zonal offices, have powers to suspend any officer of the party in the zone.
“What we did is inline with the APC constitution, as I have stated, the zonal offices are the organs of the party, and the Constitution stated clearly, I repeat clearly, that in Article 21B(6), each organ of the party shall have power to remove a party officer or officers, as the case might be, for failing to discharge his or her responsibility.”
He said as north east zonal office, they have the powers as an organ of the party to suspend the zonal vice chairman and has exercised that powers and forwarded their decision to the Headquaters of the party, of which they are waiting their response.
He maintained that as law abiding members of the party, they have followed the due process as far as they are concerned, adding that the failure to resolve the issues as raised by the members in the zone before he general elections is what will affect fortunes of the party in the zone and not the suspension of the zonal vice chairman.
Meanwhile, Kasim Bello Maigari said that due to unavailability of the chairman of the three man Disciplinary Committee, Alkali Aji Kolo, from Borno state, to discharge the job, the zonal leadership of the party has reconstituted the committee to be headed by Senator Abubakar
Umar Tutare, from Adamawa, to chair the committee.
He said the committed has five days to turn in its report, even as he explained that due to the trust they had in the integrity and capacity of Alkali Aji Kolo, they did not consult him before making him the chairman of the committee, without knowing that he will not be available.
In his acceptance remarks, the chairman of the disciplinary committee, Senator Tutare said the committee will dispassionately look into the allegations against the suspended zonal vice chairman, promising to give fair hearing to all the parties involved.
He promised not to take any action that will be detrimental to the party, saying they will write to the zonal leadership of there is need for more time to enable them hear from all parties to turn in a report that will stand the test of time.
Recall that at the weekend, the North East zone of APC suspended the vice chairman, Mustapha Salihu, over alleged forgery of official documents, contrary to article 21(A)Y, among other allegations, among other alleged offense.