No fewer than 107 members of the Central Working Committee members of the All Progressive Congress, APC, in Taraba state has dismissed the suspension of the state Chairman of the party, Ibrahim El-sudi.

The state publicity secretary of the party, Aaron Artimas said those who signed to suspend the party chairman were bribed N500,000 each to perfect the plot.

According to him, “Yesterday, 4th February 2023, we received reports that a few members of the executive committee were invited to the residence of one of the major stakeholders of the party.

“They were entreated to suspend the state APC chairman, Barr Ibrahim Tukur El-sudi, in exchange for monetary compensations. The action was perfected late evening, and they were rewarded with the sum of five hundred thousand naira (N500,000) each for their efforts.

“It is quite obvious that the above narration is not unconnected with the gubernatorial re-run, which the national working committee of our party has scheduled for the 10th of February 2023.

“However, as you can see, we are gathered here to dismiss the suspension of the chairman as a non-event and a futile imagination. It demonstrates quite clearly that the renegades are in complete ignorance of the workings of our party or its constitutional provisions.

“Besides, looking at our calibre here, it shows clearly that the action has miserably failed on arrival. As a matter of fact, we were not supposed to dignify this motly gathering, but we owe our party members and supporters the responsibility of putting matters straight for their understanding.

“But, just about 38 people comprising a few members of the state working and non-working committee and a few local government party Chairmen deluded themselves the task of suspending the chairman.

“Besides, the party’s Constitution provides that, to remove any officer, 2/3 of the members must be present after a notice for 21 days from a Disciplinary Committee (article 21.5.vi). And, this is subject to such officer’s fair hearing. In this case, no prior allegation of indiscipline and impropriety has been tabled before the chairman before the purported decision to suspend him from office.”

He insisted that the gubernatorial primary election re-run would go on and scheduled and said all aspirants would be given a level playing field.

In his words, “the attempts to instigate or create a crisis in the party has more to do with the scheduled primaries re-run rather than the flimsy reason given for the purported suspension of the chairman who has been busy in the state of recent with conduct of various primaries into political offices in the country.

“As loyal party members, we are in total agreement with all the decisions of our great party, whether by policies or imposed by court decisions.

“While we have our reservations on the decision by the Supreme Court to order for a repeat of the Primaries, we are compelled by institutional obligations to abide by the decision.

“Our duty as a party is to ensure a level of playing ground for everyone without fear or favour. This notwithstanding, there has been a dangerous and sinister dimension introduced into our supposed family dispute.

“It is increasingly becoming the voice of Isaac and the hands of Esau, as there is a clear collaboration between our disgruntled members to frustrate the Primaries and deny the party the right to present its candidates.

“Social media is now inundated with spurious legal analysis on the legality of APC’s participation in the elections by desperate PDP elements supported vigorously by some frustrated APC members.

“As the saying goes, democracy is a game of numbers. Governorship aspirants have been given a fresh opportunity to show case their popularity.

“They should come forward and do so instead of using other means to scuttle the process out of their own fears.

“It is very important to stress at this point that our Chairman Barr Ibrahim Tukur El-sudi has been very fair and tolerant, in handling his duties as it relates to series of party squabbles and anti-party matters brought to him.

“On several occasions, we had stressed the fact that primaries are strictly conducted by the National Working Committee and not the State Working Committee, and therefore, the allegation of bias against us is not fair and justifiable.

“In conclusion, we hereby appeal to all our members not only to dismiss yesterday’s purported suspension as a non-event but also to close ranks for the greater task ahead.”