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PDP may be losing grounds in Taraba as major stakeholders shun party congress

If the signals emerging from the state congress of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Taraba are anything to go by, then party may be losing its grips on the state which could jeopardise its chances in the 2023 elections.

The Taraba State PDP held its congress on Wednesday evening in Jalingo, the state capital. It was largely peaceful but not well attended as some major stakeholders in the party shunned the congress.

Among those who were conspicuously absent include Emmanuel Bwacha, senator representing Taraba Southern Zone, Abel Peter Diah, immediate past speaker of the Taraba State House of Assembly, Riman Shawulu, member representing Ussa/Donga Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, and David Fuoh, member representing Sadauna Gashaka/Kurimi Federal Constituency.

Others were Mark Bako Useni, former speaker of the Taraba State House of Assembly and member representing Takum II, Charles Mejankai, immediate past deputy speaker of the State House of Assembly, Garba Agiya, representing Takum I, and many other key players of the party in the state.

Before the congress, there appeared to have rumours skirmishes between the state governor, Darius Ishaku, and Emmanuel Bwacha, senator representing Taraba Southern Senatorial Zone where the governor comes from, a party source who spoke to BusinessDay on the sidelines of the congress said.

The source, who preferred not to be named, said the reason for the impeachment of Abel Peter Diah as speaker of the State Assembly could be linked to his closeness to Bwacha as both were said to have been in secrets meetings.

“If people are not carried along, massive decamping from PDP to alternative political parties is imminent in the state,” another source told BusinessDay.

When contacted on the telephone on why he was absent at the congress, Bwacha simply said, “One, I am bereaved, and two, if PDP key players of the party in Taraba are not in attendance at the congress, it is bad news for the PDP in Taraba.”

Earlier, Governor Ishaku said he was encouraged that the congresses, both at the local governments and state levels were successful.

While congratulating the new exco, Ishaku urged the members of the party to support them for the overall interest of the PDP in the state.

The chairman of the PDP, Kefas Agbu, in his acceptance speech on behalf of other excos said he would take the party to an enviable height.

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