By Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
The Chairman of the Plateau State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Damishi Sango, has resigned his position, and handed over to his deputy, Mr. Amos Gombi.
Addressing a press conference on Thursday at the state secretariat of the party in Jos, Sango said: “You are aware that since April this year, the state chapter of our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been rocked by a tsunami-like crisis that has threatened its very existence as one united political party. This followed my purported suspension along with my deputy by some members of the executive committee on trumped up allegations of mismanaging fund meant for the party’s logistics arrangements in the 2019 presidential election in the state.
“Following the unfortunate incident, the national leadership of the party, led by Prince Uche Secondus, set three-man committee, under the chairmanship of Senator David Mark, to look into the said allegations and advise accordingly.
“After a painstaking exercise by both the David Mark-led committee and the National Working Committee (NWC), an interactive session with stakeholders of the party, the Senator Mark Committee did not find me guilty of any financial impropriety, and so I was exonerated of all allegations against me. The allegations against me were therefore withdrawn.
“Upon the withdrawal of the allegations and in consideration of the fact that there is bad blood between me and some of the executive committee members, particularly the group of 16, I was advised to step aside to pave the way for peace to reign in the party.”
Sango said it was important to note that he had to insist on a transparent and detailed investigation in order to clear his name which he had built over the years.
“I have served this country in several capacities including being a cabinet minister and l have never been found wanting in the discharge of my duties. The clearance is therefore a big relief to me, my family and well-wishers, who know me very well and can attest to my integrity,” he said.
Thanking the party for the opportunity it gave him to serve, Sango recalled that: “The present leadership of the party in the state came on board at a time when the party’s standing was at an all-time low, having lost the governorship of the state to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“We came up with a framework that saw us conduct one of the most transparent gubernatorial primary elections in our twenty-one years of practising democracy in the state.”
He observed regrettably that: “Although Plateau State is the birth place of our great party, its leadership, especially the tenure of the chairman, has always been dictated by the whims and caprices of some forces. It is on record, that apart from Chief Raymond Dabo who completed the tenure of Dr. Haruna Dabin, no other was allowed to serve out his term. The self-serving individuals have over the years, through their activities, hindered the optimal functioning of the state leadership, consequently leaving in its trail mistrust among the ranks, and ending up with a fractionalized and factionalized team.
“My stepping aside this afternoon is a product of the activities of such forces that usually feel that the leadership of the party is there to do their bidding, even at the expense of majority considerations.
“It is my earnest prayer that my exit today shall cause us to resolve that never again shall we allow narrow-focused personal or group interests to determine the tenure of elected leaders of our party. We cannot afford to have such forced exits (albeit through trumped up allegations, like in my own case) to continue as a common feature of our journey.
“Let me use this opportunity to specifically appeal to those of you who may wish to contest certain positions/offices in the future. I have noticed over the years that there is always a tendency of creating confusion within the party or outright defection when things do not go our way even when primary elections are judged free, fair and transparent. Let us resolve to always join hands with the winners in the greater interest of the party.”