Chief Irem Ibom, former Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ebonyi State, has described his alleged suspension from the party as a “desperate misadventure and failed odyssey”.
Ibom, in a press statement he personally signed and issued to newsmen on Thursday in Abakaliki, said the purported suspension was “laughable and an exercise in futility”.
The National Vice Chairman of the PDP, South-East, Chief Austine Umahi, reportedly announced the suspension of Ibom on January 6 over purported anti-party activities.
The embattled pioneer state secretary in a reaction dismissed the purported suspension saying that the alleged action was an exercise in illegality.
Ibom alleged that the national vice chairman, who is the elder brother to the state Governor, Chief Dave Umahi, had accused him of not supporting the reelection bid of his brother.
He alleged that the zonal vice chairman said that he was a mole in the PDP, adding that he was indulging in anti-party activities.
Ibom explained that Umahi accused him of betrayal and proceeded to threaten him and added “all manner” of insults on him for allegedly not supporting Umahi’s second term bid.
According to him, the PDP national vice chairman warned party stakeholders in Afikpo South Local Government Area (Edda), which is his council area, not to associate with him.
The statement reads in part: “Following widespread concern and apprehension by my supporters, associates, well-wishers and a cross section of the general public over my purported suspension from PDP, I have elected to put the record straight.
“My purported suspension from PDP is a desperate misadventure which has no basis in the constitution and tradition of the party.
“Umahi demonstrated acute ignorance of extant party rules of engagement by purporting to perform the function of a ward officer.
“The national vice chairman is neither qualified to suspend me nor does he have the moral authority to do so as my membership of the PDP predates him having regard to my status as the founding and pioneer state secretary of the party in Ebonyi.
“I wish to state in clear and unmistakable terms that as a loyal PDP member and leader, I will campaign for the party candidates who want me to campaign for them in good faith.
“This, however, does not stop me from exercising my constitutional right of freedom of choice under a democracy.
“I, therefore, urge all my supporters, associates, well-wishers and general public not to lose sleep over the misguided and ill-fated antics of the South-East national vice chairman and his cohorts.
“I sincerely appreciate the show of love and concern of all persons of goodwill both within and outside the country who has taken the pains to reach me on this matter and I thank them for their solidarity.”
When contacted for comments, Umahi denied announcing the suspension of Ibom, noting that the power to suspend party members was vested in the ward chairman.
He however, accused Ibom of anti-party activities and described him as a mole in PDP.