The press conference was a sixteen-point item read by one Lawal Rufu’i Safana a supposedly spokesperson of the group. He was a former permanent secretary under the PDP administration of Former Governor of Katsina State His Excellency Barr. Dr. Ibrahim Shehu Shema CON. FNIM. Before his appointment as permanent secretary in 2007 he had been a sympathizer with the ANPP. He therefore cannot lay claim to being an Yar’Adua disciple. His sojourn in PDP had been a misadventure because PDP’s electoral fortunes node-dived in Safana local government from 2011 to date. He lost elections for the PDP consistently. Even in the 2019 general elections in which he was the PDP State Campaign Council Secretary, the party lost in all the elections. As a major PDP stakeholder in Safana LG he ensured the exit of prominent personalities in the party which included a former gubernatorial aspirant, former commissioner, former national assembly and state assembly members, former local council chairman and a host of others. As a matter of fact it was the last congresses that restored hope for the people of Safana to return back to the PDP.
In response to the items read in the press conference, we state as follows:
- The Katsina state High Court ruling of mollifying the state congress was never applauded by the members of PDP in Katsina State, The Peoples Democratic Party has since filed an Appeal at the Court of Appeal in Kaduna and even a date has been slated for hearing of the Appeal.
- In response to item (3) of the press conference in which he mentioned that the advisory committee has been financing the party from 2015 to 2019, that is false, it only assisted the party from 2015 to only 2017 where it stopped.
- In response to item (4) of the press conference, he mentioned that crisis in the party started when the party leadership disrespected the guidelines of the electoral college convened for the election of one out of the seven gubernatorial aspirants in the 2019 elections. This is false and clear misrepresentation of facts. All the Aspirants agreed on the mode of election. The conduct of the 86 delegates (14 state working Committee members, 38 Senatorial Exco and 34 LG Party Chairmen) at the electoral college in 2018 was in strict compliance with the laid down guidelines in which he Lawal Rufai was the secretary of the electoral committee under the Chairmanship of Hon Sani Abu Minista. Before the start of the process the six aspirants present delivered their speeches before the delegates one after the other. They all promised to accept the outcome of the election. He, Lawal Rufai cut out the ballot papers used, he was the one that counted the ballots after the election and a winner emerged. So the question is which guidelines were abused! The leadership of the party later announced that any aggrieved aspirant is free to participate in the primaries. One of the aspirants indicated his interest to participate. The primary elections were held and still the same winner emerged. The leadership of the party never had a preferred candidate
- In response to item (5) in which he mentioned clandestine activities of the leadership of the party in the process mentioned above, this is a clear mischief as there was no evidence to substantiate any of the allegations. The only thing is that majority of the aspirants refused to accept defeat on the outcome of the election in good faith. As muslims we should know that power belongs to God and He gives it to whom He wishes. In an election there must be a winner and looser. They wanted to have a soft landing, which they had and later turned it in to mischief. Had any one of them won, the others would have behaved in the same.
- In response to item (6), he mentioned that after the electoral college outcome the party leadership failed to assuage the other six aspirants, this is being very economical with the truth because, one of the six aspirants left the party the following day, another was visited by the party leadership In the guest house of a former commissioner where he promised to work for the successes of the party which he later renegade on his promise. One other aspirant was prevailed upon to either be given the Deputy Governorship ticket or the Senatorial ticket which he vehemently rejected. Rt Hon. Kabir Ahmad Kofa one of the aspirants accepted the outcome of the electoral college elections, he was visited in his house by the party leadership. He worked tirelessly for the successes of the party. An appointment was sought from one other candidate, who said he was on his way to Abuja. Before meeting him, he has decamped to the APC. The other candidate was also reached out to but we would not make public what transpired between him and the party leadership because he is now late. May God have mercy on him
- In response to item (7) Lawal Rufai mentioned that congresses were held without recourse to the party’s constitution and guidelines. This is absolutely false. The state chapter did not conduct any congresse: The ward, Local Government and State Congresses were conducted by the National body of the PDP through congress committees assigned to do the Job which was done in conformity with the guidelines, the constitution of the party and the electoral law. This was also in accordance with the scheduled timetable from sales of forms, submission, screening of aspirants, elections and Appeal. The Independent National Electoral Commission (NEC) and all security agencies were notified by the National Headquarters of the party and they were all present to witness each of the congresses. Each congress is accompanied by an appeal panel to address grievances of participants. Except if Lawal Rufai is saying that they know much more than the National headquarters of the PDP.
