As statistics recorded it that Plateau state is known as PDP state nationwide, it’s definitely not because the first PDP convention took place on it soil, nor the fact that the first National Chairman hails from the state, but because of a variety of reasons.

Firstly, the average Plateau person believes that he is being persecuted and needs a party platform to promote his ideology, independence and dignity. Second, the ideology of the PDP is believed to guarantee justice and the security of the place of the State and her ancestral heritage.

Althought the APC have occupied the government since 2015, the least grassroot Plateau person on the street believes that the state is run by those who do not have Plateau State at heart, but only pronounce it on their lips. Many are worried about the loss of heritage, land and territory, dignity and respect, and look forward to the PDP coming to salvage the situation and restore good governance.

Today 30th of March, 2022, another negative history is being made in the PDP of Plateau State. The Party appears to be infiltrated by desperate politicians using underhand and unconstitutional methods as the politics of the selection of flag bearers for the party heats up.

Eaglesforesight learnt that, internal primaries in amangu LGA using party delegates have been ongoing for some time, but these rumours became fact when such purported party primaries were carried out on 29th of March 2022, for five aspirants in the party.

Those in questions are Barrister Caleb Mutfwang, Alex Ladan, Chief Jewun Jatau Satu, Chief Jerry Gushop and Barrister Aminu Jonathan. The objective for those behind the factional exercise was to scale down the number of Mwaghavul governorship aspirants.

This exercise left the party in the locality deeply divided and vulnerable to outsiders and enemies to influence and mastermind the emergence of weak candidates at the local level, in addition to the illegality of using party officials to conduct mini primaries in the middle of the sale of forms and announced guidelines and timetable by the Party.

The story of Plateau PDP in Mangu LGA fits the aforementioned. It does appear that the party has been infiltrated by fifth elements who pretend to be party members and lovers, although in reality working for opposition to present weak candidates for them to work the over in the general elections. Desperate politicians afraid of open and proper contest have been running around, looking for short cuts, and want to stop at nothing to receive a local mandate with which to blackmail others into submission.

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Although the position of Governor has not been officially zoned to the Central Zone by the Party, let alone to any local government, the aspiration of persons from Mangu LGA, and the Mwaghavul race in particular, has attracted interest and admiration across the state. By the ability of the people to return large number of votes and the fact that the race has never occupied the office, there is general sympathy for aspirants from this tribe to produce the next number one person in the state.

However, so much work needs to be done to actualise this, as the road to Little Rayfield is long and difficult. Many are concerned that the goodwill enjoyed is being mismanaged by those who are forcefully fostering the micro primaries for aspirants in the LGA. Some aspirants are anxious to hijack local advantages to truncate the ambitions of others. The Party is unfortunately being implicated.

The common man on the street is looking for direction, and the leaders must be willing to provide this without delay. It is on record that the party Chairman in the state, Hon. Chris Hassan, called the PDP Chairman of Mangu LGA to express his dissatisfaction on the on purported primaries using the party structure. While not opposed to any consensus arrangement, the Chairman warned against using the party structure for the exercise.

He also cautioned against creating the impression that the Governorship belongs to the Mwaghavul people and they were at liberty to freely produce a flag bearer, noting that it belongs to the whole of Plateau State instead. The PDP Chairman of Mangu LGA has claimed that the Party Elders Forum, rather than the PDP, were conducting the exercise. However, it is an open fact that party delegates were the voters at the exercise, amounting to gross anti party activity.

In the midst of this controversy, some members of the local government executives backed out of the exercise. In addition, strong and leading aspirants rejected the exercise and speedily petitioned the State Chairman of the Party on 28/03/2022.

Those aspirants who backed out of the exercise include former Ambassador of Nigeria to Namibia and also one time Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Bagudu M. Hirse, former Secretary to PLSG under Jonah David Jang Prof. Shedrack Gaya Best.

Retired Brigadier General John Sura, a former Pay officer of the Nigerian Army, Dr. Mazadu Bako Dader, a former Director of NNPC, Alfred Ali Damiyal, also a former boss of NNPC, and Architect Vincent Alfred Nanle, an influential leader, Pastor and business tycoon.

The petition of these leaders and aspirants submitted to the State Party Chairman highlighted the illegality of the purported primaries, and requested the Party to halt the exercise. They also informed the Party that they would not participate in the exercise, and pledged to continue in the race.

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Meanwhile, those bent on the exercise went ahead to conduct the micro primaries using party delegates drawn from the wards and LGA EXCO.

In the porported primaries, results were declared. Those who emerged tops are already running around celebrating their victory as the choice of Mangu LGA and the Mwaghavul race. It is uncertain who the results of the exercise will be submitted to. It is also not clear what steps the Party will take to punish those who defied the directive of the state Chairman and went ahead to conduct the exercise using party structure.

It is also not known, what steps will be taken by those who boycotted the exercise. What is clear, however, is that the exercise failed to produce the best candidates with capacity to drive a campaign that will mobilise the whole state leading to victory. This is where the Party needs to assert itself and prevent this situation from turning to chaos.

Members of party have advised the PDP State and National Executives to wade into this problem because if they refuse to do so, it will spell doom for the Party in 2023. There is need to remind the architects of the selection exercise that the Governorship has not been microzoned to the Mwaghavul race, to instill confidence in the Constitution of the PDP and carry everyone alone untilgenuine primaries are held in line with the Constitution of the Party.

Importantly, the State Chairman must carry out disciplinary measures against all those who failed to carry out his instruction and assure those who refused to participate of the protection of the Party. Plateau State is ready for PDP in 2023, and everything must be done to avoid losing the State to the APC again.

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