Abuja — Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees (BoT), Senator Walid Jubrin, Thursay said the mere submission of the report by the committee set up to investigate disobedience to party directives did not imply clearance and clean bill of health for those involved.
But in a twist to the matter, a former Senate President, Adolphus Wabara, said as much as he did not want to join issues with Rivers State Governor, Nyeson Wike, he should not be counted as corrupt, noting that he refused to believe that other members of the board are corrupt.
He reminded Wike that the said report is yet to be discussed by the party's BoT.
Wabara also challenged any member of the party with proof of allegations against any member of the Senator Iyochia Ayu-led committee that investigated the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, and other minority principal officers of the House of Representatives to speak out as it's not enough to cast aspersions on respected Nigerians.
The suspended members include: Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, Hon. Wole Oke, Hon. Lynda Ikpeazu, Hon. Anayo Edwin, Hon. Gideon Gwadi, Hon. Toby Okechukwu and Hon. Adekoya Abdul-Majid.
PDP National Working Committee (NWC) had said after preliminary examination, it was evident that the roles played by the above mentioned members, bordered on indiscipline, insubordination and disobedience of party directives contrary to Section 58 (1)(b)(c)(f)(h) of the PDP Constitution (as amended in 2017).
According to the PDP BoT chairman, there were three committees set up to investigate the disobedience to party's directives on who to vote during the inauguration of the 9th National Assembly, explaining that there were another reports from the disciplinary committee headed by Chief Tom Ikimi and that of the one by headed Wabara. He added that all the reports would be considered accordingly.
Jubrin told THISDAY that the BoT would meet next week Thursday to deliberate and take a decision on the Ayu committee.
"We have three other committees and the outcome of the Ayu committee will not be isolation of other committees like the Tom Ikimi Disciplinary Committee and the Senator Wabara Committee. It is true that the committee has submitted its report but the BoT will meet Thursday next week to discuss and take a decision on the recommendations."
On why the secretary of the committee, Hon. Austin Opara, left, Jubrin said: "I don't know why he left. It was when the report of the committee was submitted that I noticed that his column for signature was not signed. I am not a member of the committee. Since the inauguration of the committee, I have not spoken to the committee members. I have not visited or interfered with their work or give any input in the course of their work.
"He did not write or tell me why he left or did not sign after the submission of their work. As far as I'm concerned, I will leave that for a discussion next Thursday when the BoT will meet.
"But, I will not condemn any member of the committee without any proof of evidence of corruption. I challenge anybody anywhere to provide proof to any allegation of corruption. He who alleges must show evidence of corruption. It is not enough to accuse anyone of any wrong doing. I call on anyone either party members or non-party members to come forward with evidence of corruption and you will see what the BoT will do."
He added that as the BoT chairman, he would not take side with anybody because the board remains the soul and consciousness of the party.
According to him, "I call on us not to take side with anybody since the issue or issues will be openly discussed among ourselves. We should be concerned with how to move the party forward and the party strong. As I said, the report will not be discussed outside of other committees on the same matter when and where the reports are ready."
He called on any aggrieved member of the party to take advantage of the due process in the party to address his or her perceived grievances.
Jubrin also announced that the BoT would soon embark on a strategic visit to members across the nation with the first visit to Dubai to see and interact with the presidential candidate of the party in the last elections, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
Meanwhile, Wabara, who is the secretary of the PDP BoT, said he would not join issues with Wike as the board is yet to discuss the Ayu report.
Wabara, in a brief statement, said: "It is premature to join issues with Gov. Wike as the BoT is yet to discuss the Ayu report and come up with a position. But permit me to make it abundantly clear to our performing Governor of Rivers State that Wabara is not corrupt and that I do not think that all the other distinguished members of this committee are.
"We are experienced and tested authorities on legislative matters and the unity of our great party without concealed interest in 2023 was paramount. I will not unwittingly discuss the content of the report on the pages of newspapers until the BoT takes a decision on the recommendations of the Ayu committee report."