PDP Chair: Plateau faction battles Jang over imposition of candidate

    By Kingsley Chukwuka, Jos

    Immediate past chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Plateau State, Dr Haruna Dabin has alleged that, the former governor (now senator), Jonah David Jang, is scheming to impose his preferred candidate as the party’s chairman in the forthcoming party congress to elect its new party officials.

    Dabin in an exclusive chat in Jos, said the move by Jang to impose a candidate of his choice as party chairman will be strongly challenged at the state congress, saying nobody should think he owns the party.

    It would be recalled that Jang had been accused for imposing a governorship candidate on the people of Plateau, an act that caused PDP the lost of the highest seat in the state.

    In the words Dabin, “jang called meetings of ex-Commissioners, ex-Council Chairmen, former Advisers, House of Assembly Members and told them that his interest is for Damishi Sango from Ryiom LGA, to become the State Chairman of the party”.

    The ex PDP Chair is also quoted as saying that through Jang, Sango has been appointed as Adviser to the National Chairman of the Party.

    Before now there were speculations that Jang apologised to the party for causing its failure at the 2015 governorship election calling for reconciliation. Confirming this, Dabin said: “all Jang was doing was to ‘pull wool’ over peoples eyes and to give impression that he has apologized, meanwhile, he is planning more sinister things against the party like he is already doing by the imposition of Sango”.

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    The ex PDP Chair also confirmed that he received a letter from the ex governor, inviting him to a launch meeting in his residence. “We got wind from some people that he wanted to use the opportunity to blanket people that he was apologising, but apology is not done that way, you have to define what it is you are apologising for and not to call a crowed to say you are apologising. So on that Sunday afternoon, I drove to his house and thanked him for the invitation but told him I am not a hypocrite that I will want to sit and eat in his house when they both of us know that we have issues between us and that the Christian thing to do is for us to sit down and iron those issues before calling for any general meeting. Like they say, you don’t cover a wound and claim that all is well. So after telling him that, I entered my car and left. I was later made to understand that he said he called the meeting to apologise to people and I asked, apologise for what?, what has he said he has done wrong?, who has he offended?, those were the questioned I asked.

    So the next day, he came to the caucus meeting and said he called people to his house the previous day and has apologised to them for whatever he has done wrong. I then got up and said no, apology is specific, you don’t go to the market and announce to people that you are sorry, sorry for what?”, he queried.

    However, Dr Haruna Dabin said he is not against the zoning decision of the party that zoned the chairmanship position to the northern zone neither is he against the zoning principle of the party at all levels of which he was part of the decisions that was taking at the State Executive Council (SEC), but that he is insisting that everyone in the northern zone who has indicated interest to run for the apex seat in the party must be allowed to exercise his right irrespective of anybody’s personal opinion.

    Dabin is also of the opinion that irrespective of the decision of the northern zone to further zone the chairmanship seat to a particular LGA, all the contestants that have indicated interest are equally free to go into the contest and will be given full support of the party, but stressed that the decision of Jang to impose a candidate will certainly not give other contenders the equity they deserve.

    He noted that only a broad base consensus of the people from the LGAs in the northern zone will be accepted and anything short of that will be null and void adding that he thought by now Jang would have learnt that high handedness will not give anyone victory.

    Meanwhile, the Plateau State Coalition of Peoples Democratic Party Patriots, has commended the State Executive Committee of the PDP for a successful meeting, which approved dates for Ward, LGA and State Congresses of the party as well as the zoning of party positions to the three senatorial districts of the state. The Group’s position was conveyed by its Chairman, the immediate past speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Titus Alams after its Strategic Committee meeting held on Monday, April 4, 2016 in Jos.