Nigerian Opposition leaders’ tenure extended, signalling fresh crisis

2 min read

Nigeria’s leading opposition, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has extended the tenure of its officials in Plateau State, stirring silent controversies.

Internal conflicts in 2019 caused the removal of then Chairman of the Party, Mr. Damishi Sango.

Mr. Yakubu Chocho, then a lower ranking Official, was elected to complete Sango’s four-year tenure which elapses May 10, 2020.

Based on the Party’s constitution, elections are expected to be held to replace the outgoing officials.

However, a letter from the National Secretariat of the Party, Wednesday mandated the old officials to continue in office until fresh elections are held.

The letter signed by the Party’s National Organizing Secretary, Mr. Austin Akobundu gave COVID-19 restrictions as reasons for the Party’s National Working Committee to hold Ward Congresses that would produce new officials in the State.

The outgoing officials, it is learnt have prepared a press statement to release on Sunday announcing the NWC’s decision.

Controversies had however started building since Wednesday when the State Party spokesperson issued a press statement pleading for support for the officials.

The statement was believed to be pre-conflict resolution strategy to quel criticisms that had persisted since last week when the Party inaugurated newly elected Ward officials via internet meeting.

The State Officials’ tenure extension, added to the virtual inauguration of Ward Officials, observers say might create fresh conflicts, slowing the Party’s chances of reclaiming power in 2023.

Similar conflicts in 2015 and 2019 causes the party to lose at general elections, despite having a 16-year leadership record.

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