The Kawu Baraje led new PDP that merged with other parties to form the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday told President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the party to ignore the letter containing their ultimatum for talks on the way forward at their own peril.
The group said they were yet to receive any information from either the Presidency of the party in response to their letter, pointing out that they will be meeting in the next few days to decide on their next line of action which it said will be in the best interest of Nigeria and democracy in the country.
The seven day ultimatum given by the group the party and President Muhammadu Buhari to invite them to a meeting elapsed on Tuesday without any positive response from the party as at the time of compiling this report.
Spokesman of the group, Comrade Timi Frank who spoke with newsmen in Abuja while reacting to Monday’s counter letter to the leadership of the party by another group of ex-PDP leaders however however dismissed the Senator Abdullahi Adamu led Buhari Supporters in the group saying Nigerians should not take them serious as they were mere noise makers.
Frank said they were not surprised at the decision of Senator Abdullahi Adamu and his group in opposing their letter to the party, saying the Senator was is known to have supported Abacha’s bid to succeed himself and former President Obasanjo’s third term bid.
He dismissed the existence of a faction within the group saying over 95 percent of members of the group have given their leader, Alhaji Kawu Baraje the right to speak on their behalf, adding that Senator Abdullahi Adamu only joined them in the new PDP when it became obvious to him that they were meeting with the APC.
He reminded the party that the same steps being taken to mend fences were taken by them while in the PDP, but were ignored, stressing that the singular mistake of ignoring them was responsible for the exit of the Jonathan government f and the coming into power of the APC.
Frank said: “I want to use this opportunity to remind my party that this is same way we were trying to correct the wrongs of the Jonathan’s government while in the PDP, but they never listened to us. We told them why we were aggrieved. Our leaders moved round the states to talk to party members, to ask the government at that time to listen to our views, but at the end of the day, they refused, they ignored us, that is how we left.
“When we left, we join the APC and that was how today, we are enjoying this so called change agenda we are talking about. So, if today, 95 per cent of us, who came from the new PDP are aggrieved and they felt they are going to undermine us, or they are going to ignore our group, so be it.
“But at the end of the day, we believe we are going to take a decision that will benefit the Nigerian people because we believe that democracy should be all inclusive. Democracy should not be a situation where when you speak the truth, you will be harassed, you will be intimidated and so on.
“Today, everyone that is being harassed within the APC, came from the new PDP. We have not seen anybody from the ACN or the CPC or the ANPP or the section of APGA that join us that is being intimidated or harassed. It is clear. So, we are not going to be intimidated.
“We believe we are going to be doing the right thing. We believe we are going to do everything possible to rescue Nigeria the same way we rescued Nigeria from the PDP. So, if today, we decided to lay our complaints to the party and they feel it is not important for them to attend to our issues, we will leave them to God. God will someday judge.”
While insisting that there was no faction within the group, Frank who is the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the APC said: “I am here to clarify issues and debunk some of the lies from some of our members led by Sen. Abdullahi Adamu and Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin, who were in my party secretariat yesterday to oppose the view of the majority, to oppose what our leaders have said. The chairman of our group, Alhaji Kawu Baraje was at the secretariat to submit a letter informing the party of our grievances as the new PDP that joined the merger that brought the APC into power.
“In all of these, I want to make it very clear that we have no faction in our group. I saw in some of the papers that there is cracked in the new PDP. There is no crack as far as we are concerned. We only have one group, we have only one leader and that leader remains only Alh. Kawu Baraje and I can tell you clearly that without fear or favour.
“I want to make it known to all of you that Alhaji Kawu Baraje is not alone in that letter. He has the mandate of over 95% of some of us that joined the new PDP into the APC that make new victories successful in 2015.”
He emphasis that the participation of the new PDP in the affairs of the APC was responsible for the victory of the party in the 2015 general election saying “everybody knows that it was because of our participation to join the APC that practically brought the victory we are all enjoying today.
“So, when people like Sen. Abdullahi Adamu who used to be one of us came up with some of his positions yesterday, he must have forgotten history and I want to make it known to you that whatever they’ve said to counter our move, are total lies.
“Nigerians are there to testify. They said the new PDP group has benefited massively from this government. That is one of their claims which is not true. But, I want to make it very clear that we are not here to respond to individuals, we are here to make it known that our letter is to the party. So, it is left for the party to either take it seriously or not. But I believe any serious party will take whatever position or decision we have brought them to look into.
“Today makes it seven days from the day our group brought this letter to the party. But as it stands, we’ve not gotten any response yet from them. As we’ve said, whatever we must have said in that letter, it is not an empty threat. If they decide to ignore us, so, be it.
“But at the appropriate time, we are going to respond and make our position known to Nigerians based on what we’ve said. It is not just a mere threat; it is not just a mere ultimatum. But I will tell you clearly that we are meeting with our leaders and we are going to come up with clear positions on our next step if finally they don’t attend to us.
On the claim by the Senator Adamu led group that they have benefited from the government, he said “I want go back to some of the benefits that they said our group has benefited. The Senator and Jibrin said yesterday that we benefited by getting the office of the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Some senators, governors and so on. For God’s sake, these are elected positions.
“Nigerians are aware of how we succeed in getting the Senate President and the Speaker from the new PDP. They were not supported by our party, neither were they supported by the executive arm of government. We managed to get these two positions by the grace of God and by the support of Nigerian people.
“We also got those positions through the support of senators and members of the House of Representatives that believed and had confidence in the leadership of Senator Bukola Saraki and Hon. Yakubu Dogara and chose to stand by these two people because they believe these two people will take the party and Nigerians to the promise land.
“So far so good, we are very happy with them, they’ve done very well despite challenges and the circumstances and hurdles they passed and they are still passing through till today.
“So, nobody should give credit to neither the party nor anybody to say that they gave us anything from the new PDP. We fought to get these two positions and the senators, governors and others they talk about were elected from their various states.
“They never got there based on the fact that the new PDP. They should be able to benefit from the APC because of their Labour because they contributed in bringing the change and government of today. Therefore, let’s reward them with these positions. So, this is not true.
“The only two beneficiaries in our group is Rotimi Ameachi who finally became Minister of Transportation and Sen. Aisha Alhassan who is the minister for women affairs. These are the two people we can remember. So, I want to make it very clear that we are not going to be intimidated by anybody as long as the Nigerian people are happy with us.”