Chairman Senate committee on New Partnership for Africa’s Development, NEPAD, Simeon Ajibola, from Kwara state, has denied claims that he is a member of the Abubakar Baraje-led PDP splinter group that merged with the All Progressives Congress, APC, on Tuesday.
Ajibola’s told newsmen that at no time did he associate himself with the splinter group in Abuja on Tuesday and called on Nigerians to count him out of the merger since he and other senators alleged to be part of the group had never attended any of their meetings.
He said further that senators Zainab Kure (PDP- Niger), Awaisu Kuta (PDP-Niger), Bello Tukur (PDP- Adamawa), among several others were not part of the group.
“When they were branding the news about that 22 senators, including me, were in the PDP faction,10 out of the 22 were not with them and there is no way we can be said to be with them in the so called merger,” he said.
Ajibola added: “In Kwara, they even invited me, but I refused to attend and they reported me to the traditional council of my local government. By 2015 or thereabout, Nigerians will know those who are grassroots politicians and those that are tigers on the pages of newspapers.”
Meanwhile, the special adviser to the President on political affairs, Ahmed Gulak, has said that the Presidency welcomes the idea of the merger between the splinter faction of the PDP and the APC and does not feel threatened in any way.
“The presidency does not feel threatened and the PDP does not feel threatened. PDP is the party to beat. We have had it before even people who had occupied higher offices left the party and came back,” he boasted, adding that “outside there, there is nothing, it is empty. PDP is the only party.”
In addition, the PDP in a statement signed by its national publicity secretary, Olisa Metuh, said the meeting between President Goodluck Jonathan and the seven aggrieved governors would still hold at the Presidential Villa on Sunday.
The meeting was earlier billed for last Sunday but was cancelled as the President arrived Nigeria from a foreign trip and said he was too tired to attend.