Senate President David Mark yesterday assured the Abubakar Kawu Baraje-led faction of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) that he will not declare the seat of any senator vacant for defecting to the faction.
He spoke when the leadership of the “New PDP” led by Baraje and the seven “rebel” governors visited him in his office.
Mark said: “I have not declared any senator’s seat vacant. I won’t do that and I don’t have the intention of doing that.”
The national chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur had recently threatened to declare the seat of serving members of the National Assembly vacant for defecting to the Baraje faction.
Ruling out the possibility of jumping ship as the crisis in the PDP threatens to consume the ruling party, the Senate President said, “I am in PDP and I will remain in PDP. I will not like the house to fall on anybody. We want to see it stand erect. We should not bring the crisis to the Senate because we are one family.
He assured the group that he would continue to uphold the tenets of justice, fair play and equity no matter the circumstances.
“Even if you have a knife in my head, I will stand for justice, fairness and equity. Whatever happens please remain in the PDP, we are one PDP. Don’t pour petrol around the fire but pour water. I will continue to pour water around the fire. We should not allow the cracks to continue so that lizards and reptiles don’t come in,” Mark said.
Reminding all present that as long as they are willing to find an amicable resolution to the crisis, they must be ready to “give and take.”
Mark added, “Having spoken with you, I am also going to discuss with the Bamanga group and we will all be very frank because if we don’t put all the cards on the table, then we are not going to find a solution.”
Earlier, Mr. Baraje, who was accompanied by Governors Musa Kwankwaso (Kano), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara), Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Babangida Aliyu (Niger) , Murtala Nyako (Adamawa) and Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), factional National Secretary Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Deputy National Chairman Sam Sam Jaja and National Youth Leader Timi Frank, among others, called on the Senate President to help find solution to the political impasse.
He also demanded, among other things, Amaechi’s recall from suspension and his recognition as the duly elected chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF).
He also demanded “the reversal of the dissolution of the party executives in Rivers and Adamawa states, conduct of a fresh convention by the PDP due to the lapses in the recent one, removal of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur as National Chairman of the party, strict adherence to party constitution and total objection to third term for President Goodluck Jonathan from the back door”.