Former members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Nigeria’s governing party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) are calling on the national leaders of the APC to address grievances among its members.
The group, which termed itself the “new PDP block within the APC”, said addressing its grievances were critical to APC’s victory in the 2019 general election.
The leader of the block, Abubakar Kawu Baraje made this call while speaking with journalists at the APC headquarters in Abuja after a meeting with the APC National Chairman, Mr. John Oyegun.
Baraje, who presented a letter dated April 27 and titled: Request for redressing of grievances of the former new PDP block within the APC, to the press, said the meeting was to discuss the way forward.
He said that the letter which was copied to President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was written with the intention of strengthening the APC especially as it has commenced party congresses across Nigeria and other electoral activities ahead of the 2019 General Election.
Baraje added that the desire of members of the block was to see a united, inclusive, cohesive and progressives’ party, devoid of division, fractions, cleavages and tendencies.
“We envisioned a political party promoting equal rights for all Nigerians and ensuring rapid and even development across the country.
“Of course there is no gainsaying the fact that the lofty ideas enumerated above cannot be attained without ensuring justice for party faithfuls and citizens.
“It is an undeniable historical fact that the movement of the former new PDP block to form the APC contributed immensely to the victory of the APC in the election” he said.
It would be recalled that some members of the PDP that defected to the APC in 2014 include five then sitting governors of Sokoto, Kano, Kwara, Adamawa and Rivers States and former governors of Kebbi, Gombe, Osun, and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar among others.
According to Baraje, most of those in the block did not only deliver their states to the APC in the 2015 general election, some of the governors were assigned specific responsibilities to ensure that other states were delivered.
He also said that there were unprecedented efforts by many stakeholders of the block to deliver the entire North-Central to the APC at the 2015 election.
Listing some of the grievances of the block, which he said, included lack of fair representation in federal appointments, opposition in some quarters and general non recognition among others, Baraje also alleged that some of the block’s leaders were denied security cover to visit their constituencies even though they were elected representatives.
“There is inadequate reflection of programme and policy contributions of members of the former new PDP block in the running of the government,” he said.
He stressed that addressing the identified grievances would lead to a harmonious APC where justice, equity, fairness and peace would reign.
This, he added, would enable the party avoid rancor, reinvigorate the pace of national development and face the 2019 General Election as one united party.