BY CHAMBERLAIN ODEY, JOS
A group has emerged in Jos laying claims to the state leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), just as it alleged that Damishi Sango is a pretender to the State chairmanship of the party.
According to them, the Congresses from which he purportedly emerged were badly flawed and marred by irregularities to be anything credible.
Addressing his collaborators at the dilapidated Plateau Hotel & Gardens, Jos, arrowhead of the group, Gyang Badung, said he emerged ‘Chairman’ of the party by nomination, approval, and subsequent inauguration by the Ali Modu Sheriff National leadership after the congresses that produced Sango were disputed and eventually set aside for “lack of credibility”.
According to Badung, after being nominated by stakeholders, his name was forwarded to Senator Modu-Sheriff because he hails from Ryom as Sango, and the Party had zoned the position of Chairman to the area.
“Once the Sheriff’s National Secretariat confirmed the nomination, the State caretaker executive committee was inaugurated with me as the ‘Chairman’, he said.
He however could not present to the press evidence of correspondences from the National secretariat and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to support his claims.
Nevertheless, the self-acclaimed PDP Chairman said he feels strengthened and justified by the recent Appeal Court judgment that upheld Ali Modu Sheriff as the Party’s substantive National Chairman.
He said relying on the mercy and goodwill of the rule of law, that judgment ensures everything, including administrative, about the PDP that is not as vetted by Sheriff is to that extent invalid and lacking in party authority.
Badung told his cheering crowd at the meeting that he has written to the appropriate security agency, the Police, and Sango to vacate the state PDP Secretariat to forestall a possible breakdown of law and other.
He said Sango’s continued stay at the Secretariat is not only inconveniencing the new executive, but also a misrepresentation of the Party’s authority in the state. Badung said Sango stands retired from the PDP, and should therefore proceed home for a deserved rest and “watch as the younger generation carry on with the game”.
Exuding confidence, Badung assured his supporters, who reportedly came from across the 17 local government areas in the state as the foot-soldiers and local executives of the faction, that he will follow due process to recover the Secretariat from the expired Sango-led executive, adding that, “this will be accomplished very, very, soon”.
Forefront gathered that the Sango-led PDP executive has already approached the Court, charging Gyang Badung with criminal misrepresentation and for being an impostor.
Some political watchers have dismissed Badung and his claims to the PDP chairmanship, alleging that he is being used to foist a semblance of crises in the Plateau PDP to enable some disgruntled members leverage on it to seek solace in other political parties.
They claimed that Badung’s purported meeting on Tuesday was sponsored by these reactionary elements who are seeking reasons to ventilate their ambitions outside the PDP.
Also, another group within the troubled PDP has described Badung as a mole, being sponsored by Governor Lalong and the state APC to create a cheap platform for the governing party to frustrate the PDP in the much-awaited local government elections.
In their conjecture, the group said that Badung’s anti-PDP activities may intensify with the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission almost completing its state wide sensitisation tour before announcing the time table for local councils’ polls.
It is expected that Badung and his group will enjoy support and funding from their hidden sponsors to intensify their ‘distractions’, and provide a desired scenario for prospective defectors to catalyse a platform for the APC government to neutralise a possible PDP’s resurgence in the state beginning with the councils’ polls.