The party accused Mr Kachikwu of “crass irresponsibility, gross indiscipline, disingenuous scandalisation” and an attempt to blackmail it into doing his bidding.
The African Democratic Congress (ADC) on Friday suspended its 2023 presidential candidate, Dumebi Kachikwu, over alleged anti-party activities.
A statement released on Saturday by the party’s deputy national chairman (Politics), Bamidele Ajadi, said the National Working Committee (NWC) suspended Mr Kachikwu, who was accused of making “defamatory” statements that contradict ADC’s values.
Mr Ajadi described Mr Kachikwu’s alleged action as a sign of “crass irresponsibility, gross indiscipline, disingenuous scandalisation” and an attempt to blackmail the party’s executives into doing his bidding.
“The NWC viewed with great concern the baseless and defamatory video circulated by Mr Kachikwu, which was intended to disparage and impugn the integrity of ADC and its national officers,” Mr Ajadi wrote in the statement.
However, state chairmen of the party told a news conference in Abuja that an NWC whose tenure had elapsed in August could not suspend the candidate.
Addressing the news conference, Kingsley Ogga, chairman of the Forum of State Chairmen of ADC, noted that the NWC had convened a “fake and kangaroo” National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting on August 26.
“The said meeting was overcrowded with unknown persons and miscreants. State chairmen walked out of the meeting as non-NEC members were seated in large numbers.
“The purpose of the illegal meeting is best known to the national chairman, the national secretary and other members of the NWC.
“It is, therefore, important to state here that what transpired on August 26 at the ADC secretariat was fake, unconstitutional, null and void, and of no effect,” Mr Ogga said.
He called on INEC to disregard the illegal suspension of Mr Kachikwu and prevail on ADC to convene to elect a new NWC.
“They do not have the capacity to suspend the presidential candidate; their tenure has expired.
“The people constituted to be NEC members are states chairmen and our serving House of Representatives members,” he said.
In his remarks, the secretary of the forum, Kenneth Odiom, said Mr Kachikwu was duly elected at the party’s primary election, and there were no questions about his emergence.
“Nobody in his right senses will suspend a presidential candidate when the election is just around the corner.
“They are claiming that we are at war, but there is no crisis in the ADC,” he said.
Mr Odiom added that a new caretaker committee would be structured in all the geopolitical zones to determine the party’s affairs for a national convention.