By: Sunday Oyewole
The leadership of the new PDP said it has uncovered plot by the Presidency to crackdown on its leaders and the seven governors (G7) supporting the splinter group, vowing not to succumb to intimidation but to fight on.
In a statement on Sunday, the new PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chukwuemeka Eze, said the group having received intelligence reports on the plot summoned an emergency National Working Committee (NWC) meeting to deliberate on the development.
According to him, the fears they nursed were further confirmed when the leader of the defunct Niger Delta Volunteer Force (NDVF), Mujahid Asari-Dokubo in a recent interview with an online medium said President Goodluck Jonathan is under pressure to arrest former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his then Vice, Atiku Abubakar.
Mr. Eze however, said the NWC resolved not to back down but to keep “fighting a just cause of reclaiming, recovering and establishing our party based on the vision of its founding fathers as the party is currently usurped by some members who do not know how it was formed”.
The statement reads further, “Some days ago, we received intelligence reports that the Presidency was putting finishing touches to what it calls “Operation Total Crackdown on G7 and their allies in the New PDP”. When we got details of the plot to arrest and commit the leadership of New PDP to prison without charge we thought it was a joke.
“The reality, however, dawned on us after we read the interview of our friend and brother, Alhaji Mujahid Asari-Dokubo, in the PREMIUM TIMES of 26th September, 2013, confirming that President Goodluck Jonathan is under pressure to arrest former President Olusegun Obasanjo and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar without any further delay.
“The sin of these two distinguished Nigerian statesmen, according to those plotting their “demystification”, is their alleged support for the New PDP, including the G7 Governors. That this evil plot is being conceived by the Presidency confirms that the Abacha days are truly here again with us.
“Baraje, knowing how dirty some of the hawks in the Presidency can fight when pushed to the wall, directed NWC members to write their wills immediately after the meeting as we have entered the stage of no retreat and no surrender – fully determined to reclaim what rightly belongs to us”.
The spokesperson said the NWC also enjoined the G7 Governors not to also succumb to intimidation but to keep pursuing the issues at stake when never they resume negotiation with the Presidency.
“The NWC also resolved to urge the G7 Governors that on no account should they be intimidated or frightened by any tactics or strategy employed by State Forces to coerce them to forgo any of the issues they have been asked to present before President Jonathan during the October 7th meeting.
“Though it is sad that instead of employing diplomacy to attend to the issues that brought this conflict to bear the Presidency prefers to use force but we are not disturbed as we are ready for any of its tactics.
“In this regard, we wish to urge both the Presidency and those detailed to attack us not to waste further time or wait till October 7th to start arresting us as there are thousands of Nigerians ready to step into our shoes and fight this cause to its conclusion.
“We are convinced that at the appropriate time; Asari Dokubo will join us when he is convinced as a Social Crusader the injustice we have been subjected to in PDP all these years so we are not threatened by his outbursts”.
Eze also wondered why former President Obasanjo is being linked with the new PDP, saying “this foremost nationalist has not in any way – either directly or by proxy – had anything to do with our existence and operations.
“Ridiculing and plotting the arrest of such a distinguished personality that fought to keep this nation as one entity and contributed immensely in making PDP the most vibrant, virile, versatile and biggest political party in Africa as a nobody is not the best strategy to use to fight the cause of President Jonathan, who knows what Chief Obasanjo did to make him President in the first place!”