Benue, Ebonyi, Borno PDP In Crisis


Ahead of the National convention of the former self-acclaimed biggest party in Africa, Nigeria's Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is currently embroiled in crises in some states of the federation.

Particularly, the party is not having it smooth in Benue State where former Governor Gabriel Suswam is having it hot with Senator David Mark, a former senate president, for the soul of the party structure.

Sources said several attempts to position the party ahead of future elections have been scuttled by the interest of the duo and this is to control the party.

While it was learnt that Suswam, who is still being investigated for corruption, believes he should be the leader of the party since he was the governor of the state till 2015 when he was ousted in an election won by Samuel Otorm of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Mark believes that as a national figure and current senator, he is entitled to the leadership of the party.

"The crisis is not giving the party any headway," a source told our correspondent. "Suswam continues to emphasise that since a governor is the leader of the party in the state and he is the immediate past governor, then he should be the leader. Mark, on the other hand, thinks being the former Senate President and still serving, he should be the leader of the party," the PDP chieftain said.

The tensed situation in the state is causing fears that the party cannot be strengthened before the 2019 general elections.

Chief Abu King Shuluwa, a top PDP member believes the party in the state is suffering from the crisis in the party at the national level.

Chief Shuluwa said the party is now run like sheep without a shepherd and that this will make it continue to fail in future elections.

In Ebonyi State, a meeting of the State Working Committee to harmonise the zoning arrangement in the forthcoming congresses at the State Party Secretariat along the Enugu-Abakaliki Express Road was disrupted by violent protest by youths who almost lynched the state chairman of the party, Hon Joseph Onwe.

It was learnt that the SWC which has Governor Chief David Umahi, the Senator Representing, Ebonyi North zone, Senator Sam Egwu, the State Deputy Governor, Barr Kelechi Igwe and others had zoned the position of the State Youth Leader to Ohaozara Local Government Area against the interest of the youths and this drew the ire of the youths, who wanted Comrade Chidiebere Egwu to retain the position having satisfied them.

Attempts by the youths to register their complaints were rebuffed. This resulted in violence as the youths went after the Party Chairman besieging his office and molesting him.

He was rescued by the Senator Representing, Ebonyi Central, Senator Obinna Ogba and the Youth Leader, Comrade Egwu, for whom the youths were fighting.

Explaining the reason for their grievance, a youth leader in Abakaliki Local Government Area, Hon. Ifeanyi Uguru, said: "the decision of the working committee is unacceptable to the teeming youths of PDP. We are not happy and we had to express our grievance right there at the party secretariat. We believe and are optimistic that the Governor would look into our complain and reverse the decision.

"Our youth leader has been up and doing, he has coordinated the activities of the youths with decorum and he needs to be supported to ensure that the party remains the strongest and most viable party in the state in the face of any opposition."

In Borno State, the crisis in the party led to the suspension of the state chapter chairman by the national headquarters of the PDP.

"After preliminary hearing on reports of various activities inimical to the progress of the party, especially flouting the provisions of article 58 (1), (b), (c), (f) and (h) of the PDP constitution, the National Working Committee (NWC) has suspended the Borno State Chairman of our great party, Alhaji Baba Basharu.

"The above is in line with the relevant provisions of the PDP Constitution on disciplinary procedures.

"Accordingly, Alhaji Baba Basharu has been referred to the National Disciplinary Committee for appropriate action in line with the provisions of the constitution of the PDP," the party said in a recent statement.