by ‘Jola Sotubo
In response to the seemingly frantic efforts of the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to convince members of the newly created faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to join its ranks, Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu of Niger State has asked the coalition party to exercise patience.
Governor Aliyu who is the leader of the 7 member governors of the Abubakar Baraje-led faction of the PDP has reportedly told the APC chieftains that the decision to move to the party is one that will take time and such he and his colleagues require patience to enable them make up their minds.
Aliyu reportedly stated this during a meeting with the National Interim Chairman of the APC, Chief Bisi Akande, who visited him in Minna, the state capital, with the intention of convincing him to join the coalition party.
The Sun Newspaper reports:
The Niger governor, who was a little short of accusing APC leaders of impatience in their membership drive, said a decision must be taken by the G7 governors on the PDP one way or the other, before deciding on the next line of action.
“We are still discussing, we are still negotiating. I want to assure you that if we eventually settle, we shall treat you as friends and if we fail to resolve, then we shall consider your proposal.”
Aliyu, who is the chairman of the Northern States Governors Forum, admonished the ruling PDP to wake up to the stark reality that no condition is permanent, warning that the party in power today may find itself in the opposition tomorrow.
He, therefore, urged PDP to be mindful of how it relates with the opposition party. He reiterated his earlier assertion that the coming of APC was a welcome development for the nation’s democracy.
According to him, the APC was a strong opposition that Nigeria needed for its democracy to blossom. Akande, in his opening address, said the party chieftains were in Minna to woo Governor Aliyu into the party, wondering why a gentleman of Aliyu’s caliber should choose to remain in a party that does not appreciate him.
Other APC leaders in the entourage to Minna included former head of state, General Muhammadu Buhari, former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; former Foreign Affairs Minister and national chairman of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC), Chief Tom Ikimi; former Speaker, House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari and former governor of Edo State, Chief John Oyegun.
Buhari and Tinubu in their speeches, told their host that APC was formed to bring about positive changes by way of good governance to Nigeria.