Former minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Plateau State gubernatorial candidate of the PDP in the 2019 general election, Lt. Gen. Sen. Jeremiah Timbut Useni (rtd), has said that the purported swearing-in of the
ward excos as announced by the state secretary of the party will not give PDP the desired reconciliation but split the party ahead of 2023.
He noted that there were serious issues that were yet to be addressed from the congresses and explained that the Plateau State Government had issued a lockdown notice when the local government congresses were conducted in the state.
Useni in a statement signed by his media consultant, Yiljap Abraham said the secretary of the party had issued a notice to all LGA chairmen of the PDP to inform the ward chairmen to stand by for a swearing-in on Thursday.
According to the statement, the party secretary had notified them “to inform all the newly elected ward EXCOs in your LGA to be on standby for possible swearing in ceremonies on Thursday 30/04/05” (sic), and undertakes to communicate details of the plan “in due course.”
Useni said: “I am not aware of such “swearing in” as is being contemplated. It has neither been officially brought to my notice as a critical stakeholder in PDP, and indeed leader of the party in Plateau State, nor has it been discussed and agreed upon as the collective decision of the faithful, sacrificial and hardworking PDP stakeholders in the state.
“This is because the ward congress itself, and other congresses scheduled by the party had resulted in unresolved issues from across the state by party members.
“I am rather fully aware that such contentions have been documented and presented to the national secretariat of our great party for proper resolution by our leaders.
“I state unequivocally that there has been no official report by the Congress c mm Committee or the Congress Appeal Committee on the congress itself. The question therefore is: who then are those who have been lined up for “swearing in” at the behest of the state secretary?
“Even on the LG congress, it was clear that the Plateau State Government had already announced a lockdown on the state to curtain the spread of the Coronavirus among our good people of Plateau. Their health should have been of greater concern to us as a responsible party than our craving for political offices.”
He said that the swearing-in being contemplated will not bring the desires inclusive, reconciliation and unity of purpose sorely needed to prepare the party ahead of the next crucial battle.
Useni advised the party leadership and major stakeholders not to insist on the accelerating path that will lead the party to more bumbs and tempests.
“I call on you all to discountenance the notice by the office of the secretary, and await further developments on concrete steps to ensure togetherness in the party by our national officials.”
“I further appeal to members and supporters of the PDP not to give room for the destabilisation of the very good achievements of the recent past, but to rather stay focused on rebuilding our relationships and channelling our resources toward bouncing back in 2023.”
Sen. Useni called on the people of Plateau to remain strong and courageous in the face of the challenges posed by COVID-19.
“It is a passing phase. Plateau people are alert, resilient and tough enough to overcome this challenge. We must come out of it stronger, healthier, and wiser.”