Following the Federal High Court directive that barred the breakaway faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) under the leadership of Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje and recognised the leadership of the party led by Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, the splinter group yesterday said it had accepted the court order, but insisted that the struggle to take over the mainstream PDP would continue.
Also, the national chairman of the group, Alhaji Baraje, has summoned all the seven governors and other stakeholders of the splinter PDP to an emergency meeting to discuss further strategies and the way forward.
The group said the emergency meeting would deliberate on how the five new governors of the PDP who had indicated interest in joining them would be received.
The group added that it had carefully studied Friday’s ruling by the Federal High Court, Abuja, presided over by Justice Elvis Chukwu, which declared the National Working Committee (NWC) headed by Tukur as the authentic leadership of the PDP, and has directed its legal team to appeal the ruling.
In a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the splinter PDP, Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, it said: “As a group that has a lot of respect for the judiciary, we have accepted the ruling in good faith and wish to abide by it.
“Even so, we have directed our legal team to appeal the judgment as a matter of urgency, as we remain convinced that we have a good case and are thus determined to ensure that Tukur and his cohorts are not allowed to hold sway as the leaders of our great party.
“Along this line, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, who just returned from Holy Pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, has convened an emergency meeting of the G7, stakeholders and the National Working Committee of the New PDP to exhaustively discuss the new development and chart the way forward as there is no going back on our just struggle to rescue PDP from the hands of usurpers.”
The statement added: “Apart from deciding on the Federal High Court ruling and the challenges facing us as a group, the G7/stakeholders/NWC meeting slated for this week is expected to deliberate on how the new five governors of PDP who have indicated interest to join the Baraje leadership will be received into the fold.”
The statement denied any division within its fold, saying, “Let us reiterate that contrary to the insinuations in some quarters reflected in a section of the media of a division and disunity amongst our governors and National Assembly members because of our current travails, the fact remains that instead of a division, our current travails have strengthened us the more.
“It serves as a unifying factor that has shown us that it is only a matter of time that the undemocratic elements that have seized our party will be dislodged.”
The group said it feels nothing but pity for Tukur and his NWC, “who are already gloating over their victory over us and even had the temerity to describe us and our governors as criminals,” warning that the heavens would fall if they should meet under any platform.
“By being so uncouth in addressing governors duly elected by Nigerians, Tukur and his disciples have once more vindicated our struggle to flush out these unholy undemocratic elements from our party.
“We are confident that this is one mission which we shall successfully accomplish by the grace of God, not minding the use of security agencies to harass and intimidate our people,” it said.
The breakaway PDP reassured its supporters that there was no cause for alarm, urging them to remain steadfast and continue in their prayers for the Almighty God to vindicate and grant them victory in the end.
Meanwhile, as the New PDP continues to strategise, it emerged yesterday that the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) might have given the aggrieved governors of the New PDP till the end of November to make up their minds about teaming up with it, or risk being abandoned.
THISDAY gathered that of the seven New PDP governors, Rivers State Governor Chibuike Amaechi and Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State are considered the closest in wrapping up the loose ends with APC.
A highly-placed source within the leadership of APC told THISDAY yesterday that having lost two times at the courts in their effort to take over the affairs of the PDP, the aggrieved governors and the New PDP have no alternative than to close a deal with APC.
“Time is really running out for the G-7 governors and they face the risk of losing electoral value if they continue this way without doing something early enough to identify with APC,” he said.