‘New PDP’ Initiates Move to Impeach Jonathan
There is much threat in the offing to impeach President Goodluck Jonathan as the crises ravaging the ruling People’s Democratic Party lingers on after the various strategic moves by the leaders of the splinter group of the party.
The ‘New PDP’, which was created on Saturday by its Chairman, Kawu Baraje, alongside former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar and seven state Governors elected on the platform of the crisis-torn party now has about 80 lawmakers in its fold.
The new faction has now insisted that if the president fails to resolve the crises rocking the party by renouncing his undeclared aspiration to run for the 2015 presidential elections, there will be calls for his impeachment.
However, it is pertinent to note that the ‘New PDP’ is gathering momentum day by day as no fewer than 57 members of the party in the House of Representatives declared their support for it on Tuesday after 22 Senators made a similar move.
Apparently, the rebelling lawmakers were drawn from the seven pioneer states whose Governors walked out of the PDP mini-convention last Saturday in Abuja, namely Adamawa; Niger; Kwara; Kano; Rivers; Jigawa and Sokoto.
According to unnamed sources, the ‘New PDP’ has commenced aggressive mobilization and compilation of signatures of the lawmakers to initiate a move for the impeachment of the president unless their grievances are simmered down.
But the current recess of the House seems to e slowing down the rate of the compilation of the signatures as most of them, who are supporting are not around yet.
The source also said that the ‘New PDP’ is nottaking the issue with levity as it is keen on ensuring that their goal is achieved to the last letter.
“Going by events of the past five days, the party under the leadership of Bamanga Tukur should know that they were not joking”, the source said.
“We are tired of meetings upon meetings, the ‘New PDP’ wants the President to come out with a categorical statement that he is no longer interested in contesting for the Presidency in 2015. That is what will soothe the nerves of many of us for now.
“Apart from the pressure on other lawmakers to join the fold, we are also reaching out to the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) through their members in the National Assembly to checkmate this abuse of power by those we consider as enemies of democracy”, he added.
The source also said the planned impeachment move was meant to force him to reconsider his position on 2015 and publicly renounce any ambition to run a second term or face impeachment in the National Assembly.
“You can call it a bargaining chip in the hands of his opponents. But if he is pragmatic enough he would think twice before jumping into the fray. So, the factionalisation of the party was a signal to Jonathan to halt his ambition to run for a second term,” the source said.
“We are demanding that he publicly renounces. The choice is his, he said.
Besides, Senator David Mark who was in Minna for the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Alumni Association of Course 3 of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) urged that the strength of Nigeria is in ‘our unity and not in our division’.
Hence, he stated “so let us all work together for the unity and progress of this country”.
During a courtesy call on Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu, at the Government House, Minna, Mark reminded all that “war does not build but rather destroys a nation.”
“Wars will do no one any good. The best thing Nigerians as individuals can do to promote peace and live in peace with one another is by disregarding acts that separate us as a people not withstanding tribal, religious and political differences,” the Senate President said.
On the threats to the unity of the country ahead of the 2015 general elections, Mark reminded Nigerians that “the unity of Nigeria is extremely important.”
“We urge Nigerians to ensure peace and not shout wars because when there is no peace there will be no development. I will work for the unity and peace of this country because our strength is in our unity, not in our division; so we must all work for the unity of this country.
“The peace and unity of this country cannot be compromised for anything. We must look at some fundamental issues in this country and we should also not talk about secession again in this country.
“Many lives were wasted in this country in our first attempt at secession, so we are calling on all Nigerians to embrace peace and stop war slogans. There cannot be development without peace and our strength lies in our unity as a nation,” he added.
On the political calculations of the New PDP, all seems to be on right course as the defection of 57 PDP members to the ‘New PDP’ with more expected to it, the splinter group could garner a combined 194 memersfrom the lower chamber if the 137 members of the APC tow the line of the new PDP faction and
This also can effect a much need change of leadership in the lower chamber of the National Assembly for the New PDP.
In the Senate, the PDP, before the new faction, had 74 members, APC 33 members and Labour Party, two members.
There are reports that the power equation in both chambers has changed dramatically with the latest development and some are already calculating that National Assembly leadership may become the first victim of the power play if they act as a stumbling block to the plans of the ‘New PDP.’
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