Northwest PDP caught in anti-party accusations, counter-accusations
Political permutations in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in North West geopolitical zone are beginning to heat up as stakeholders have started taking positions.
The emerging scenario, especially in Jigawa, the home state of the party’s national vice chairman for North West, Amb. Ibrahim Kazaure, is steeped in the throes of defections, anti-party tendencies and betrayals. The ruling APC in the state, which benefited from the political tsunami of President Muhammadu Bihari in 2015, is said to be jittery as there will be no incumbency factor to fall back on in 2023, as was the case in 2019.
Another issue of concern is the lacklustre performance of the ruling APC that has further impoverished Nigerians. Most of the electoral promises remained unfulfilled hence the feeling that the party might be rejected like PDP was in 2015. For the PDP, it is positive development for its chances in the 2023, as the party has been working to ensure that it retakes the government at all levels. However, personal interests of members and the leaders may rob the party that golden opportunity.
Hence the ruling party is allegedly being proactive in its strategy by planting moles in the fold of PDP leading to it’s balkanization into factions in the four states under APC in the zone. As for states like Sokoto and Zanfara under the control of PDP, APC has not been able to penetrate to cause such factions. PDP’s supporters, who are concerned about the development, have fingered the Northwest zonal chairman, Kazaure, for allegedly being the willing tool in the hands of APC.
Again, since the tenure of the zonal chairman would elapse in three months’ time, it was gathered that he has been reaching out to ensure he cuts a deal with the ruling APC. Many have accused Kazaure of hobnobbing with APC leaders from whom he has allegedly been receiving favours in terms of contracts and other patronages.
Those opposed to Kazaure have also accused him of flying a kite, which he has been using at the party’s national level to cause more disaffection in his home state, Jigawa. His accusers say having run out of ideas, coupled with the fact that he is not a grassroots politician, the best way to ensure he remains relevant is to attack the Lamido political structure through propaganda that the former governor was grooming his son to take over the structure of the party.
It was gathered that this was a good way to stave off the possible emergence of the former governor’s son, Mustapha Lamido. It was learnt that the ambassador benefited immensely from Lamido’s magnanimity. He was a former ambassador, minister and zonal PDP chairman courtesy of the former governor.
His calculation, according to those in the state who know the goings-on, is that should they allow Lamido’s son to step into his father’s shoes at this time, the rest of them would be retired from politics. This is why the propaganda against him has gained traction as some youths have been attacking the personality of Lamido on social media. They are also canvasing how every PDP stakeholder rallied round the party’s candidate in 2015 and 2019 governorship election, Aminu Ringim, to ensure the party carried the day.
However, they are bitter that the same Kazaure worked against the party’s candidate, which led to the party’s failure at the polls. The party’s candidate in the 2019 election, who it was gathered, could not muster resources for campaigns but vied based on the goodwill of the party and support from Lamido’s backing, has now found a veritable alliance in Kazaure after he lost election for the second time.
It was gathered that Ringim has been grumbling over purported betrayal by the party’s leaders, including Lamido himself. Our correspondent learnt that after he attempted to join APC but failed based on lack of agreement on commissionership slots and other juicy positions he bargained for his supporters, he is now being funded to sponsor people for PDP’s congress in the state by some APC’s stalwarts.
Kazaure, it was gathered, presented Ringim at PDP Secretariat, as a formidable and popular leader the party could not afford to lose. So, the group wants the national leadership to be wary of the zonal chairman, as it would be dangerous to discuss sensitive party strategies in the presence of Kazaure, as he would reveal them to APC.
This has fueled a groundswell of opposition against the Northwest zonal vice chairman of the party concerning his disposition to working for the opposition APC in the build up to 2023 elections. They believe the dwindling political fortunes of the party in the zone was as a result of his divisive and anti-party tendencies
Based on the foregoing, the North West PDP Concerned Youth Forum stormed the party’s secretariat in Wadata House, Abuja, to protest the alleged anti-party activities of the North West zonal chairman. The youths, drawn from Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa, Sokoto, and Kebbi States, were seen with banners carry inscription such ‘you are an APC mole in PDP,’ ‘North West deserves better and responsible leadership.’
