A leadership crisis has erupted in the newly-registered Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance (APDA) with the suspension on Tuesday of three of its key leaders.
Those suspended are the proprietor of the African Independent Television, AIT, Raymond Dokpesi, Dan Nwayanwu and Mainassara Ilo.
Mr. Nwanyanwu is a former national chairman of Labour Party (LP).
Their suspension was announced via a statement on behalf of the national working committee by the National Secretary, Emeka Okengwu.
The action followed the sack of the party’s national working committee earlier on Tuesday by the national executive committee.
APDA was registered alongside four other associations as political parties by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on June 7, two days after it was publicly launched.
Messrs. Dokpesi, Nwanyanwu and Ilo trio were accused of holding “illegal” national executive council meeting of the party during which they suspended the national working committee.
The statement reads: The newly registered political party, the Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance National Working Committee has suspended Raymond Dokpesi, Dan Nwanyanwu, and Mainasara Ilo for unlawful gathering in the name of the party and violating the constitutional provision of the party for holding illegal National Executive Council meeting sacking the National Working Committee of the party.
“Raymond Dokpesi on the 15th of July wrote a letter to Independent National Electoral commission informing them of a proposed NEC meeting and this letter was signed by him as BOT chairman but INEC responded by telling him to root his letter through the National Chairman of the party because the constitution of the party does not have a BOT until after five years.
“In their desperation move to factionalize the party and move to PDP they went ahead to make this announcement constituting an illegal Board of Trustee and sacking of National Working Committee.
“Due to this indiscipline of these members, the NWC met at an emergency meeting today and suspended them and constituted a Disciplinary committee to sanction them for bringing disrepute to the party.
“We want to appeal to the general public to disregard there announcement because they are agent of PDP trying to destroy the emerging alternative party that will give Nigerians a better life.”
Mr. Dokpesi, a known member of the Peoples Democratic Party, which he aspired to lead until May 2016 when it was thrown into leadership crisis, could not be reached for comments.
Several calls to some staff of AIT to speak on the matter were not picked.
When contacted by PREMIUM TIMES, Mr. Nwanyanwu, who was the national chairman of LP, until 2014, declined comment.
He however referred this newspaper to one Ibe Eguabor, who he described as the party’s new spokesperson.
Mr. Eguabor explained that the letters appointing the interim national chairman, national secretary and other members of the NWC stated explicitly that their appointments would be for three months.
“Three months expired on June 14; the NEC meeting that held today (Tuesday) was called by two-third members of the NEC of the party because of the failure of the national chairman to call a NEC meeting since this party was founded,” he said on phone.
“Having noticed that their tenure had expired, it was incumbent on the NEC to nominate replacements. There are a lot of people who have resigned. Some others have gone back to the PDP and so there was a need to reposition and rebrand the party for the tasks ahead.
“A letter said you have been appointed for three months and gave the conditions under which they can be renewed or rejected and you are carrying on as if you are the owner of the property you were invited to sell.
“It is ridiculous for the former chairman to claim that once INEC issued a certificate to the party then their tenure has been automatically extended by four years. I have never heard that and our constitution is very clear.
“Your tenure has expired in June. You are suspending people in June. That is ridiculous. They have been replaced today by all NEC executive members.”