The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Movement, PDM, Bashir Ibrahim, who was removed Thursday, has vowed “a long and messy fight” with former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, whom he accused of masterminding his sack.
A meeting of the National Executive Committee, NEC, which held on Thursday in Abuja, announced the sack of Mr. Ibrahim and all other national officers of the party.
Mr. Ibrahim, in a statement Friday, described the dissolution of the National Executive Committee of the party as a “huge joke and a hatchet job by political contractors, sponsored by a notorious Big Man”.
He described the people who met to execute the “hatchet job” on behalf of the “unnamed notorious Big Man” as either ignorant of the provisions of the PDM Constitution or that they were in such a hurry to deliver on their contract to care about the fine points of the law.
Although, Mr. Ibrahim did not mention the name of the alleged “big man”, he had on Thursdaytold PREMIUM TIMES that the former Vice president was behind the crisis in the party.
He said Atiku plans to use the PDM as a second option in case he fails to get the ticket of his current party, the All Progressives Congress, APC.
“We all know calculations for 2019 are in top gear and he who must be President by hook or crook is, once again, at his notorious best,” he said.
Mr. Ibrahim also said that although the PDM welcomes any Nigerian who wishes to contest election on its platform, “but we are not for sale and will not be brow-beaten or intimidated by anyone”.
He said his leadership of the PDM has established a strong culture and reputation for integrity and compliance with the rule of law.
“We will not allow a desperate and serial presidential candidate to destroy our party by enticing hungry members of the National Executive Committee to precipitate crisis within our ranks.”
“For the avoidance of doubt” Mr. Ibrahim said, “the National Executive Committee of PDM cannot be dissolved to pave the way for a hostile takeover of our Party by this notorious Big Man.
“This same notorious Big Man, who specializes in destroying institutions, is also responsible for the intractable crisis from which the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, had been reeling lately, a party which gave him the platform to serve as a high-ranking official in its government from 1999 – 2007 only to sabotage the same government in which he was a part.
“As far as this notorious Big Man is concerned, his ambition to be President must be achieved at any cost and all casualties along the way are justified.”
Mr. Ibrahim said he was not going to bother himself with the people who announced his sack but will engage Atiku directly.
“ We are going for the notorious Big Man, himself. We are ready to fight and defend the structures and integrity of Peoples Democratic Movement and we are fully equipped for this fight.
“He has picked on the wrong adversary. This will be a long and messy fight. We are tired of giving in to the impunity of this man. If he wants a fight with us, we are more than happy to give him one.
“There is a Nigerian saying, if an elder throws away his old age, the young ones will happily trample in it. Just because a politician made money in public office through shady deals, does not give him the right to set his own rules and insist everyone must play by them. At PDM we know what we are worth and what we are worth is not for sale,” he said.
Mr. Ibrahim also appealed to PDM members who, he said, called in to express outrage over the development to remain calm and continue the hard work of making the Party the envy of all.
“I registered this Party almost single-handedly” he said “and will not allow opportunist who are shopping for a platform to contest election to destroy it on the alter of inordinate ambition and unbridled greed. Everyone knows we do not give up on a good fight and this fight for the soul of PDM will not be different”.
He urged party members to accost the people he referred to as “political contractors” who executed the shady contract and demand their share of the proceeds.
“After all, they claimed they did it in your name. There is no reason why you should not share in the largesse,” he said.