I never planned to leave party, says Niger gov
JIGAWA State Governor, Suleiman Lamido, declared Tuesday that his refusal to defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC) along with governors Rabiu Musa Kwakwanso of Kano, Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State and three other governors was guided by his commitment to fight for the national interest.
Speaking with journalists shortly after a meeting with the National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday, Lamido also denied reports that his meeting with Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State recently was to prepare for his defection to APC.
Kwankwaso had said on Monday that Lamido betrayed the G7 group by refusing to defect to the APC as agreed.
But Lamido in response to Kwankwaso’s remark said: “I am a betrayer, confirmed. I betrayed them. I did, yes. I am aligning myself to what he (Kwankwaso) said. I am aligning my answer to what he said. Go and find out from him. I betrayed them in national interest.”
On his meeting with Amaechi, Lamido said: “You see, me and Amaechi are very good friends, PDP or no PDP, we are Nigerians how can I go to APC.”
Kwankwaso had accused Lamido of betraying the group of five PDP governors who left the party following their disagreement with the party.
He said: “Everyone knows that Governor Lamido was part of us, he was the leader of the group. He took us to a certain height before choosing otherwise and we were all surprised by his final decision.
“But, if there is anybody who would criticize our exit, it shouldn’t be Lamido and the Niger State governor. After all, our judgment would decide the outcome of the general elections.
“However, we know that PDP is no longer the monster it used to be, and I tell you they are ready to do anything to have someone like me who was considered as an irritant back in their fold,” Kwankwaso declared.
No plans to dump PDP
Meanwhile, Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu has debunked claims that he planned to dump the PDP for the APC, saying that at the time he led the G-7 group, the objective was to resolve leadership problem in his party and not to leave the party.
A press statement in Minna on Tuesday signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Israel A. Ebije, insisted that at no time did he contemplate dumping his party for APC.
The governor was responding to a report credited to Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano claiming that he was privy to the G-7 decision to decamp to APC.
Although he said he would always respect members of the G-7 for their position against impunity in the party at that trying period, he, however, maintained that the decision to leave PDP for APC was not on the agenda of the group except individual decision of members.
Aliyu however said he has no regrets in leading a group that brought sanity to the PDP at a time the party was passing through difficulties, adding that their effort was indeed nationalistic and a reflection of maturity of Nigerian democracy.