As Ardo accuses Atiku of hijacking party
It is untrue, I’m in APC, not PDP—Ex-VP
By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA— A former Special Assistant to Vice President Atiku Abubakar and a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Dr. Umar Ardo, has called for the cancellation of results of last Saturday ward congresses in Adamawa State.
Dr. Ardo made the plea, yesterday, shortly after submitting a petition to Adamawa State PDP Congress Appeal Panel in Abuja.
But in a swift reaction, Abubakar denied the allegations of hijacking the PDP structure in his home state of Adamawa, noting that it was impossible for him to hijack PDP from another party.
Speaking through his media adviser, Paul Ibe, Atiku said he couldn’t have hijacked PDP as he was not a member of the party, saying: “It is ludicrous to accuse a man who is not a member of a party of having hijacked the party structure. Whoever is making this allegation has to look elsewhere for their failings.”
However, Ardo in a petition contended that the congress was nothing but “a lackluster contraption that has no standard rules and guidelines, no judicial legitimacy and is an utter disgrace to the PDP.”
According to him: “No election took place in Toungo, Ganye Mayo Belwa, Demsa, Numan, Shelleng, Yola North, Yola South, Mubi South, Michika and Madagali Local Government Areas. Caretaker Committee members representing these local government areas simply sat in their rooms and drew up their lists and submitted as elected executive and were admitted.
“It is an open secret that the members of the caretaker committee connived and simply sat down and distributed the party offices amongst themselves,” a part of the petition read.
On Atiku alleged role in the congresses, Ardo said the former Vice President “Was involved directly. I have just told you that he called me to say that I should make sure certain persons get these positions.”
Asked to comment on Atiku’s rumoured plans to return to the PDP, Ardo claimed: “People say that there are three advantages of Atiku coming back to PDP. First, the party stands to be seen as bringing in men of timber and calibre because Atiku has a name; and so it will give the impression that PDP is attracting a man of worth.
“Secondly, he is usually described as a man of deep pocket. So he will be able to foot the bills of the party, which the party being out of government will need, as they say money is to politics what breast milk is to a baby. To that extent Atiku’s return is an advantage.
“Thirdly, he has people across the country. And these people will all be in the party as the mobilizers and these will all be an advantage. But against these three advantages, there are also three disadvantages. We learned Atiku is coming back to the party with an ambition; an ambition to contest for the presidency. Now that will be a source of conflict because there are others, even in the party who are also interested and they are nursing this ambition. There will be conflict among party members.
“Secondly, the deep pocket that Atiku has will just serve that ambition. But it will deepen the conflict. The third disadvantage is that those foot soldiers will also serve the ambition and in the process deepen the conflict. Along with the friends that Atiku will be coming with to the party are also those that will bring up enemies. For instance, it is an open secret and everybody know that Obasanjo will fight him.”