The Abubakar Baraje-led Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said, yesterday, that they stayed away from the post-convention dinner organised by National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, because they could not be part of what they described as ‘squandermania.’
In a statement, yesterday, by National Publicity Secretary of new PDP, Chief Chukwuemeka Eze, the Baraje-led PDP said they decided to stay off the dinner, which took place on Sunday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, because it will be ironical to attend when Nigerians were wallowing in abject poverty and members of Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, were on strike with the university students at home.
The group also urged Bamanga Tukur to leave former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State and others, who broke away, alone and face the problems confronting PDP.
However, in a swift reaction, Tukur said he was not prepared to exchange words with Baraje and other aggrieved members as the focus was now on how to redouble its efforts towards providing dividends of democracy to Nigerians.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh said: “We will not exchange words with our aggrieved brothers. Reconciliation is ongoing and we will not provoke a dislocation of the reconciliation.
“Our focus is to redouble our efforts to ensure that our party members rededicate themselves to the party and for our elected and appointed representatives to work harder now more than ever before in satisfying the yearnings of Nigerians.”
Eze said: “To us, that dinner was organised to give credibility to the charade that was called PDP Special National Convention. As a serious group, we cannot be a party to such squandermania, while Nigerian masses are wallowing in abject poverty and our children kept at home instead of being in school because Federal Government could not meet ASUU’s demands.
“We wish to have nothing to do with such wasting of public funds and such trivialities associated with Alhaji Tukur and his leadership, which explains why he must be kicked out of the National Secretariat of the party.
“We cannot be a party to such a gathering, while PDP family is facing serious crisis that, if not checked, would dim the party’s chances of winning future elections. This is a sign of a man chasing a rat while his house is on fire.”
On the issue of 2015 presidential election, he said: “We wish to advise those trivialising President Jonathan’s ambitions in the 2015 election with threats and acting in such a manner as if only the Ijaw are capable of voting him or another person as the President of Nigeria in a country of over 300 tribes, to think wisely.
“In this regard, we commend and congratulate the thousands of Bayelsa people that have wisely decided to team up with PDP under the chairmanship of Alhaji Abubakar Baraje to salvage our party from imminent disintegration under Alhaji Tukur.
“We assure these great minds that they will be fully protected under our umbrella.