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The crisis rocking the African Democratic Congress has deepened with the Director-General of the party’s Global Campaign Council for the 2023 general elections, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, saying its presidential candidate, Mr Dumebi Kachikwu, is showing rebellion and peddling lies.
Kachikwu was last Saturday suspended as the party’s presidential candidate on the grounds of “gross misconduct, incitement to rebellion and other acts capable of destabilising the cohesion in the party”.
On Wednesday, the former Board of Trustees chairperson and 17 state chairmen were also suspended for “complicity in plots to ridicule the party’s leadership using unconstitutional methods.”
The newly-appointed Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Dr Mani Ibrahim-Ahmed, is also insisting that Kachikwu remains suspended from the ADC.
The party chief, who enjoined Kachikwu to explore avenues of mobilising votes to actualise his presidential ambition, hinted that the suspension could still be reversed by the appropriate organs of the party.
Responding to his sacking, Kachikwu had said his grouse with the party’s national chairman, Ralph Nwosu, was not personal but constitutional.
However, Suleiman asked the candidate to take the matter to court to challenge his suspension so that the matter could be “settled decently” and not by “brigandage or hooliganism.”
He described Kachikwu’s actions as one that violated the ADC constitution and the laws governing the conduct of political party members as well as every rule of democratic decency.
Suleiman said in a statement sent to Saturday PUNCH, “Rather than conforming to democratic rules of decency, the rebellion led by Kachikwu is so pervasively marked by undue incitement, lies, deceit, threats of intimidation and corruption as to more resemble criminal activity than democratic pursuit.
“It is funny when someone who aspires for the highest office in the land attempts to approach constitutional issues by openly fomenting systemic dissent to undermine the free conduct of affairs of a democratic political party.
“It is ridiculous to speak of constitutionalism on one hand, and on the other, deploy corruption to fuel and reward an indecent brand of politics at the expense of the general well-being of the party, its leadership and members.”
Kachikwu, the younger brother of Nigeria’s former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe, was declared the winner of the party’s presidential primary after polling 977 votes against his closest rival, Prof Kingsley Moghalu.