Jos – As the PDP prepares for its April congresses, Dr Haruna Dabin, a former Chairman of PDP in Plateau, has called for fairness to all aspirants to party offices.
He also cautioned against “any impunity”.
“The congresses at all levels and national convention must produce acceptable leaders who should emerge only by popular choice.
“No one or group should be allowed to impose unpopular persons on the party,” Dabin said in Jos on Wednesday.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that PDP had suffered enough consequences of such imposition and should seek to turn a new leaf “in the interest of the party and its future”.
Dabin said that the leaders to be endorsed at the ward, local government and state levels should be humble people willing to go through the whole gamut of reconciliation and “politicial recovery” after its failure in the 2015 polls.
On the situation in the Plateau chapter, he said that the state caucus and other stakeholders had zoned the offices to ease the election into leadership positions
“We have agreed to zone the chairmanship and all other state executive positions to Senatorial zones.
“The Senatorial chapters will be expected to work out the arrangements through which the officers will emerge at the state congress.
“If the members can reach a consensus and present one candidate, that will be fine. If they cannot, we shall decide collectively at the congress,” he said.
Dabin, however, advised the Senatorial zones against “forced quasi zoning arrangement” that might restrict contests to particular local governments and scheme out other aspirants.
“There are complaints that some local governments in Plateau North District are being schemed out of the chairmanship seat after the party zoned the seat to that senatorial zone.
“Such move could create acrimony and must be handled carefully,” he counseled.
Dabin said that the PDP’s rules were against such actions.
“The rules are there; the PDP seeks to encourage consensus, but not when it is skewed to favour some particular persons against others because that will not be good for the party,” he said.
Dabin particularly cautioned top members of the party against actions that could adversely affect the party in the long run.
He stressed the need to give fair hearing to all members, stressing that such gesture was the only route toward reconciling aggrieved interests.
On the rising number of people seeking the party’s chairmanship seat in Plateau, he said that “certain interests are pruning the aspirants”.
“There used to be about six or seven aspirants, but what we have now are two – Rep Bitrus Kaze and former Sports Minister, Mr Damishi Sango.
“The two aspirants have their strength and weakness which we shall consider, weigh and decide.
“Kaze is young, versatile and principled and has the backing of some youth groups, while Sango is an experienced elder who has made friends over time by moving in and out of PDP at various points.
“Essentially, what we want is someone who can reconcile all groups and unite the party toward a cohesive force that will restore its popular appeal on the Plateau,” he said.
Dabin advised the aspirants to place the interest of the party above selfish considerations and stressed the need for winners and losers to be prepared to work together. (NAN)