Security operatives seal off PDP secretariat as factions clash
The Plateau State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) secretariat was sealed off yesterday by a combined team of security operatives from the Nigeria Police, the Department of State Service (DSS) and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to avert a clash of the two factions of the party in Jos.
Supporters of the factions loyal to Ahmed Makarfi and Ali Modu Sherriff who gathered at the secretariat could not gain access to it due to heavy presence of security personnel.
While the supporters of the state Chairman of the party, former Minister of Sports, Damishi Sango who are loyal to Makarfi said that they were at the secretariat to protect their property, those loyal to Sheriff under Gyang Badung said they were there to take over the secretariat as the Court of Appeal had recognised Sheriff as the party’s national chairman.
Having waited for some time near the gate and having briefly discussed with security men, Sango who drove in amidst rancorous shouts of “PDP, PDP,” was allowed into the secretariat where he addressed his supporters.
Sango said he respected all the security operatives and commended them for averting the violence and possible bloodbath that could have happened if they had allowed the two factions to meet.
He added that the Exco was properly and legally constituted through a democratic process, adding: “I understand some people want to usurp our powers. If you don’t want the Exco, there is a process. You go to the national congress.”
He however, dismissed claims by the Dalung faction, which had claimed ownership of the party saying that no one can claim what does not belong to him.
But Badung admitted that they had officially written to all the security men in the state against the background of their yesterday meeting, pointing out that the information leaked to the Sango’s faction and the youths came there with cutlasses and other dangerous weapons to disrupt the meeting and breach the peace.
“We are law abiding citizens. Plateau is a peace loving state. When we wrote to all the security agencies in the state, we specifically specified the venue of our meeting today and the time. Members of the party were invited from all the 17 local government areas of the state.
“Sango may not be loyal to Sheriff but the courts have declared him the national chairman. We are here to address our supporters. Whatever we are doing here, we are doing it in our national secretariat. We are not just taking decisions that will not be our own good,” he said.