PDP suffers setback in Taraba as Ishaku’s SAs join LP
• Rejects REC redeployed to Jigawa
• Barde tasks party’s campaign council in Gombe
The ranks of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Taraba State depleted further with the defection, to the Labour Party (LP) of two Special Advisers to Governor Darius Ishaku, who resigned their appointments recently.
The SAs, who have pitched their tents with the LP governorship candidate, Sen. Joel Ikenya, are Mbatudi Agabi and Shekarau Masaibi, son of the late Wukari monarch.
In their letters of resignation, the former governor’s aides said their action became necessary for them to campaign freely for the LP governorship candidate and the presidential flagbearer, Peter Obi.
Staying in PDP, they believe, will hinder their aspirations; hence their decision to tender their letters of resignation.
Though PDP recently received defectors from opposition parties, especially APC, defection of the duo seems to be giving the PDP leadership concern.
Describing Agabi as a grassroots politician, who is revered in the southern part of Taraba, a chieftain of the PDP, who preferred anonymity, said: “Our party made a big mistake by allowing him and Masaibi to leave.”
JIGAWA State chapter of the party has protested against the redeployment of Muhammad Bashir as the state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC).
The PDP youth leader for the presidential and governorship campaign council in the state, Umar Danjani, called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to take Bashir out of the state.
But INEC has explained the redeployment of Bashir to Jigawa.
According to INEC’s spokesperson, Festus Okoye, the electoral body has no business in the appointment of RECs.
He added: “The President (Muhammadu Buhari) has appointed and the Senate has confirmed. The INEC Chairman (Mahmoud Yakubu) has sworn them in and posted them to various states,” Okoye said.
Danjani said Jigawa PDP would embark on non-stop protests at INEC offices in the 27 local councils of the state until their concern is addressed.
The party cited an interview published by Sun newspaper in May 2019, where Bashir claimed to be one of those that forced Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, out of APC.
It added that Bashir was an APC governorship aspirant in Sokoto and an ardent supporter of Buhari; hence not qualified to hold electoral office.
Danjani noted that political party affiliation violates Section 14 (2a) of the third schedule to the 1999 Constitution.
MEANWHILE, the party’s governorship flagbearer in Gombe State, Mohammed Barde, has tasked the campaign council to uphold unity and adopt an inclusive strategy.
Barde made the call, yesterday, at the inauguration of Gombe PDP Campaign Council.
He said unity of purpose and fellowship among members would guarantee the party’s ultimate goal of victory in 2023 polls.
While hailing the composition of the campaign council, which he said boasts committed democrats, he warned: “The task ahead will be tough because you are responsible for both organising and monitoring campaigns, in line with party directives and for being the only recognised structure for this Herculean task.”