Former Benue Governorship candidate under the People’sDemocratic Party (PDP), Rt. Hon. Terhemen Tarzoor, PhD has anounced his defection to the All Progressives Congress however will not contest for governorship or any other elective position in 2019 general elections.
He said this in a lenghty press release yesterday where he explained his decision to leave the PDP over issues of internal democracy.
“My dear compatriots, recall that recently I held a world press conference in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, where I announced my withdrawal from the Benue governorship race for 2019 under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). During that conference, I provided a trajectory of the events that culminated to my withdrawal from the race. Be that as it may, for the benefit of those who did not listen to that conference, let me re-echo some of the issues again.
“I joined the PDP in 2006, and I have remained a card carrying member of the party in the last 12 years. During this period, I contested for and won the elections in 2007 to represent Makurdi North constituency in the Benue State House of Assembly, from whence I was elected the Majority Whip. I also recontested for the same seat in 2011 and won and was eventually elected Speaker. However, this victory was short lived following the annulment of that victory in court. Despite the nullification of my election by the court, I remained steadfast and focused and carried on as a card carrying member of the party.
“In 2012, I once again declared to contest for the Benue governorship election in 2015 and as faith would have I emerged the winner during the primaries. However, my party lost during the general election. The defeat of my party cut across several other elections including the federal level. I challenged the outcome of that election up to the Supreme Court but again we lost.
“As one of the leaders of the party in the state, we commenced the process of reinventing and repositioning the party for effective service delivery going forward. This was after we critically x- rayed the circumstances that surrounded our lackluster performance during the 2015 general elections. As an opposition party, I joined other well meaning party faithfuls (at the point that the moral of members was at its lowest ebb) in the re-engineering process which produced wonderful outcomes. In a short while the PDP became the beautiful bride. Our efforts rekindled hope especially in the face of the failing of the government of Benue State.
“Having repositioned the party, myself and some other members joined the race for the 2019 governorship race. I tranversed the state, held critical consultations and reminded the people that the state was at a crossroads and needed urgent surgery. I also told them that I possessed the magic wand to fix these challenges.
“However, in the last six weeks, events in the party clearly indicate that what we worked and fought for appear to have been rocked by some self-serving and self-seeking politicians within the party. This followed the dramatic de camping of the governor into the PDP, a party that he had tirelessly accused in his last three years in office, for being responsible for his inability to perform. Within this period, he set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry which indicted several members of the PDP of embezzling more than N102 billion. Within this period, several other members of the opposition where harassed, intimidated, locked up, beaten and molested by the then government. Despite all these threats a lot of party members remained steadfast and faithful. Paradoxically, it was strange that the governor chose to go back to his vomit when he decamped to a party he so much vilified in the last three and half years without looking back .
“Following the governor’s dramatic de-camping from the APC, there were allegations that he was negotiating to control the party’s structure on 60 to 40 per cent basis, a move that was condemned by me and all the other aspirants in the PDP. We the PDP governorship aspirants made our position clear to our teeming members and the national Secretariat in a press conference which predated the governor’s official de camping.
“Despite our condemnation of this purported act, the National Working Committee (NWC) penultimate week strolled into Makurdi and officially handed over the structures of the party to governor in a somewhat bizarre arrangement that did not only surreptitiously impose him as a leader of the party in the state but also resolved to cede some party positions to him. This, in my opinion, amounts to the highest level of impunity and deceit perpetuated by a political party being reengineered to emancipate the people from the inept leadership and abysmal performance of the government of the day.
“The action of the NWC in connivance with a few members of the leadership smacks disrespect for members of the party who have passed through endemic agony and pain in the last three and half years. Secondly, their action is a clear manifestation that the party is unwilling to provide a level playing field for all aspirants in the forthcoming primaries. Also, by that action, the party is deliberately working out a mechanism to handover the governorship ticket to the governor on a platter of gold.
“Arising from the forgoing encumbrances and challenges that currently bedevil the PDP epitomised by the horse trading and severe impunity, I wish to formally inform all my teeming supporters that by closing the Democratic space, the PDP is no longer capable of protecting my interest and the collective interest of other party members. Consequently, I wish to unofficially announce that I will be resigning my membership of the PDP in a formal ceremony to be announced soon, and I shall pitch my tent with the APC.
“My decision to resign from the PDP must be understood clearly within the context of the internal dynamics in the party which is antithetical to the logic of the repisitioning we envisaged. It is difficult for me to come to terms with the idea of remaining and working in the party with those same people who were recently on the other side, and under whose watch the state is at the precipice.
“I also wish to state unequivocally that I will not be contesting for the governorship or any other position under the platform of the APC in the 2019 elections. Put differently, I am not joining the APC because I want to seek it’s ticket for any elective office, far from that. I have said it repeatedly that my ambition to be governor is not a do or die affair. All I seek for is that platform that can set the course for the transformation of Benue State.
“As I leave the PDP, I wish to appreciate my leaders in the party. I am particularly grateful to Senator David Mark and Dr Gabriel Suswam for their support. I wish to state that I hold all members and leaders of the PDP in high respect. As I part with PDP, I hold no grudge or hard feelings against any one. I sincerely pray that God should search our hearts and guide us aright to serve the people of Benue State in truth and in faith for the overall benefit of the citizenry.” The statement read.
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