…offers automatic tickets, 60% party structures to APC members
In a bid to cement the grand alliance between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and members of the Reformed All Progressives Congress (R-APC), the leadership of both groups have entered into a fresh Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that could effectively signal the fusion of the latter into the mainstream opposition party.
The new pact signed in Abuja last week was specifically designed to give prominent members of RAPC and their supporters a sense of belonging in PDP as soon as they formally join the fold. Impeccable sources told New Telegraph that a major highlight of the MoU was the ceding of 60 per cent of PDP structures in selected states to some R-APC bigwigs.
These include Kwara, Bauchi, Kano, Sokoto and Benue states. President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, former Governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, Governor of Sokoto State, Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal and Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State are all members of the R-APC seeking to cross over to the main opposition party. As a counter-measure to restrain them from embarking on mass defection, the leadership of APC has been making frantic efforts to woo R-APC members with some juicy carrots Apart from opening an emergency dialogue with them, the National Chairman of APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has been on peace shuttles to the homes of these political heavyweights in the last couple of days.
The ruling party, it was learnt, had offered the members of R-APC automatic tickets to contest the positions of their choice in the 2019 general elections. The offers came weeks after the ruling party dismissed the threat by R-APC to leave APC in search of greener political fortunes. New Telegraph learnt that in one of the peace shuttles, Oshiomhole and the leader of the R-APC, Alhaji Buba Galadima, accidentally met at the residence of Kwankwaso in Abuja. A source who was at the chance meeting said it was a comic scene when both men met at about 2a.m. last Friday, prompting Galadima to ask Oshiomhole what he was doing at the home of an R-APC member at such a time.
“Two of them ‘jammed’ at Kwankwanso’s house in Abuja on Friday at 2a.m. After greetings, Galadima asked APC National Chairman (Oshiomhole) what he was doing in one of his members’ house at 2a.m. when he said he would not lose sleep over him,” our source said.
National Publicity Secretary of R-APC, Prince Kassim Afegbua, has described the current moves by APC to pacify aggrieved members of the party and prevent the defection as a dubious reconciliation assignment by political conspirators in the ruling party. In a statement made available to New Telegraph in Abuja yesterday, Afegbua said it was very amusing that those who boasted that they won’t lose sleep over the activities of R-APC have been hopping from door to door pleading with members of R-APC not to leave the ruling party. R-APC said: “It is interesting to suddenly see Mr. President holding meetings with the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, reportedly promising mouthwatering offers; the same leader who was ridiculed, scandalised, demonised, criminalised and called all sorts of names by agents of the Presidency just to give the Senate president a bad name in order to hang him.
“Those who said they won’t lose sleep over RAPC have become sleepless in the last two weeks. Does anyone need to be reminded that caveat emptor should be the operative words?” He said that dangling juicy carrots to entice aggrieved members would be futile because the leadership of APC neither keep promises nor honours agreements and cannot be taken seriously. “Those who pleaded in the past, short of kneeling before their subordinates, ended up in the political belly of their benefactors when the re-election was concluded.
It is an albatross that some people are still carrying till date. Examples abound in this our democracy and it is ringing bell in our consciousness every now and then. This government is never a promise keeper and some of the promises contained in the manifestos of APC have been jettisoned. The president who has held himself in the inner sanctuary of the Presidential Villa is, all of a sudden, opening his doors to one meeting or the other, all in the name of re-election. “Just to make the point that it is too late in the day the train has left the station, Leopards cannot change their spots no matter how much one tries to tame them, we enjoin all our members to remain steadfast and resolute in defending their rights and taking the appropriate action in defence of democracy. “This democracy must survive on ethical grounds and not on lawlessness and exclusion.
It must provide a level playing grounds for all participants. Those who prevented some persons from visiting their states in the name of politics have suddenly realised that they need the services and support of those persons,” Afegbua said. Meanwhile, indications that Saraki would leave APC heightened yesterday with a statement by former chairman of the New PDP (nPDP), Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, that the latest round of efforts to calm the group was coming rather too late. Baraje expressed surprise at the seeming desperation of APC to woo Saraki, Dogara and other aggrieved members of the party only after three years of embarrassment and horrifying experiences the party has taken them through. Baraje said the juicy positions being promised Saraki and others is rather too late, describing the present time as “eve of the 2019 general elections.
“As far as I know, there is no juicy position that can replace the kind of embar-rassment, debasement and horrifying experiences many of us have suffered and gone through in the hands of some few mischievous members of APC. It’s quite unfortunate.
“If the Senate president feels it is fit for him to stay back, all is well and good. But the Senate president, as a leader, also has his supporters and followers and if they have decided to leave the party, I don’t know what he (Saraki) will still be doing behind. “The followers of the Senate president, particularly from Kwara State and across the country, have already resolved to leave APC with or without Saraki. So, it is now left for the Senate president to take a decision, more so that he is an experienced and a seasoned politician,” he said.
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