APC slams Niger State Governor for repudiating deal hours after it was consummated.
Fresh confusion, Wednesday, trailed the merger deal between the Abubakar Baraje-led faction of the Peoples Democratic Party, nPDP, and the All Progressives Congress, APC, with the former’s spokesperson, Chukwuemeka Eze, saying the merger was yet to be consummated. This also follows denials by some prominent actors in Tuesday’s merger announcement.
In an interview with journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, Mr. Eze said what took place at the Kano State Governor’s Lodge was merely a declaration of plan by the two groups to merge.
He explained that the nPDP and APC set up a committee to work out the conditions for merger and that the report of the committee would be submitted to the Steering Committee on Tuesday.
He did not name the members of the committee though he claimed that it was the APC interim National Chairman, Bisi Akande that suggested the word “merger” during meeting that preceded its announcement.
“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 merged without conditions?” he said
“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 go to us and what will go to us. That is what the Committee is still working on and nobody has signed the MOU.”
On whether the nPDP leaders would attend the peace meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday, Mr. Eze said all options were still on the table.
He said, “If the president agreed to our conditions, if we have agreements on issues that created the crisis, then we will not sign the MOU on Tuesday. So from now tillTuesday, 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 chair, if the structures are returned to the governors of Adamawa, Kano and Rivers, then our leaders will look back and stop signing the MOU.”
Mr. Eze accused the National Chairman of the PDP, Bamanga Tukur, of making life difficult for members of the splinter group, saying “it was the way we are being treated that is making everybody desperate. Who will not be desperate with the way we are been treated?”
However, hours later, Mr. Eze demanded the withdrawal of his earlier submission, saying he had been asked by the National Chairman of the group, Abubakar Baraje, to do so.
The nPDP spokesperson said in a text message he sent to journalists that, “I am just been (sic) called that I issued a statement that there is no merger between us and APC because the MOU between us and the APC has not been signed.
“Pls, I am just been (sic) corrected by the National Chairman Alh. A. K. Baraje that the MOU has been signed and the Merger has been effected. so any contrary statement in this regard should be discontinued. Thanks. Chief Eze Chukeuemeks Eze,”
On Tuesday, a few hours after the merger was announced, the Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu, denied moving with some of his governor colleagues and leaders of the nPDP to the APC, saying he remained a member of the PDP.
Mr. Aliyu, in a statement signed by his media aide, said he was not at the meeting at the Kano State Governor’s Lodge where the deal was consummated.
On Wednesday morning, the National Secretary of the nPDP, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, also denied moving to the APC. According to him, he would not leave the PDP until a superior court vacated the Court of Appeal which reinstated him as the National Secretary of the PDP on November 6.
Meanwhile, the APC has scolded the Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu, for opting out of the merger between it and the nPDP.
The interim National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Lai Mohammed, said in an interview with journalists in Abuja that Mr. Aliyu lied for saying he was not at the meeting.
“The governor was not saying the whole truth by saying he was not at the meeting held at Governor Rabiu Kwakwanso residence in Abuja with the merger deal was sealed,” he said.
“The governor only pleaded to excuse himself to attend to other issues before the end of the meeting. So when he said he was not at the meeting, I think it is quiet disappointing”.
Mr. Mohammed said the merger of the two groups was intact despite the disclaimer by some members of the nPDP.