By Laleye Dipo in Minna
A new caretaker committee of the Niger State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Tuesday evening took over the affairs of the party in the state.
The nine-member committee is headed by Alhaji Akilu Ndabawa, a former Special Adviser to both late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Dr Goodluck Jonathan.
The assumption of office of the Ndabawa-led caretaker committee followed the expiration of the mandate of the one headed by Garba Umoru Ciza which held sway for six months.
However, the brief but colourful ceremony was not attended by principal figures in the chairmanship crisis that has engulfed the party — Alhaji Tanko Beji and Alhaji Mukhtar Ahmed.
Ndabawa told the party faithful at the event that the caretaker committee “is here to consolidate unity, we are not here to support any interest, we want to bring harmony where there is disharmony”.
“We are not here to promote anyone or any groups’ interest but the interest of the PDP,” Ndabawa said before urging members of the party “to put the events of the past behind us, let us unite and forge a common front
“The family must be united, we should not destroy the family.”
Ndabawa was also of the view that if the party supporters worked together, PDP will win all elections slated for 2023 because “Niger State is a PDP state”.
Earlier, the former caretaker committee chairman, Alhaji Garba Umoru Ciza, disclosed that the committee inherited N3.2 million from the Tanko Beji executive, but explained that the bulk of the money was spent on the rehabilitation of the state secretariat which was damaged by rain storm in addition to payment of staff salaries.
The state PDP had broken into two factions over who should be the chairman of the party in the state with a group supporting Beji, who is seeking a second term and the other group backing Alhaji Mukhtar Ahmed for the top party seat.
The state congress of the party held last August was riotous as supporters of the duo attacked one another with dangerous weapons, a development that made the police to forcefully disperse the assembly.
The National Working Committee of the party later set up the Governor Samuel Ortom peace and reconciliatory committee to reconcile the feuding party faithful.