The North-west zonal congress of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was on Saturday disrupted by violent party members in Kaduna. The congress ended abruptly after the supporters of the Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, clashed with those of a former Governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso, at the event.
The PDP held congresses on Saturday across Nigeria to elect party officers for five of the six zones of the country. That of the South-west has been rescheduled for Monday. The warring supporters destroyed ballot boxes before voting could start, forcing observers and other officials to flee the scene. The main subject of the dispute was the position of zonal National Vice Chairman.
Mr Kwankwaso is at odds with former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Aminu Wali, who leads a rival faction of the PDP in Kano.
Earlier on Saturday, Mr Kwankwaso also accused Mr Tambuwal of meddling in the affairs of the party in Kano as part of preparation for the 2023 presidential race.
“Its unfortunate that Mr Tambuwal in his opinion doesn’t want us from the Kwankwasiyya faction to be elected for the positions,” the former Kano governor said on BBC Hausa service.
“We heard the report that Mr Tambuwal purchased the form for Senator Hayatu Gwarzo, a man whom we had accused of anti-party activities in Kano. All these are part of his preparation for 2023. They are making efforts to whittle down our support,” Mr Kwankwaso said.
However, Mr Tambuwal dismissed Mr Kwankwaso’s claim as baseless accusations against his personality. Mr Tambuwal said, prior to the congress, they all agreed at a meeting at the residence of former Governor Attahiru Bafarawa in Sokoto that any aspirant willing to contest should do that without restraint.
“I didn’t buy form for anyone as alleged by Mr Kwankwaso, he knows me better. I never meddled in the Kano PDP crisis between himself and the other groups,” Mr Tambuwal said.