There is division in the camp of the former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders who defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2013.
The bloc, known then as the new PDP (nPDP), helped in dislodging the PDP from its 16-year rule in the 2015 general election.
They teamed up with the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and a faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), to form APC.
But last week, Kawu Baraje, chairman of the nPDP, listed some grievances of the group and demanded an urgent meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
In a letter he co-signed with Olagunsoye Oyinlola, the nPDP leaders requested to meet the president within seven days.
Oyinlola resigned his membership of the APC less than 24 hours after the letter was submitted at the APC headquarters in Abuja and relinquished his position as chairman of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).
Their letter had generated reactions across the country, with Uche Secondus, chairman of the PDP, saying his party would reach out to the aggrieved nPDP leaders.
However, things took a new turn on Monday when a splinter group of the nPDP dissociated itself from Baraje faction.
The splinter group led by Abdullahi Adamu, a senator from Nasarawa state, also refuted alleged marginalisation of nPDP members, saying the APC had been magnanimous in the distribution of positions and offices to the various blocs that coalesced to form the ruling party.
Addressing a press conference at the party secretariat in Abuja on Monday, Adamu picked holes in the petition of Baraje.
He alleged that it was filled with contradictions, arguing that the nPDP is adequately represented in the executive, legislature and judiciary.
He enumerated the key appointments of stake holders of the nPDP as follows: Bukola Saraki, senate president; Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the house of representatives; Adamu Aliero; chairman senate committee on customs; Aliyu Wamako, chairman, senate committee on education; Rabiu Kwankwaso, chairman, senate committee on national planning; and Danjuma Goje, chairman Senate committee on Appropriation
Others are Abdulaziz Nyako, chairman senate committee on special duties; Andrew Uchendu, vice-chairman of a senate committee; Aminu Tambuwal, governor of Sokoto state; Abdullahi Ganduje, governor Kano state; Abdulfatah Ahmed,- governor of Kwara state; Jibrilla Bindow, governor Adamawa; Atiku Bagudu, governor of Kebbi; and Baraje, whom he listed as a board chairman.
The nPDP did not state its next line of action if the meeting with the president fail to hold.
Buhari has been silent on the petition.
FULL TEXT OF THE LETTER OF THE GROUP
14th May 2018
The National Chairman
All Progressive Congress APC
National Head Quarters
UNFOUNDED AND UNJUSTIFIED GROUND FOR CONFRONTATION WITH OUR PARTY THE APC AND GOVERNMENT BY SOME MEMBERS OF THE DEFUNCT nPDP
We received with great shock and embarrassment the news that a former acting chairman of the PDP Alhaji Kawu Baraje lead four others to deliver a letter they claimed on behalf of the nPDP which is defunct and has long dissolved into the APC during the 2013 merger. In the letter, Baraje stated that we members of the then nPDP group are being marginalized, maltreated and witch hunted
in the APC and requested for an urgent meeting with the party and Mr President within one week.
As members of the then nPDP, we are aware that the last meeting that was held by the group was in 2014. Since then, no meeting has been called. Where did Alhaji Baraje and Col Olagunsoye Oyinlola obtained the alleged resolution to write the said letter? When and where was the meeting held? Who are those that attended the meeting?
We ordinarily would have ignore such a joke but it is a dangerous joke taking too far. How can you explain that one of the two signatories to the letter Col Olagunsoye Oyinlola RTD has since left the APC for the African Democratic Party ADP after going on AWOL to the Obasanjo Coalition for Nigeria. Yet same person is asking to meet the APC leadership to Adress grievances? This clearly shows the sinister motive behind the letter which is not far from destabilizing the party at this most critical time.
In any case, the letter is full of contradictions, false assertions, misrepresentations, distortion of history and facts and in many instances outright lies. We as initiators and founding members of the defunct nPDP there fore wish to condemn and disassociate ourselves from the letter and apologise for the obvious embarrassment the letter have caused to our party and government. We wish to reaffirm our support and confidence in the party and Mr President and we do not in any way feel marginalized or maltreated as we are clearly in the league of the biggest beneficiaries of the party.
Mr chairman, for the purpose of correcting the misleading contents of the letter and setting the records straight it is pertinent that we provide some facts on some of the issues raised in the letter
CLAIM OF MARGINALISATION
Government at the federal level is not only the executive branch in isolation. It includes the legislature as well. The APC government deliberately or not has a balance of power among the various parties and groups that merged to form the APC at the federal level. While the Muhammadu Buhari lead CPC got the president, the Asiwaju Bola Tinubu lead ACN got the Vice President. We the nPDP as we then were eventually got the combination of Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives though under somewhat questionable circumstances.
All of these offices control enormous amount of patronage and instruments of reward. It is strange that we did not see any qualms when the Senate President and Speaker dispensed about 200 appointments including committee chairmen without asking for nomination from Mr President, Vice President, the APC as a party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as party leader, Baba Akande pioneer national chairman and a host of others. Is that not marginalisation? If we the nPDP did not view that as marginalisation then we do not have the moral justification to accuse the President if he appoints his ministers without seeking for our nominees.
