By Marie-Therese Nanlong
The embattled Plateau State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Hon. Damishi Sango has resigned and handed his seat to his Deputy, Hon. Amos Gombi.
Sango officially vacated office on Thursday after having series of running battle with the Party’s stakeholders for over seven months.
He, however, reiterated his loyalty to the Party and solicited support for the Acting Chairman, Mr. Gombi.
At a meeting held at the Party’s Secretariat, Sango said, “You are aware that since April this year, the state chapter of our great party has been rocked by a tsunami-like crisis that has threatened its very existence as one united political party. This followed my purported suspension along with my deputy as Chair and deputy, respectively, by some members of the executive committee on trumped-up allegations of mismanaging funds meant for the party’s logistics arrangements in the 2019 presidential election in the State.
“Following the unfortunate incident, determined to resolve the crisis and get the Chapter moving again, the national leadership of the Party, led by Prince Uche Secondus, set a three-man committee, under the chairmanship of Senator David Mark, to look into the said allegations and advise it accordingly. The Senator Mark-led committee swung into action immediately, having an interface with individuals and different stakeholder groups within the Party in the State, including Senators Ibrahim Mantu, Jonah Jang and Jeremiah Useni; former Speakers of the State House of Assembly; sitting members of the National Assembly and State House of Assembly.
“The three wise persons, after a painstaking exercise, dutifully submitted their report to the National Working Committee (NWC). On receipt of the report, an interactive meeting between the NWC and selected stakeholders from the state was convened at the Legacy House, Abuja by the National Chairman. At that August meeting, the National Chairman communicated the following, which were adopted as resolutions: The Senator Mark Committee did not find me guilty of any financial impropriety, and so I was exonerated of all allegations against me.
“Pursuant to my being exonerated, the group of sixteen executive committee members should write to the NWC, withdrawing their allegations; Upon the withdrawal of the allegations, in consideration of the fact that there’s bad blood between me and most of my colleagues in the executive committee, particularly the group of sixteen, and to pave way for peace in the State Chapter, I should step aside as Chairman.”
He added, “In line with provisions of the party’s constitution, my deputy, Hon. Amos Gombi shall be Acting Chairman. The group of sixteen have written to the NWC as resolved, I have been communicated by the NWC accordingly and I have also written to the NWC; the sequence of events is now complete: I am formally stepping aside as the State Chairman of our great Party.
“Before I do this, I seek your indulgence to make a few remarks. First of all, I wish to express my sincere gratitude to the PDP family in the State for giving me the opportunity to serve in this capacity. I do no take my three-years sojourn at the helm of affairs of this great Party in the State for granted. Secondly, I would like to place on record my gratitude to the national leadership of the Party for the cooperation I received in my official capacity as State Chairman, for standing by me at my most difficult moments, and for the amicable resolution of the crisis that tended to destroy all that we had laboured to put in place in the last three years.”
He lamented the internal crises which have always rocky the leadership of the Party in the State and called for a change of attitude so that the Party can flourish stressing, “Although Plateau State is the birthplace of our great Party, its leadership, especially the tenure of the Chairman, has always been dictated by the whims and caprices of some forces.
“My stepping aside this afternoon is a product of the activities of such forces that usually feel that the leadership of the Party is there to do their bidding, even at the expense of majority considerations. Let me use this opportunity to specially speak to those of you who may wish to contest certain offices/positions in the future. I have noticed over the years that there is always a tendency of creating confusion within the Party, or outright detection when things don’t go our way, even when primary elections are adjudged free, fair and transparent. Let’s resolve to always join hands with winners in greater interest of the Party.
“It is my earnest prayer that my exit today shall cause us to resolve that never again shall we allow narrow-focused personal or group interests to determine the tenure of elected leaders of our Party. We cannot afford to have such forced exits (albeit through trumped-up allegations, like in my own case) to continue as a common feature of our journey.
“I hold no grudges against those who felt and acted otherwise, as I bow out today, feeling fulfilled, and having been cleared of the trumped-up allegations, I wish to make a solemn declaration: That as a founding member of this great Party and a former minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I will continue to avail the Party of my services at all levels and at all times. My doors shall remain wide open to all of you. I call on those I am leaving behind in the Executive Committee and other organs of the party to work in harmony with Hon. Amos Gombi, the incoming chairman as the Party finds its footing once more.”