A former majority leader in the Taraba State House of Assembly and a chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party, Hon. Douglas Ndatse on Friday denied rumour making the rounds that he slapped people during a PDP stakeholder meeting at Government House.
Ndatse, a two-time member representing Donga State Constituency in the State House House of Assembly described it as baseless and mischievous, the interview credited to one Garerie Suntai who purportedly claimed he slapped anyone at sight during a PDP stakeholders meeting
“It is unfortunate that some people will just sit and form stories to tarnish one’s hard-earned image. I did not slap anybody and I am not against zoning.
“We the PDP stakeholders in Donga sat and agreed that the Chairman should come from the Ikpan clan. Unfortunately, Hon. Istifanus Gbana who is the Chairman of Ikpanzum stakeholders where the Chairmanship is zoned during their meeting could not arrive at a consensus candidate, rather they presented seven aspirants to the PDP Special Project Committee for the Governor to select one person.
“It is laughable to say I am against zoning when we all sat and zoned the positions to carry the tribes in the Local Government along. In the meeting, Ichen was given the Vice Chairmanship seat while Tiv took Secretary.
“At the presentation of the report to the PDP Special Project Committee, Elder Kitsubimka raised an observation that some people who claimed to be PDP stakeholders were not members of PDP which is true, and Mr. Garelie and his group started insulting elders including myself and we all kept our cool.
“Gararie Suntai is a boy I brought up politically and I am surprised he could turn and lie against me just to satisfy some interest. There were notable personalities in that meeting, and I want to challenge him to call out the name of a notable personality who witnessed the incident aside from him if he wants to prove to the world that he is not being sponsored to tarnish my image,” Ndatse rebuffed.
The former Majority Leader explained that he only kicked against the name of the vice chairmanship candidate of the party that was announced at the meeting without his knowledge and that of other critical stakeholders in the local government.
According to him,” The Vice Chairman was zoned to Ichen (my tribe) and we sat and said, if the Chairman emerges from Donga South we will pick a vice from the north and vice versa.
“But to our greatest surprise, even though the Chairmanship position is still being struggled for, someone penned down the name of someone as Vice against our collective resolve as Ichen people.
“We discovered at the meeting that several meetings were held without the involvement of Ward Chairmen and even the Acting Chairman of the Local Government. So, only I spoke my mind and many people concur with me.
“As a party man, I am committed to the victory of PDP and will always speak out when things are going wrong. The allegations that I slapped people at the meeting is baseless, mischievous, and unfounded and I call on my teeming supporters and the public to disregard same,” he said.