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Plateau polls: PDP to punish culprits of anti-party activities

The Plateau Peoples Democratic Party says it will “severely deal with” members found to be involved in anti-party activities during the Feb. 25 Local Government elections.

“The PDP has already directed its chairmanship and councillorship candidates to write reports on how and why they won or lost; the reports will help the party to determine who did what,” the party’s Chairman, Dr Haruna Dabin, said in Jos.

Dabin told the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday that the measure became necessary to instill party discipline that was “very crucial to cohesion and future electoral success.”

He said most of those that challenged the party’s candidates were PDP members who moved to other parties when they could not get the PDP ticket, and explained that such actions were inimical to party solidarity and unity.

“What we want to do is to get to the root of our performance in some few local governments, especially in the councillorship elections.

“We specifically want to know why we should get overwhelming victories in the chairmanship polls and get something different in the councillorship polls; we want to know who aided and abetted what, and address that,” he said.

Dabin said that the PDP constitution provided for all manners of sanctions, depending on the level of involvement in such anti-activities, adding that a committee would be set up to study the reports and determine measures to be taken.

The PDP boss, whose party won the 14 chairmanship slots so far declared, expressed optimism that the PDP would win in Langtang-North, whose results had yet to be declared.

He said, “The Plateau State Independent Electoral Comission has ordered a by-election in Jat Ward to determine the winner, but I am optimistic because the PDP has won eight out of the 17 councillorship seats there.

“Langtang-North has always been a PDP area, having produced the founding National Chairman, the late Solomon Lar, as well as three senators – Silas Janfa, John Shagaya and the incumbent, Victor Lar.

“But I think there is a consistent problem of leadership recruitment challenge there because people get elected into various positions and desert party before the end of their tenures.

“We are studying the cause of this steady disconnection between members and their elected representatives so as to address that once and for all.

“Before the local government elections, we had several disputes in that local government and at a point, we spent more than four months to resolve them.

“We even held two or three primary elections there, which only underscored the need to resolve the lingering issues there.”

Stressing the need for teamwork among PDP members, Dabin attributed his party’s overwhelming victory to the “great performance” of Gov. Jonah Jang, and promised that such service delivery would be sustained.

On alleged lack of internal democracy, Dabin said the PDP had been fair to all, but noted that some aspirants were disqualified in the run-up to the local government elections because more attention was paid to members that had been loyal.

“We did not give much waivers because we wanted to avoid a situation where people will just leave government jobs and casually pick PDP tickets.

“We wanted such new members to be around for some time and serve the party before seeking elective posts,” Dabin said.

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