Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Ruling party All Progressives Congress (APC) on Monday acknowledged that all grievances expressed by the leaders of the defunct new Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) were genuine.
Speaking after a closed door meeting which lasted about an hour at the party’s national secretariat Monday, APC Deputy National Chairman North, Sen. Shuaibu Lawal, who presided over the meeting between the National Working Committee (NWC) and the nPDP members, promised that the party the Presidency will address the issues.
He assured that the party will take up the dissatisfactions seriously, even as he admitted that all the issues have not been resolved.
Sen. Lawal, who stood in for the National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, said:
“We have not yet resolved. They wrote a letter to us; they are partymen, they have grievances; we looked at the letter, their grievances are genuine. And they requested a meeting within seven days and, before the seven days expired, I called them and they were not ready to come; they said we should shift the meeting till today, which we did.
“So, we are listening to them, we have listened to them and we are taking up their matter seriously, we will address it. We don’t ignore our people, except if you don’t send your grievances to the party; but if you send, we will always address your grievances,” Lawal stated.
Reacting to the meeting, leader of the dissent group, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, denied insinuations that they were planning to leave the ruling APC for the opposition Peoples Progressive Party (PDP).
Asked whether he was satisfied with responses his group has gotten from the closed meeting, Baraje said: “So far so good, we have just started and when you start a race, you don’t say whether somebody wants to see you until you are getting to the middle or to the end. But it is a good start, it is a good beginning,” he stated.
“As you are aware, we requested to see the party’s national leadership, and the party, very sensitive party, very responsible party, responded to our requests adequately and we think it is a very encouraging time.
“Since last week, they have gotten across to us, but because of one logistics or the other, we couldn’t come until today. We begged the party to shift the day till today and today we have seen our party.
“We are party members, this office is our office, we have only come home to discuss those observations we copied you people when we wrote our letter. The meeting was very beautiful,” he said.
Barage, however, frowned at the allegation raised by the Sen. Abdullahi Adamu group, saying that there is no iota of truth to the claim that the nPDP splinter faction wanted to leave the party. He insisted that he won’t respond to such claims again since a member of his group had responded.
“I am not ready to do that because somebody had earlier responded to them adequately. I think the former Youth Leader of the defunct nPDP, Comrade Timi Frank, responded to them and once somebody has responded, there is no need beating around the bush,” he said.
“In any case, in any group, particularly political groups, you are bound to have a splinter; why they split is best known to them. As far as we are concerned, the group that sent me here, or sent us here, are 95.9% intact, and we are not planning to leave the APC,” he stressed.