As the congresses leading to the National Convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC) continues at the local government level comes Saturday 12 MAY 2018. the recently concluded ward congresses was not without its own challenges as many took on the APC chairman and the Governor of plateau state, with the serious allegation that the forms where bought by the Governor and shared to House of assembly members, an attempt to undermine internal party democracy which allows for the rights to vote party structures from the wards to the National.
The allegation further insinuates that the APC chairman is both a member of the convention which generally negates the principle of justice and fair play.
Hon latep Dabang in a brief interview with viewpointNigeria’s Dakwom Longgul on starlight talk, clears the air, pointing to numerous instances of consultations across board that necessitated the Congress by consensus
Below the full text of the interview:
Hon chairman sir, how would you describe the just concluded ward congresses in the state?
Well the wards congress was very peaceful, without any rancor, without any acrimony, I was following the development in each local government alongside the congress committee that came from the National secretariat, I can assure you that plateau had virtually a consensus congress where most of the people seem to emerge by way of consensus .
Well Mr chairman, can you respond to the allegation making the news that indeed there was a calculated attempt by you and the Governor of the state to ridicule democracy, hence you shared forms to house of Assembly Members to adopt the existing structure which you belong to yourself, and you tagged it as” affirmation “ so instead of fresh elections we have imposition, is that true?
That is not true, that is absolutely false. If you have been following the development of the politics, on that, at the expiration of the tenure of this current executive, it was suggested that they act as caretaker for a period 12 months which some people erroneously term elongation and misinformed the president, and the president came back on the second NEC to request that the NEC should take a look at the erstwhile decision to make sure it does not infringe on the constitution or the law guiding the party.
A technical committee was set up chaired by Governor Simon Bako Lalong , the report of that committee was clear to that effect, that the resolution of the NEC did not infringe on the constitution of Nigeria or the laws governing the party. However , since the preference was for congress the fear or rather issues that initiated the thinking for the caretaker should be address and once that is done the congress can be conducted. Again at the NEC resolution of 9th April it was resolved that the party should go for congresses, and that where the congresses failed it should revert to the caretakers, again , the recommendation was for the party to go for congresses and so if consensus failed you can go for congress .
The agreement of the stake holders on the plateau was consensus, considering the fact that we could not hold our Local Government elections base on security advice, hence , it was advisable that we do not go for a full blown congresses but as much as possible look inwards and see if we can go for congress by way of consensus . After the stake holders meeting, the three senatorial zones dissolved to their respective zones and adopted consensus- adopting and passing vote of confidence the current structure of the party from ward to the state. After the senatorial meeting, it broke down to local government, respectively, each local government also took the message to their various local governments and the same resolution of consensus was adopted, at the ward again most wards took the consensus.
Interestingly, as of the time of the congress most of the ward went to the bank pay in and collected their forms however, the consensus did not exclude anyone from buying the form, you see for anyone to say that house of assemblies members were given form is false, you will observe that no one claims he came to the head quarters and was denied the forms, again the NEC adopted the current zoning arrangement, for the ward- poling units are the structures for the zoning, while the wards are the structures for the local government, the LG remains the structures for the state and the state remain the structures for the national zoning System. The implication therefore, is that where the positions are now should be treated as where the positions have been zoned hence, the guidelines also captures the spirit of the aforementioned, so any body picking the form must pick the one zoned for his poling unit ,ward, local Government or state, this is in order to avoid the situation where the zoning process is abused . So if people did not see it in this light and think differently about what does not exist and begin to fabricate stories I will say it is unfortunate, the party is bigger than individuals.
Many think that your appointment in to the Congress Advisory and National Convention Committee is against justice and fair play, people see it as though you are being a judge in your case because you are suppose to stand in for elections in the same convention, what is your take?
I was surprise when I heard that on this PDP station called Jay Fm, I laugh because am not a member of the appeal committee, because that is what I heard them saying, am not a member of the appeal committee, for plateau state they are five and are currently in the state . I’ am a member Congress Advisory and National Convention Committee, at the National is not a plateau issue
So is after the party is done with the state congress that you will act?
In fact, our job is finished, ours was a task before the convention, we are an advisory committee for the purposes of advising the party on how the congress and convention should be conducted and we have submitted our report long ago, the committee is chaired by the governor of Bauchi State… so for somebody to say am a judge in my case is misleading to say the lease, ignorant of the working of the party.
The next in line, is the LG Congress, what are we expecting again?
If what the people of plateau state have agreed is anything to go by, then we are expecting a very peaceful congress and to go in the same pattern, let me repeat for emphasis, if anybody want to contest , such a person should go to the bank and pay and bring the teller to the secretariat for the forms, then the delegates at that elections will decide.
What is your Final comment to both opposition and party stalwarts as the process continues?
For the opposition is a fruitless exercise, we know them, we can smell them, so they should not waste their time, like I said I have been monitoring what has been happening in one of the radio stations, I called it PDP radio station, what they are trying to do is to create confusion bad blood among party faithful but I can assure you that it will not work because we have carried out serious sensitization to our people at various level. The few disgruntled elements within the party should learn to respect the opinion of others. I wish to appeal to the people of plateau state to respect the decision for the sake of peace, because if the violence that we have had in other states where lives are lost for nothing , absolutely nothing then plateau surely deserve some accolade
Mr chairman sir, don’t you think the violence witnessed nationally will affect the integrity of the party?
Well it might not, because disagreement and agreement in politics it’s self is part of politics. It is my hope that those few areas will soon settle and withdraw their sword because I know soon our elders will intervene , and when you compare the area in question as against the 36 states, you will see that the areas are few, I hope that we will be resolved I don’t think it will do any serious consequence.
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