Some prominent members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), who defected from the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the wake of the 2015 general election, have declared that the victory of the party in the 2019 general elections is tied to addressing their grievances.
They are the former PDP members who defected to form the APC.
In 2013, some PDP governors and bigwigs fell out with the leadership of the party and demanded the removal of the then national chairman,
Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, who had the support of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Former governors Chibuike Amaechi, Rabiu Kwankwanso, Murtala Nyako, Babangida Aliyu, Sule Lamido, of Rivers, Kano and Adamawa, Niger and Jigwa states respectively were the most vocal and staunchest opponents of the Tukur’s leadership and wanted his removal. Jonathan however continued his support for Tukur against the governors’ wishes.
Leader of the group, Alhaji Abubakar Baraje, made the declaration to newsmen Wednesday in Abuja after a meeting with the outgoing APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.
While showing a letter dated April 27, 2018 and titled: “Request for Redressing Grievances of Former New PDP Bloc within the APC” to journalists, Alhaji Baraje specified that the meeting with the party’s chairman was to discuss the way forward.
Baraje added that the bloc was desirous of strengthening the APC, especially now that it had commenced party congresses across the country and other electoral activities ahead of the 2019 general elections.
He indicated that the desire of members of the group was to see a united, inclusive, cohesive and progressive party, devoid of division, factions, cleavages and tendencies.
Baraje further stated: “We envisioned a political party promoting equal rights for all Nigerians and ensuring rapid and even development across the country.
“There is no gainsaying the fact that the lofty ideas enumerated cannot be attained without ensuring justice for party faithful and citizens.
“It is an undeniable historical fact that the movement of the former new PDP bloc to form the APC contributed immensely to the victory of the APC in the 2015 elections,” he said.
He warned that victory might not be achieved in the party if it failed to address fundamental issues confronting it, especially with the crisis that characterized its recent congresses in parts of the country.
He recalled that most of those in the bloc did not only deliver their states to the APC in 2015, some of the then governors were assigned specific responsibilities to ensure that other states were delivered.
Baraje however revealed that the bloc was concerned that President Muhammadu Buhari had not acknowledged its efforts.
Baraje however stressed that the bloc has issued a seven-day ultimatum, asking the party to address their complaints of marginalization.