G-7 Governors May Not Join APC…See Why
Strong indications have emerged that notwithstanding the companionship between the breakaway faction of the ruling PDP and the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC), governors backing the Baraje-led group may not join the opposition.
It was gathered that even though most of the pro-new PDP governors, otherwise known as the G-7, have opened discussions with the APC, both parties are said to be considering the legal implications of outright defection from the PDP.
A source in the APC also linked the delay in the nationwide registration exercise in the party to the development, as the G-7 governors have insisted on joining the party same time with others if and when they finally agree to defect.
This is even as reports have it that both the presidency and the leadership of the PDP have mapped out strategies to declare vacant the seat of any of the new PDP governors or their supporters in the National Assembly who defects.
The leadership of the APC has been going round the country wooing the G-7 governors.
As at last count, the APC lobby team has held discussions with the following G-7 governors: Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto State), Sule Lamido (Jigawa State), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa State) and Rabiu Kwakwanso (Kano State). The train is expected in Rivers State today.
But a presidency source corroborated by a chieftain of the party disclosed to our correspondent that much as both President Goodluck Jonathan and the national chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, believe in the ongoing reconciliation, they would not shy away from “using the law to fight back”.
“The APC leaders in their desperate ambition to rule the country at all cost have been to Sokoto, Jigawa, Kano and Adamawa. I also read in your paper today (yesterday) that they are going to Port Harcourt tomorrow (today) to ask Governor Rotimi Amaechi to decamp to their party. I wish them good luck. President Goodluck Jonathan, like I always tell you, strongly believes in the reconciliation. He promised former President Obasanjo to have a dialogue with them and that is what he is doing, but, from all indications, these people are hell-bent on decamping.
“If they do this, they should not forget that the offices they are currently occupying were given to them through the party, PDP, and with the subsisting court rulings and the position of INEC, it clear that there is no faction within PDP because that is the only reason someone could defect and still keep his office. Once these people leave the party, they should resign or we ask them to go.”
Speaking in the same vein, the party source said: “The earlier they defect, the better for us to know those who truly belong to the party. Let them go to their new party, and I hope they know that the only truly democratic party in the country today is PDP. If they doubt this, they should ask (former vice president) Atiku and (former speaker, House of Representatives, Ghali Umar) Na’Abba who had tried them. Where is our former chairman, Chief Audu Ogbeh, today? When last did you hear him? That is the stuff the opposition is made of.”
When asked if the seats of those who decamp to APC or other parties would be declared vacant, he said, “The position of the law is clear. Let them try it and watch. There is no faction in our party. INEC has made that declaration and the court has declared them illegal; so let them turn their back at PDP and watch if we would do nothing.”
The former national officer of the party who is also playing a leading role in the party said, “I am sure those governors know what I am telling you and the reason why none of them has come out to say bye-bye to PDP. And this is a big problem within the APC which desperately needs them. But let me tell the APC that they would wait for long because it is not feasible for any of those governors to decamp.”
According to the source, President Jonathan would meet with them and ask them to disown the opposition party. He would assure them that any of them that wishes to contest against him in the 2015 presidential primaries is welcome, but those who remain recalcitrant would be summoned by the disciplinary committee where they would be officially expelled and their offices declared vacant.
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