By Peter Amine
Jos, Sept. 4, 2020 Mr Bitrus Kaze, Chairmanship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Plateau, has advised the party to avoid mistakes that cost it 2015 and 2019 elections.
Kaze gave the advice in a statement made available to journalists, on Friday in Jos.
It would be recalled that the PDP last Saturday held its elective state congress with some aspirants boycotting the exercise.
Kaze, a former House of Representatives member, said that some internal mistakes cost the party its Plateau governorship seat in 2015 and 2019.
“It is crystal clear why PDP lost Rayfield in 2015. Our loss in 2015 laid the foundation for another loss in 2019.
“We cannot keep repeating the same mistakes and expect different results,” he said.
Kaze stated that there were many unresolved issues that should have been addressed before the congress but the caretaker committee insisted and held a congress even when 40 aspirants including himself boycotted the exercise.
The chairmanship aspirant stated that Gov. Samuel Ortom’s intervention that a new State Caretaker Committee (CTC) be constituted to review the litany of litigations fell on deaf ears.
“A statement issued by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Aug. 26, announced the constitution of the Sen. Suleiman Adokwe-led CTC to run the party for a period “not exceeding 90 days”.
“The new CTC took over around 8p.m on Thursday Aug. 27, without resolving any petition and after the resignation of two members, staged the purported state congress within 48 hours.
“Prof. Dimis Mailafiya and Mr Jacob Dashe earned our resounding applause for towing the path of conscience.
“There is an uncontested court judgment which restrained the PDP from conducting any state congress until the party congress is conducted in Jos North LGA.
“There were violations of the party guidelines for the conduct of ward, LGA, state, zonal congresses and the National Convention issued in January 2020,” he said.
Kaze said that a screening committee was not constituted, no screening result was displayed at the state secretariat.
He stressed that Screening Appeal Panel as well as the State Congress Appeal Panel were never constituted for Plateau.
The chairmanship aspirant vowed to challenge what he described as ‘crass illegality’.
“Make no mistake about it, it is costly but freedom is not free.
“I can easily forego my state chairmanship ambition but our collective goal to restore fairness is not negotiable.
“I thank our teeming supporters and indeed all people of goodwill for their support thus far, please accept my apologies for my inability to cope with the traffic of concerned callers,” he said.
But Mr John Akans, the re-elected State Publicity Secretary of PDP, said that the party’s national secretariat had the right to decide when to hold its congresses.
Akans disagreed with Kaze that aspirants were not screened nor given certificates.
“Is he teaching the national leadership how to administer the party?
“I don’t want to join issues with him but I know that the national secretariat set a screening committee to screen aspirants.
“All aspirants were screened but if you refuse to avail yourself, the screening committee cannot follow you to your house to screen you.
“There is no provision in the PDP Constitution that a screening committee should follow an aspirant to his house for screening,” he stressed.
The publicity secretary added that an Appeal Committee was also set up to listen to complaints.
According to him, Kaze like many other aspirants, appeared before the screening and appeal committees and collected their certificate of clearance.
“We have gone beyond these things and what we are trying to do is to harmonise the party and reconcile the people and we are doing our best,” he said.
By Peter Amine