A member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Plateau State, Ayuba Burki Gufwan, has resigned his membership of the party on the basis of being discriminated against for being physically challenged.
Gufwan, who contested for the Mangu local government chairmanship election in late 2018 but lost to the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, said at a press briefing on Wednesday that the decision to resign his membership of the PDP was not an easy one as the party had been gracious to him having nominated him twice to vie for public office.
He however said, “today having done a lot in terms of mobilisation, financing the party and even giving it credibility, I became a victim of discrimination on the basis that I am physically challenged by vested interest in the party.”
“The emotional trauma my family went through when news of this discriminatory comment filtered into the public will take time to heal.
“I have always stated that if it comes making a choice between fighting for the rights of people living with disability and membership of a political party, I will chose the former,” he stated.
Gufwan explained that his name had come up when the PDP was trying to fill the position of its deputy governorship candidate but was later dropped because some leaders of the party had opposed it based on his physical disability.
He said he had tarried a while before reaching his decision because he had hoped to see genuine and appropriate steps by the party to show remorse but the opposite had been the case.
However, PDP Publicity Secretary in the state, John Akans, said the party could not have discriminated against Gufwan on the basis of his disability as the PDP has a place for people living with physical disability in its constitution.
Akans however said Gufwan was too ambitious and that despite challenging the alleged subversion of his chairmanship mandate at the State Tribunal, he had met with the PDP Chairman, Damishi Sango, to convince him to pick him as the deputy governorship candidate.
“Our chairman told him it was a good idea but said we would have a challenge considering the age of our governorship candidate, so there would be a need for someone younger who will be able to run around and if we pick you again and you are on a wheel chair, it will not flow. The chairman advised him to pursue his mandate in the tribunal instead.”
The PDP governorship candidate, Senator Jeremiah Useni is 75 and his choice of James Dalok as a running mate continues to cause disaffection within the party, our correspondent learnt.
Akans however stated that when the party found that Gufwan had been hurt by the advice given to him, the party chairman had apologised and a committee had been set up to visit him and tender an apology.
Daily Trust gathered that Gufwan is one of the PDP decampees expected to be accepted into the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Friday by the party’s national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.