The open romance of members of the New Peoples’ Democratic Party, nPDP, with the All Progressives Congress (APC) continued yesterday as Niger State Governor, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu described the opposition party as the vehicle through which Nigeria’s politics will be sanitized.
He also said the political wrangling in the ruling PDP spearheaded by the Group of seven governors (G-7) of which he is the leader, is a revolution to cleanse the party and the national polity.
Gov. Aliyu made these views known yesterday when he hosted leaders of the APC led by its Interim National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, who were in Minna, the Niger State capital in continuation of their visitations to aggrieved governors of the PDP in a bid to woo them to join APC.
Aliyu said: “I said it that the coming together of the ACN, ANPP and CPC brought radicalism closer. The emergence of APC is a harbinger for a proper revolution; a revolution that will now sanitize the politics of Nigeria”.
He, however, warned the ruling party to be “cautious, tread softly and be tolerant” with opposition parties, predicting that “the ruling party today may be in opposition tomorrow”.
The self-acclaimed leader of the G-7 said the struggle in the ruling party was their own contribution towards restoring a semblance to the party.
His words: “What is happening in our party, PDP, is the revolution that is catching up with the country. Many see it as an internal struggle, but it is a move to see that the party is cleansed.”
Commending the leaders of the APC for their foresight in coming together, Aliyu said the party’s emergence on the political landscape would bring the best out of the 2015 elections as “Nigerians would have the opportunity to have two major parties to seek for their favour”.
Though he was non-committal about the request of the APC leaders to join the party, Aliyu said: “We have declared ceasefire because we are negotiating. After that, you can come with a blast. If we resolve, we will still be friends and if we don’t resolve, you will have as many of us as possible. As a group, we the G7 are people who keep to agreement.”
He also gave what seemed like an advice on massive membership drive when he told the APC delegation to visit other governors instead of limiting it to the G7 governors alone.
“Don’t just visit the G7 governors alone, visit all governors and let us see who will not receive you. If other parties see this move as a good way, let them do it”, the Niger governor was quoted as saying.
Earlier, Akande, a former governor, said they were in the state to show solidarity with Aliyu in the face of political persecution he along with the G7 governors were receiving from the ruling party and to ask him and the people of the state to join the APC.
In his own remarks, APC National Leader, Tinubu said the political barometer and radar had shown that the time for change in the country was long over-due.
According to him, Nigeria needs “changes that take the welfare of the people as a cornerstone of its economic policies; change that is focused on quality of life of our men and women; changes that give priority to economic priorities and take poverty off the land and put our youth to work”.
He expressed high hopes that the party’s drive would yield positive results for the country.
Members of the delegation on the trip to Minna were General Muhammadu Buhari, former House of Representatives Speaker, Aminu Bello Masari; Senate Minority Leader, George Akume; former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tom Ikimi; former Minister of Works, Hassan Lawal; former Edo State Governor, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun; former Minister of Labour, Alhaji Gwadabe; and Interim National Publicity Secretary of APC, Lai Mohammed.
The APC train has so far visited six out of the seven G-7 governors including Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers) and Babangida Aliyu (Niger). Only Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State has not been visited and no date has been fixed yet.