Forty-Five officers of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Nasarawa State, some of them elders and founding members have been handed indefinite suspension with threats to expel them from the party over allegations they are working for Labaran Maku, governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
Among the 45, one was suspended for allegedly working for his son, who is a candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Akwanga-South.
Honourable Kassim Isa, who is holding the position of Assistant Director of Publicity for the PDP campaign team, was suspended for supporting his son, Comrade Kassim Muh’mad Kassim, against the PDP candidate, Sunday Chuga, according to a letter of suspension dated March 5, and signed by thhe party’s Vice Chairman for Naarawa-North zone, Umaru Gwamna Abdullahi.
A women leader of the party, Mrs. Hajiza Victor, is among the 44 others, whose alleged offence is working for the election of Maku on March 28.
The women leader told Daily Trust that she was slammed with the suspension letter which alleged that she has been attending meetings at Maku’s residence in Makama, while still holding her position in the PDP, adding in Hausa that: “I have been bedridden for about three months now; the party didn’t visit me. When their letter arrived at my sick bed; I jumped up, thinking they sent me a package for my hospital bills. It turned out that the letter was for my suspension, that during my period of absence, I was working for Maku.”
Daily Trust learnt that in Akwanga alone, six officers of the PDP were slammed with the suspension, while other local government areas are believed to have more officers on the list.
State party spokesman, Yohanna Mark Neto confirmed that: “yes, the party has suspended those holding party positions,” adding: “they are working for Maku, and we are saying we suffered this kind of anti-party in 2011 with grave consequences because we lost the governorship election. This time, we are resolved to take decisive actions against those working against our governorship candidate.”
He did not give the exact number of officers on suspension list, but he confirmed that they are many, and did not deny that they are 45. He said: “all we are saying is, if they so love Maku, they should leave and join APGA. They cannot hold party positions in the PDP, and be working for APGA.”
Neto said three disciplinary committees are currently hearing from the suspended officers, adding: “definitely, they will be expelled if found guilty.”
But in a swift reaction, Maku told Daily Trust by phone that he did not expect anything less from a party whose governorship primary election outcome he petitioned over intimidation.
“I petitioned the party, complaining of this kind of intimidation of members because delegates showed they were going to vote for me,” he said, recalling his petition after the December 8, 2014 primary election the result of which he refused to accept.
“The exercise was manipulated; there were cases of intimidation of delegates. That is what they are continuing till today,” Maku added.
Maku was among seven other aspirants who lost to Yusuf Agabi, the PDP governorship candidate. He protested the outcome with a petition, alleging the exercise was fraught with multiple malpractices including intimidation of delegates.
He said it was in the interest of the party “and the success of the 2015 general election in Nasarawa State,” that the allegations of manipulations be looked into, and correct, but the PDP national leadership ignored him.
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