The main opposition party, All Progressives Congress (APC), yesterday, formally opened talks with the Adamawa State governor, Murtala Nyako, as part of its preparation to mobilise and elicit support ahead of the 2015 general elections.
The party's national vice chairman (North-east), Alhaji Umaru Duhu, who was a guest of Nyako yesterday at the Government House, presented what is referred to as "goron gayyata", which in Hausa means an official invitation to the governor. Duhu said he was acting on the instruction of the APC national chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, to invite the Adamawa governor to the party.
LEADERSHIP learnt that the development may not be unconnected with the reported disagreement among the aggrieved governors within the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), otherwise known as the G-7 governors on the alternative political platform, to sustain their fight against the national chairman of the party, Bamanga Tukur, and the second term ambition of President Goodluck Jonathan.
But Tukur has lashed out at the G-7 governors, saying they are ingrates and are pursuing personal ambitions.
On August 5 this year, this paper had exclusively reported that not pleased with the manner of reconciliation currently being pursued in the PDP, Nyako had prevailed, although unsuccessfully, on his other colleagues to join to the APC, even as his supporters had joined the party weeks before the governor's move to drag his co-governors to the APC.
The development of cold feet by the other governors, namely Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Musa Kwankwaso (Kano), Babangida Aliyu (Niger) and Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), LEADERSHIP gathered, may have prompted Nyako to commence talks with the APC.
Duhu, who led the party delegation to Nyako, disclosed that they were at the Government House to pay Sallah homage to him and to equally invite him to join APC, as the governor was perceived as a like mind.
He added that about 300,000 supporters of the governor were card- carrying members of the APC, which showed that Nyako is not only a sympathiser but also a potential member of the party.
"Over 300,000 supporters of Nyako are with us and we are not precluding his entry into our fold, as his party has not been treating him well," Duhu said.
In his response, Governor Nyako said he was poised to join forces with "any party with democratic credentials, unlike the current situation whereby impunity reigns in the PDP.
"I don't have your card and have not requested for one, but I admire your APC governors for the feats they have achieved. In the North-east, the governors of Yobe and Borno states are shining examples of good governance, because in spite of the security challenges, these governors are able to touch their people's lives. Similarly the South-west governors are doing well and have transformed their states significantly. We will align with democratic forces wherever they are and we will continue to give any democrat a listening ear, regardless of his political party," the governor said.
Governor Nyako further stated that henceforth, the people of Adamawa State would not allow power mongers in Abuja to determine their political future. He explained that the era when a few Adamawa indigenes operating from Abuja determined the fate of the state was over. He reiterated that the people of the state were tired of the current trend in the state where a few people think they can play god with matters relating to political processes, saying that the people's choice would take priority henceforth.
"The era when some few Ogogoro consumers from Abuja would chart the destiny of the state is over, because people have vowed to take their destinies into their hands," he said.
Also commenting on the APC delegation's invitation to the governor, Director, Press, Adamawa Government House Ahmed Sajoh said his boss would not be averse to joining the APC, should the impunity in the PDP continue unchecked. "Like the governor said, he is yet to join the APC, he is not a card-carrying member of the party. But if the current impunity, the current undemocratic posture all continue the way they are, APC of course is a party owned by Nigerians, they are not foreigners. As such, what matters if the governor joins the party?" Sajoh said.
On his part, the national publicity secretary of the Alhaji Kawu Baraje-led splinter group in the PDP, Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, told LEADERSHIP that the ongoing talks between Governor Nyako and the APC were not out of place. "The talks are not out of place of course. I can tell you that move is one of our many options, because as politicians who have taken the bold step to rescue the party and democracy in Nigeria, we will stop at nothing to achieve that," Eze said. Aggrieved governors are ingrates - Tukur
Meanwhile, Tukur's war of words with the aggrieved governors continued, as the national chairman of the PDP said he was ready to step on toes to reform the party.
Tukur, who stated this while speaking with journalists at his residence in Yola, Adamawa State yesterday, said that he was ready to sacrifice any individual in the overall interest of PDP and the unity of the country. He said these were paramount above individual interests.
According to him, he would apologise if he was found guilty of any wrongdoing in the process of bringing sanity and peace to PDP.
He explained that true reconciliation could only be attained in the party if the aggrieved party members agreed to shelve their individual interests in the overall interest of the party, which the founding fathers worked diligently to entrench.
Tukur said he was aware that some people were averse to his reformation agenda, because they did not want positive change where respect for the rule of law prevails, to be rooted in the party.
He decried the activities of the aggrieved members as ingratitude, as he said that in their desire to vent their anger, they felt no compunction about denigrating the party that had made them what they were.
"I am totally at a loss at the activities of these aggrieved governors who are occupying their exalted positions under the party, but felt no qualms about denigrating the party at will. These governors contested and won elections under it, but seem to forget all that, because they have an axe to grind, which is unfortunate. Those that are crying wolf over my reform agenda do not want change as they are averse to positive reforms being rooted in the party, because they know it will stop being business as usual for them," he said.
APC begins registration in November
Meanwhile, the APC has said that it would begin the registration of its members nationwide "tentatively" in November.
The Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made this known during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja. "We have to plan the logistics. If you do not plan well, you are not going to achieve anything. So what we are doing now, we are at the level of planning, because the exercise will take place all over Nigeria," he said.
According to him, the nationwide membership registration would strengthen the party. Mohammed said that the party had harmonised and finalised the process, as well as created a format for its activities that would enable it to participate in future elections in the country.
He told NAN that harmonisation of membership registration into the party would also be carried out from ward level, to ensure that all its members were registered. He said that APC had successfully conducted its primaries in Anambra. "It is on record that we are the only political party that had a transparent and direct primary. This simply means that our party loyalists voted from the ward to the state levels," he said.
Mohammed expressed optimism that the party would excel in the forthcoming November 16 governorship election in Anambra and urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agencies to discharge their responsibilities credibly.
"We just hope that INEC will create a level playing ground, the security agencies will do the same, and violence will be curbed," he said.