Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar and dissenting governors who defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) ruled out the chances of returning to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
President Goodluck Jonathan had requested the aggrieved party members to consider returning to the party.
Addressing a PDP grand rally in Owerri, Imo State, last Saturday, Jonathan had given Atiku and Governors Chibuike Amaechi (Rivers); Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano); Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto); and Murtala Nyako (Adamawa) an ultimatum to return to PDP or lose their seniority in the party.
â€œWith due respect, President Jonathan is simply playing to the gallery. For the avoidance of doubt, Atiku, Amaechi and the other patriots who left the sinking and undemocratic PDP have no intention of returning to the party, either now or in the future. They are happy in APC, so Mr. President can keep his seniority as Atiku and the rest do not need it. Only a mad fellow will run away from a sinking ship and run back to such a ship,â€ immediate erstwhile National Publicity Secretary of defunct New PDP, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, said in a statement that none the chieftains will not come back.
Continuing, the statement said: â€œIf we may ask, what seniority is President Jonathan talking about after having ensured that Atiku, a former vice-president, was never invited to any BoT and NEC meeting of PDP? Which seniority is he to lose having since been denied all his rights as enshrined in the constitution of PDP? What type of seniority would Amaechi, Kwankwaso, Nyako, Wamakko and others be seeking in a political party that did everything humanly possible to humiliate them, even taking the state PDP structures from them?â€
According to Eze, â€œHaving left PDP for good, Atiku, Amaechi and others are on a rescue mission to salvage our nation from the sorrowful state to which it has been subjected by the administration of President Jonathan. They should be allowed to concentrate on this divine mission and not be disturbed with calls that do not make any meaning.â€
Lambasting the president over his Owerri visit, the statement said it was unfortunate that â€œdespite the crisis in the country, President Jonathan is going about receiving expired politicians back into the PDP without inaugurating any project. It simply demonstrates that this administration is bereft of ideas and vision on how to save this country from its present comatose state occasioned by Jonathanâ€™s visionlessness.â€
However, a former National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, yesterday took a swipe at the critics of the president, urging them to embark on constructive criticisms.
Tukur, who spoke when the Goodluck Support Group (GSG) visited him in his residence in Abuja, said if criticism does not change a given situation, it is null and void.
â€œCriticism in itself is not bad but if we want to criticise, make it constructive. If your criticism does not offer anything, it is negative and does not offer anything. You criticise because you want to make things better and if your criticism does not make things better it is null and void,â€ he said.
The former national chairman of PDP said President Jonathan is the most criticised president in the history of Nigeria, insisting that as Nigerians, we should learn to support our leaders.
Tukur said PDP was a strong party, which translates to strong government and strong economy, even if the opposition says otherwise.
â€œOur party is the greatest in Africa. If you say you are a Nigerian, you must support your leader and if you donâ€™t, I doubt your originality. We should be strengthened to provide good governance.
â€œThis cannot be done without the support of people like you. We need to support our leader. No matter your religion, they will always tell you, pray and support your leader.
â€œWe all also need to support our party. We all believe that Nigeria is our own and if that is so, we need to be tolerant so we can be a great nation,â€ he said.
Earlier, the deputy National Coordinator of GSG, Dr. Eddy Olafeso, said Tukurâ€™s maturity in his approach to issues has made Nigerians to be proud of him, adding that the way he took his resignation has help to deepen democracy.
Olafeso, who said that GSG has 3,000 groups across the country, added that Tukurâ€™s â€œsacrifice has not gone unnoticed.â€