From Tony Osauzo, Benin
Edo Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has suspended the state chairman of the party, Tony Aziegbemi, until the outcome of a three-man investigation committee set up to investigate allegations levied against him.
Aziegbemi’s suspension followed a meeting at the party secretariat on Tuesday in which two-thirds majority of executive members resolved in a motion that he should step aside. The meeting appointed Harrison Omagbon, deputy chairman, as acting chairman.
The investigative committee headed by the Legal Adviser, Arthur Esene, is expected to send its report to the working committee within one week.
Aziegbemi was accused of gross misconduct by brewing unnecessary tension and disunity among party members in a manner akin to bringing the party into disrepute.
The party, in a statement by Chris Nehikhare, urged members and supporters to remain calm as “we embark on this self-cleansing exercise.”
In a swift reaction, PDP Youth Leader, Ehis Destiny, described a publication by Nehikhare as embarrassing, provocative, misleading, and mischievous.
“There was never a time the state working committee members met and decided that Aziegbemi should be suspended. All the claims in Nehikhare’s publication were merely falsified, manipulated, and conjured by him, his paymaster and his cohorts.
“I am a member of PDP state working committee. We were with the state chairman yesterday, June 1, till the close of work at about 4pm. While in the chairman’s office, there was nothing that was suggestive of chairman being suspended.
“It is disturbing, disheartening and embarrassing to read on the pages of social media this morning that our chairman, who is a peace-loving, friendly, amiable, enthusiastic, dedicated, and pragmatic leader has been labelled and maliciously maligned by an overzealous publicity secretary,” he said.