Labour Party (LP) Gubernatorial flag bearer in Plateau State, Ambassador Yohana Yilpwan Margif, has warned the party to shun the activities of political jobbers and desperados in the lead-up to the 2023 polls.
He recalled how the LP presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, and his running mate, Dr. Yusuf Datti Ahmed, were misled into identifying with the wrong person as the state LP governorship contender, despite obvious red flags.
National Chairman of the party, Mr. Julius Abure, had, however, told eminent stakeholders of the party: “Anything that is not ceremonially done should be disregarded; it may be designed to play the purported candidate.”
On September 28, at a rally inside Jos Township Stadium, political stakeholders of the Middle Belt Forum, led by Dr. Bitrus Pogu, endorsed the LP presidential candidate for next year’s poll.
But in an interview with The Guardian, yesterday, in Abuja, Margif disclosed that some mischief-makers, who were bent on causing confusion in the polity, decided to present an impostor as LP gubernatorial candidate for Plateau State.
He contended that former governor, Joshua Dariye, who is not a member of LP, was pushing Dr. Patrick Dakum, who lost the All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket to Nentawe Yilwatda, through illegal substitution.
Citing alleged instances of forgeries, acts of intimidation, and inducement, Margif said he rebuffed attempts by Dakum and his political godfather, Dariye, to cajole him out of the governorship contest.
He stated: “As it is today, we are in court because of the illegal substitution, which they are claiming, through letters of withdrawal. I was arrested on August 4 in Abuja and taken to Jos.
“It was on that day, while I was in the cell, that they claimed that I wrote a letter of withdrawal. I can’t explain it; it is laughable. How can somebody be in a cell and he is writing a letter of withdrawal?
“It is obvious that once you are so desperate, God will remove His hands from what you are doing, so that you will use your hand to dig your own grave.
“They forged a document. I cannot even say it is my name. My name is Ambassador Yohana Yilpwan Margif. But they went and wrote Yohanna Yewan Marigif. And that ‘Yewan’ is not my father’s name.
“That apart, they forged a letter of withdrawal dated August 5 and submitted it to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). After some days again, they still went back to forge another letter again, dated August 2.
“And that letter of August 2, is the one they attached with a court affidavit in their defence. And all these two letters have been verified by my lawyer that they are all fake.”
Margif said there is a need for the Labour Party and its presidential standard bearers to do due diligence and be wary of desperadoes that want to muddle the polity.