Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
The Edo State chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Aselm Ojezua, has said the party will not fail to suspend those forming parallel groups within the party to strengthen its unity in the state.
He made the assertion shortly after the state executive committee meeting held at the party’s secretariat which had the executive governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki in attendance.
The party chairman who frowned at the attitude of some of the members trying to break the ranks of the party, said the party has the right to suspend members who are dissidents but can only make recommendations for their expulsion.
“You know in our constitution, we have various punishments for various offenses. This one goes with suspension with the possibility of expulsion but it is the national executive committee that has the power for expulsion. We can only make recommendations,” he said.
He said the state executive meeting became necessary to checkmate and cut those who want to cause disaffection within the party to size and strengthen the fabrics of the party.
“Essentially, the meeting was to discuss issues of formation of a group within the party and on what the constitution says about that.
“And we reached the conclusion that the constitution of the party forbids the formation of a parallel-group within the party. It is anti-party; it works to weaken the fabrics of the party and it must be discouraged.
“So we are going to take steps to deal with those issues.
“As you recalled, in May, we published the disclaimer where we said the constitution of the party does not recognise groups particularly – the said group EPM or whatever it is called.
“Last week, I made a statement referring to that disclaimer and reiterating the position of our constitution.
“So, what the state executive committee has done today is to give impetus to that position and those identified will be called upon to explain their situations and then of course whatever actions that will follow will be determined by their response,” he stressed.
He said the party remains united in the state and that there were indices to that fact, just as he also admitted that there were pockets of greedy and irritant members within the party.
“First of all, I need to clarify that there is no crisis within the party. We had a state executive committee (meeting) today; it was fully attended and all the decisions we took, were unanimous and the reports we got from the local governments indicated that across the state, APC is intact.
“What we have are just a group of greedy irritants. That is what we have and if they have the tendency to create disharmony within the party, as a leadership, we have the duty to deal with it,” he said.