A chairman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Borno State, Zanna Gaddama, has accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Borno State of failing to tackle starvation and joblessness among youth in the state.
Mr Gaddama is currently appealing a Maiduguri Federal High Court ruling that nullified his chairmanship of the PDP in Borno in favour of his rival in the last PDP state congress, Usman Baderi.
He made the accusation against the APC during a press conference at the press centre in Maiduguri on Monday.
The PDP national secretariat had last week thrown its support behind Mr Gaddama by appealing the ruling on his behalf.
It equally wrote a letter to the Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Borno State, to recognise him (Mr Gaddama) as the authentic leader of the party in Borno pending the determination of their appeal.
The copy of the letter written by the PDP National legal adviser, Emmanuel Enoidem, to INEC and copied to all relevant security agencies including the SSS and the police, said the Gaddama-led state executive committee was duly elected and sworn into office in accordance with the PDP constitution.
The legal adviser said the PDP had, “filed an appeal against the said judgment and have also filed for a stay of action pending the appeal.”
Speaking at a press conference organised to assert his position as the leader of the party in Borno State, Mr Gaddama, a retired permanent secretary in the state civil service, said the PDP will mobilise thousands of disenchanted Borno people to vote out APC in 2019.
He said the social challenges in the state, which he blamed on the current administration, will make their exit much easier.
“As far as the PDP is concerned, the performance of the current APC administration in Borno State is far below expectation,” Mr Gaddama said.
“This is a government that was massively voted into power by the good people of Borno State at the beginning of the insurgency in 2011; now we are in 2018 and up to this material time, there are attacks all over the state.
“IDPs are still roaming the streets of Borno State without adequate care from government; our people are out of businesses; jobless young men are seen roaming the streets without any kind of employment from government. There is no single and functional skill acquisition center in Borno state to train them; the number of these young men is growing exponentially on daily basis and there is not sign of employment for them.
“And we have gotten into a situation where the people of Borno State hardly can get one square meal a day; there is abject poverty in our land. This was not the Borno that we used to know. Go back to history, you will be told that if you want knowledge, come to Borno. But today, that citadel of knowledge has taken a flight from Borno state. Schools have been in a state of comatose; welfare of workers is not been taken care of.
“Our people in the rural areas cannot go to farm, because if they do, they are slaughtered there and then by Boko Haram. The markets that we use to have in the rural areas are no more there; so there is no petty trading for them to keep body and soul together,” he said.
“So this government has been rated very poor by the people of Borno State and that has generated a lot of agitation in all nooks and crannies of the state. And we are going respond to the wish of the people and together we are going to change the government of Borno come 2019.”
Responding to the accusations, the state chairman of the ruling APC, Ali Dalori, said the claims made ”were nothing but lies and figment of imagination of the new opposition chairman”.
Mr Dalori who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES in a telephone interview said ”he is not surprised to hear the PDP leader making such lousy allegations because he has not been on ground and has lost touch with the reality in the state”.
“I am not going to join words with him on phone, but as soon as I arrive Maiduguri tomorrow, we shall address him and his sinking party, and we shall tell the people of Borno the truth about these Abuja-based politicians.”
PDP has been the major opposition party in Borno State since 1999. The party is usually ruptured by crises, each time election approaches. This the ruling party usually leverages on to win the state.