Nigeria: Boko Haram Runs PDP Out of Borno

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The Peoples Democratic Party in Borno State said it had shifted its congress to Gombe due to the current security challenge in the state.

Borno and neighboring Yobe states have been the focal points of the Boko Haram insurgency, with bombings, killings, the features of the violence unleashed by the militants of the sect.

Alhaji Tijjani Bukar, the Minister of State for Agriculture, who is the leader of the party in the state, told newsmen that the Borno PDP congress had been shifted to hold in Gombe on Sunday, following a directive from the national headquatres of the party.

He said the change in venue was as a result of the current insecurity in Borno.

“The information came late to us, in fact, we have been here for the past two days making arrangments before we got the information.

“We have made arrangements for buses to convey delegates as early as possible to Gombe on Sunday for the congress.’’

Meanwhile, in many states of the country, the party held its state congress peacefully, with some states returning candidates through consensus.

In Kaduna, Vice-President Namadi Sambo said the successful conduct of PDP congress was a clear demonstration of the party’s focus towards delivering good governance.

Amb. Nuhu Audu, the newly elected chairman of the party in Kaduna , said the new officials would ensure justice and equity in carrying out their mandate.“The state chapter of the PDP, under my leadership, will ensure that funds are sourced and disbursed with prudence.

Gov. Patrick Yakowa of Kaduna congratulated the new officials and challenged them to work together for the realisation of the aspirations of the party. 29 officials were elected during the congress.

In Sokoto State, the 29-member state executives of the PDP were returned unopposed.

The re-elected executives included the chairman, Alhaji Tukur Waziri and Secretary, Alhaji Aminu Bello. The 969 delegates to the congress included Speaker of the House of Representatives , Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, Gov. Aliyu Wamakko; his deputy, Alhaji Mukthari Shagari and Sen. Umaru Dahiru ( PDP-Sokoto).

The election was presided over by a five-man congress committee from PDP national secretariat, headed by Sergeant Awuse. Wamakko commended the delegates for the orderly and peaceful congress, saying there had been absolute respect and trust between the followers and leadership of the party in the state.

In Dutse, capital of Jigawa, the party elected its new officials by consensus.

The 1,151 accredited delegates voted 29 new executive officers of the party.

The former state commissioner for Economic and Youth Empowerment, Alhaji Salisu Mahmuda, was elected new chairman of the party while former Special Adviser to Gov. Sule Lamido on Personal Matters, Alhaji Aliyu Gantsa, was elected secretary.

The others included Saleh Danzomo, deputy chairman; Saidu Ibrahim, vice chairman (North-East); Aminu Jahun, vice chairman ( North-West) while Isa Koriya was elected as vice chairman, North Central senatorial zone.

Hajia Talle Hadejia was elected as women leader; Saleh Mohammed, publicity secretary while Shehu Chaomo, the former chairman of Dutse Local Government, was elected assistant secretary.

Announcing the result, Alhaji Muhammadu Bomza, of the national organising committee from PDP national headquarters, commended the peaceful conduct of the state congress.

In Asaba, Delta, Chief Peter Nwaoboshi, state chairman of the PDP in the state was returned unopposed at the state congress of the party. Chief Solomon Ogba, secretary of the party; Chief Arthur Akpowowo, youth leader of the party and Chief Edwin Uzor state auditor of the party were also returned unopposed.

The ceremony which was billed to commence at 10 a.m., however started at 12:20 p.m. with the accreditation of delegates by the five- member panel from the national headquarters, led by Dr Ann Ubong.

In his acceptance speech, Nwaoboshi thanked the delegates and other party members for another opportunity to serve.He gave the assurance that he would work to sustain the existing peace and unity in the party, and appealed to those who felt aggrieved to give peace a chance and join hands in moving the party forward.

Meanwhile, Gov. Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta has appealed to the citizens of the state not to overheat the political system, as 2015 is still far away.

Uduaghan noted that the zoning arrangements for the various positions were maintained.

In Makurdi, Benue, elections into various executive offices of the PDP in the state commenced with newsmen barred from the venue.

Stern looking security officials turned back journalists who went for the coverage at the IBB square in Makurdi. Some of the PDP delegates in an interview called for consensus candidates, adding that credibility should be the major determinant and not zoning.

They said all the executives of the party performed creditably well and should not be dropped.

They advised the delegates to put aside sentiments and work for the good of the party in particular and the state in general.

In Awka, the state Police Command, cordoned-off St. Augustine Anglican Church, Amawbia, near Awka, stopping the conduct of PDP congress in the state.

Supporters and delegates of the party, who thronged the venue in their thousands for the congress as early as 9 a.m. to elect the state executive of the party, were denied access by the police officers.

An attempt to conduct the congress at a hotel in Awka metropolis was botched by the police officers.

Mr Tope Fasugba, the Second in Command, Operations, Anambra Police Command, told the party members that the gathering was unlawful.

Fasugba said that an Abuja High Court had made an order of interim injunction restraining the conduct of PDP congress in the state.

