By Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has stated that a combination of cash-crunch and spate of crises rocking the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is responsible for the recent defections of ‘progressive-minded members’ of the PDP to the APC.
APC, in a statement issued by the Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, in Abuja on Thursday, said that the opposition party is ostensibly pushing Nigeria into a one-party state, challenging other opposition political parties to take the place of the PDP as a healthy opposition.
The ruling party also alleged that PDP and its 2019 presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, have already ‘begun early 2023 campaign on the PDP’s presidential candidature’ with ‘Dubai meetings to plot their hallucinatory return and ensure their bid to sell-off the remainder of our national assets.’
‘It is not surprising that progressive-minded members of the PDP have been defecting en masse from the opposition party to the APC in recent times.
‘For a party unable to run its Secretariat, pay staff salaries and its leadership grappling with a crisis of confidence, it will be unfair to expect its progressive-minded members to remain in the PDP which has failed woefully as the supposed ‘main’ opposition party in Nigeria.
‘It is disheartening that the PDP is pushing Nigeria into a largely one-party state. As a party that believes in democracy and progressive politics, the APC does not subscribe to this.
‘We, therefore, challenge other opposition political parties to take the place of the PDP because even as the governing party, we recognize the importance of rigorous and intelligent interrogation of our policies and programmes by the opposition which the PDP has woefully failed to do.
‘Recall that APC recently welcomed the Governor of Ebonyi State, David Nweze Umahi and Senator representing Adamawa North Senatorial District, Elisha Abbo. This is in addition to the earlier return of many prominent party members and leaders including, former PDP national chairman, Senator Barnabas Gemade; former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara, Dr Alex Otti among others.
‘As a party, the APC welcomes new and returning entrants who have come to work with the President Muhammadu Buhari APC-led administration to improve the lives of Nigerians and overall better our dear country.
‘The party ranks greatly appreciate the important work the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) under the Chairmanship of Governor Mai Mala Buni is doing to reposition the party by accomodating all interests and ensuring peace, unity, fairness, equity, justice and inclusion and internal democracy in our great party.
‘The Governor Buni-led CECPC is working assiduously and has achieved great success in ensuring that the party is repositioned, united, and conducts the planned membership registration, update and revalidation exercise to produce a clean, credible and authentic national membership register ahead of the planned National Convention.
‘For now, the PDP and Atiku Abubakar who has begun early 2023 campaign on the PDP’s presidential candidature he is poised to purchase, are engrossed with their Dubai meetings to plot their hallucinatory return to ensure their bid to sell-off the remainder of our national assets. Nigerians are wiser,’ the party’s statement read.