By Polycarp Auta
Mr Felix Hyat, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman in Kaduna State, has said that the exit of former governor Ramalan Yero and Rep. Godfrey Gaiya would not affect the party’s strength.
The duo recently left the party with Gaiya, currently an aide to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, moving to the APC while Yero is yet to announce his next destination.
The party also recently lost Mr Tanko Rossi, the “generous” super delegate, who openly shared millions of naira to his constituents after he returned from PDP presidential primary election.
Rossi, who said that the money was what he received as a delegate to the primaries, defected to the APC and has since been a major critic of his former political party.
Hyat, while reacting to their exit in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday, said their exit would “never” affect the party’s fortunes as none of them had any political weight.
“They were mere paper weights. They had no influence. We are not going to miss any of them.
“None of them has said that the PDP maltreated him. We did not do anything to offend anyone.
“They came on their own volition. None of them did not get a good share even above their contributions to the party.
“The former governor became a commissioner of finance without being a member of the PDP.
“As a sitting governor, he contested and lost the governorship seat in 2015. He contested for the ticket to seek the seat later but lost the primaries.
“As for Gaiya, he got two terms in House of Representatives and left after losing elections.
“He came even lower, politically speaking, and sought to be a local government chairman but lost the primaries woefully.
“I am told that he was promised the then vacant Kaduna State ministerial slot if he defected, but it has been taken now. He may have do another political arithmetic. It is up to him.
“So, their exit cannot pain anyone. They are not strong politicians with any particular support base.”
Hyat said that PDP was the leading party in Kaduna having won the three senate seats and 10 out of 16 House of Representatives seats.
Hyat also spoke on suggestions that the PDP made some poor calculations ahead of the 2023 general elections.
“I have of such suggestions, but the fact is that there was no way any PDP leader could have impose any candidate because the primary elections were handled by ad-hoc delegates that came from the wards.
“The room for manipulation was not there at all. Even in the presidential election, it was the same delegates that decided.
“All presidential candidates requested for, and met, the delegates.”
On the management of the campaigns in Kaduna State, he said that efforts were made to ensure that everyone was carried along.
“Some people felt not carried along, but we gave each governoship aspirant the opportunity to nominate five people into the campaign structure.
“We also ensured that one of such nominees headed one of the Direcorates.
“I did not shut people out. I couldn’t have done that when we needed all hands on deck to win the elections.
“The problem is that everyone wants to be a leader, but we have always said that people should strive to deliver their areas of operation so that, collectively, we shall achieve success.”
He also spoke on the Nov. 13 governorship elections in Imo, Bayelsa and Kogi.
“We believe that the PDP has a good chance of picking the three seats.
“We cannot overrule the role that incumbency could on matters like this, but INEC does its job well and every vote counts, PDP shouldn’t have any problem in the three states,” he said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Rabiu Sani-Ali