By Jide Afolabi, Jos
Crises rocking Plateau state chapter of the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has taken a new twist as a socio-political group, PDP Concerned Unity Group has asked the embattled acting Chairman, Chris Hassan to vacate the Secretariat.
The group made the demand today in Jos, the state capital during a peaceful protest to the party’s secretariat threatening that they would escort the suspended Chairman, Hon. Damishi Sango and his deputy, Amos Gombi to retake the secretariat.
It would be recalled that the duo of Damishi Sango and Amos Gombi were suspended by the State Executive Committee, SEC, over alleged misappropriation of campaign funds and funds meant to provide relief materials to Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in the state.
The group, however, frowned at the suspension noting that it was illegal and unconstitutional.
While speaking with journalists at the party’s secretariat today, Tuesday, the groups leader, Hon Dakas Nathaniel Dakas said that Sango should have been allowed to remain the chairman of the party pending the determination of the investigation by the National Working Committee of the party.
He said, “We call you to help us take the message to the world and give a warning to some people who illegally occupied the PDP Office, some who are Exco of the PDP.”
He stated further that, “The National Secretariat of the party has sent a delegation who came here and told them to maintain the status quo pending the determination of a committee already set up to look into the allegations leveled against D.T. Sango, but these people don’t seem to understand and they don’t want to obey the National Secretariat and so, they have continued to illegally occupy the State Secretariat. Even our governorship candidate, distinguished Senator J.T. Useni has also cautioned them not to take the law into their hands and heed to the instruction from the National Secretariat but they have refused.
“So we are telling them now that we are escorting Hon. D.T. Sango to his office on Friday. He has been away on official visit to Abuja. So we are saying that whoever that is illegally occupying our Secretariat should vacate before then”
Some of the inscriptions on the placards carried by the protesters include, “Baba Sango is still our authentic chairman”; “we advise them to vacate the PDP secretariat on or before Friday”; “If Sango must go, all other EXCO members must go too” among others.
The group said that it was not in anyway supporting corruption. “We are not supporting corruption. What we are saying is that due process should be followed. Two wrongs do not make a right, therefore, whoever that is aggrieved should follow due process to express their grievances, but when you decide to violate the constitution, we will never support that attitude”.
On the legality of the group’s decision to takeover the secretariat on Friday for Sango, the group leader said that they were law abiding citizens and party loyalists. “We are only complying with the instructions from the National Secretariat of our party that we should revert to status quo and that the petition which they wrote is being looked into because, you can’t be a complainant and a judge at the same time. Sango, by virtue of his position is a member of the National Working Committee so, the state secretariat doesn’t have the power to suspend him”, he stated.
Since the suspension of Sango, Hon Chris Hassan, a former Minister for Youths and Sports and former PDP Vice Chairman (North) has been acting.
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