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Fresh row over Atiku’s return

By Dayo Benson, Political Editor and Umar Yusuf
LAGOS—CONTROVERSY surrounding former Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s return to the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, seems not to have been over as Adamawa State chapter of the party has insisted that Atiku was yet to be re-registered in the state.

In a reaction to claims by a faction of the PDP in Adamawa that he was not duly registered, Atiku said “those making the claims are living in the past when PDP contravened its own constitution by appointing the much discredited ‘linksmen’ to register and re-register members of the party at the expense of constitutionally recognized party officials.”

The fresh controversy over the former vice president’s re-registration came on the heels of Atiku’s display of his registration card at a news conference in Abuja, Tuesday.

While the State Party Chairman, Alhaji Umaru Miginyawa Kugama, said the registration card displayed was fake, Atiku’s media office, however, insisted the authentic PDP Chairman in his ward issued him the card, saying that he did not need a linkman to register in the state.

Reacting to the PDP registration card which Atiku displayed in Abuja, Alhaji Kugama, said at no time had the PDP in the state registered the former vice president in the party.

In a telephone interview in Yola, Kugama said that the former vice president got his card from the Madam Teneke Faction of the party which was not recognized.

Kugama said: “Adamawa State chapter of the PDP vehemently disassociates itself from the purported PDP card displayed by Atiku Abubakar and his associates. The card and the faction of the PDP that issued that card are all fake and as such be regarded as null and void of no effect.”

He, therefore, advised Nigerians to disregard the card and the faction that issued it to Atiku Abubakar.
The PDP chairman advised the embattled former vice president to seek the legitimate way of re-registering with the PDP by going through the appropriate organ of the party.

Atiku responds

In his reaction, Atiku said: “Those making the claims are living in the past when PDP contravened its own constitution by appointing the much discredited ‘linksmen’ to register and re-register members of the party at the expense of constitutionally recognized party officials.

“The Constitution of the PDP invests the Chairman and Secretary of the party at the ward level with the responsibility of registering members. Atiku was re-registered on 7th April, 2010 by the undisputed chairman of the PDP in Yeli ward, Fidelis Kosa and the ward secretary, Mahmud Sanda who are recognized by all factions of PDP in Adamawa State and duly recognized by the party at the local, state, zonal and national levels.

“Only last week, the National Vice Chairman of the party in the North East, Mr. Paul Wampana announced the directive of the National Headquarters to state chapters to register returning and new members. Are these people superior to the party’s national leadership?

“Those making these false claims in Adamawa erroneously believe we are still in the era of ‘garrison politics.’ They are living in the past.”


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