The ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, has suspended Governors Ibikunle Amosun and Rochas Okorocha of Ogun and Imo states respectively.
The party has also resolved to write its National Executive Committee, NEC, to recommend their expulsion.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the National Working Committee NWC which held Friday in Abuja.
Also suspended by the APC NWC over anti-party activities are the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani and the Director-General of the Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr. Osita Okechukwu.
Both governors, including that of Ondo state, Rotimi Akeredolu had been accused of anti-party activities, with several stalwarts in their states petitioning the party leadership and asking for severe sanctions.
However, while the NWC meeting went on Friday at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja, the party was said to have carefully reviewed the utterances and actions of the governor and resolved that there was yet no “hard evidence of anti-party activities” to rely on to suspend Mr Akeredolu.
“However, this decision to suspend the other two is unprecedented and it is hoped that Gov. Akeredolu would shape in or be shaped out”, a party source stated.
The party had immediately after its embarrassing outing during its Presidential Campaign rally in Ogun state vowed to punish Gov. Amosun accusing him of sponsoring premeditated attacks on President Muhammadu Buhari and other senior party leaders at the venue of the rally.
It described the incident as one act of indiscipline too many. “The APC will not condone acts of indiscipline, indiscretion and anti-party activities from any party member no matter how highly placed”, the party added.
The statement further reads; “The party will review this gross misconduct of deliberately positioning thugs to attack and embarrass the President and the party’s leadership. The party will take a decision on this matter immediately after the elections.
National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu later confirmed the suspension of the governors as well as the issuing of a query to Gov. Akeredolu in a statement.
Issa-Onilu said “ the NWC would also issue a query to the Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu over his glaring anti-party activities, which greatly affected the fortunes of our candidates in the recently-conducted Presidential and National Assembly elections in the state”.
The statement further stated; “Recall that the NWC had earlier written to the suspended governors on their anti-party activities, and several other steps were taken to ensure they desist from taking actions that are inimical to the interests of our party and candidates. Notably, these individuals have not shown any remorse and have actually stepped up their actions.
“The party reviewed the serial anti-party activities of the concerned individuals before and during the last Presidential and National Assembly elections in their respective states and resolved to enforce party discipline in line with our constitution.
“The NWC noted how the suspended members have continued to campaign openly for other parties and candidates that are unknown to our great party, even while they have constituted themselves as opposition to APC candidates in their respective states.
“Importantly, the NWC is closely monitoring the activities of our members across the country, and particularly, in the states these suspended members belong to. We wish to reiterate that any member of our party who takes any action solely or in line with the directives of the suspended members to undermine our party’s candidates in the coming governorship and House of Assembly elections would face disciplinary actions.
“We wish to congratulate our members nationwide for the victories we recorded across the country in the last elections and particularly, the renewal of our party’s mandate for President Muhammadu to continue to pilot the affairs of this country for another four years. This could not have happened if not for the hard work and commitment of our members. We therefore urge all our members to unite and work even harder to ensure victory for our candidates across the states in the coming governorship and House of Assembly elections.
“Consequently, the NWC calls on our members to disregard directives and actions of the suspended individuals as APC would continue to live by the dictates of our constitution”, he stated.