Bloodshed was averted on Friday evening at the Plateau State PDP Secretariat in Jos, when a faction loyal to Senator Alli Modu Sheriff tried to take over the place.
It took a combined team of security agencies to forestall crisis.
While the group was still trying to force its way into the secretariat, news leaked to a rival faction said to have been elected through a congress and led by a former Minister of Sports, Damishi Sango.
The development forced the police, officials of the Department of State Services and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps to immediately take over the secretariat, frisking persons going in and out of the place.
Addressing his supporters, Sango said, “The battle for the soul of Plateau has just begun”, adding that the masterminds of the crisis were bent on destabilising the PDP before the local government elections.
He said, “They want to cause confusion but I have told my people that there must be no violence, there must be no bloodshed.
“We know the people behind all these, let them release timetable for local government elections. You cannot claim what does not belong to you.
“If you want to claim what doesn’t belong to you, proceed to the court. The man who is claiming to be PDP chairman has been granted bail by the court for criminal impersonation. They just want to cause confusion and disrupt the peace.
“We have to be very careful because Plateau State is still enjoying fragile peace. We don’t want anybody to tamper with that. This is the struggle for the soul of Plateau, it has begun.”
In his reaction, Gyang Badung, head of the other faction, said that the bail which was granted to him was not because Sango was challenging his position as Plateau State PDP chairman “but because of alleged criminal impersonation.”
He said, “Being law-abiding citizens, we will not do anything that will breach the laws of the land because peace is not negotiable. We have no ill motive, our members were invited from all the 17 local governments to come for the meeting, and we are looking forward to the reconciliation of the party.
“Unfortunately, the Sango faction is not loyal to our leader, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, who has been declared by the court as the PDP National Chairman.
“Whatever we are doing here has the backing of our National Secretariat. We don’t want bloodshed, but I will assure you that we will take over the Secretariat by the grace of God in no distant time”, he stressed.