By Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Borno State, has told the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration in the state to face its responsibilities of bringing succour to the people instead of meddling in the politics of opposition parties.
The PDP, in a statement by one of its factional leaders, Alhaji Zannah Gaddama on Sunday said the APC was reckless in the statement it put out in reaction to a sincere call that the owed pensioners’ salaries should be paid.
Gaddama said: “The attention of the Borno State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been drawn to a reckless Press Statement credited to the spokesman of the Borno State All Progressives Congress (APC), Makinta Zarami, which was supposedly a response to the Press Release by the 2019 Borno State PDP Gubernatorial Candidate, Alhaji Muhammad Imam on the non-payment of pension and gratituity in Borno State issued on the 9th November, 2018.”
He said: “The PDP is astonished with the misplaced reaction of the APC over the genuine concerns expressed by Alhaji Muhammad Imam over the blatant refusal of the Borno State Government to pay the entitlements of many retirees since 2016, which led to demonstration by those affected to express their displeasure over the glaring failure of the State Government to live up to its responsibilities and awkward insensitivity to their plight by the powers that be.
“Instead of apologising to these poor retirees and appealing to the Borno State Government to immediately pay them their entitlements from the Paris Club Funds it collected twice amounting to millions of Dollars, the APC spokesman demonstrated intolerance and political immaturity in his lowly reaction to Alhaji Imam’s Press Statement on the matter.
“Surprisingly, the APC spokesman also amasingly referred to Alhaji Muhammad Imam as the “Factional Governorship Candidate of the PDP in Borno State” even when the PDP National Chairman had officially submitted his name as the Governorship Candidate of the PDP in Borno State to INEC, which has been duly accepted published after emerging victorious at the Party Primary Elections held by the authentic and legally recognized officials of the PDP at both the State and Federal Levels.”
He lamented that: “This unnecessary and imaginary reference only exposed the fears of the APC and that of the Borno State Government over the candidature of Alhaji Muhammad Imam as the lawful PDP Gubernatorial Candidate in Borno State in the forthcoming 2019 election.
“It also explains why some forces outside the PDP have been spending millions of the tax payers money to sponsor leadership crisis and cause disharmony in the PDP in order to weaken the Party. Clearly, these forces are disturbed by the miserable performance of the Borno State Government in the last seven years and naturally felt threatened by the strong resolve of the PDP to take over the State in 2019.”
Gaddama explained that: “The issue of who the PDP Governorship Candidate in Borno State is neither here nor there in the matter of non-payment of pension and gratituity in Borno State. The APC in Borno State can continue to live in denial on this matter. However, the illusion of those behind this denial will come to an end in 2019 when Alhaji Muhammad Imam takes over the mantle of leadership in Borno State as the Governor God willing.”
He told The APC that the electorates in Borno State are now wiser than they were in 2015, “they cannot be hoodwinked by such dirty politics of manipulation and desperation. It is unbelievable and appalling that the APC spokesman was considering payment of salaries of workers by the Borno State Government as an achievement even when the workforce in the State has significantly declined over the years without any serious employment to fill the gap.”
The APC should not be jittery over the call by Alhaji Muhammad Imam for the probe of the Paris Club funds or resort to diversionary tactics instead of coming out clean on this matter.