All the key stake holders of the nPDP were accommodated as follows
Senator Bukola Saraki – Senator and Senate President
Hon Yakubu Dogara – Member of House and Speaker House of Representatives
Senator Abdullahi Adamu- Senator and Chairman Senate committee on Agriculture
Senator Adamu Aliero- Senator and Chairman Senate Commitee on Costoms
Senator Magatakarda Wamako- Senator and Chairman senate committee on education
Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso- Senator and Chairman senate committee on national planning
Senator Danjuma Goje- Senator and Chairman Senate committee on Appropriation
Senator Abdulaziz Nyako- Senator and chairman senate committee on special duties
Senator Uchendu- Senator and vice chairman
Governor Aminu Tambuwal- Governor Sokoto State
Governor Abdullahi Ganduje- Governor Kano state
Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed – Governor Kwara State
Senator Jibrilla Bindow- Governor Adamawa state
Senator A Bagudu- Governor Kebbi state
Alh Kawu Baraje- Board chairman
And many others that became senators, members of the House of Representatives and many positions too numerous to mention. The only key members that were left with nothing are Governor Rotimi Amechi and Hon Dakuku Peterside who lost the Rivers state gubernatorial election and were promptly accommodate by Mr President. While Rotimi Amechi was appointed Minister of transport, Peterside became the DG NIMASA. It will be most uncharitable to down play the significant contribution and rare courage of our in group in the south south lead by Governor Amechi who were from the same zone with the then incumbent president Good luck Jonathan.
We can not hold any of the above mentioned positions whether elected and appointed or a combination of both and yet complain of marginalization. The cumulation of these positions is enough to cater for the nPDP family within the APC in the spirit of fairness and justice if each of the beneficiaries of these offices extend same spirit of patronage to the members of the defunct nPDP and the APC at large.
The case is the same at the Party level. All the party officials promoted by key nPDP stake holders are still holding their positions in the party. How can we then complain of marginalisation by the party? A simple fact sheet is as follows
Senator Danjuma Goje- National Youth leader,
Senator Wamako/ Gov Aminu Tambuwal- National vice chairman north west, Alh Inuwa Abdulkadir
Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso- National Treasurer, Alh Bala Gwargwarwa
Senator Bukola Saraki/ Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed- National Publicity Secretary, Bolaji Abdullahi
Governor Rotimi Amechi- National vice chairman south south
Governor Bindow- National vice chairman north East, Comrade Mustapha Salihu
Senator Abdullahi Adamu- National Vice chairman north central, Hon Zakari Ede
These party officials are involved in running the affairs of the party and contributing in decision making at various levels. In addition, other members of the nPDP holding legislative and executive positions are involved and making their contributions on government policies and decision making at various organs and levels of governance.
The APC has been very gracious to us but we must not over stretch our luck. We have concentrated in pointing accusing fingers at the President and Party and generally others while we failed to look inward and adress the greed, selfishness, witch hunt, injustice and high handedness exhibited by some leaders of the defunct nPDP in privileged positions today against our fellow members. We only remember that the nPDP ever existed when it is time to advance our personal and often selfish interest. Let us be careful not to become a cancer to any house we seek to join or gain speciality in trying to destroy every house we help to build. We must introspect and change our ways
Many members that worked so hard for the nPDP are being attacked and ridiculed by some leaders of the group. May be it is time to call a meeting of the defunct nPDP, lock ourselves in a room and tell ourselves the bitter truth. Many of us have questions to ask some of our leaders. Peharps if we had done that in the first place, there will certainly be no reason to for Alh Kawu Baraje to approach the party and even give an ultimatum. We should be more concern with using what the APC has offered us in many generous way to advance the cause of our members and the party and country at large. We have more than enough not to complain if some leaders in the nPDP will be less greedy.
We believe that the nPDP has many leaders of high integrity but we must be careful not to use the group to cover up for any individual who fall foul of the law. We must support the anti corruption stance of the government and ensure that the law takes its cause in accordance to the laws of our land without minding whose ox is gored. We will resist any attempt to smear our government through posturing or using the platform of the defunct nPDP as shield against crimes that might have been committed against the state even before the merger of the defunct nPDP and the APC and beyond.
We wish to state categorically clear that we recognize and concede the right of every member of our party the APC including members of the defunct nPDP to hold their opinion on what they desire government or the party to do for them but what they desire should only be justifiable but enforceable.
Finally, we wish to advice the party and Mr President that in an event that it decides to grant audience to the group lead by Kawu Baraje , we the Buhari supporters who are now in the majority in the defunct nPDP should be invited to the meeting as well- For it seems the petitioners no longer stand for the ideals of the defunct nPDP nor represent our collective interest and position.
We wish to thank Mr President and the party for steering the ship of state in this trying moment as well maturity he has shown in the face of several instances of attempts to intimidate, black mail, harass and embarrass the government and party by some members of the defunct nPDP for their selfish interest.
We remain resolute in our loyalty and support for our party and this government in the effort to deliver service to the Nigerian state and our people.
Senator Abdullahi Adamu
Chief Theodore Geogewill
Hon Abdulmumin Jibrin
Muhammadu Buhari GCFR
President Federal Republic of Nigeria
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu