There are strong indications that the last-ditch attempt to settle the rift between the defunct nPDP and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) arising from complaints of the former of marginalisation and maltreatment of its members by the leadership of the APC is headed for the rocks as allegations bordering on the exclusion of members of the nPDP from the party’s upcoming national convention subcommittees unravel.
But members of the factions have said regardless of the development, they are ready to wait and see the end of the planned meeting called by the leadership of the ruling party to iron out the grey areas even as the group has said it would decide on its next move before the convention of the party in June.
According to Thisday, the gulf between the aggrieved factional members and the leadership of the ruling APC widened during the week when it was discovered that its members have again been schemed out from being part of the APC convention’s sub-committees, a development which further infuriated the group provoking its members to begin considering other options ahead of the 2019 election.
Presidency, APC Deny Substituting Names on Convention List
But both the Presidency and APC have denied excluding any interest group from the convention committees.
A reliable source within nPDP bloc in APC, said on Thursday night that they will definitely conclude talks with the leadership of the party before the elective convention.
Although he could not confirm the allegation that members of the nPDP were not allowed to participate in the convention, the source said he cannot rule it out completely.
“Anybody who knows members of our group will know that we are credible people. We are very committed to what we say and what we are doing but I cannot speak for the other side. I cannot vouch for their sincerity of purpose,” he said.
On whether they (nPDP) are ready with the next option if the APC decides to call their bluff and end negotiations, the source said: “Our members are very powerful and credible people and I can assure you wherever we decide to go, definitely is going produce the next president of the country.”
Weighing in on the allegations, the Presidency also denied media reports that the Presidency had substituted some members of the National Convention Sub-Committees of the All Progressives Congress (APC), saying President Muhammadu Buhari would never interfere in party affairs.
In a statement, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, insisted that the president would never do anything contrary to the provision of the constitution.
“We are constrained to deny media reports alleging that the Presidency substituted or smuggled in some names of members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Convention Planning Sub-Committees.
“Nothing in the allegation can be further from the truth in every material particular. For the umpteenth time, we wish to reiterate President Muhammadu Buhari’s position that he will not interfere in party affairs or matters before the law courts.
“It ought to have been obvious by now to discerning Nigerians that it is not in the nature of this President to go against the provisions of the country’s constitution let alone his party’s constitutional provisions.
“It is, therefore, disingenuous to attribute every perceived infraction in activities of party or government appointees to the president’s desk,” the statement said.
PDP Ecstatic Over Implosion
Meanwhile, the leading opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are getting excited over the political gains that could come its way if the APC crisis continued unabated
The party said it was happy with the support, solidarity, as well as the massive influx of Nigerians into its fold.
In a statement issued on Thursday by its Spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP said it is repositioning as the consensus political platform to rescue the nation from the obviously incompetent and repressive rule of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC.
He said that the efforts of its Contact and Integration Committee led by the former governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke, in reaching out to like-minded persons and groups from across the six geo-political zones and 36 states of the federation, was beginning to yield dividends.
The opposition party said whereas the ruling APC has completely shut its doors against the interest of Nigerians, having been totally appropriated by selfish, undemocratic and oppressive forces, a repositioned PDP remains the only viable platform where Nigerians, across board, are now coalescing to restore order, good governance and economic prosperity in our nation, come 2019.
“The party reassures all members, including existing, returning and new members, in addition to like-minded political groups and alignments from other political parties of equal opportunity and level playing ground for all to freely engage, irrespective of class, creed, ethnicity or even previous party affiliation.
“The PDP restates that it remains the only political party that is completely owned and controlled by the Nigerian people; where no individual or group can claim ownership or be allowed to appropriate the interest of the generality of members.
“Our determination is to continue to work with Nigerians to sustain a vigorous, nationalistic and all-inclusive political engagement that will fulfil their aspirations to restore healthy democratic culture at all levels and rescue the nation from the clutches of the anti-people APC administration.
“The PDP, however, charges all members and indeed all Nigerians to remain united and continue to resist the antics of the sinking APC to create confusion and distract us, particularly with fabrications in a section of the media, including laughable suggestions that some decisions have been taken regarding those willing to join our fold.
“Our response is that none of APC’s antics at fabrications, harassment of our members, cooked-up corruption allegations, arrests, arraignments and smear campaign will distract the PDP in this all-important mandate by the generality of Nigerian citizens to be their rallying platform to rescue our nation from the economic hardship and oppression that have become the bold label of the dysfunctional APC and its Federal Government,” it said.
Credits: Onyebuchi Ezigbo and Omololu Ogunmade(THISDAY)