Ukandi Odey, Jos
Embattled gubernatorial candidate of the Labour Party in Plateau State, Amb. Yohanna Margif, has urged Church denominations to ignore Dr. Patrick Dakum as a self-acclaimed governorship candidate of the party ahead of next Saturday’s gubernatorial election in the state.
Margif contends that the preference for the Labour Party in last month’s presidential election by Plateau people was essentially for Peter Gregory Obi, and not in anyway an expression of interest in the claim of Patrick Dakum.
He noted that Dakum acquired the Labour Party ‘ticket’ through a fraudulent means, and described him as a distraction towards the realization of the Plateau project.
In a letter addressed to Heads of Church denominations in Plateau State, he called on Plateau people to shun the Labour Party during the governorship election and vote for a party and candidate that will recover and revamp the state after the failed eight years misrule of the outgoing APC government.
He said:”I wish to respectfully write to inform the Church of how I was fraudulently shortchanged of the governorship ticket of the Labour Party that I lawfully procured. For the avoidance of doubt, I contested and won”.
“Regrettably”, he noted further, “I was fraudulently substituted with Dr. Patrick Dakum. According to the Electoral Act, a candidate can only be substituted either by voluntary withdrawal or death of the candidate. But in my case, the procedures for substitution of candidates were blatantly disregarded”.
“I am aware that the Church advanced the cause of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, His Excellency, Mr. Peter Obi, in the just concluded presidential election. The Church may need to know it was my humble self who introduced the Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, to Plateau people, and funded the party when Dr. Dakum was still a member of the APC where he contested for the governorship primary election and came 2nd”, he pointed out.
“I pledge my full support to the position of the Church, especially, as it was prompted by the flagrant disregard of the Christiandom by the ruling party, the APC, when the party insisted on a Muslim – Muslim ticket despite the admonition of the CAN. Indeed, the position of the Church is commendable.
“Now that what the body of Christ fears most – the Muslim-Muslim ticket – has come upon us. I would like to passionately appeal to the Church to intervene in clearing the ambiguity that thickens around Plateau State in relation to the governorship and State Assembly elections”, he said, noting that “since Dr. Patrick Dakum and myself are members of the body of Christ, the Church may need to intervene and save itself from the embarrassment that may follow if what Dr. Patrick Dakum is peddling in the media about plans by the Church on the Plateau to extend the same support it lent to his Excellency, Mr. Peter Obi, in the presidential election to himself as the governorship candidate of the Labour Party in Plateau state is true”.
He also noted that as the case is still pending at the Supreme Court, this may serve to avert the misinterpretation of the action I may be forced to take against Dr. Patrick Dakum in the next few days as sabotaging the alleged plans of the Church at supporting a candidate.
“This is necessary because I had already secured an arrest warrant against Dr Dakum and all those involved in the criminal forgery which I would have executed before now, but for the respect I have for the body of Christ and the Church on the Plateau and Nigeria at large which is why I am writing this letter to explain my own side of the story”, he concluded.