By Shabul Mazadu
It was laughable reading a tale by moonlight daubed as defence, in respect to Plateau Peoples Democratic Party’s, PDP’s heavy casualties at the Appellate Court, by Ukandi Udey, blaming the Court’s president for the party’s woes whereas she is totally innocent of all the clumsy and futile allegations.
What is really happening to the PDP is the law of Karma, and there is no amount of nonsensical broth of defence by apportioning blames or concocted lies in defence can save it from reaping what it sowed.
The PDP is in this quagmire of loosing all the elective seats it won due to its brazen culture of disrespecting the party’s constitution, Electoral Act and Constitution of the Federal Republic to thrive politically which the Court of Appeal’s President, Monica Dongban-Menzem and General Jeremiah Useni have no hands in it.
Since the advent of the Fourth Republic, the PDP which was the ruling party in Nigeria and Plateau, had placed itself above the law and did whatever it pleased until it became a victim of its schemes.
Before considering Plateau’s case, let’s briefly take a glimpse of the PDP’s atrocities at the National level.
The pioneer Fourth Republic President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo of the PDP did the following:
Single handedly suspended then Plateau state Governor, Joshua Dariye, from the party in September 2005 without following the laid down procedures as stipulated by the PDP constitution.
2) Illegally impeached sitting governors: Ayo Fayose of Ekiti, 13th October, 2006; Rasheed Ladoja of Oyo, January 12, 2006; Peter Obi of Anambra 2nd November, 2006 and Joshua Dariye of Plateau, 13th November, 2006.
The Court reinstated them except Fayose who did not seek redress in court.
Then Chairman of the PDP, Audu Ogbeh, wrote a letter to Obasanjo cautioning him over constitutional breaches, but was forced to resign.
Coming down to Plateau, the current PDP came to existence through coup de tat.
When Obasanjo sacked Dariye from the party in September 2005 without recourse to the party’s procedure of suspension or sack, Plateau State Abuja politicians in connivance with Jonah David Jang and others forcefully took over the party structure with pro tempore executive by setting aside the party’s constitutional provisions of replacing EXCOs, and set up the factional party Headquarters at Dadin Kowa Second Gate; and sealed the original Headquarters at Kalwa House, Yakubu Gowon way, using security forces.
The former EXCO and their supporters exited the PDP and joined the Action Congress of Democrats, ACD.
The PDP then went ahead using Federal might to illegally impeached Dariye from governance for the sake of winning the 2007 general elections.
The new PDP whose today’s is its progeny, was formed through coup de tat and came to power through illegal process.
In power, the PDP dissolved the legacies of Dariye which were: newly created Chiefdoms, Districts and Development areas and also the promoted traditional institutions that were at the instance of the resolve of the people of Plateau during the Emergency Rule in 2004.
The PDP dissolved them without repealing the law that created them. This is also an abuse of due process.
The Supreme Court ruled that Tudun Wada belongs to Affizere, and is Gyese, the PDP administration disregarded the ruling and named it Jishe.
The PDP disregarded the gentleman agreement of power rotation in 2015, and force its way on the state and the citizens revolted by voting the party out.
Seeing that it always gets away with illegality, it got the leverage to stage a kangaroo Congress which resulted into intra party crises such that the aggrieved sought redress in court and it became the party’s albatross at the 2021 local government elections.
The PDP’s refusal to obey court order of repeating the congress in line with the party’s constitution, suffered shipwreck by loosing its Jos North/Bassa Federal Constituency re-run victory in court in 2022.
Despite the obvious signs and warnings before the 2023 general elections that it will loose its victories in court after the polls, the party was stiff-necked and went ahead to contest with the arrangement of bullying whoever will rule against its illegality as it is currently doing.
It is criminal offence to forge letters against someone, but the PDP did against Labour Party’s, LP’s, national Chairman, Julius Abure, and Plateau State Governorship candidate, Dr. Patrick Dakum, claiming they have stepped down for the PDP to win the governorship.
Jeremiah Useni and Monica Dongban-Menzem never advised the PDP to be undemocratic.
If the PDP has an iota of sense, it would have envisaged that there is always a revolt if the people are dissatisfied when deprived of their rights as the case was in 2015 when it imposed G.N.S Pwajok as its governoship candidate.
General Jeremiah Useni who is working hard to ensure internal democracy ensued in the PDP, is a stranger to the party’s tradition of disrespect to due process, constitution of the party and others by virtue of being a new member who joined in 2014.
When Musa Agah, then member representing Jos North/Bassa Federal Constituency lost his victory in court by virtue of non structure to sponsor him, the counsel of Muhammad Gwani of the PRP said, “With the judgment, PDP has no candidate in the 2023 general elections.”
Two days to the 2023 general elections, the LP governorship running mate, Edward Pwajok (SAN), warned that any vote for the PDP is a wasted one. But the party didn’t heed to the warning, instead it went ahead and wanted the court of Appeal which has judicial precedence on the same matter to make a U-turn on its judgment. Where has that ever been done?
Zik said, “Coming events must first cast their shadow, and only fools can fail to decipher the handwriting on the wall of destiny.” If the APC sees the PDP repeating the same mistake that led to its defeat and started celebrating victory, should it be interpreted as connivance with the judiciary to defraud? whose fault? It’s just like the absence of the logo of a party on ballot papers and losers start celebrating cancellation of the election at the tribunal, won’t it be laughable for anyone to accuse them of connivance with the court to cancel the election?
The recent excursion to US embarked by the temporary governor, Caleb Mutfwang, claiming he went seeking for investors, showed another brazen disrespect for due process. How can a governor go seeking for investors without going with his commissioners in the areas concerned for the sake of signing Memoranda of Understanding, MoU, but with family and friends?
Undemocratic acts are hereditary in PDP. Hence, its not surprising at its fault finding against the judiciary.
The issue of pre-election matter not futuring in post election matter is laughable. Pre election matters are the foundation of post election matters. Therefore you cannot talk of post election matters without reference to pre election matters. And when the foundation cracks, the building will crack. When the foundation sinks, the building will sink too.
Party Congress and primaries and electioneering campaigns are pre election matters, and they determine the participation of candidates in election. After elections, they alongside the election are subject to scrutiny to justify every victory by the defeated in court.
What will the loser accuse the victor with outside pre election and election matters?
Pre election, and elections have guidelines which must be adhered to. Violating the guidelines voids all victories either by re-run or awarding victory to the runners-up.
If party affairs is dragged to a law court, it becomes a public issue which anyone can use against the political party.
Disobedience to court order is not a party affair, and those involved cannot hold public offices, because democracy is all about the rule of law; and those that will come to the law, must come with clean hands.
Ukandi baselessly accused the APC and Appellate Court of connivance whereas his party caused the calamity devouring it like a hungry tyrannosaurus rex.