Hilliard Eta, a former National Vice-Chairman (South-South), All Progressives Congress, has rejected expulsion.
The expulsion follows after the National Executive Committee of the party led by Mai Mala Buni met at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Tuesday to reach the decision.
He said the Caretaker/Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee had no constitutional powers to make an announcement on issues that concern the party, hence described the conclusion as an illegal implementation.
Eta maintained that he remained the acting chairman of the party.
The NEC also announced the extension of the tenure of the party’s Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee by six months, effective from December 25, 2020.
The meeting of the committee at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, was attended by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.); Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, leaders of the National Assembly, and state governors elected on the platform.
Other party chiefs participated in the meeting virtually.
The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the meeting said NEC also consented to the expulsion of the former national boss due to his failure to pull out from the case initiated against the caretaker committee in the court.
El-Rufai revealed that the committee also dissolved all state, zonal, and national party formation.
He also stated that the APC granted waivers to some new members to enable them to contest elective offices without being delayed to a particular period of time.
The governor said, “The National Executive Committee of the party approved the extension of the tenure of the Caretaker/Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee led by Mai Mala Buni, which expires on December 25, 2020, for another six-month period, to terminate on June 30, 2021.
“This is to enable the Caretaker and Convention Planning Committee to conclude its assignment as lay before NEC.
“NEC has also donated its powers as enshrined in Articles 13.3 subsection 5 and 13.3 subsections 6 of the APC Constitution to the Caretaker and Convention Planning Committee.
“The second resolution is that NEC has approved the granting of waivers to persons, who have recently joined the party and those desirous of joining the party in the nearest future.
“By this, such new members will enjoy all the benefits and privileges accruable by virtue of their membership of the party. So, they will be able to contest positions in the party; they will be able to contest elections without any requirement of being members for a number of years or a period of time.”
El-Rufai on Eta’s expulsion said, “The third resolution is that NEC approved the expulsion of Ntufam Hilliard Eta from the party for flouting the directives of NEC to discontinue all litigation against the party and its members.
“The fourth resolution is that NEC approved the immediate dissolution of the party organs at the polling unit, ward, local government, state and zonal levels as well as the non-National Working Committee component of the National Executive Committee as well as their immediate reconstitution and composition of the dissolved excos to serve in their respective offices in a caretaker committee capacity, but excluding the non-NWC members of NEC.”
The governor in his reaction to the President’s call for resignation said the party also condemned the clamour over security challenges being witnessed across the country.
He stated, “Finally, the NEC condemns in very strong terms the call by the PDP leadership and some of their cheerleaders for the resignation of Mr. President.
“NEC observes that security challenges, though regrettable, can only be addressed when all interests, civil and military, government and opposition, security forces and indeed all citizens collaborate irrespective of party affiliation. This is not the time to politicise security.”
El-Rufai added that before the expiration of the caretaker committee’s extended tenure, it would have conducted the national convention so that “we have leadership from the top down.”
He added, “This is in compliance with the wish of Mr. President that we should rebuild the party from the bottom up. So, this is the process.
“Registration is going to start very soon and revalidation of registration and membership. Since we undertook our last membership registration in 2015, about 25 million have reached the age of 18 and may want to join the party.
“So, we want to capture those, and then after we complete the registration, then we will have congresses at the various levels, leading up to the national convention before June 30, 2021, by the grace of God.”
The governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu also joined in briefing State House journalists.
He also added to El-Rufai’s comment on the caretaker extension noting that there would be no need for a further extension of the committee’s tenure.
Akeredolu said, “I can assure you that they (committee members) will complete this mandate within this period. Again, we don’t have so many things that will intervene like COVID-19, #EndSARS and so; barring all these, we are sure that they will complete their task in six months,” the governor said.
However, Eta reacting to his expulsion announcement said, “You are aware that I’m in court based on the fact that even the NEC of June 25 was an illegal meeting and today’s (Tuesday’s) meeting again is illegally built on illegality; it is a nullity.
“And you are also aware that there is a Supreme Court judgment that whenever a member of an organisation is in court pertaining to that organisation, the power of discipline is divested from that organisation on the person in court.
“So, the illegal contraption cannot speak for NEC that is not properly constituted. Even if it was properly constituted, the NEC of a party cannot take the place of the courts. I’m in court and I await a judicial pronouncement on the matter.”