In a move to heal divisions in the north and possibly save the country, five governors in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are continuing their political foray today.
LEADERSHIP had reported exclusively yesterday that five state governors — Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Sule Lamido (Jigawa) and Murtala Nyako (Adamawa) would visit former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida, in Minna yesterday.
A source said yesterday that “after visiting General Babangida today, the governors also plan to visit former head of state, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, and former minister of defence, General TY Danjuma”.
“The governors believe that these individuals are key stakeholders. At a time when some people are bent not just on dividing the north but the entire country by playing ethnic and religious cards to the hilt, the governors plan to engage these distinguished Nigerians in a conversation to save the country,” the source said, adding that the crisis playing out in Rivers State and the presidency’s apparent sympathy and support for the loser of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum election, Governor Jonah Jang, were alarming signs of “a gathering storm”.
“This is not just about the party or about 2015; it’s about the future of Nigeria. The governors are sad that people who have been given a mandate to heal the country have become instruments of strife and division. This move is beyond party lines. You will see.”
The source said some persons were taking advantage of the serious security challenges in a few states in the north to further divide the region and had, in fact, tried to “recruit some top political officeholders into their fold”.
The source also explained that although the governors had mulled including former head of state, General Muhammadu Buhari, in the ongoing consultations, opinions were divided among them because of the perception that he is still an “interested party” in the contest for the presidency in 2015.
Four of the so-called “renegade governors” – Kwankwaso, Wamakko, Lamido, and Nyako – had visited former president Olusegun Obasanjo in Abeokuta, Ogun State, on Saturday.
Reports said there were other PDP governors sympathetic to the moves of the “renegade governors” but who cannot show their hands at this time.
Aliyu, chairman of the Northern States Governors’ Forum, could not attend the meeting because of flight problems.
After the visit, Governor Nyako told the press that they had come to see Obasanjo “on very important issues”.
The governors’ visit came barely one hour after President Goodluck Jonathan left Obasanjo’s house. The press was barred from both visits.
Sources said the move by the northern governors to rally key leaders in the region is “the first step in the strategic move to regroup the north”.
“The next stage,” according to the two separate sources, “would be to reach out to leaders in other zones to build a pan-Nigerian force before the election.”
Amaechi’s expulsion: ACN accuses PDP of overheating polity, instigating anarchy
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has accused the PDP of being unrelenting in its grim determination to overheat the polity and set the country on fire, just to satisfy one man’s personal ambition to hold on to power.
In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its national publicity secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the ACN said it was left with no choice than to reach that conclusion after a faction of Rivers PDP reportedly loyal to President Goodluck Jonathan expelled the state governor, Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, at a time all people of goodwill were calling for a resolution of the lingering crisis.
It warned that the overzealous ruling party’s sole interest is power, without caring about the responsibility that goes with it, hence it must be checked through all constitutional means before it plunges the country into unmitigated chaos.
ACN said while whatever transpired within the PDP is not its business, its (ACN’s) concerns stem from the dangerous impact that the Rivers crisis can have on the polity, especially its implication for the country’s fledgling democracy to which most of the rabble-rousers in the ongoing crisis contributed nothing.
The party said: “Because of the danger their actions pose for our polity, we are concerned that these troublemakers are hell-bent on annihilating Gov. Amaechi. Those who have accused us of crying more than the bereaved do not get it. We are indeed the bereaved once anything happens that can torpedo our democracy and destroy our country. This is why we will also be unrelenting in calling on all Nigerians to call the puppets and puppeteers in Rivers to order.
“Needless to say, in the words of the Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka: The man dies in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny,” the party said.
It said the reasons that Gov. Amaechi has been targeted by his all-powerful enemies, who have used national institutions – including the police – against him, are his strenuous defence of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), which he chairs; his battle for his state and its people over their oil well dispute with Bayelsa, which is in furtherance of his efforts to live up to his oath of office and constitutional responsibility; and his audacity in rejecting dictations from an unelected self-important personality on how he governs his state.
“It is no longer news that Gov. Amaechi, as the chair of the NGF, exercised his mandate with dignity by fighting for true federalism, especially as it relates to the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF). In the process, he ruffled some feathers. But those who are irked by his efforts should have known better than to stake the credibility of their high office on stopping, at all costs, Amaechi’s re-election.”
PDP accuses Buhari, Tinubu of dictatorship
The leadership of the PDP yesterday accused the leader of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, and his ally, national leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, of being dictators in the running of their parties.
PDP also predicted that both opposition leaders “will lose the 2015 general election despite the so-called merger of their parties which is built on deceit, corruption and falsehood and as such want to invent excuses.”
A statement by the acting national publicity secretary of PDP, Barr. Tony Caesar Okeke, said “Buhari and Tinubu who are well-known despots lacked the moral justification to pontificate on democracy especially when all their actions are dictatorial.”
PDP continued: “Buhari and Tinubu are united in dictatorship. It is on this pedestal that they are pursuing their merger to register the All Progressive Congress which manifesto betrays the fact that they have absolutely nothing to offer but desperate for power for their selfish gains.
“We urge all lovers of democracy especially those seeking elections on the platform of any party where the duo are in control to wake up before it is too late as there will not be any primaries to give them a level playground to realise their dreams.
“Nigerians in general should also note the antecedents of these politicians and their cronies and know that any government where they are allowed to hold sway will be a terrible government characterized by dictatorship, corruption and abuse of the right of Nigerians.”
The PDP noted that CPC is a party of falsehood because it castigated Buhari’s former aide, Yinka Odumakin, for exposing the atrocities of the CPC leader and those of ACN officials in a recent interview.
The ruling party noted that “Buhari has refused to change his dictatorial tendencies” and has continued to “impose himself as leader of any political party where he finds himself and use his despotic powers to handpick candidates for elections.”
Taking a swipe at Tinubu, the statement said the ACN leader lacks democratic credentials.
Culled from 247NigeriaNewsUpdate