Sunday, May 28, 2017 2:28 pm
The PDP in Plateau has gone philosophical over the gale of defections that has emasculated its fold, declaring on Sunday that God was “sieving the chaff from the grain”.
“The defections do not surprise us; we believe that God is sieving. He is blowing away the chaff and leaving only the grain,” the party’s Chairman, Mr Damishi Sango, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos.
NAN reports that the party has lost many of its key members including Sen. Joshua Dariye, Rep. Edward Pwajok and Yusuf Gagdi, Deputy Speaker, Plateau House of Assembly, to the APC.
The party, which also had 13 members to APC’s 11, when the Plateau House of Assembly was inaugurated in June 2015, currently has only eight, while the APC has 16.
But Sango told NAN that the defecting members had only confirmed that they were only interested in where there was power.
“The defecting members have proved that they are fair weather friends that we do not need because such people will also be quick to leave the APC today, if it is out of power.
“We are happy that the chaff is being blown off. We want only genuine members to remain. The party needs to begin a fresh process of growth and cannot go far in these trying times if members are not totally committed,” he said.
Noting that the defectors were elected representatives, he alleged that “most of them were spoon-fed and won elections because PDP was in power both in the state and at the centre”.
“Plateau has been a PDP state since 1999. Most of the defectors won elections because PDP was in power. Now that we have lost power, they have jumped to the party in power because they fear that they cannot win elections on merit.”
Describing the defectors as “new generation politicians”, he said that most of them had not been detained, imprisoned, framed up, or even tear-gassed over their political convictions to toughen them for challenges frequently faced by those in opposition.
“Most young politicians only know the rosy side of politics. They have never tasted the other side. That is what is responsible for these defections that are threatening Nigeria’s political maturity and democratic growth,” he said.
Sango promised that the PDP would work toward building a united front so as to regain power in 2019, and called on members to be steadfast and make sacrifices.
The chairman, however, dismissed suggestions that the party had already anointed candidates ahead of the 2019 general elections.
“There is no truth in the claim that we already have anointed candidates. I am not aware of that. I have promised to be fair to every aspirant; nothing can change that.
“There will be no impunity. The party members will decide who will contest what. We have resolved that there will be no imposition,” he said.
Sango said that the leadership crisis in the party, often cited as a reason for defection, would soon be resolved by the Supreme Court, and cautioned those seeking to leave the party against causing confusion before exiting.
The chairman tasked PDP members on discipline, and particularly warned against anti-party activities.
“Anti-party activity is a capital offence in politics. It is the most dangerous political offence anyone can commit. Any member involved in anti-party activity will not be spared,” he warned.