Billy Graham Abel, Yola
The Adamawa State Police Command on Thursday deployed armoured vehicles and several police officers to barricade the entrance to a hotel venue of a meeting of a faction of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the Reformed Peoples Democratic Party (r-PDP).
The r-PDP, which later held its meeting at the home of the PDP factional leader, Umar Ardo, inaugurated a parallel leadership of the r-PDP and began a process of registration of new members.
The aggrieved members of the party led by Umar Ardo said they broke out to form a faction within the party in order to restore dignity and entrench internal and participatory democracy in the party.
The r-PDP led by Umar Ardo said they have ceased to recognise the PDP leadership of Adamawa State chapter of the party under the leadership of AT Shehu for being unfair, unjust and for its unconstitutional composition and acts.
The factional leader claimed that the party in the state was illegally composed and a large number of the officials at both state and local government levels have either left the party or vacated their offices, yet party leadership continues to run the party against the party’s constitution.
He claimed that it is these series of unconstitutional practices that have led them to take the decision to break out and restore order to the party.
Ardo, speaking on the state of the party in Adamawa, said: “PDP has this been turned into an unjust and unfair political party, with no truth in its mouth, no compassion in its heart, no sincerity in its purpose and its action have become intrinsically self-serving and deceitful.
“We cease to recognise the Peoples Democratic Party leadership in Adamawa state under Barr. AT Shehu for being unfair, unjust and for its unconstitutional composition and acts.
“We have henceforth initiated a movement within the PDP to reform the current unhealthy state of the party in the state.
“The reform initiative has a 12-member interim executive for the state, 7-member each for the local governments and 5-member each for the wards.
“These interim committees will be headed by Hammanjoda Jauro Gire, a veteran party politician of repute.”
Reacting to the formation of a faction within the party, the state chairman of the party, Tahir Shehu, said: “Umar Ardo is a hired hand sent to destabilise our party but he would fail like his predecessors had.
“Well, Ardo is no longer a member of the PDP, he has been dismissed from the party.
“His constituency officially wrote complaining about his actions and the official channel was followed to dismiss him from the party.
“His case is already a dead one because no one will take his claims that the current party officials are illegal seriously since he contested for primaries under this leadership and lost having got only one vote, so if he was convinced that we were illegal, he should not have contested for anything under our leadership.”
Also explaining its reason for barricading the venue of the group’s meeting, the spokesman of the police command in Adamawa, Suleiman Nguroje, said: “The group Reformed People’s Democratic Party wrote us requesting for security for their event, we did our job and confirmed that the group was not a registered political party.
“We replied advising them to do the needful and be registered as a political party.
“We had earlier received a letter from the PDP stating that a group in the state is planning to use its name to fuel trouble in the state.
“So, in order to prevent public unrest, we had to stop them.”