Members of the New Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) in the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday expressed their grievances against the President, Muhammadu Buhari and the party, stating that they have not been treated fairly.
The grievances of the former members of PDP in APC were contained in a letter addressed to the APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, copied to the President and Vice President.
The letter, which was signed by the former Acting National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje and former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola bemoaned the treatment given to the New PDP members in APC.
It would be recalled that the New PDP members were the last political group that joined the APC in 2014.
They were made up of five sitting governors, members of the National Assembly, former Vice President and other party chieftains then.
In a petition of wrongdoing to the members, the group alleged that there was nothing to show for their contribution to the success of APC both at national and state levels.
According to the group, instead of positive reward, the New PDP has only got prosecution ad neglect from the present administration.
The group also lamented of being short out from the present APC Ward Congresses of the party that was conducted last week Saturday, as they asked the party to address grievances that would come from the Congresses.
In the petition titled: Request for redressing of grievances of the former New PDP block within the All Progressives Congress, the statement read: “We the members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who moved over from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to form the APC before the 2015 General Elections in Nigeria are desirous of strengthening our party especially now that new party Congresses have commenced and the Convention and another round of General Elections are imminent. Obviously, this cannot be achieved without addressing fundamental issues which we wish to raise in the letter.”
Specifically addressing the grievances, the statement read, “At this stage, we would chronicle a few grievances which if addressed will lead to harmonious APC where justice, equity, fairness and peace will reign and enable APC avoid rancour, reinvigorate the pace of national development and face the 2019 General Elections as one united party.”
They gave the grievances as follows: “In the constitution of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) the New PDP block was generally sidelined as virtually no positron woe conceded to it The only member of FEC that belonged to former New POP block comes from a state that contributed virtually no vote to the APC in the 2015 presidential elections.
“There has been no significant patronage and appointments to executive positions in various government agencies such as chief executive and executive directors of government agencies and Parastatals as members of our block of the party continue to helplessly watch as these positions are shared by erstwhile CPC, ACN, ANPPIN and even APGA blocks of the party and those who have no party at all.
“In appointments into Boards of various government agencies, very few former New PDP members were patronised. These are however not commensurate With our contributions to the growth and Victory of the party
“When members of the former New PDP block showed interest in running for the offices of President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives, they were subjected to a vicious and relentless political opposition as if they were not legitimate members of the APC family.
“During the party primaries preparatory to the 2015 General Elections, most of the promises made to sitting members of the National Assembly who belonged to the former new PDP in terms of a level playing held were reneged upon or observed more in breach
“There has been general lack of consultation. non-recognition and even persecution of former New PDP members and leaders by the party and government. For example. some of our leaders are denied the security cover necessary to visit their constituencies even though they are elected representatives of the people in a government they sacrificed so much for.
“Harassment, intimidation and persecution of former New PDP leaders by the government is still an ongoing affair. We do not want to overstate the obvious by cataloguing names of former new PDP stalwarts that are targets of this political pogrom
“There is an inadequate reflection of programme and policy contributions of members at the former New PDP block in the running of the government.”
Further articulating the position and the grievances, the New PDP-led to the APC National Secretariat in Abuja by Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje said, “Our belief is that it does not augur well for our party if a section of it feels that it is being treated as outcasts and meddlesome interlopers in the party they rightly belong with the legitimate expectation to be treated With justice both in the running of the party and the government.
“We, therefore, wish, with due respect, to re-state our expectation then and now that the APC we all laboured to build would be one united, inclusive, cohesive and progressive party devoid of divisions, factions, cleavages and tendencies. We envisioned a political party promoting equal rights for all Nigerians and ensuring rapid and even development across the country. Of course, there is no gainsaying that the fact that the lofty ideals enumerated above cannot be attained without ensuring justice for party faithful and citizens.”
Recounting what happened before the 2015 general election, the group said, “Kindly indulge us to offer a brief reminder of the history of events that led to the victory of the APC in the 2015 General Elections and the presidential election in particular. It is an undeniable historical fact that the movement of the former New PDP block to form the APC contributed immensely to the victory of the APC in the election. The former new PDP included five sitting Governors of Sokoto, Kano, Kwara, Adamawa and Rivers State and former Governors of Kebbi, Gombe, Osun and former vice president of Nigeria, former acting National Chairman of PDP, sitting Speaker of the House of Representatives, many serving members of the National Assembly and many politicians and PDP elders. It was a watershed moment in Nigeria’s political history.
“Most of these leaders not only delivered their States to the APC at the election, some of the Governors were also assigned specific responsibility to ensure that other States were also delivered to the APC in the 2015 election. The then Governor at Sokoto took charge of Kebbi and the then Governor of Kano State took responsibility for Kano, Kaduna and Jigawa States just to mention a few examples. There were also unprecedented efforts by many stakeholders such as Senator Bukola Saraki in concert with others, to deliver the entire North Central to the APC.
“These efforts, contributions and sacrifice were made in spite of the fact that the presidential ticket was taken by the erstwhile Congress for Progressive Change, (CPC) and the Action Congress of Nigeria, (ACN) block of the party. It is a matter for grave concern that Mr President, Muhammadu Buhari has never publicly acknowledged our efforts in the face of clear evidence that the total number of votes scored by the APC in States where leaders and members of the then NEW PDP block held sway made the difference.
“Arising from the issues outlined above, among others, we request for an urgent meeting with the leader of the party, and the party executive leadership to find lasting solutions to the issues raised so as to prepare the party as a fighting force to deliver more pungently on its manifesto and face the 2019 General Elections with even greater commitment. The meeting will also enable us to work out modalities to ensure a level playing field for all in the Congresses and Convention of the APC.
“Given the constraining factor of available time and in the interest of our great Party it is strongly advised that the said urgent meeting be held not later than Seven (7) days from the date of the receipt of this letter.”
On a final note, the group said, “we the members of the former New PDP block of the APC Wish to reiterate that this letter is written patriotically with the best of intentions and the good of our party, the APC, and is issued to alert the leadership of the APC and in particular, the leader of our party, President Muhammadu Buhari, who only recently indicated his intention to seek a second term as President, of grievances that exist within the party with a view to ensuring Justice for all members of the APC family regardless of the blocks they came from prior to the formation of the APC.”
Baraje, who spoke to the press in the company of four others said that the group was not contemplating of leaving APC. (New Telegraph)