Former Plateau State governor and leader of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Sen Jonah David Jang, has urged the party’s presidential candidate, Alh Atiku Abubakar, Board of Trustees and National Working Committee to address the injustice meted against Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike.
Jang expressed dismay over the process that led to the selection of the party’s presidential running mate after setting a committee where the majority opted for Wike but the recommendation was jettison.
The ex-governor, briefing reporters in Jos, said that the party cannot afford to go into the 2023 general elections with a divided house, knowing that Nigerians are already disenchanted with the failed APC government.
“As one of the founding fathers alive today, one who participated in the processes that set the background for our primaries, I am compelled to add my voice to that of prominent members of our great party who have shown dismay with recent happenings, particularly with the emergence of the Vice-presidential candidate.
“We all are aware of the fact that the party, in consultation with the presidential candidate, set up a committee to select a running mate. To turn around and throw away the outcome of the exercise is clear proof that the work of the committee was either not appreciated or was not going to be in consideration ab initio.
“To quote Governor Samuel Ortom who was a member of the 17-member committee set up by Atiku to recommend a running mate for him, he said: “Fourteen of us in the committee said the person should be Nyesom Wike unfortunately Atiku picked Okowa in his wisdom.” He added that “You cannot ignore a decision of a committee you set up yourself and expect people to be happy.”
“The Board of Trustees (BoT) and the NWC is aware of the cracks already rearing its ugly head and must do all within its powers to stop further dissonance arising from the treatment of ranking members of the party, especially Governor Nyesom Wike. That the Governors of the party have started distancing themselves from the activities of the party and other influential members making public statements indicating their displeasure is not a good sign.” He stated.
Jang, who is a member of the Board of Trustees disclosed further that the party cannot disregard people who stood firm and dedicated their services to building the party and expect meaningful progress.
“That such people are treated the way the party is currently doing is a pointer to the fact that more is to come. No one who intends to go against the APC, which has failed in its promises but thrives on propaganda will go with a divided camp. This explains the urgency with which the party ought to retrace its step in the right direction with the hope of salvaging the already bad situation within the shortest time.
“Whatever the party or the presidential candidate had agreed with Governor Nyesom Wike should have been followed as a mark of honesty, sincerity and in the spirit of the unity of the party. Plunging the party into unnecessary disagreements months away from the general elections is not in the interest of the party or its teeming supporters who were looking forward to a formidable front to dislodge the APC and the sufferings it has brought on the people.”
The elder statesman expressed delight that the Party now have a presidential candidate, preparing to take over power in 2023 but cautioned that “until we correct the mistakes, which we deliberately made, the future is bleak and the PDP may be caught in a trap it has set for itself.
“We cannot run a campaign for a candidate whose campaign promise is hinged on uniting Nigerians but not be seen to be doing enough to bring party members together,” he stated.