The Niger State governor Babangida Aliyu has said he did declined to move to the All Progressives Congress (APC) with his G5 colleagues, because his conscience was always with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
This comes as the former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Baffarawa, yesterday formally declared for the PDP and criticised the APC as not having any formal members to boast of.
They both spoke at the PDP national secretariat in Abuja. While the Niger State governor led party stalwarts from the state to pay a solidarity visit to the chairman, Bafarawa came to openly declare his membership of the PDP.
Governor Aliyu, while recounting why he did not join his colleagues to APC said, “I led a protest which came to be known as G-7. It was not intended to kill the party and move away. Many people asked me, ‘you led the group how come you did not move’. I didn’t move because my conscience, understanding and my position is with the PDP. And I believe that in 2015 PDP will form the government.”
The governor further hailed the emergence of Mu’azu as chairman of the party and noted that the travails he went through after his tenure as the governor of Bauchi State prepared him for his new office.
He said the return of Mu’azu had brought hope to the party and members can hold their heads high, adding that the challenges faced by the party will make them face elections in 2015 in a better shape.
Meanwhile, former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa, said the APC did not have members since its creation six months ago.
He said: “As far as I’m concerned, there is no member of the APC in this country. This is because you cannot be a member of any political party without membership card. For the last six months that the party was formed, up until now nobody has a membership card.”
Govs Storm PDP Secretariat
The national secretariat of the PDP came alive yesterday as the party’s governors stormed the party to show solidarity with the new chairman, Adamu Mu’azu.
The governors had previously shunned the secretariat in subtle protest against the regime of the former chairman, Bamanga Tukur who was removed two weeks ago.
The governors who visited the secretariat include those of Akwa Ibom Abia, Delta, Gombe, Katsina, Kebbi, Bayelsa, Kogi, Taraba (deputy), Niger, Cross Rivers, Kaduna, Plateau, Sokoto (deputy). Governors of Bauchi, Benue and Enugu were however absent.
Playing host to the governors, the national chairman cautioned them against rumour mongers, advising them to be patient with the party’s leadership at this time. He further pleaded with them to help appeal to the defected five governors to return to the PDP.
He said, “As you know, our governors are our garrison commands in our various states. We are very happy with them and we are very proud of them.
“But we want to appeal to them to particularly be patient at this moment of our history. You will see what you do not like and you will hear what you do not like and the rumour mongers around are working but God will always guide us.”
He noted that in a big family like PDP, there is bound to be conflict but the ability to resolve it is what matters most.
“I therefore want to appeal to you to please speak to your colleagues to come back home,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the governors, their chairman and governor of Akwa Ibom State, Dr. Godswill Akpabio, assured the chairman of their unalloyed support.
He said: “On behalf of the 18 PDP governors and we are hoping that, with your intervention and the intervention of the NWC, that number will be increased by bringing back some of our brothers who crossed over to the other side.
“We are very certain that under your able leadership, the party can only wax stronger. As field commandants in our various states, we are here to pledge our unalloyed support to the NWC under your leadership and also our unalloyed loyalty and support to Mr President, President Goodluck Jonathan.”