There seems to be no respite in the feud rocking the All Progressive Congress, APC, in Taraba State with some party leaders loyal to minister Women Affairs Aisha Alhassan, asking the immediate-past chairman of the party Hassan Ardo to return the Prado Jeep gift given to him by a former vice president, Atiku Abubakar.
Sources said Mr Ardo, who was close ally of the minister, has now parted ways with Mrs Alhassan – a situation that spurred some party chieftains to form a faction tagged ‘Integrity Group’.
The Integrity Group had recently dissociated itself from the minister, condemning the attempt to draw the party into the “inappropriate and unnecessary controversy”.
But in what insiders described as “revenge tactics” some party leaders loyal to the minister had set up a committee to resolve the Prado Jeep gift controversy.
At the conclusion of its investigation, the committee ordered Mr Ardo to return the Prado Jeep.
In a telephone interview with DAILY NIGERIAN, Mr Ardo who was recently appointed Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, confirmed the development.
“Yes, they wrote to me claiming that they were directed by the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar to retrieve his gift of Prado Jeep,” Mr Ardo said.
“The first letter was from APC office Taraba state on 9th of September 2017 signed by Mr Solomon Jadana zonal chairman who claimed to be secretary of the party.
“Other members of the purported committee are Haladu Yakubu who always claimed to be a lawyer, Sani Mamman Posa, Aliyu Umar Bali and Godwin Villana.
“The second letter they claimed was from Atiku Abubakar was signed by Abdullahi Nyako. It was delivered on the 27th September 2017.
“I know they are doing it simply because I support Buhari and join forces with the Integrity Group, which comprises the who is who in the political arena of Taraba State.”
Also commenting on the matter, Abdullahi Ade, the Youth leader of the party said they wanted the Sport Utility Vehicle, SUV, to be returned because it was not a personal gift.
“We just want him to return the jeep because it was not a gift to individual but donation to the party. We have supporting documents,” said Mr Ade.
Mr Ade, a closed ally to Mrs Alhassan, described the Integrity Group as “disgruntled elements” out to get relevance.
“Most of them were PDP runaway members that are out to cause tension and disunity among party members, but we are not rattled,” said he.
But in a swift reaction a founding member of Integrity Group Iliyasu Mu’azu said that “Jummai’s faction is trying to destabilize the party in the state as members of the faction already planned to dump APC.
“We are strongly supporting Buhari, while she is campaigning for her political godfather, Atiku and we told her ‘no’ to her face.
“Even if Atiku collected-back his gift which I’m doubting , we members of Integrity we are ready to buy one for Ambassador Ardo,” Mr Muazu said.