The Deputy Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Mukhtar Shagari, said on Friday that his job was not being threatened because of his refusal to defect to the All Progressives Congress.
His boss, Governor Aliyu Wamakko, is among the five governors that left the Peoples Democratic Party to join the APC after their complaints about the running of the ruling party by its former National Chairman, Alhaji Bamaga Tukur, were not addressed.
Shagari, who was at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja to witness the inauguration of the state caretaker of the party, said he was not being threatened with impeachment as being speculated in some quarters.
The caretaker committee was inaugurated by the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu.
Shagari also dispelled the rumour making the rounds that the party’s structure in the state had been handed over to the former governor of the state, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa.
Asked to react to the alleged impeachment plots against him because of his refusal to move to the APC with Wamakko, Shagari said, “I have made my position very clear to everybody. I joined PDP in 1998 and I joined based on principle.
“And I think it is the best party for Nigeria. Through that party I became a cabinet minister twice, I contested to be the candidate of the party in a transparent primary which I won.
“The party decided to bring in the current governor and gave it to him. I supported him and remained loyal to him.
“When he decided to leave I decided that I will not leave my party because I have principles. I joined this party because I believe in it. I cannot move to a party that I don’t understand, I don’t know the people in that party, they have nothing political to do with me.
“So I decided on principle to stay with my party. I know sometimes when you take a decision you have to look at the consequences. But for me this is democracy and in a democracy you have to be tolerant of each other’s opinions, likes and dislikes.”
Shagari said he has not been told of any plot against him and that as far as he is concerned, he remains the deputy governor of the state.
He said, “As far as I am concerned I am still the deputy governor of Sokoto State, nobody has told me that I am being impeached and nobody has threatened my life.
“It should be understood that myself and the governor are indegenes of Sokoto State and we were elected on the platform of PDP, he has left for APC and I remained in PDP, so it is the election freely made by the people that is important.
“So I don’t think that anybody will want to take away what the people of Sokoto State decided to do by making me the deputy governor of Sokoto State. So far I don’t have any problem with the governor and I don’t think he has any problem with me.
“The only difference is that he is in APC and I am in PDP. If he gives me assignment to do, I will do it well, if he does not give me I will remain in my office.
“I have pledged to remain loyal to the government and people of Sokoto State and I will also remain loyal to him as the governor of Sokoto State but my political loyalty is to PDP and that is where I am today and tomorrow.”
Dispelling insinuations that the party structure has been handed over to Bafarawa, the incumbent deputy governor said “the issue is that Bafarawa has joined PDP and he has consistently made it clear that he did not join PDP because he is looking for position or that he wants to be the over all boss in the PDP.
“He joined PDP because he felt that PDP is the right party to join and a party upon which he can make his own contribution to the country and also to assist the PDP to form government in the country. The caretaker committee has just been inaugurated by the chairman and we will move to my house to discuss the best way to go forward.
“We don’t have a substantive executive committee of the party in the state. To now start talking about who the party was handed to, I didn’t hear the chairman say anything of such.
“The issue is that PDP is a family and we are going to work together, I have pledged to work closely with Bafarawa and he has also pledged to work closely with me and other members of the party to ensure victory for the party.”
Speaking at the event, Mu’azu mandated the committee to ensure that they conduct state congress before the party’s national mid-term convention in May.
In his response, the chairman of the caretaker committee, Mr. Abdullahi Mohammed, pledged to operate within the dictates of the party’s constitution.