From John Adams, Minna
There is no end in sight over the crisis rocking the Niger State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as former Governor Babangida Aliyu led faction boycotted the party’s stakeholders meeting held at the party secretariat in Minna on Thursday where decision to go ahead with the botched Congress for the election of state officials to run the affairs of the party was taken.
At the end of the “Critical Stakeholders” and caucus meeting presided over by the Overseeing Committee Chairman Mr Theophilus Dakas Shan, and attended by the former Minister of Information and Culture, Professor Jerry Gana, the party unanimously agreed that the botched party congress will now go ahead on August 7th, 2021.
Although only one out of the two Chairmanship Candidates, Alhjai Tanko Beji who is seeking second term in office was present at meeting, the Overseeing Committee Chairman for the state, Mr Theophilus Dakas Shan who is also the party North Central Vice Chairman said “We reached out to everybody, only three members of the caucus sent in their apologies”.
Other prominent figures present at the meeting were the Governorship candidate of the party in the 2015 and 2019 Governorship elections, Alhaji Umar Mohammed Nasko and Alhaji Ndako Kpaki a former Secretary to the state government.
The National Working Committee of the party according to Mr Shan, has already approved the date for the Congress and the meeting consequently set up a nine man local organising committee headed Alhaji Khadi Kuta a former Head of Service in the state.
The stakeholders meeting also asked the two warring groups to provide three members each to serve on the committee while the Caretaker committee itself will provide the remaining three members.
The North Central Zone Vice Chairman of the Party Mr Theophilus Dakas Shan told newsmen at the end of the closed door meeting that the meeting was successful” adding that: “we formed a quorum as provided for by our party constitution
“The meeting was all about Congress, we agreed that the Congress should go on as approved by the National Working Committee” Shan said promising to “reach out” to those that did not attend the meeting.
” Some members of the caucus didn’t come we wonder why because notices were extended to everybody, every member of the caucus, we didn’t receive any apology from members of the caucus, well 3 apologies were received, we expected that more apologies would have been received
“The most important thing is that we had a full house, we formed a quorum of the caucus which allows us to go ahead with the meeting”
On the implication of the absence of some of the members Shan declared: ” If they invite you to a meeting will they put a rope around your neck and drag you to the meeting venue, everybody knows the meeting venue, you have been invited, they are aware of the date, they are aware of the timing I will tell you that some of them we didn’t just send invitation we went to visit them and inform them before we arrived here yesterday”
He said that “as we leave this place we are going to get in touch with them to understand why we have not seen them in the caucus” saying that “We don’t expect them to boycott the Congress”
Shan conceded that “there is a crack in the party which is normal in politics because people have different interests” stressing that: ” There are issues there are two groups sharply divided so there is division by no one is saying that he is leaving the party
“They are just fighting because the party is a very beautiful bride and everybody wants to see that it takes control of the bride” Shan said.
All efforts to speak to the leader of one of the groups and Chairmanship aspirant Alhaji Mukhtar Ahmed was not successful because he did not pick several calls made to his cell phone.