By Wole Ayodele in Jalingo
Taraba State Governor, Darius Dickson Ishaku, has condemned the way the former acting Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff was ousted from office saying he deserves a honourable exit.
Ishaku, who spoke against the backdrop of dissolution of the Sheriff-led executive committee of the party and its replacement with the caretaker committee headed by Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi, said Sheriff contributed immensely to the party in the past three months and therefore does not deserve to be humiliated out of office.
Fielding questions from journalists during a media briefing to mark his one year in office, the governor stated that it was sad and unfortunate that the party found itself in its present mess adding that everything humanly possible would be done to unite the party for it to remain strong to regain power come 2019.
He however revealed that he did everything possible in conjunction with Governor Dankwambo of Gombe State to garner support for Sheriff at the botched Port Harcourt convention of the party to no avail, saying there was nothing two of them could do out of the twelve PDP governors.
According to him, “Sheriff became the chairman of this party when the party was on the verge of collapse. Within three months of his emergence, he did well to bring back the party alive. Therefore, his exit would have been more honourable than what we have witnessed,” he said.
Narrating the efforts he made to prevent Sheriff from being ousted from office, he said: “When we got to Port Harcourt, the table turned and there were 10 PDP governors against the Gombe State Governor and me. And you know in a democracy, the minority would have their say but the majority would always have their way”
Lamenting the level at which the development has polarised the party, Ishaku said efforts are being made to restore the unity of the party saying: “PDP is the only hope of this country and we must do everything to ensure the party remain one. Unfortunately, there are now three factions in the party and that is why we want to send a delegation to Sheriff to prevail on him to withdraw the court case in the interest of the party.”
The governor however disclosed that he’s doing everything within his power to develop and harness the agricultural and mineral resources potential of the state in order to fast track its growth and development.
To achieve this, he revealed that a deliberate policy is being put in place to ensure the state provides 10 per cent of the tea requirement of the country while efforts are also being geared towards adopting the Ugandan model to develop coffee as well as focusing on beef production.
Ishaku further revealed that his administration had saved over N100 million realised from blocking areas of revenue leakages in the state stressing that all those involved in defrauding the state would be prosecuted.
He noted that he had initially planned to block all the leakages within three months of his assumption of office but was slowed down by the cases instituted to challenge his election just as he expressed delight that he was able to achieve his objective within his first year in office.