The Abubakar Kawu Baraje-led Peoples’ Democratic Party otherwise known as New PDP, has debunked the claim by the presidency that its ranks have been depleted following the purported withdrawal of two out of the G-7 governors.
The Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Political Matters, Dr. Ahmed Gulak, was quoted in a recent interview as saying, “I am happy to say that from G7 governors, they have reduced to G5. Two governors have backed out because they know it is not true (that the president signed a one term agreement). So there was no agreement signed by the President.”
But national publicity secretary of New PDP, Chief Chukwuemeka Eze, described Gulak as a jester; one not worthy of a response due to the unsound nature of his mind.
His words, “Reading what he says most of the time, one can understand why this administration is termed to be a kindergarten government because of the characters that lack substance operating or assumed to be in government.
“If I may ask, under what condition should two of our progressive governors decide to jump ship at this period when five other governors have contacted us and expressed interest in joining us? I am only happy that Nigerians no longer take most of the statements coming from Gulak as sound. So, in this case, I don’t need to react because Gulak is a well-known peddler of falsehood” the New PDP spokesman stressed.
On the October 7 peace meeting which the group pulled out from in the dying minutes citing the absence of most of its members, who are scheduled to perform the holy pilgrimage in Mecca, for which they received knocks from the Presidency, Eze said, “The question we should be asked under this situation should be – is Hajj operation currently going on? If the answer is yes, then the second question should be – are most of our governors Muslims and expected to perform or participate in the Hajj? If the answer is yes, then the next question should be – are our governors and other principal actors attending this year’s Hajj? And if the answer is yes, then we should conclude that Gulak is a very bad adviser and assistant to Mr. President and should be sacked to save the Presidency from the shame such a fellow brings to governance in the country. My national chairman just finished speaking with me before flying out with others to Mecca.”
Eze also disputed claims by the presidency that with or without the support of the G-7 governors, Mr. Jonathan will win the 2015 presidential elections saying only an unserious leader will conceive such thoughts as no leader can win the elections without the votes from Rivers, Adamawa, Kwara, Niger, Kano, Jigawa and Sokoto States.
While the faction insisted that President Jonathan in 2011 promised not to seek reelection in 2015, the New PDP cited his remarks in February of that year while interacting with Nigerians and diplomats working in the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Union (AU) in Ankara, Turkey, that he would have loved that Nigerians in Diaspora voted during the 2011.
Eze recalled Mr. Jonathan saying that “Presently, the law does not allow voting outside Nigeria and so this year Nigerians in Diaspora will not vote but I will work towards it by 2015 even though I will not be running for election.”
Responding to the challenge by the presidency that the group should come up with the one term document signed by President Jonathan if it truly exists, Eze said, “That would be done at the appropriate time. Why would our President deny the statement he made in a broad daylight, even in the presence of international media? Because of ambition, would our President deny the words that came out of his mouth and statements he made without duress? Truly, the President is desperate and with this, he has shown that he cannot be trusted. At the appropriate time, Nigerians will get a copy of the communiqué of the PDP governors meeting.”
The faction stood its ground on the earlier assertion it made that Nigeria is a “crumbling edifice” citing corruption, lack of employment opportunities, the ongoing strike by ASUU and poor state of the health sector among other ills as a pointer to its claim that all was not well with the country.
Nonetheless, the group encouraged Nigerians not to lose hope but to remain steadfast in demanding good governance, transparency and accountability from government at various levels, which it said is the only way to “force the corrupt clique in power to change their ways”.
On President Jonathan’s media chat last Sunday and his evasive response to whether he will seek a second term in office or not, the New PDP stated that “We had expected Mr. President, during his media chat of last Sunday, to make a categorical statement that he would not seek re-election but he, unfortunately, chose to dodge the question when it was put to him. We once more wish to appeal to President Jonathan, if he truly loves Nigeria, to abandon his second term ambition and concentrate on how to rescue the sinking Nigerian ship of state.