By Ndahi Marama, MAIDUGURI
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Borno State, on Wednesday, suspended its 2019 gubernatorial candidate, Mohammed Alkali Imam and former state Chairman of the party, Zannah Gaddama, for alleged anti-party activities and hijacking forms made for the coming Saturday’s congresses.
This was disclosed by the State Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Usman Baderi, represented by the Secretary, Yusuf Mohammed Dikko while briefing journalists at the party secretariat in Maiduguri.
He said, “As you are aware that the leadership of our great party was in Court for the past three and half years, which judgement was delivered on March 12 by the Supreme Court, where it affirmed Usman Baderi as the authentic PDP Borno State party Chairman.
“Based on the judgement of the apex court, the National Headquarters of the party ordered for our inauguration on the March 30.
“Right now, those we went to court with, such as Imam and Alhaji Gaddama, are destroying the party by creating factions within the party which is contrary to our party constitution, norms, ethics and values.
“Since our inauguration, we have received series of complains from wards and local governments on activities of those people who are trying to destroy the party just as what they did in 2017 up to 2019 general elections.
“Going by what is happening now and their refusal to answer queries given to them by the Disciplinary Committee, the State Working Committee sat with stakeholders of our great party and finally resolved to uphold the suspension of Mohammed Alkali Imam and Zannah Gaddama Mustapha for their refusal to obey the judgement of the Supreme Court and hijacking the Congress forms meant to be handled by the state party Chairman, Usman Mahdi Baderi,” Dikko stated.
READ ALSO: Borno PDP faction rejects Imam, others
Also in his submission, Mallam Bukar Bukar, who claimed to be Shehuri North Ward Secretary told journalists that “members of the PDP in the ward have since passed a vote of no confidence on the 2019 gubernatorial candidate of the party following his alleged hijacking of the PDP affairs for his selfish interest, hence his suspension is a welcome development.”
‘We can’t be suspended’
However, reacting to the development, the former Chairman of the party, Zannah Gaddama admitted that the Supreme Court judgement delivered in March this year was in favour of Baderi and four others to complete their tenure which ends October 16.
On their alleged suspension, he said: “Only the working committee made up of 14 officials can suspend anybody from the party.”
He insisted that 35 out of the 39 working committee members are still with them, and not with the Baderi-led Chairmanship.
Continuing, Gaddama said, “forms for PDP congresses are free for eligible member to purchase.
“Therefore, the question of hijacking the forms does not arise, because we used our hard earned money in purchasing the ones in our custody.”
Likewise, in a swift reaction at a press conference held at the NUJ Centre, PDP Shehu North ward executives including Chairman and Secretary, Tahiru Abatcha Mohammed Nur said, the suspension of Imam and Gaddama at a press briefing by One Dikko is null and void.
Umar Bello who is the State Organizing Secretary of PDP said, “about 5,000 ward executives are fully with Imam and Gaddama.
“Therefore, it came as a rude shock for Dikko to announce suspension of our leaders Hon Mohammed Imam and Hon Zannah Gaddama.
“All what Dikko said are bluntant lies aimed at destroying our great party.
“This is because, almost all 35 members of the working committee in the state are with us at this press centre today.
“The PDP ward congress will commence on September 25, this will followed by Local Government Congresses slated on October 5, while October 16, we will hold our State congresses which we are set for.
“Our party at the national level had gave a period of 30 days to every eligible member obtain or purchase the nomination forms with addition of another 10 days, unfortunately, the Baderi-led group failed to purchase the forms after collecting monies from people in the name of buying the forms for them to contest.
“I want to assure you and our team party supporters that PDP in the state is intact, unless the Baderi led group who are bent on demoralizing the party which is the main opppsition in the state.”