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Defection: nPDP makes U-turn, stays put in APC

By Dare Odufowokan on 24/06/2018

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•Leader of nPDP, Alhaji Kawu Baraje
•Leader of nPDP, Alhaji Kawu Baraje

Threat by members of the nPDP to dump the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in protest against alleged marginalisation and harassment has been suspended for now.

The plan was shelved following the intervention of some governors and other APC leaders.

The Nation gathered that chieftains of the group met on Friday with some governors and other party leaders in Abuja who prevailed on them to remain in the APC and promised that their grievances would be looked into.

The Friday meeting came hours to the commencement of the party’s national convention which took place in Abuja yesterday.

One of the nPDP leaders, who craved anonymity, said the meeting became necessary because “it is time for ceasefire.”

At the meeting with the governors were a former governor, Senators, Reps and a member of the outgoing National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC.

The nPDP delegation, according to sources, was also billed to meet another governor and some members of the party’s National Reconciliation Committee, before the commencement of yesterday’s national convention.

Explaining the reasons behind the change of mind by the nPDP, the source said they had decided to sheath their sword in the interest of Nigeria and the 2019 general elections.

He said though members of the group remain unanimous in their objection to the disposition of the presidency towards their grievances, there are quite a number of them who strongly feel that dumping the APC  will not be in the interest of the country.

“We are not happy with the way Mr. President handled our complaints. We are still very, very angry with the leadership of the party for not doing enough to address the issues we raised,” he said.

“As a group, we toyed with the idea of leaving the party if we are not wanted here. But as patriots and genuine democrats, we are also conscious of the implication of our actions.

“Many of us feel that leaving the APC will create problems for the country and our democratic journey as a people.

“We do not believe in throwing away the baby with the bath water. We cannot afford to see PDP return to power so soon and destroy the modest effort of our party at repositioning the country. We feel political disagreements can be resolved without us parting ways and that is why we are making these efforts.”

Chairman of nPDP, Alhaji Kawu Baraje, had threatened that the group would dump the APC and seek its political fortune elsewhere except it met with President Buhari on their grievances.

Since the demand of the group was turned down by the presidency, the group, speaking through its chairman, Baraje, had threatened to dump the party and seek its political fortune elsewhere.

Although Vice President Yemi Osinbajo met with the group on behalf of the president, the talks stalled after nPDP accused the presidency of insincerity.

The Nation also learnt that National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, met with some chieftains of the nPDP in Abuja before the convention.

Sources at the meeting said part of the discussion bordered on how to avert crisis after the convention. Several suggestions, it was learnt, were made on how to pacify aggrieved party members after the convention.

One source said: “there were suggestions too on how to keep aggrieved groups and individuals within the party irrespective of the outcome of the convention. nPDP chieftains at the parley made useful contributions to the discussion.

“I am sure part of the outcome of the parley and many others like that currently going on here in Abuja is the resolve for some of the nPDP chieftains to seek amicable resolution.

“It is a good development and it should be encouraged. As I said before now, APC will return from this convention stronger than we went into it.

“Disagreement is an integral part of politics. What is important is how such disagreements are handled. I think the APC has learnt some major lessons these past months and we are ready to make the best use of all lessons learnt.”

Efforts to get the response of the spokesperson of the party, Bolaji Abdullahi, to the report, proved abortive as calls to his phone lines were not going through.

However, a member of the nPDP from Kano State said the group is resolute about its decision to leave the APC.

The former commissioner, who said his principal, who is one of the leading lights of the nPDP, is not aware of any effort to seek an amicable solution, added that individuals cannot decide for the group.

He said: “It is not correct to describe moves by some people to save their political career as the position of the entire nPDP. We know our leaders and we are equally aware that some people are afraid of leaving APC with us. But they cannot force us to stay back with them.” (The Nation)

Source News Express

Posted 24/06/2018 10:11:23 AM

 

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