…Northern group blames OBJ for death of PDP
By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor & Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA— The Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has denied media reports linking it to the formation of a new party, Advanced Peoples Democratic Party, APDP, saying it would not abandon its structure for the Senator Ali Modu Sheriff-led executive.
The denial came as the Governor Serikae Dickson-led Reconciliation Committee, weekend, asked party leaders to bury their differences to enable the party move forward.
Meanwhile, the Northern Professional Initiative, NPI, has lambasted former President Olusegun Obasanjo for causing the death of the PDP and advised him to stop accusing any other person of damaging the party irretrievably.
The Makarfi-led committee in a statement denying a news report of its involvement in the formation of the APDP, however, said individual members of the party could not be stopped in any bid to actualise their dreams.
A statement by the spokesman of the caretaker committee, Dayo Adeyeye, said the mainstream of the party was not contemplating abandoning the structure of the party for the Sheriff group, noting that the committee still enjoyed the support of all organs of the party.
He said: “We, however, acknowledge and recognize the rights of party members to seek alternative platform to actualize their political dreams which is an inalienable right guaranteed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We also wish to state clearly and without ambiguity that the National Caretaker Committee is holding leadership power in the party in trust for the millions of party faithful who instituted the committee at the National Convention.”
Meanwhile, moves by the Dickson committee to forge peace are said to be continuing apace with the governor appealing to party members to bury their differences.
A statement signed by Governor Dickson’s Special Adviser on Media Relations, Francis Agbo, said: “I am appealing to all party leaders, critical stakeholders and members across the country to close ranks in the overall interest of our great party.”
Meanwhile, the NPI in blaming President Obasanjo for the death of the PDP, said the former president left no room for internal democracy.
“It is very characteristic of former President Obasanjo to see himself as being the hero and messiah in any environment he finds himself. But as far as his comments about the PDP are concerned, we want to remind him, one more time, that he (Obasanjo) is not God, and it is not in his place to pronounce death or give guarantee of life,” the group said in the statement signed by its president, Mallam Abdullahi Gazali.
“Everyone knows that Obasanjo left no room for internal democracy to thrive within the PDP when he reigned as president and self-anointed himself as the leader of the party. If truly, the PDP is dead and buried, then let no one be left in doubt that Obasanjo is both the executioner and undertaker of the political party that was once hugely generous to him,” the statement noted.
The professionals also chided the ex-president for his veiled criticisms of President Muhammadu Buhari’s handling of the economy, and his decision to score the president low on the subject-matter.
The group said it was uncharitable for Obasanjo whose administration signposted malfeasance in public service and executive recklessness to come out and talk down on the tremendous efforts being made by the Buhari administration to correct many of the ills that Obasanjo planted during his eight-year administration.
According to the NPI, “these ills many of them having been planted by Obasanjo himself during his feisty and ruthless presidency laid the foundation for the challenges bugging us as a country today. And, whereas the Buhari presidency will be acknowledged as championing the fight against corruption with tangible results to show for it, during Obasanjo’s administration the fight against corruption was essentially a witch-hunt of political opponents.”