By Femi Bolaji
IT is the first month of 2021 but politicking ahead of the 2023 poll has started taking shape in Taraba State. The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has since the return to democracy in 1999 been producing the governor of the state.
While the leading opposition party, the All-Progressive Congress, APC, almost pulled a big surprise in 2015 when it fielded Aisha Alhassan, a former member of President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet, as its candidate, the PDP, however, went further in 2019 to once again show its dominance by winning the seat.
Alhassan, who has now moved to the PDP after another failed attempt to clinch the state’s number one seat under the United Democratic Party, UDP, in 2019, has further strengthened the support base of the party.
APC on the other hand was able to snatch David Fuoh, the member representing Gashaka/Kurmi/Sardauna federal constituency in the House of Representatives from PDP in October 2020. This according to pundits has proven that the APC is ready to give the ruling party a run for its money in the state by leaving no stone unturned.
As the battle for supremacy continues to rage, the PDP has, however, gone further to raise an assessment committee to profile the party structures across the 16 local government areas of the state to block all loopholes and strengthen its support base at the grassroots.
While this task has been concluded and the reports are still being considered, the PDP is confident that the next contest in 2023 will be a walkover.
State chairman of the party, Lt. Col. Agbu Kefas (retd), who assumed his position sometime in August 2020, posited that the new measures adopted to strengthen the party structure across the state are to ensure its candidates win future elections more than it had always done in the past.
He said: “From our disposition so far, you will know that we are a serious-minded people. And with the state of things in our party and the ongoing reorganisation, everybody wants to belong to this party.
“What we are doing currently is to make the party a home because PDP is a peoples’ party. With this in mind, we will continue to do the right thing and I can assure you that we are going to win future elections more than we have done in the past.”
He went further to state that anti-party activities would not be tolerated from members who are out to frustrate efforts of the party in future elections.
According to him: “Political activities will soon peak, and people would become indecisive and unstable. We had to let our members know that anti-party activities would not be tolerated because we wouldn’t want a situation where our members would want to be used to cause a crack within our party.
“We are open and everybody has a voice in this party. So, if there happens to be an issue, it should be something we can discuss and address. Once there is a free flow of communication, I believe there won’t be any reason for sabotage. I had to make our members understand that we have come to solve problems and build this party and I am sure the message was very clear.”