The faction of the Peoples Democratic Party in Plateau State loyal to the party’s candidate for last year’s governorship poll, Gen Jeremiah Useni (retd.), has set up a caretaker committee.
The committee is chaired by a former council chairman in the state, Nandom Pyennap.
The splinter group was formed less than one week after the state Publicity Secretary of the party, John Akans, announced that the PDP national headquarters had approved the extension of the state executive led by Mr Yakubu Chocho pending a new election.
But the secretary of the new committee, Godwin Bedir, who spoke to reporters in Jos on Friday after their inauguration, said it was illegal for Chocho and his exco to remain in office when their tenure had expired.
He said, “Chocho’s tenure as chairman of Plateau PDP elapsed on May 10, and they cannot continue to function in that office under any guise against Section 31,Sub-section 2(e) of the party’s constitution 2017 (as amended).
“Besides, the outgone exco is seeking reelection in the forthcoming state congress and, therefore, lacks lack the moral standing to superintendent the party. That is why we have the backing of the National Working Committee of the party to form a neutral caretaker committee which we have done with Nandom Penap as state chairman pending the election of new party officials.”
But Akans dismissed the formation of the splinter group, insisting the Chocho exco remained the authentic PDP leadership in the state.
He said, “Anyone claiming to have formed a caretaker committee of the state PDP other than the one led by Mr Yakubu Chocho is only out to cause confusion in the party and we will not allow that. We urge party stakeholders to disregard the activities of the splinter group because the National Working Committee has since resolved the issue regarding the party’s leadership and asked us to continue in office pending when an election is conducted.”
The development created tension at the party secretariat on Friday as police and thugs took over the building located along Yakubu Gowon Road in Jos.
The police blocked the entrance of the secretariat with their vehicle while the thugs said to be working for one of the factional party leaders milled around the premises.
One of the policemen, who spoke to our correspondent, said they were drafted to the place to prevent the breakdown of law and order.