•North-central zone rejects suspension of ex-Niger gov, Aliyu
By Chuks Okocha in Abuja and Laleye Dipo
A former governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso; the Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Walid Jubrin; former Women Leader of the party, Mrs. Inna Ciroma, and other stakeholders have called on members of the party to unite, and take advantage of the crisis in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and ride to victory in 2023.
They spoke yesterday in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, at the inauguration of a new executive committee for the state chapter of the party in compliance with a recent judgment of the Supreme Court.
Also yesterday, the North-central zone of the party rejected the suspension of a former governor of Niger State, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, saying that those who suspended the former governor, who is also a member of the BoT of the party have no constitutional power to do so.
Kwankwaso described the ruling APC as a party in crisis, adding that it is using its failures to campaign for the PDP in the 2023 general election.
The stakeholders, in their various remarks at the inauguration of the Borno State executive committee of the party, urged members of the party to unite, adding that it is only through unity that the PDP could regain power.
Kwankwaso said: “APC is campaigning for PDP because it is a failed party. Everything the APC is doing due to the misgovernance in the country would be to the advantage of PDP if we are united.
“APC is in a total shamble. The ruling party is in a crisis. So, we need to unify the party for the progress of PDP. Politics is a game of numbers.”
He stated that no victory is achieved in a divided house.
“The Supreme Court has given the party a brand new executive and we are, therefore, bound to accept as a law-abiding party,” he said.
He urged PDP members in the state to support the new chairman to enable to him succeed.
The Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, Senator Nazif Suleiman, who represented the National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, urged the party in the state to unite for victory of PDP in subsequent elections.
He said the PDP had learnt its mistakes and would never again go to elections as a divided party.
Meanwhile, the Publicity Secretary of the North-central Zonal Caretaker Committee, Mr. Sulaiman Mohammed, in a statement given to journalists in Minna, Niger State, stated yesterday that those parading what he described as the fake news about the suspension of Aliyu were enemies of the PDP, who are bent on promoting disunity in the party.
He said: “While we feel it is worthless taking issues with social media fake news peddlers, we deem it necessary to put the records straight so as not to confuse our teeming and loyal party faithful in Niger State and elsewhere.
“Truth is that Dr. Babangida Aliyu, a former governor, who is a serving member of PDP BoT and NEC member, is not and cannot be suspended by his local government chapter of the party.
“Those parading the fake news are enemies of the PDP, bent on fanning the flames of disunity in our great party.”
It urged party members and the public to ignore the suspension, which it said was the handiwork of mischief-makers.”
He also appealed to party leaders and stakeholders in Niger State to close ranks and work together to restore peace in the party.
The Chairman of the PDP in Chanchaga LGA where Aliyu comes from, Alhaji Jemilu Saudi; the former governor’s Ward Chairman, Alhaji Yahaya Ebbo; and the state Women Leader of the party, Hajia Habiba Haruna, also dismissed the suspension, describing the promoters as faceless people without any political base.
They distanced themselves from the suspension, saying if Aliyu is to be suspended the action should start from his ward.
“Serious action will be taken against all those that took the illegal action,” they said in a statement.
The former governor has also described his suspension as a joke of the century, noting that he is the leader of the party in the state.
He stated that the party’s National Reconciliation Committee had visited the state and made recommendations on how to resolve differences among members.
Aliyu was accused of funding APC to the tune of N450 million in the 2015 elections and working against the victories of the then President Goodluck Jonathan and the party’s governorship candidate in Niger State, Alhaji Umar Mohammed Nasko.