Crisis rocking Benue State chapter of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has deepened as factional leaders have engaged themselves in war of attrition.
The leaders of the factions are the ex-governor of the state, Gabriel Suswam and state deputy chairman, Elders Forum, Chief Abu Shuluwa. While the former belongs to the Markafi led faction at the national level, the latter is controlled by Alhaji Ali Modu Sherif.
Suswam, stirred up the hornet nest during the party caucus meeting held last week in Makurdi when he described the Shuluwa-led group as “charlatans’’.
“I read in the media that some charlatans inaugurated the state executive. To me, I know that PDP in the state is one and who is who in the party in this state are with us here.
“We will not give recognition to anyone, else, we would have said those people should be suspended but the fact is that we do not know them”.
“Modu Sherif has no supporters, so, as far as we are concerned in this state, there is one PDP and we are the one gathered here”, Suswam stressed.
He appealed to PDP supporters not to allow bickering among rank and file of the party and charged them to remain focused, even as he promised that the ward executive of the party would soon be inaugurated for the party to forge ahead.
However, Shuluwa who reacted to Suswam’s statements at the weekend in Makurdi, said the former governor has no respect for elders.
“Suswam does not know what I can do, am sure you were at the so called caucus meeting. How many elders did you see with him?
The deputy chairman of Elders Forum, who was a member of Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission during President Olusegun Obasanjo administration, berated the former governor for the fate that befell the party in the last general elections.
He said: “Instead of listening to the counsel of elders, he believed and was busy promoting thuggery, the result was the disgrace the party got in the last general elections.
“In fact, who is Suswam in politics, I brought him into politics, I was instrumental to his emergence as member of House of Representatives in 1999 and later governor of this state.
“Because these governors have so much money now and wanted to hijack the party structure from us elders, they think they are demi-gods and with this impunity they destroyed PDP in 2015.
“I don’t want to join issues with this young man but let those who know him, tell him to stay away from PDP.”
When asked of the future of PDP, Shuluwa said that the party may never win election again with the crisis rocking it.
“It is unfortunate that the party found itself in this problem. There is an adage that says, “A house that is divided against itself will never stand.”
“The former governors of the party were the ones who brought us into this mess. At the initial stage they rooted and brought in Sheriff, later dumped him and now backing Markafi”.
He called on party elders to come together and rescue the party from the stranglehold of those he said were bent in destroying the party.

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