- In response to item (8), Lawal Rufai alleged personalization of the Party, this is clear mischief making. People were allowed to elect their party executives at all levels at the 2020 congresses. In his local government for instance all the ward and local government party executives were elected at the congresses and the people were satisfied. All he wanted was to be allowed to install his cronies in the affairs of the party. So that he would have total control of the party. In 2015 he wanted to install his brother as the state assembly candidate. His brother was defeated at the primary election house he did not have control. Thereafter, he was alleged to have teamed up with the APC by giving them funds to defeat the PDP candidate, Hon. Aminu Yakubu Safana.
- In response to item (9), Lawal Rufai read that, “with so many court cases, if care is not taken the party will have no peace and stability to plan, prepare, join and win seats in the 2023 general elections as a solid and strong entity.” We have to thank God for revealing their mindset to us. They are the ones that instituted the six court cases against us and now they are saying that the court cases would be an impediment to the successes of the PDP in the 2023 general elections. This is clearly their mission to sabotage the successes of the party. We are not unaware of all their nocturnal meetings and romance with the State APC government.
- In response to item (10). Lawal Rufai and & co, are directing the National Headquarters of the PDP, that it must come to the rescue of the Katsina Branch. This does not make sense at all. Don’t they know all the six court
cases they instituted against the PDP were against the National body? because by law you cannot take a branch to court. Now you want somebody that you have taken to count to intervene on your behalf. They were also bold to insinuate that we have not won any election since 2015 including “SIXTEEN” bye elections. As for winning the general elections in 2019 we did our best despite the fact that we are in the North West zone and in Katsina State, the home state of President Muhammadu Buhari. But in addition, our failure to win must have bearing on the caliber of their group members who have been all out to sabotage us. They are people who do not have any electoral value. The sixteen bye elections mentioned from 2015 – 2020 is false and misleading. We only had seven by election and one re-run election during this period in question, namely; (1)Katsina LG Federal Constituency bye election in 2015, (2) Jibia LG state constituency bye election in 2015, (3) Mashi Dutsi Federal Constituency bye elections in 2017,(4) Mashi/Dutsi re-run election in 2017, (5) Katsina North Senatorial District bye election in 2018, (6) Kankia/Kusada/Ingawa Federal Constituency bye election in 2018, (7) Sabuwa state constituency bye election in 2019 and (8) Bakori LGA state constituency bye election in 2020, In all these elections the results are there for all to asses our performances despite their serial anti party activities in all the elections.
- In response to item (11), (12), (13) (14) and (15) Lawal Rufai & Co. should not tell the National Headquarters what to do, since you have taken it to court without respect to the provisions of section 58 (1) (L) of the Peoples Democratic Party constitution as amended in 2017. The section read thus “subject to the provisions of this constitution, the party can discipline any member who; resorts to court action or litigation on any disputes or any matter whatsoever concerning rights obligations and duties of any member of the party without first availing himself of the remedies provided by the party under this constitution”.
- Finally, we are calling on all legitimate members of the PDP in Katsina State to remain focused and resolute as we are doing all things possible in conformity with the laws of the land to further consolidate the achievements of our great party for the challenges ahead. These people are all out to distract the good people of Katsina State from the security challenges of banditry and kidnapping couple with the poverty despite the humongous allocations received by the state from the federation account and the huge debt being accrued to the state. There is no commensurate effort in tackling these challenges. No amount of mischief, blackmail, envy, hatred or campaign of calumny will deter us from our path to glory. We are working towards 2023 in order to give purposeful leadership to the good people of Katsina State. May God continue to guide us. Ameen
HON. BISHIR SADA TSANNI
PDP STATE PUBLICITY SECRETARY