By Raymond GUKAS, Jos
For the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Plateau state, the recent rerun state assembly elections in two of the three state constituencies are all that was needed to confirm whether or not, the party can still boast of its standing on the Plateau.
The state, considered in many climes as the home of PDP, suffered a defeat in last year’s governorship election during which most of its members turned their back against the former governor, Jonah Jang when he allegedly insisted that his “adopted ” son and now the late Senator GNS Pwajok would succeed him; despite repeated outcry from the southern zone in particular, who said the principle of zoning must be respected.
That, for now has been confined to future reference, but the alignment and realignment within the party currently points to the fact that there’s still hope for the party, as since after losing the governorship slot, none of its staunch member has cross carpet to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, administration in the state.
Going by the last rerun where the APC captured all, what political pundits point at is that the PDP has confirmed that it is still a party to be reckoned with despite the loss based on the fact that the rival APC won with quite small margins at the end of the day.
This much, the state PDP Chairman, Raymond Dabo, said the party has been engaging in serious party meetings with stakeholders, owing to the important activities scheduled in the party’s calendar for the year.
According to him, “you can see that we have been silent this long but, we shall break it soon. You can also see that despite all that have happened, members of the PDP and its leadership in the state have remained united, none has decamped to any other party.”
“The recent rerun elections ordered by the Court of Appeal in the state would also show you that the party is still on ground. If not for the state government’s influence and manipulations, I am convinced that the PDP would have won.
However, the coming party congress might be what to look out for, especially when it appears some members are still not satisfied with happenings in the party. However, a prominent member of the party hinted that “As the PDP state congress approaches, various interest groups and power blocs have started deft political moves to control the structure of the party in the state.
It was gathered that a power bloc, comprising a former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ibrahim Mantu; Senator Joshua Dariye, Sir Fidelis Tapgun, Chief Silvanus Lot and others who fought former Governor Jang group over the party structure some years back, has started regrouping ahead of the congress, while the former governor and now Senator Jang, who is blamed for the party’s woes still wants the party structure in his palm.
Another group jostling for the party structure is the G34 comprising PDP local government Chairmen. It is headed by a former state Chairman of the party, Dr Haruna Dabin. Members of this group are also on the prowl, employing various means to position one of them for the state chairmanship of the party.
Already, the party was said to have zoned the chairmanship position to Plateau North comprising Jos North, Jos East, Jos South, Bassa, Riyom and Barakin Ladi local governments, but with emphasis on Jos North, Jos East and the minority part of Riyom local government.
Bitrus Kaze, a two-term former House of Representatives member from Jos South and Jos East Federal Constituency, has indicated interest to run for the chairmanship. Another person being contendered is a former Commissioner of Works, Hon. Chris Hassan.
Again, observers of political events in the party exercise doubts that the political maneuvers over the structure of PDP in the state could worsen the internal war in the party, if some sense of decency and give-and -take-approach are not applied. They posit that the ego war among some stalwarts of the party needs to be buried and an all-embracing reconciliation pursued.
But for sure, it’s the prayers of the party supporters that all form of grievances should be buried in view of the new changes that are geared for the re emergence of a strong and virile PDP. At least, the new National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff has assured all that the party only made a mistake in last year’s polls, but that notwithstanding, all aggrieved party men and woman must be united to reclaim what was there’s to be able to forge ahead
By Raymond GUKAS, Jos