Billy Graham Abel, Yola
The Reformed People’s Democratic Party (r-PDP), a faction within the PDP in Adamawa, has moved to strengthen its position within the party in Adamawa, as it commences a statewide registration of its members.
At the registration centres across several local governments, the disgruntled party members aim their criticism at the party chairman, Tahir Shehu, saying he is gradually dragging the party to a path of dishonour, anarchy and unconstitutionality.
They all agreed that the Shehu leadership style is a complete mockery of the lofty principles and ideals upon which the party was built, adding that he runs the party without recourse to the party’s constitution as the party had had no elected officials at all levels of the party structure for several months.
Our reporter gathered that the ongoing membership registration by the Reformed Peoples Democratic Party (r-PDP) is not only attracting followers but has also been generating comments from members who claimed that they have been in the party for a very long time but have never been registered officially or granted membership cards as the r-PDP is doing.
Flagging off the exercise in Mubi North and South and Maiha local governments, a stakeholder of the party Umar Alfa Belel said the reason for the movement was to make sure the right thing was done for everyone in the party.
Alfa charged their followers to be calm and patient as senior stakeholders like Umar Ardo were pushing hard at the national secretariat to ensure justice is done in reversing the ills committed by the Shehu Tahir-led faction of the party.
Alfa stated that the registration was open to all members including interested converts from other political platforms so that the big umbrella can accommodate all for the new dawn political voyage in the state.
“Various complaints of maltreatment and impunity against us by the party in the state have been compiled and lodged at the necessary quarters for action soon.
“Our party’s constitution states clearly in S.48(1) that if you hold a political post for some time, you cannot come back to your former position as the case is in Adamawa where local government party chairmen acted for six months and later went back to continue as party chairmen.
“The same applies to some state executives of the party; some have been appointed into the state cabinet and still maintain their positions at the party level which is illegal and unconstitutional; these injustices must be addressed,” Alfa said.
In their separate responses, the r-PDP factional chairmen of Mubi North, Mubi South and Maiha local councils, Muazu Abdullahi, Muhammmad Musa Gella and Hassan Wakili, unanimously expressed satisfaction with the move to restore the party in the state to its path of dignity and honour.
They also called on new and aggrieved members of the party, to come out en masse for the registration exercise, stressing that the turn out so far was encouraging despite the short notice.
In a similar development at Mayo Belwa local government where PDP faithful have expressed dissatisfaction with the controversial leadership style of Tahir Shehu, they threw their allegiance behind the Hammanjoda Girei-led Reformed People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Abdurahman Abubakar, the r-PDP chairman in Mayo Belwa said, since the inception of PDP as a party from 1999, there had never been a time when people turned out en masse for registration as had happened in Mayo Belwa.
Abubakar said: “Here in Mayo Belwa, I would confidently say, there has never been any kind of leadership in the party; so right now, r-PDP officials are the only officials of the party.
“This is the only side of the PDP that the poor man knows and voted for.
“From the day these people were appointed as caretaker leaders of the party, they have never called anyone of us to discuss how to move the local government forward or better the lot of members of the party and that is how the party has been without leadership till date.”
Another party stakeholder and the chairman of Mbila ward in Mayo Belwa, Salihu Ahidjo, lamented that “we have reached a point where impunity and injustice are the order of the day.
“A good example is Binos Dauda and Shuaibu Audu, since the time they were made members of the steering committee of the party here, they disrespectfully choose their own people and refused to acknowledge the other people in the party and have been moving on like that.
“We want everyone to be carried along as members of the party; we would not allow tribalism or sectionalism to rule the party.”