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Governors Babangida Muazu Aliyu (Niger), Murtala Nyako(Adamawa) and Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (Kano), say they have no plans of dumping the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, insisting they would remain and rescue the party from collapse.
Speaking through his director of press, Danladi Ndayabo, GovernorAliyu told the Leadership Weekend that any report linking him with the plan to defect to another party was “misleading”.
“The governor uses this medium to clarify and restate that he remains a true member of the PDP and that he has no intention whatsoever to dump the party. In the first place, it should be placed on record that at no time did the governor of Niger State,Muazu Babangida Aliyu, alongside other governors, issue a threat to defect to another party or float another party,” Ndayabo said.
He said the visit paid by some northern governor to PresidentGoodluck Jonathan, was to discuss ways on how to move the party forward in view of the crisis within and further strengthen democracy.
“For record purposes, it must however be stated that the visit of the governor, alongside his colleagues, to the president was not abnormal as it was meant to save the ruling party from suffering further crisis as well as a means to save our democracy,” he said.
Nyako’s chief press secretary, Ahmed Sajoh, said the report on their leaving the PDP was not only misleading but mischievous.
“The report is absolutely false; it is not just misleading, it is mischievous and I state unequivocally that Governor Nyako has maintained that he will remain in the PDP, that he has no intention to leave the party.
“It should be noted that Governor Nyako’s meeting with the president, including other governors, was to avail the president an opportunity to know certain things that have gone wrong in thePDP under the current leadership,” the statement said.
It also added: “I will use this opportunity to say that the leadership of the party, particularly President Jonathan who is the leader of the PDP, has a duty to call some members of the Adamawa State chapter of the party to order. I say this because a situation whereby someone will give a 14-day ultimatum to the governor to revalidate his membership of the party calls for concern.”
The special adviser to the president on political matters, Ali AhmedGulak, said his boss was unaware of the governors’ threat to dumpPDP.
“Speaking for my principal as his political adviser, there is no iota of truth that Mr President was told by the governors of their plan to dump PDP; it is absolutely untrue and does not represent the true picture of what transpired between the president and the governors when they met,” Gulak said.
The governors are currently on a nationwide tour for what they refer to as “consultations to save democracy and the PDP” on the heels of the crisis rocking the ruling party, he said.
But this contradicts a statement by the President’s senior special assistant on public affairs, Doyin Okupe, who said earlier in the week that “The five Northern governors, who have been going round the country visiting former Presidents and Heads of State, have their personal agenda, but are only using the Rivers State political problem as a camouflage.”
“The real thing is politicking by people with serious interest in the polity or who have agenda they want to make sure manifest by hook or by crook. They are going all over the country, trying tomobilise support for what they want to do,” he said, suggesting that the visit of the governors had everything to do with the 2015 elections.
He indeed confirmed this position by saying: “If the President decides to run, nobody can beat him, it is not possible. The calculations are in his favour, the odds are in his favour, the national supports are in his favour, the performance index is in hisfavour.”
Okupe urged the governors to have a rethink, saying: “There is nowhere else to go. There are more than enough reasons for people to leave, but you know, you don’t leave a winning platform, politically it is suicidal.”