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MAKURDI—Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State, yesterday, flayed his five colleagues who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, describing them as undisciplined men who lack integrity and principles.
Governor Murtala Nyako of AdamawaState in a riposte described Suswam as the symbol of sycophancy and indiscipline who would not mind insulting anyone to prove his loyalty to President Goodluck Jonathan.
Governor Babangida Aliyu of NigerState, who was one of the original crusaders in the campaign against the mainstream PDP, yesterday, retraced his path to the party, saying he was determined to stay in the ruling party to make it work.
Also yesterday, elements of the nPDP which pitched tent with the All Progressives Congress, APC, described as a joke, the National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur’s assertion that the five former PDP governors who defected to the APC were still in the PDP.
The PDP nevertheless pledged it would take the path of due process in resolving problems in the party.
Governor Suswam who spoke while declaring open the first PDP National Auditors Workshop in Makurdi asserted that the ruling party would still prevail in the 2015 election irrespective of the defection of the five aggrieved governors.
Berating the five governors who left the PDP last week, he said: “If you win elections on the platform of a political party and enjoyed everything from the goodwill of the party and decide to leave, the truth is that the discipline, principles and integrity of such persons should be in question.
“There is no human organization that does not go through conflicts; but you don’t pull out of an organisation or party as a result of such, that is why I insist that what my colleagues did was just unfortunate.
“We should not make the mistake of under-rating the ability of PDP to win elections. Nobody should be deceived by the noise being made by the opposition, because they are no match to the PDP and they also have their internal problems.”
Suswam then urged other PDP members who were still on the fence at the moment to settle down in the party, pointing out that the defection of the five governors should serve as an eye opener.
“No matter how small a group within the party is, their grumbles should be taken seriously,” he however, advised.
Earlier in his speech, the National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur who was represented by the National Vice Chairman, North-Central Zone, Alhaji Yusuf Ayitogo maintained that despite the gang-up against the ruling party by the opposition, the PDP would still prevail.
Suswam is a sycophant — Nyako
In a sharp response to Suswam, Nyako, said:
“Governor Suswam is the very embodiment of indiscipline and sycophancy. It’s unfortunate that he could insult his elders to prove his loyalty to the president. What integrity does he have when he failed in every national assignment given to him. He bears the moral burden of complicating the ASUU strike. He should please take lessons in respect and he is proving that he has all along been part of the sycophantic cabal misleading the president.
“A young man calling his elders undisciplined is unfortunate and a clear indication of the low level our leadership has descended to. He has done his hatchet job, let him go claim his prize,” Nyako who spoke through his Director of Press, Ahmad Sajo said yesterday.
Governor Rabiu Kwankwanso of KanoState, another of the five governors who defected to the APC preferred not to react immediately, yesterday.
Meanwhile, Governor Nyako said that he has accepted the decision of the Umar Kugama-led executive of the PDP not to follow him into the APC.
The Kugama faction of the executive had been the backbone of Governor Nyako in the PDP. Welcoming the decision of the executive, Nyako in a press statement issued by Sajo, his director of press said:
“As a democrat, I can not force people, even my closest political allies to join me in the APC.
“Politics is all about interest, if anybody feels he still needs time to make consultation before taking decision so be it. I can’t force them to join me because that would be dictatorial and that is what we are fighting against in PDP,” Nyako said.
I’m not a betrayer — Aliyu
Governor Aliyu of NigerState on his part insisted, yesterday, that he had retraced his steps back to the mainstream PDP.
Receiving a delegation of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) led by the Country Vice President, Hauwa Shekarau in his office, Aliyu speaking against the background of his decision not to join the other G7 governors in the APC said: “Our mission had been to reform the PDP and put it on the right track and not to defect to any other party.”
He said his decision to remain in PDP to fight on should therefore not be seen as a betrayal of his other colleagues who have already defected to All Progressives Congress (APC).
According to him, “I only led the so-called G7 as a result of a reform we were looking for in our party. The idea was not to leave our party (PDP). The idea was to reform it and fight to a logical conclusion before taking our final decision and since the fight is still on, there is no point decamping.”
Governor Aliyu also explained that his continued stay in the PDP was not a personal decision but the decision of his people.
“The fight is not about me, it is not a one-man show, it is not about my ambition. It is about my people. There is no way I will take any decision without coming back to my people to seek their views. Majority of my people prefer that we stay in PDP and we will stay and make it work,” Governor Aliyu insisted yesterday.
He nevertheless said he respected the decision of the other five governors to jump ship.
“The decisions of my colleagues to join APC is highly respected and I respect their decisions and they should also respect my own decision too to remain in PDP.
“If along the line of the struggle, some people find it more expedient to leave the party, that is their decision and I respect that. Those of us who felt we still need a reform and we felt that we should remain, I think our views and actions should also be respected.”
Meanwhile, the PDP, yesterday, pledged that it would not diverge from the path of dialogue in resolving all the issues bedeviling the party. The party in a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh said it was still engaged in dialogue with all aggrieved elements in the party.
“The National Working Committee restates its resolve to ensure that all issues are handled along the lines of these ideals and in accordance with the provisions of the PDP constitution, the constitution of Nigeria and the laws of the land. We reiterate that no unlawful means will be used under any guise whatsoever in handling the issues”, the statement said.
Tukur’s pledge for conciliation was, however, rebuffed yesterday by Chief Chukwuemeka Eze, spokesman of the nPDP which merged with the APC last week.
Eze in a telephone interview described Tukur as a joker for his claim that the five aggrieved governors were still members of the PDP.
“He is a joker. Before he was playing pranks and is it now that we decided to leave that he will become serious? I think he is not a serious man, he is just playing pranks and they are deceiving Jonathan.”
“When we were pleading with them to allow the right thing to be done and they refused is it now that they will stall our movement to APC when we are already with them?”