The Minister of States for Power and Steel, Muhammed Wakil, is currently facing the anger of some Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, members who are now calling for his sack.
The members of the party accused him of sidelining the party structure in Borno state, especially during the recent PDP presidential campaign in Maiduguri.
They warn that President Goodluck Jonathan may lose the February 14 presidential election in the state if he fails to relieve the minister of his role as the leader of the party in the state.
‘PDPGoni.com’, a formidable youth wing of the PDP that started as a political support group in 2011, believe the PDP may fail in the state again.
Reading from a text of a press conference jointly signed by its chairman, Abubakar Musa, and secretary, Abatcha Haruna, the group said the Minister “lacks the grassroots appeal and mobilization drive within and outside the party, as such having him as a leader of the party will not augur well for the party”.
PDPGoni.com said they were speaking with the consent of some eminent PDP leaders like the party’s deputy governorship candidate; Ibrahim Birma; a serving House of Representative member, Kaka Gujbau, the state’s PDP chairman, Baba Basharu, and a host of many others.
The group said despite persistent calls made by party elders, including the former Borno state governor, Ali Modu Sheriff, for the minister to engage the group in welcoming the president to Maiduguri during the presidential rally, “the minister chose to ignore the over 350,000 members of PDPGoni.com, thereby denying the event its better colours and attendance; in fact he even declared us as nonexistent”.
“We therefore call on the president and the leadership of the party to disengage Honourable Wakil as the PDP leader in Borno. If we truly desire a victory for PDP in Borno state, the president must act now because we are tired of remaining in the opposition”.
Although the minister could not be immediately reached for comments, one of his political aides, who asked not to be named in this report because he is not his official spokesperson, said the minister is just being persecuted because he is resisting profiling the party along the lines of old and new membership cadre.
“This is just politics at play. Borno is still being commended as the best for hosting the presidential rally where there was no any incident like the unfortunate attack on the PDP campaign train by opposition party supporters, and that credit goes to the minister who mobilized the best strategy to achieve that,” the aide said.
“The minister is being persecuted simply because he insisted that everyone, including the new members of the PDP – the Ali Sheriff camp – should be given equal space to participate in the affairs of the party especially during the mobilization of supporters in the state to receive the president. But some of them are feeling they are more equal than the rest. All the same we thank God the president and the national leadership of the party are happy with the Minister for ensuring a very successful presidential campaign rally in state.”