“There is a court order stopping this congress, and I advise that you all leave as this gathering has been declared unlawful,” he told the crowd.

However, Sen. Timothy Adudu, chairman of the congress committee, in an interview with newsmen, expressed surprise that the congress was stopped.

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“As at this time that I am talking with you, I have not received any court order restraining the congress and is not aware that there is a court order.’’

In Jos, accreditation for the PDP state congress commenced at about 11.30 a.m. amidst tight security. NAN noticed that the number of delegates in Plateau was depleted due to the absence of the chairmen and councillors of the 17 councils in the state.

NAN learnt that this was because the state did not have elected chairmen and councillors as appointed leaders at the council level were not envisaged as delegates in the PDP constitution.

In Gombe, Mr Jack Gumpy, was re-elected chairman along with Alhaji Nasiru Gwani as Vice Chairman and Alhaji Abubakar Shanu as Secretary. Also elected were Alhaji Abubakar Bello, Treasurer; Mrs Asmau Igamus, organising secretary while Malam Kabiru Bappa Jauro and Mrs Sa’adatu Sa’ad were elected youth leader and women leader, respectively.

In his address, Gov. Ibrahim Dankwambo urged leaders at all levels to ensure justice, peace, progress and development.

He commended the party members and delegates for the peaceful and successful congress, urging those who were not elected to any position to be patient as government would settle them with positions at the national, state and local government levels.

Dankwambo pledged that his administration would continue to provide more dividends of democracy to the people of the state.

In his response, Gumpy thanked the party members and stalwarts for the confidence reposed in him the second time.

Alhaji Salisu Dabo,presided over the election. He later inaugurated the 28-member officials.

There was heavy security presence both at the premises and the gate of the party secretariat, while the congress was peaceful.

In Ilorin, Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed said that principle of consensus was a veritable tool to strengthen Nigerian democracy.

According to him, it is capable of reducing tension and fostering cordial relationship.
Ahmed also said that the idea of consensus candidacy would fast track development and strengthening our nation’s democracy.

“We are following the principle of consensus candidacy laid down in Kwara by Dr Olusola Saraki and sustained by Sen. Bukola Saraki and that has been the major reason for the political peace and tranquility in Kwara.’’

He urged the new state executive members who emerged through consensus to contribute to the party’s development.

The governors’ view was also corroborated by Sen. Bukola Saraki, who said the presidential system of government could only thrive when consensus principle is applied.

Alhaji Ishola Balogun- Fulani emerged chairman; Alhaji Abubakar Sukababa, vice chairman and Prince Yemi Afolayan secretary. Former press secretary to Saraki, Alhaji Masud Adebimpe emerged director of publicity.

The new chairman, thanked delegates for the election, on behalf of other members of the executive, and pledged to carry every member of the party along.

In Osogbo, the PDP Osun state congress election started late due to some unresolved issues in the election guidelines.

Alhaji Adejare Bello, interim state chairman of the party, made the disclosure at 3.15 p.m. when the election about to begin at the main bowl of the township stadium in Osogbo.

He said that he had disagreed with Amb. Ibrahim Bala, chairman Osun congress on some portions of the election guidelines, explaining that the issue was later clarified from the national secretariat.

Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Alhaji Isiaka Adeleke, immediate past governor and the first executive governor of the state respectively attended the congress.

Others were Mrs. Olusola Obada, Minister of State for Defence and Sen. Iyiola Omisore, former Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation. .

In Enugu, all the 29 executive officers, including two women, were returned unopposed.

The former chairman, Mr Vita Abba, was re-elected while Mr Steve Oruruo was returned as the secretary.

In his remarks, the Deputy Senate Ike Ekweremadu described the state congress as the “best organised in the country’’.

Ekweremadu who spoke on behalf of the National Assembly members from the state, said the delegates were orderly, adding that the congress was held in accordance with the electoral law and party constitution.

He urged the new executive to serve without fear or favour.

Gov. Sullivan Chime attributed the successful conduct of the congress to the wide consultations among the stakeholders.

“Today, we demonstrated that in Enugu, consultation is the watchword. Since 2007, we have been doing things in the state by consensus, including the congresses, state and local government elections.’’

The governor urged the new executive to ensure construction of the new party secretariat in the state.

The chairman of the state Congress Committee from PDP national headquarters, Alhaji Maiyaki Idris, expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the congress which he described as ‘very democratic’.

In Yola, all the 29 state executive members were returned unopposed but the 875 delegates accredited for the congress had to caste their votes endorse the re-elected executives under the chairmanship of Alhaji Umaru Kugama.

Kugama commended the delegates and other PDP stakeholders in the state for the re-election, and pledged to serve with loyalty.

He also promised to further strengthen the party in the state and to engage in wider consultations with stakeholders and the state PDP- led government in taking critical party decisions.

In his remarks, Gov. Murtala Nyako, congratulated the new executives for the re-election which he said was a sign of confidence in their ability to deliver.