Editor's note: Public affairs commentator, Shehu Abbas, writes about the recently concluded Niger state PDP congress, warning that any attempt to change the authentic results of the exercise by the electoral officers in charge of the exercise, will spell doom for the party in the north-central state.
The last has not been heard about the fraudulent attempt to unseat the already elected and sworn in chairmen and local government excos in the Niger state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Prince Uche Secondus and the current National Working Committee (NWC) despite their shortcomings have nurtured PDP from the brink of collapse during the Ali Modu Sheriff saga to an opposition party that is giving a good account of itself.
In his first general election in charge as chairman, the prince from Rivers state led the party to an outstanding performance leading the party to victory in many APC controlled states including Kano which was later stolen in a rather bizarre manner.
The philosophy of Secondus all through has been to field the strongest candidate which emerge via a transparent process as witnessed during the presidential primaries in Port Harcourt the Rivers state capital. Under the Secondus-led PDP 'jaguda' primaries which was the trademark of the PDP in the past has all but disappeared, because military-style sanity was brought into the process, thanks to Colonel Austin Akubundu, the party's national organizing secretary.
Unfortunately, the last few weeks has seen many of the gains made by the NWC eroded. From Ondo to Bayelsa and Niger, the story is the same, as attempts are made to return the party to its dark days when those that win primaries wake up only to see their opponents who have conceded announced as winners.
As if to justify the recent tag placed on it by Governor Nyesome Wike as tax collectors, the party has surrendered the duty of conducting its activities to scam artists and individuals with questionable character who make a mockery of the system disqualifying aspirants for a pot of soup.
The action of Honourable Ajibola Muraina in recent times shows that he lacks the capacity to carry out certain assignment given to him. Combining him with Senator Isah Misau to conduct a sensitive assignment was a tragedy waiting to happen.
Many of us are wondering why an electoral panel will refuse to follow the rules and guidelines by entering results and leaving behind copies of the filled result sheet a flagrant violation of the PDP electoral guidelines. Why will an electoral panel sneak out of the state in the middle of the night if there was no sinister plot?
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There are also INEC reports and police reports authenticating the congresses where they held. We know for certain, for example, that the Divisional Police Officer in Agaie spoke to Senator Misau and confirmed to him that the congress could not take place in Agaie local government area, but Senator Misau is now attempting to write results for the same local government area.
If PDP wants Nigerians to take them seriously they must sieve the characters that they assign for sensitive assignments and start creating a blacklist for bad eggs.
PDP stands a very good chance of sending APC to the gallows because of the shambolic performance of Governor Sani Bello of Niger state, but they should forget about it if they tamper with the results of the PDP congress as the stakeholders have resolved to fight the NWC to stand still should officials already sworn-in are asked to vacate for those who never won elections.
As we watch the drama in Niger state PDP unfold, observers believe the actions of the PDP in the next few days will determine whether the party remain as one united family or split into fragments.
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