The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Afikpo North Local Government of Ebonyi State yesterday condemned the House of Assembly for declaring the seat of a lawmaker from the council vacant.
The ward chairmen in Afikpo North East State Constituency and the PDP council chairman said the House had no right to declare the seat of Lilian Eziuloh, representing the constituency, vacant.
The legislator’s seat, alongside those of Oliver Osi (Ivo State Constituency) and Deputy Speaker Odefa Obasi Odefa were declared vacant by the leadership of the Assembly last week, following a purported letter of defection written by them renouncing their membership of the PDP.
This claim by the House has continued to generate concerns within and outside the legislature, as the lawmakers have denied the purported letter, describing it as fake and concocted.
The Afikpo PDP chapter said in a statement that the reason for Ezuilo’s persecution was connected to her refusal to join the All Progressives Congress (APC).
PDP Afikpo North Local Government Chairman Sunday Okor Nnachi stressed in the statement that the lawmaker never resigned her membership of the party.
He said that the PDP at the local government supported her.
The chairmen of the seven PDP wards in the constituency, including Sheikh Lawal Isa, Nkpoghoro Ward; Elechi Ekuma, Ohaisu Ward B; Dandy Inya Nkama, Unwana Ward A; Ogbonnia Uro Obasi, Itin Ward; William Azuewa, Ohaisu Ward A; Emmanuel Inya Oko, Ugwuegu Ward and Ikaa Arya Egwu, Unwana Ward B also signed the statement.
The party leaders frowned at the victimisation of the female legislator by the leadership of the Assembly.
They said: “We, the seven PDP ward chairmen in Afikpo North East Constituency and chairman of PDP in Afikpo North Local Government wish to affirm that the member representing Afikpo North East State Constituency, Ezuiloh, is still a member of our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and at no time did she leave the PDP for any other party.
“This clarification has become necessary in view of the letter purporting to convey her defection from the PDP. We urge our members and the public to disregard the letter, as it did not emanate from Ezuiloh.
“We condemn in strong terms, the seizure of the salary, allowances and other entitlements of Ezuiloh on account of her refusal to leave the PDP and her purported suspension by the Speaker of Ebonyi State House of Assembly.
“We affirm our support for Ezuiloh and urge her not to be distracted from delivering quality representation to the people of Afikpo North East State Constituency.”
The member representing Ivo State Constituency, Oliver Osi, whose seat was also declared vacant, described the action as inappropriate and unjustifiable.
He said: “I didn’t resign my membership of the PDP. I am a bona fide member of the party and I don’t have any reason to resign.
“My mentor, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, is contesting the position of the president on the platform of the PDP. Am I insane to resign from the PDP? I have no intention to join APC and will never join APC. PDP remains my party.”