From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos
As crisis in the Taraba state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP deepens, PDP Fans Club worldwide said the Acting Governor, Alhaji Garba Umar, is not plotting to remove his state party chairman, Victor Bala Kona.
The group in a statement signed by its Coordinator, Comrade Abdullahi Sani, said it is hard to imagine that what started as mere rumour or speculation in the streets of Jalingo will suddenly metamorphose into an open petition by Taraba PDP Youth Congress against the Acting Governor.
He said Umar has continued to maintain a dignified silence and self restraint in the face of provocative insults, insubordination and outright hatred from some disgruntled politicians in the state.
The group said the state petition is not only an attempt to invent a crises or division in the state PDP, “but also a shameful and irresponsible attempt to bring the party into disrepute, hatred or contempt as well as engaging in unauthorized publicity of disputes”.
According to him, “there is nothing in the petition to indicate that the Acting Governor or any of his aides, had at any time challenged or questioned Hon. Kona over his responsibilities as Chairman of the party in the State, inspite of many glaring evidence of indiscretion and indignation against the Acting Governor.
The group described allegations that state money has been voted for the party chairman removal as absurd.
The fans said “ since there has never been any known altercation or disagreements, the Acting Governor cannot just suddenly initiate the removal of the Chairman by voting out money and threatening party members.”
The group noted that Kona’s travails with INEC predated Alhaji Garba Umar UTC’s appointment as Deputy Governor and subsequent elevation as Acting Governor.
“How then is he responsible for “letters written by the Independent National Electoral Commission” on the constitutionality or otherwise of Kona’s election? Hon. Victor Bala Kona should have confidence on the law courts or the ability of the National Secretariat to settle issues instead of misdirecting his grievances.”
The PDP group added that the Acting governor as the leader of the party has at his disposal many constitutional ways to remove the Chairman if need be, “without resorting to the cheap alternative of bribing the Exco members or threatening anyone. Besides, the Acting Governor already has a firm grip of the party and government in the State based on his prudent and people oriented style of leadership.”
The group alleged that Hon. Victor Bala Kona has always portrayed himself as being above the State Acting Governor as against the PDP constitution.