Reading from a petition addressed to the party’s Chairman, Uche Secondus, at the entrance of the secretariat, coordinator of the group, Abubakar A. Rafindadi, described the zonal chairman as an agent of APC in their party. He accused Kazaure of using his close relationship with Governor Nasir el-Rufai and the national leader of APC, Bola Tinubu, to hurt the interests of PDP.
He asked the leadership of PDP to set up a panel to investigate the allegations against the Senator Kazaure for peace to reign. Rafindadi observed that doing so would go a long way to keeping the party together, also demanding that Kazaure stepped aside as zonal chairman in other to allow for a transparent process.
“We are writing this petition as patriotic and loyal party members against the dangerous, risky, unethical, dishonorable actions of PDP Northwest zonal chairman in person of Senator Ibrahim Musa Kazaure,” Rafindadi said, adding that the zonal party’s chairman’s activities were tantamount to sinking the party’s Northwest zone and, by extension, the whole of PDP into oblivion before the end of the year.
“Since Senator Kazaure resumed office as zonal chairman of the party in 2016,” Rafindadi continued, “there has never been a day in which a zonal meeting was called to discuss crucial, far-reaching, significant, epoch-making and consequential issues.
“It is important to note, Mr. Chairman, that we live in a time when our party members are cross-carpeting into other political parties, especially APC, due to numerous unresolved, unattended and petty issues especially in the Northwest geo-political zone headed by Sen. Kazaure.”
The youth group coordinator said the unresolved issues alone were enough to rally and bring stakeholders together to discuss, provide solutions and re-assure party faithful of the leadership’s commitment to solving differences and hold the party together.
“Aside calling for meetings, we challenge the zonal chairman to prove if there was ever a time he was in office for an hour in our designated zonal PDP headquarters in Kaduna. Many times and again, he had been seen going in and out of Kaduna State Government house visiting Governor Nasir el-Rufai, which makes one to wonder if that is the seat of PDP’s zonal secretariat!
“This definitely is a high crime against PDP which punishment is prescribed by the party’s constitution. Party faithful have at different times reported seeing Sen. Kazaure visiting the Abuja and Lagos residence of a chieftain of APC in person of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, especially leading to the 2019 general elections and beyond and our complaints fell on deaf ears.”
He expressed the belief that the party lost many seats in the 2019 general elections that PDP members contested for in the Northwestern states because of the anti-party activities of the zonal chairman.
“With the above, it definitely comes as no surprise why Sen. Kazaure maintains double standards and speaks from both sides of his mouth,” he summed up. “He has since succeeded in creating factions in Kaduna, Katsina, Kano and even his home state, Jigawa, in other to destroy, shatter, dismantle, frustrate, mar, blemish, ruin and tear down the party in the North West.
“We must at this point commend your indefatigable, unswerving and dogged effort of your amiable administration in leading our great party back to power in 2023 as we collectively work together as party faithful to ensure our common survival.”
Members of the concerned youth forum came to the party’s secretariat with buses from each of the six states in the zone with each state carrying its own banners and chanting war songs. They blocked the main entrance to the party’s secretariat, making it almost impossible for people to go out or come into the secretariat.
A text message sent to ambassador Kazaure for his own side was met with a curt, interrogative message: ‘Did I stop the investigation?’
However, when the national chairman Uche Secondus came for the day’s s business, he responded to the issues raised, saying it was normal and an internal matter and the party would handle it very well.
Earlier, another faction of the party in Jigawa, believed to be loyal to the Kazaure and Ringim camp, also petitioned the national leadership of the party in a petition dated January 23, 2020, accusing the state party executive and its leader and former governor, Sule Lamido, of divide and rule and also anti-party activities. The petition was signed by Musa A. Kazaure as chairman and Hon. Yau Yakubu Kanya as secretary.
The duo accused the executive of sabotage and anti-party activities, saying the party failed to capture power as a result of the incompetence of the state’s party executive that specialises in undermining the chances of the party.