NIGERIA: Reactions Trail Suspension of Plateau PDP Chairman

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The suspension of the Plateau State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Haruna Dabin, is currently generating ripples in the state as many have described the action as wielding a big stick on the man without  fair hearing.

Reacting, a chieftain of the party, who preferred anonymity said: “Although I am not so much a fan of Dabin, the fact cannot be contradicted that he was suspended without being heard. This is in breach of his right to fair hearing as provided by Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). Chapter 10(6) of the PDP Constitution provides that, ‘Any decision taken against a member who has not been informed of the charges against him or has not been given any opportunity to defend himself shall be null & void’.”
Dabin, on his part, simply asked rhetorically, “Can you shave a man in his absence?”

The state chapter of the party had suspended Dabin in a manner that could be described as draconic.
The party, which arrived at the decision to suspend Dabin at an extra-ordinary State Executive Committee (SEC) meeting yesterday in Jos, also expressed readiness to receive all the people of the state willing to join the party.

In a communiqué issued after the meeting at the Presidential Lodge of the Government House in Rayfield behind closed-doors, the party said: “In view of the deliberate refusal by the party chairman, Haruna Dabin, to call meetings of the various organs of the party for an unduly long period of time, and the consequent failure to render financial accounts to the party; and given the convincing indications that the said chairman instigated some members of the party to institute a lawsuit against the party, the SEC is constrained to suspend the chairman pending full investigations by the party’s disciplinary committee within two weeks from 16/06/2014.”

Announcing that the party had asked its deputy chairman to take over from Dabin, the communiqué said: “The Deputy Chairman of the party, Hon. Raymond Dabo, has been mandated to take over the affairs of the party as acting state chairman pending outcome of the disciplinary processes.”

Dabin had on Sunday disowned the meeting that eventually suspended him the following day.
The meeting was however attended by notable government and party officials, including Deputy Governor, Ambassador Ignatius Longjan, Speaker, House of Assembly, Hon. Titus Alams, Deputy Speaker, Hon. Joyce Ramnap, Senator representing Plateau North in the National Assembly, Gyang Pwajok, four House of Representatives members from the state, as well as nearly all party chairmen and executive council chairmen of the 17 local government areas of the state.

On the question of people wishing to join the party, the party stated in the communiqué of the meeting: “The PDP remains the party of the great people of Plateau State and therefore its doors are wide open for membership by all and sundry. All wards of the party in the state are directed to ensure that the numerous people wishing to join the party are encouraged to do so in line with the constitution of the party.”

The communiqué was signed by Caleb Mutfwang (Mangu council chairman who represented the chairmen), Hon. Simon Mwadkon, House of Representatives member from Riyom/Barkin Ladi who represented the National Assembly caucus on the communiqué committee), Hon. Noel Maiyaki (chairman, PDP Qua’an Pan, representing council party chairmen), Hon. Timothy Golu (House member from Kanke state Constituency, representing state House of Assembly members), and Hon. Gyang Badung (a PDP state executive member representing the state party executives on the communiqué committee.

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