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PDP’ll Split If… –Mu’azu

Embattled PDP National Chairman, Adamu Mu’azu, Frets Over Imminent Split Of PDP As Calls For His Resignation Persists While Girei Harps On Party Strength

Patrick Osadebamwen, Abuja; and Agaju Madugba, Kaduna

Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) Dr. Adamu Mu’azu, has expressed worry over possible division of the party if the members continue to gloat over the party’s losses in the last general election. As he spoke, calls for his resignation, alongside national leadership of the party, over the loss of electoral fortunes, persist. Governor Aliyu Babangida of Niger State, had last weekend, alleged of plans by leadership of the party to form a splinter and rival party to the PDP. He had said the plot was the Option B available to leadership of the party which was being prodded by governors of the party to throw in the towel. Before him, Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State had openly called on the Mu’azu-led executive to quit. In a statement yesterday in Abuja however, Mu’azu, who spoke from his recuperation bed, called on members of the party not to allow its electoral failures jeopardize chances of re-building the party.

He also urged all aggrieved members to key into President Goodluck Jonathan’s intervention for peaceful co-existence within the party. With the latest plea to members, Mu’azu countered his earlier position that the party would collapse should he be forced out. “As the National Chairman and a key stakeholder in this party in the last 16 years, I quite understand and appreciate the concern, pain and frustrations of our members regarding our defeat. “I am also deeply worried about the division the development has generated within the PDP family especially regarding whether or not the national leadership should be dissolved as a direct consequence of our collective challenge”, he said.

He noted that internal wrangling will not do the party any good, just as he charged members to re-focus and work towards the 2019 general election. “In the course of events, there have been reactions and counter-reactions among party members; mistakes have been made, some of them avoidable, but this is the time to put all of them behind us and move ahead as our party and its interest remain paramount and overriding.

“The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has noted the various reactions that trailed the unfortunate loss of our great party in the last general elections. “In the last few weeks, the media has been fishing on these reactions with a section even blowing it out of proportion to a level that has become a threat to our oneness as a family. “Expectedly, our party has had a share of media bashing and misrepresentations, which contributed immensely to the misunderstanding we are facing in our fold. “For instance, in one of the press reactions from my office, the media quoted one of my aides as saying that our party will be “buried’ without the National Chairman, a clear deviation from what was actually said.

Such misrepresentations of our party leaders also abound in the social media and we must be wary of them. “However, I have already issued a strong warning to all my aides to henceforth desist from making comments on matters of party administration in the media or any other forum whatsoever. “Having been a state governor on the platform of this party for eight years and having the grace of being a committed member for the past 16 years, I very much appreciate the reactions of some of our members like Governor Ayo Fayose, whose victory in Ekiti in June last year helped to strengthen our party, particularly in the southwest region.“Nevertheless, in the larger interest of our party, we all must resolve to bury the hatchet, pick our pieces and move on to rebuild our party and return to our winning ways.

“In the wisdom of leadership of the party, we have set the machinery in motion by the constitution and inauguration of the Post-Election Assessment Committee headed by the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu. The needful thing to do at the moment is for all hands to be on the deck, with this committee, to come up with meaningful report that will provide answers to our challenges and roadmap for the future. “Furthermore, my absence from the country lately has led to some apprehensions within the party resulting in various public interpretations. But the fact is, following the rigorous campaigns and its attendant toll on my health, I had to yield to the advice of my doctor to take a two weeks bed rest for proper checks and recuperations.

“I am happy to inform all our members that I have been responding to care and will soon return to the country. “Finally, I wish to charge all members that though we have had our setback, we are not down and out. The PDP remains the largest political party in this country. What we need now more than ever before is to unite as therein lay our strength as a family. Fighting ourselves will not yield anyone any good. Our members therefore must remain focused and join forces with their leaders at all levels to actualize our collective quest to rebuild the PDP and repositioning it to regain power in 2019”, Mu’azu said. Meanwhile, a stakeholder in the party from Adamawa State, Senator Abubakar Girei, has said PDP remains “the largest and the best structured political party” in Nigeria.

Girei, who spoke in an interview with reporters in Kaduna yesterday, noted that the PDP had the most experienced, dedicated and committed members who would not sit down and watch greedy, corrupt and inept leadership send the party to its early grave. Although he said that the PDP’s defeat was an act of God, Girei said the national leadership of the party must accept full responsibility for the “humiliating defeat.” He urged members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) to resign their positions over the general elections.

According to Girei, “The entire National Working Committee should relinquish their positions to pave way for the party to be re-positioned. “For this loss to be only a temporary setback, the party needs to reinvent, reengineer and re-brand itself as soon as possible in order to bounce back in the next round of elections in 2019. “It is in view of this that I am constrained to once again appeal to the National Chairman and members of the NWC to honourably relinquish their positions in order to pave way for the immediate repositioning of the PDP.

“Those who claim that they have tenure to serve should be reminded that the party members and indeed Nigerians know how each and every one of them came on board. “I am also calling on our leader, Chief Tony Anenih (BOT Chair), Senate President, David Mark and Governor Godswill Akpabio (Chairman, PDP Governors’ Forum) to summon a meeting of major stakeholders before the end of May, to salvage our great party”, he said.

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