Former Governor of Plateau State, Senator Jonah Jang has said that the State and Ward Congresses conducted recently by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is an indication that the party is still the greatest party in Africa, saying that regaining power in 2019 cannot be negotiated with the impressive conduct of the congresses.
This is coming as the party’s embattled National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff has announced the suspension of its ongoing plan to review the party’s constitution that has reached advanced stages following protests by the party’s stakeholders.
But expressing satisfaction with the way and manner party officials comported themselves during the congresses, Jang expressed optimism that Plateau will return to its ‘first love’ as PDP was birth in Plateau.
His words: “Plateau State is the home of PDP and now that we have new excos that are grass root politicians who are always in touch with their grass root supporters, victory is certain”.
PDP has just conducted its congresses nationwide to produce the party’s leadership at all levels in order to prepare for the 2019 elections.
The new Chairman of the State chapter of the PDP, Hon. Damishi Sango, a former Minister for Youth and Sport, led his fellow contestants with a wide margin in the votes. From the official votes announced, Sango scored 758, while his closest rival, Hon Bitrus B. Kaze, scored 222 votes.
With this political development, political observers are of the opinion that, a strong opposition to the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government in the state is awoken to give a proper analysis of the political activities and economic situation of the country which will put the APC policies in a contentious perspective.
Hon. Sango, the new State Chairman in his acceptance speech, stated that Plateau State is wearing a strange garment in the current political dispensation.
According to him, APC in Plateau has no business occupying the Government House in Jos, reiterating that Plateau State is the home of PDP.
Also speaking, Senator Beni Lar, expressed confidence in the ability of the new Excos of the party in moving the structure of the party to the next level and appealed to those who left PDP to come back and build the party rather than staying away and allowing others to benefit from it.
She said she is proud to be among the family of a great party, stating that the peaceful manner in which the congress was conducted showed that PDP is not in a hurry to exit from the political threshold of the country contrary to the insinuation of their political opponent.
Lar dismissed the allegation that Jang imposed Sango as the new Chairman of the party stating that the election was free and fair.
PDP suspends review of its constitution
However, Sheriff, on Monday said review of the party’s Constitution had been suspended in the interest of its unity.
Sheriff stated this while addressing members of the party’s Board of Trustees (BOT) during their meeting at PDP National Secretariat in Abuja saying that the decision to suspend the review stemmed from agreements reached during the party’s leadership’s recent meeting with some stakeholders and elders of the party.
“In order to solve the problem in the party, we have agreed to drop the issue of Constitution review. Although I am yet to discuss with the National Working Committee of the party, I am sure that since it is coming from the leaders and concerned members of the party, I don’t think they will object to it.
“We will completely step down the issue of reviewing the Constitution; it will not be taken as a result of the agreement we reached with some of our elders who participated in the meeting,” Sheriff said.
He recalled that the issue of reviewing the Constitution started before his emergence as chairman of the party.
Besides, he told the BoT members that the party leadership was aware of issues surrounding recent state and zonal congresses of the party, adding that meetings were being held to address the problems pointing out that the party would review congresses that had problems.
“It is from today that we will start receiving the reports and look into where the problems are because the appeal committees have sat and made certain observations on affected states.
“We have agreed that a committee would be set up to look into the problems so that the party can sit together with the view of correcting what has gone wrong in some states.
“Party is dynamic and the views of the people you are leading are also very important; that is why we have agreed on some of these issues,” he said.
The chairman also said that the issue of zoning of the party’s presidential slot for 2019 election to the North-East would be addressed at Saturday’s National Convention in Port Harcourt.
On possibility of a shift of the convention date, he said that the date and venue remained unchanged “except if something extra ordinary happens”.
Sheriff, who disclosed his intention to contest to retain his position as chairman, said that he had already been endorsed as a sole candidate for the position during the North-East zonal congress.
On recent increase in price of petrol, he said that the party would meet soon to take a position on it.
Earlier, acting Chairman of the BoT, Sen. Walid Jibrin, said that the board had been watching with keen interest, recent happenings in the party as well as working towards resolving the problems.
“As the conscience of the party, we must take the situations critically with the view of solving them in a more democratic way without necessarily destroying the party.