Indications that the crisis within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has worsened was further established Sunday as the breakaway members of the party under the leadership of Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje alleged that there was a grand plan by the presidency and mainstream party to arrest former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar and crackd on its supporters.
The splinter members of the PDP also wondered why Obasanjo would be linked with the ‘New PDP’, stressing that, “We do not know why General Olusegun Obasanjo is being linked with the New PDP. Let us state unequivocally that this foremost nationalist does not in any way – either directly or by proxy – have anything to do with our existence and operations.
“Ridiculing and plotting the arrest of such a distinguished personality that fought to keep this nation as one entity and contributed immensely in making PDP the most vibrant, virile, versatile and biggest political party in Africa as a nobody is not the best strategy to use to fight the cause of President Goodluck Jonathan, who knows what Chief Obasanjo did to make him President in the first place.”
According to a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the New PDP, Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, said: “We received intelligence reports that the Presidency was putting finishing touches to what it calls “Operation Total Crackdown on G7 and their allies in the New PDP. When we got details of the plot to arrest and commit the leadership of New PDP to prison without charge we thought it was a joke.”
Eze said the reality of the plot to arrest Obasanjo dawned on them after reading the interview of Mujahid Asari-Dokubo, confirming that President Jonathan was under pressure to arrest Obasanjo and Atiku without any further delay.
The spokesman of the breakaway PDP further said: “The sin of these two distinguished Nigerian statesmen, according to those plotting their “demystification”, is their alleged support for the New PDP, including the G7 Governors. That this evil plot is being conceived by the Presidency confirms that the Abacha days are truly here again with us.”
According to Eze, it was after reviewing the plots to arrest Obasanjo and Atiku and the crackdown on members of the splinter PDP that the national chairman of the new PDP, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, summoned an emergency meeting of its National Working Committee (NWC) of the party to brainstorm on how best to respond to the situation.
Accordingly, the statement said the meeting concluded that they should not succumb to intimidation for any reason whatsoever.
He said: “Our conclusion at the end of the meeting was that we would not be intimidated for any reason, even if it means death, as we are fighting a just cause of reclaiming, recovering and establishing our party based on the vision of its founding fathers as the party is currently usurped by some members who do not know how it was formed.
“Baraje, knowing how dirty some of the hawks in the Presidency can fight when pushed to the wall, directed NWC members to write their wills immediately after the meeting as we have entered the stage of no retreat, no surrender – fully determined to reclaim what rightly belongs to us.
“The NWC also resolved to urge the G7 Governors that on no account should they be intimidated or frightened by any tactics or strategy employed by State Forces to coerce them to forgo any of the issues they have been asked to present before President Jonathan during the October 7 meeting,” Eze said in the statement.
The New PDP expressed sadness that instead of employing diplomacy to attend to the issues that caused the conflict, the presidency prefers to use force, stating: “We are not disturbed as we are ready for any of its tactics. In this regard, we wish to urge both the presidency and those detailed to attack us not to waste further time or wait till October 7 to start arresting us as there are thousands of Nigerians ready to step into our shoes and fight this cause to its conclusion.”
The New PDP quoting former United States President, Theodore Roosevelt, who said: “Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country.
“It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else,” Eze stated.
culled from Thisday