NewPDP Gives APC, Presidency Fresh Conditions

Aggrieved leaders of the nPDP component of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have compiled a fresh list of complaints which they want the ruling party to resolve immediately.

The additional grievances are expected to be tabled at a crucial meeting between Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and leaders of the nPDP in Abuja today or tomorrow.

Top of the new list of complaints are grudges about the conduct of the recent state congresses of the party and alleged refusal of the party leadership to stamp its feet on parallel congresses in some states, The Nation gathered.

The original complaint is alleged marginalization of nPDP members in the sharing of positions and patronage.

The nPDP had, in a letter, given the APC leadership a one week ultimatum to address the issue failing which they threatened to dump the ruling party.

The upcoming meeting with the VP is the latest of the efforts to resolve the crisis in the ruling APC.

It is coming ahead of a two/three week timeline agreed by both parties during previous discussions to address the nPDP grievances.

A source called it an “upscale follow up to the earlier meeting with the APC leadership.”

Shedding light on the agenda of the planned meeting, the source said: “our grievances have increased to include the following:

  • Grudges on the conduct of state congresses
  • Alleged refusal of the party leadership to stamp its feet on parallel congresses in some states
  • In the constitution of the Federal Executive Council, (FEC) the nPDP block was generally sidelined as virtually no position was conceded to it. The only member of FEC that belongs to it comes from a state that contributed virtually no vote to the APC in the 2015 presidential elections.
  • There has been no significant patronage and appointment to executive positions in various government agencies such as Chief Executives and Executive Directors of government agencies and parastatals as members of our block of the party continue to watch helplessly as these positions are shared to erstwhile CPC, ACN, ANPP and even APGA blocks of the party and those who have no party at all.
  • In appointments into boards of various government agencies, very few former New PDP members are patronized. These are however not commensurate with our contribution to the growth and victory of the party.
  • When members of the nPDP block showed interest in running for the offices of President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives, they were subjected to a vicious and relentless political opposition as if they were not legitimate members of the APC family.
  • During the party primaries preparatory to the 2015 General Elections, most of the promises made to sitting members of the National Assembly, who belonged to nPDP in terms of a level playing field were reneged upon or observed more in breach.
  • There has been a general lack of consultation, non-recognition and even persecution of nPDP members and leaders by the party and government. For example, some of our leaders are denied the security cover necessary to visit their constituencies even though they are elected representatives of the people in a government they sacrificed so much for.
  • Harassment, intimidation and persecution of nPDP leaders by the government, is still an ongoing affair. We do not want to over state the obvious by cataloguing names of nPDP stalwarts that are targets of this political pogrom.

Expected at the planned session with the VP are Senate President Bukola Saraki, House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara; Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, ex-Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola, ex-Governor Murtala Nyako, ex-Chairman of nPDP, Alhaji Abubakar Baraje, senators, members of the House of Representatives and other top leaders of nPDP.

A strong member of nPDP Senator Aliyu Wammako is not likely to attend as he is currently in Saudi Arabia for the lesser Hajj, Umrah.

“After the engagement with the APC leadership, we were told that there will be a meeting either on Sunday or Monday with the Vice President,” the source said.

He added: “this is a high-level session which will involve the key actors in nPDP like Saraki, Dogara, Tambuwal, Kwankwaso,Wammako, Nyako, Senators and members of the House of Representatives.

“I think ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar might not be involved because he seems to have made up his mind to foreclose any talks with the presidency and the APC leadership.

“This is a continuation of the ongoing engagement between the APC leadership and nPDP leaders on the way forward.”

The source explained that the two sides agreed on a timeline of two to three weeks to resolve all issues raised by nPDP.

“The APC wanted a three-week timeframe,” the source said.

“At the last meeting of nPDP, there was a suggestion that Baraje should report back to nPDP in one week but leaders later agreed on a two-week timeline.”

The source also clarified that the May 23, 2018 session was not attended by only nPDP members but by also aggrieved party leaders, Senators and Representatives from the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).

The meeting was specifically attended by those who have concerns about state congresses. Some of us, who are not members of nPDP Caucus, went to the meeting because we were dissatisfied with the outcome of the congresses in our states.

“Some of us had peculiarities in our states which the APC leadership has not addressed. It was a cocktail of lamentations over the conduct of the congresses.”

The concerns were over the credibility of the exercise.

“We agreed that we need to interact with the party to see whether or not it can ameliorate the situation before the next steps by the disappointed stakeholders.

“But at the session, Baraje was asked to brief the gathering. He told us how they went to APC and were attended to by the Deputy National Chairman (North), Senator Lawal Shuaibu and the National Secretary of the party, Mallam Mai Mala Buni.

“He told us that the engagement process was still ongoing. It was then members were trying to prevail on Baraje to report back in one week and decide on the next line of action. But the majority opted for a two-week grace.”

Baraje, in a statement, only confirmed that he had briefed nPDP leaders at a session on May 23 on the interaction with APC leadership.

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