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APC Crisis Defection talks advance as Saraki, Dogara, Tambuwal, other aggrieved members meet

Other aggrieved APC members at the nPDP meeting were Dogara, Tambuwal, Kwankwaso among others.

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Defection talks advance as Saraki bloc meet over APC Crisis play

Senate President Bukola Saraki (right) and the Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara

(TheCable)
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The defunct New Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) bloc within the All Progressives Congress (APC), which earlier threatened to pull out of the ruling party is the grievances of its members were not urgently addressed, is reportedly on the brink of defecting.

The former Chairman of the group, Alhaji Kawu Baraje, has listed names of prominent aggrieved members of the APC who attended the recent meeting of the nPDP, where they discussed the outcome of the group's negotiations with the leadership of the APC and their possible next line of actions.

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In a statement issued on Saturday, May 26, Baraje listed Senator Bukola Saraki; Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara; Governor of Sokoto State, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal and Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso as among the politicians who were at the nPDP meeting.

"Nigerians may recall that members of the former New PDP Bloc within the All Progressives Congress addressed a letter dated April 27, 2018 to the Chairman of the APC where we informed the party of our grievances and expectations from both the party and government of President Muhammadu Buhari", Baraje said in the statement.

"Following this development, the party invited us and we honoured its invitation to a meeting. We met with the leadership of the party last week during which we resolved to report the outcome of our meeting to our members and stakeholders before arriving at any decision or proceeding with the next phase of discussions or actions with the APC and government.

"I am glad to inform you, therefore, that we have briefed our members at a meeting convened in Abuja on Wednesday, May 23, 2018, where we reviewed the state of the nation and our party, APC, and constituted committees on various issues, especially on how to rescue Nigeria from economic, social, political and especially security challenges".

According to him, other members of the nPDP that attended the meeting included, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola; Admiral Murtala Nyako (retd.); Sen. Mohammad Aliero, Senator Danjuma Goje, Sen. John Enoh, Senator Andy Uba, Sen. Ibrahim Gobir, Sen. Rufai Ibrahim and Sen. Ibrahim Danbaba.

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Others are Sen. Suleman Nazif, Sen. Isa Misau, Sen. Muhammed Shitu, Sen. Shehu Sani, Sen. Dino Melaye, Sen. Suleiman Hunkuyi, Sen. Shaaba Lafiagi, Sen. Bala Ibn Na’Allah, Sen. David Umaru, Sen. Barnabas Gemade; Chairman, former nPDP, Alh. Abubakar K. Baraje; Mr. Aminu Shagari, Mr. Kabiru Marafa, Mr. Isa Ashiru, Mr. Muh’d Soba, Mr. Mark Gbillah, Mr. Sani Rano, Mr. Garba Durbunde, Mr. Aliyu Madaki, Mr. Zakari Mohammed, Mr. Rufai Chachangi, Mr. Razak Atunwa, Mr. Emmanuel Udende, Mr. Hassan Saleh, Mr. Nasiru Sule, Mr. Orker Jev, Mr. Aliyu Pategi, Mr. Isah Halilu, Mr. Rabiu Kaugama, Mr. Abdussamad Dasuki, Mr. Ismaila Gadaka, Mr. Lado Suleja, Mr. Dickson Tarkighir, Mr. Babatunde Kolawole, Dr. Bode Ayorinde, Mr. Danjuma Shida, Mr. Danburam Nuhu, Mr. Sunday Adepoju, Mr. Sani Zorro, Mr. Ahmed Bichi, Mr. Garba Mohammed and a host of others.

Punch reports that eight serving members of the House of Representatives from Oyo State also joined the group, but their names were not listed by Baraje.

Defection talks

One of the lawmakers from the National Assembly who attended the meeting reportedly disclosed that the group considered three options that they might take soon, with defection as the most preferred option.

"After he briefed us about the discussions he held on our behalf with the leadership of the APC, the floor was thrown open for discussions and suggestions. We all agreed that we were not being fairly treated within the APC", the lawmaker, who did not want to be identified, told Punch.

"Opinions were however divided on how best to proceed. There were those who felt we should pull out and join a party yet to be determined.

"There was the second group which felt it was better to remain within and fight it out through further discussions and negotiations.

"The third group consisted of those who felt we should pull out, adopt a new platform and ensure we have a written agreement so as to avoid a repeat of what we are seeing (experiencing) in the APC.

"At the end, it was agreed that we set up a committee to look at the most viable option. However, the committee has yet to be formed and we are leaving our doors open for further discussions with the APC for now."

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The PDP, however, said it is intensifying efforts to woo members of the nPDP bloc in the APC and all genuine democrats in the country with the primary aim of unseating Buhari in 2019.

Speaking in a telephone interview with the newspaper, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, said the party is making progress in the coalition efforts.

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"We are talking to everybody...we are talking to people in the APC; we are talking to all genuine democrats who have seen through the deceit the ruling party represents", he said.

Ologbondiyan said the situation has gone beyond parties but about Nigeria which he said could be better if its resources are properly managed.

He added that more stakeholders in various political camps appreciate the coalition move which according to him has reached a very "advanced stage".

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