FROM TAIWO AMODU, Abuja
Former Kano State governor on the platform of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, who defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) last month, has opened up on why he left the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Speaking yesterday at his formal declaration for the ruling party in Abuja, Shekarau told the gathering of his supporters and PDP chieftains that he moved out of APC because the party had been hijacked by certain individuals for selfish motives.
The former governor expressed consternation that six months after its formation, the opposition party was yet to come out with its constitution, manifesto while most of the states had no executive in place.
His words: “No blackmail, intimidation, no character assassination will change our position. Politics is about responsible association with dignity. We cannot be in a platform where attempts have been made to pocket us. After six months, there is no political structure in place but a caricature of management.
“We challenge them to tell us why, after six months, there are no structures in any of the 36 states. We challenge the leadership of APC to explain why up till today, the constitution of the party and its manifesto are not in the streets of Nigeria.
“We challenge them to explain why there is no executive at the ward level. This constitutes political fraud and we cannot be part of the fraud. We suspect, the constitution is not on the streets because some people wanted to pocket the party. We promised Nigerians that the APC will be owned by the people, but they have removed conduct of congresses at the unit level, because they don’t want people to own the party.
“We realised that the vision is no longer there, the soul of APC is lost. For six months, the APC had only one elders meeting because of the Anambra governorship election. How do you conduct registration without leadership at any level of the party? This is chaos.”
The former governor alleged that efforts to correct the anomalies were rebuffed by certain leaders of the party.
“We wrote petitions, but the leadership ignored it and we had to take the only available option. People say that evil thrives when people keep quiet. We said we would not keep quiet. Politics is not about seeking elective offices, but service to humanity. We are determined, we are committed to serving the people of Nigeria by joining hands with the PDP.”
Earlier, former Sokoto State governor, Attahiru Bafarawa, said he decided to join the PDP in response to the agitation of his supporters.
“We cannot decide for them, we allowed our followers to decide for us. They told us to go to PDP and we are here today in PDP.
“We did not join PDP for any contract or elective office, but to build democracy in Nigeria.
Whoever emerges in 2015, we shall give the person maximum support.”
Senator Muhammed Alkali from Kano State expressed delight over Shekarau’s movement to the PDP as he noted that, “PDP is lucky to have a person of your political capacity and sagacity and we are happy to have a politician of repute with us.”