The State Working Committee (SWC) of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Abia has suspended the 17 local government chairmen of the party for alleged anti-party activity.
The Chairman of the party, Chief Chidi Nwosu, announced the suspension on Wednesday, while adressing newsmen on the outcome of an expanded SWC in Umuahia.
The party also set up a seven-member panel to “further investigate appropriately the actions of the chairmen”.
The chairmen were suspended for adopting Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu as their candidate for the March 9 governorship poll.
Aside from adopting Ikpeazu, the chairmen advised the SDP’s governorship candidate, Dr. Blessing Nwagba, to drop her ambition and step down from the race.
Reacting, the SWC dissociated itself from the purported adoption, saying that the action of the chairmen did not represent the position of the party.
Nwosu said, “the chairmen took the unilateral decision, contrary to the position of our party at the national and state chapter, which amounted to anti-party activity.”
He alleged that the chairmen “were making frivolous financial demands from the governorship candidate and may have found who satisfied their quest for money bags”.
According to him, “the chairmen have placed personal interest above and higher than the interest of Abia people by considering financial gains from another political party against our great party.”
The SWC also expelled one Mr Chuks Abengowe for alleged “impersonation as the party’s State Organising Secretary”.
Reacting, Nwagba said that the action of the chairmen would not affect her fortunes at the polls.
She said that she remained strong in the race, adding that she was the most capable of all the candidates in the governorship poll.
The chairmen announced their adoption of the governor at a news conference on Tuesday in Umuahia.
They denied receiving financial inducement for the adoption, saying that their action was in line with the party’s adoption of President Muhammadu Buhari and Sen. Nkechi Nworgu both of the All Progressives Congress during the Presidential and National Assembly polls in Abia.