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Cracks in Taraba PDP over wards’ congresses

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Piqued by the pockets of harassments, skirmishes and altering of results that characterized the recent Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) ward congress elections in Taraba State, a call has gone to the national secretariat of the party to as a matter of urgency cancel the exercise in order to save the party from collapsing. More so the need for the party to fashion out measures that would ensure free, fair and credible local government congress as well as state congress, the aggrieved PDP said doing so would go a long way in redeeming the image of the party in the state

The groups, which made this known yesterday in Jalingo, the state capital, said the ward congresses in the state “was nothing to write about because it was not transparent and it was full of irregularities especially Gembu A, Gembu B, Mao-Ndanga, Ndumyaji and other wards of Sardauna and other local government councils of the state.

The groups, Taraba PDP for Good Governance, PDP Youth for Peaceful Elections among others, felt sad that the congress, which was designed to elect credible candidates, turned out to “be frustrating because soldiers and other security personnel were used to scare away the real delegates.”

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Led by Nura Mansur and Bala Bello, the groups, which lamented that the congresses, which started on a good note, began to nosedive when some top government functionaries stormed the venues with armed soldiers and other security operative to chase away the eligible delegates. While the congresses were said to be hitch-free in some of the wards, the reverse, as made known by the groups “was the case in all the wards we earlier mentioned and other wards in some other local governments councils of this state.

The groups also observed that those “people that frustrated the exercise are those that are in the good books of the state governor” whom they said, “as a result of his prolonged absence from the state, he (the governor) has started losing control of the party. So, in order to pleased their boss, they decided to make use of the security apparatus to spoil the show.”

According to the groups, “When the governor went ahead to appoint over 200 aides a few days to the commencement of the congress, we knew that problems would arise in most wards of the state and our predictions or fears eventually came to reality.”

The groups also cried out that the same persons had as well marshalled out plans to frustrate the coming local and state governments congresses, agued, “already, there are severe cracks in our party here in the state.”

The only way to mend the already leaking roof, they said, was for the party to conduct fresh ward congresses, stating that “more to that free, level ground should be given so that at the end of the day unpopular candidates would not be imposed on the people just like what happened in 2015.”

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The situation if not urgently addressed, according to the groups, “would definitely lead to massive defection from our party to other political parties, because as we are talking now, a lot of our party members are already discussing with the oppositions.”

But in a swift reaction, the party’s publicity secretary, Mr. Inuwa Bakari, when contacted, said the congresses at the ward levels were peaceful, stating that no security operatives were used to disrupt the exercise.

He also added that the “governor did not have any candidate, so for someone to say that he used security to scare off delegates in order to ensure that his candidates emerge is blatant lie. He is a democrat who is always against imposition.”

Contrary to speculations that the coming local and state government congresses would be rough, he said both would “also be fair and transparent like the just concluded ward congresses.”

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