But in a swift reaction, the embattled chairman stated that the committee did not have the power to remove him from office and described the SWC as “fifth columnist.”
According to the SWC, Kekemeke was canvassing for votes on behalf of Dr. Segun Abraham, an alleged protégé of Bola Tinubu, ahead of the party’s August 27 primary.
The SWC of the party which comprises members of the state and local government executives took the decision at an emergency meeting held in Akure, the state capital, on Saturday.
At the end of the meeting, over two-third members of the committee signed a communiqué issued to back up their action. The committee also ordered the Vice Chairman, Mr. Ade Adetimehin to act as chairman of the party until further notice.
In the communiqué, made available to our correspondent, Kekemeke was alleged to have acted against the interest of the party which led to a vote of no confidence passed in him.
The communiqué read, “The state chairman had maliciously and willfully doctored the party’s delegates list by injecting names of those who did not take part in any of the party’s congresses in order to overreach the helpless and vulnerable majority of the aspirants in the forthcoming primary.
“Kekemeke and his cronies are PDP moles in the APC family. They cannot lead the party to victory in the forthcoming governorship election. As a result of the reported allegation against the chairman, the SWC resolved that he should step aside from his position as the state chairman and should surrender all of the party’s properties in his possession for ease of proper investigation.”
The SWC noted that it had set up a three-man disciplinary committee to investigate the allegations levelled against Kekemeke. The committee, which has Solagbade Amodeni, Jaiyeoba Oluwatuyi and Akin Ogunsakin as members, was given seven days to complete its assignment.
Speaking with our correspondent on the development, Kekemeke said he was not bothered about his purported removal, describing the SWC’s allegations against him as untrue and malicious.
He said, “This is indiscipline and it does not augur well for the party. There are some people who called themselves lawyers among them; they should go and read the party’s constitution. It is only the National Executive Committee of the party that can remove a state chairman. So, why are they wasting their energy?
“My only fear is that I am beginning to suspect that they are fifth columnist and want to weaken the party and create imaginary division within it so that they can go to another party. This is too familiar; they want to weaken the party, demonise its leaders, create imaginary division, cause confusion and before you know it, they will defect to another party. APC is too big for that kind of a thing. This is not their former party where you wake up and do what you want.”
Similarly, the South-West National Vice Chairman of the APC, Pius Akinyelure, said the SWC’s action was wrong.
He said, “What they did was wrong because it is only the National Executive Committee of the party that has the power to remove a state chairman because the state chairman is also a member of the committee.”
Meanwhile, APC ward chairmen in the state have denied endorsing any of the 25 governorship aspirants of the party.
The chairmen said they would only endorse and work for whoever emerges as the party’s candidate after a free and fair primary.