Former military President, General Ibrahim Babangida on his part threw his weight behind Tuesday’s defection of five of the G7 aggrieved governors of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Answering questions from journalists, yesterday, after the launch of the book, titled: “Landmark Constitutional Law Cases in Nigeria 2004-2007: The Atiku Abubakar Cases”, at Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja, Babangida who described the action as good for democracy and democracy in action, simply said, “it is good for democracy, it is democracy in action.”
When asked further on what this defection portend for 2015, General Babangida who noted that 2015 was still far, stressed that we were presently in 2013 and yet to get to 2014, adding that action could be taken anytime and peace talks can still continue.
We’ve not Merged — G7 Govs, Baraje, others
Meanwhile, the Baraje-led group clarified yesterday that it was still open for reconciliation and peace moves with the Bamanga Tukur-led National Working Committee, NWC.
The group said that there was no merger with APC on Tuesday at Kano State Governor’s Lodge, Asokoro, Abuja, but a declaration of intent to merge.
Answering questions from journalists, yesterday on the development, the National Publicity Secretary of the group, Eze Chukwuemeka Eze noted that the event was misrepresented. He said that the parties have not signed any memorandum of understanding, even as he stressed that the parties in the alliance have just set up a committee to work on the conditions of the merger and that the report of the committee will be submitted to the steering committee on Tuesday.
Eze said: “It is only after we have signed the MOU that you can say we have merged. You guys should have asked us to list conditions of the merger. Can we merge without conditions?”
Eze explained that the phrase used by the chairman of the new PDP in his speech was that “we have agreed to work together, but it was Chief Bisi Akande who insisted on the use of the word merger. I want to tell you that the matter is not concluded. We have to share positions. We have to agree on what will come to us and what will go to them. That is what the committee is still working on and nobody has signed the MOU.”
Asked whether the new PDP will attend the peace meeting called by the president on Sunday, Eze noted that the new PDP will attend and that “all options are still on the table.”
According to him, “if the president agrees to our conditions, we have agreements on issues that created the crisis, then we will not sign the MOU on Tuesday. So from now till Tuesday, anything is still possible.
“If we meet on Sunday and our conditions are attended to, then the merger won’t go ahead. If Governor Amaechi is returned as NGF chairman, if the structures are returned to the governors of Adamawa, Kano and Rivers, then our leaders will look back and stop signing the MOU.”
Asked about reports that the new PDP was desperate, Eze accused Bamanga Tukur of making life difficult for the new PDP members, saying “it was the way we are being treated that is making everybody desperate. Who will not be desperate with the way we are being treated”?