By Ali Abare Abubakar
In a bid to tighten its grip on party structure in the state, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Adamawa State has set September 26 deadline for all the 21 local government chairmen, vice chairmen and councilors in the state to re-register as members of the party or lose their seats.
The ultimatum was said to have been issued by the Chairman of PDP in the state, Chief Joel Madaki at the party’s Stakeholders Meeting at the Government House in Yola preparatory to the flag-off of the guber bye-election.
The council leaders had voted in the September 6 governorship primary of the party which ushered in the Acting Governor, Umaru Fintiri as the party’s candidate for the guber.
This pre-emptive move is to stave off any anti party activities by the concerned party members ahead of the forthcoming governorship election in the state. It was gathered that the move was to secure the loyalty of the LGA chairmen to the Acting Governor and ensure the PDP victory at the governorship election billed to hold on October 11.The party fears that the LGA chairmen, who are perceived to be loyal to ex-Governor Murtala Nyako, might work against the interest of the PDP at the election.
It was also learnt that the step was taken to frustrate legal action against Fintiri’s emergence because all the LGA chairmen and councilors were card-carrying members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) during the primary.
Some party members had opposed the participation of the chairmen and the councilors on grounds that they were not given waiver by the PDP before voting at the primary. But the Electoral Committee headed by former Speaker, Dimeji Bankole was said to have snubbed the opposition due to pressure from some quarters.
It was learnt that the stakeholders’ session was attended by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Prof. Jibril Aminu, ex-PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, Sir Wilberforce Juta, Air Commodore Dan Suleiman and two serving Ministers, Boni Haruna and Zainab Maina among others.
A reliable source said: “The council chairmen and councilors are expected to re-register as PDP members from September 22 but they have up till September 26 to complete the process.
“If they fail to re-register, the councils will stand to be dissolved by the Acting Governor. This became necessary because they are still believed to be the leaders of APC in their Local Government Areas (LGAs).
“The party and the Acting Governor are jittery that the LG chairmen and councilors can sabotage Fintiri.”
Another source said: “The deceit surrounding the September 6 primary has started emerging because the panel from Abuja and a gang of PDP leaders allowed non-party members to vote as delegates to elect Fintiri.
“The electorates are beginning to realize the danger of voting for PDP in the coming governorship poll because they have fears that they can be shortchanged.
“If Fintiri has secured the support of all these people, why the need for deadline for LG chairmen, vice chairmen and councilors to re-register as PDP members?”
Commenting on the matter, Solomon Kumamgar, Chief Press Secretary to Acting Governor Fintiri, confirmed that the state PDP chairman, Chief Joel Madaki gave the directive at the stakeholders meeting for party officials at the council level to open registers but only for councilors to register not inclusive of chairmen and vice chairmen as disclosed by the source.