…Alleges harrassment of members
Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The new Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) group in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has halted talks with the Presidency.
The nPDP lamented that events of the last few days have proved that President Muhammadu Buhari is not interested in further negotiations, in a statement signed by Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, yesterday.
The nPDP said it has to get a fresh mandate from members before talks can continue.
“The public may recall that there have been ongoing talks between members of the former nPDP, the APC and the presidency in recent days. Nigerians may further recall that a team from the former nPDP, led by Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and four others, were to meet with the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo today (yesterday).
“However, while we are truly and earnestly committed to achieving reconciliation, harmony, truce and cohesion in the APC, as we approach the 2019 general elections, it appears that the presidency is not interested in the talks and they may have been negotiating in bad faith,” Baraje said.
Citing instances of breach of agreement, the group added: “We were alarmed that immediately after our meeting with the vice president last week, the presidency misrepresented what transpired at the meeting by trying to blackmail some of the principal actors involved in the discussions in a national daily.
“Similarly, the leadership of the party (APC) went ahead to ratify all the Congresses from ward, local governments, states and zonal where many of our members have complaints, effectively presenting us with a fait accompli.
“The persecution of our members using state security apparatus have continued unabated. We recognise the powers of the Police to conduct criminal investigations but, by rushing to the public with the issue, even when they have unfettered access to the leadership of the National Assembly, suggests an attempt to undermine, caricature and humiliate the institution of the Legislature.
“It appears that there is a fouled and toxic atmosphere and environment of intimidation and threat to life in which we now find ourselves, which may no longer be conducive for members of the former nPDP to continue with the talks.
“Given the unfolding events in the last 24 hours, where the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki and Governor of Kwara State, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, both of whom attended the meeting with the vice president on Monday, May 28, have suddenly been accused of sponsoring armed robbery by the Police under the directives of the presidency.
“Similarly, on Saturday, June 2, 2018, the Department of State of Services (DSS) also suddenly withdrew more than half of all the security details attached to the presiding officers of the National Assembly under questionable circumstances.”
Issuing what looked like a threat, Baraje said “the nPDP leadership has decided to brief our members on the unfortunate development and get a fresh mandate if good faith returns to the discussions.”