We’re Doing Our Best To Keep Akpabio But… -PDP


Amidst media report that Senate Minority Leader and former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Godswill Akpabio is set to defect to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said it is doing everything possible to retain his membership.
The party said its constitution only allows room for defection if cracks exist within its fold, adding that at the national level and the Akwa Ibom State chapter of the party, the PDP has no factions.
A prominent member of the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) said, yesterday, that speculations on the lawmaker’s imminent defection were not new, stating, however, that the party has continued to explore ways of handling the situation.
Although the PDP would go the whole hog to retain the membership of one of its arrowheads and stalwarts, the party leader said the final decision lies with the lawmaker.
He said: “We have been on this matter for quite a while now and as a party, we have done our best. We are not resting yet and we will do more to make him see reasons to have a second thought.
“Our constitution makes provision for leaving the party which is when there is a crisis or crises leading to the creation of factions. Across all the 36 state chapters, the FCT and the national leadership, we have no parallel executives. So, there is no justification for anyone to leave our party for now.”
On the options before the party in the event of Akpabio’s defection; the PDP chieftain explained: “A man would only be able to tell which among his wife, makes the better soup after testing the soups made by each of the wives. If he chooses to leave despite the effort of the leadership of our party, we can only wait and see how events unfold for him.
“Deep inside of him, he knows what he is going into. The question is, why is he leaving? Let me add here that the choice is his but we don’t want him to leave because no party will be happy to lose its key member.”
The lawmaker, some media reports claim, is having a frosty relationship with his successor, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel over the control of party structures in the state.
Akpabio, Senator representing Akwa Ibom North West District, is reported to have also visited President Muhammadu Buhari in London, currently in UK for a 10-day vacation.
Also, according to a tweet by Bashir Ahmad verified account @BashirAhmaad: “Today in London, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, Senate Minority Leader visited President Muhammadu Buhari. He had earlier last week met with the Leader of APC, Alhaji Bola Tinubu. He also consulted with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. Mohammed told newsmen in Lagos that those who left the ruling party did so for personal interests.
Mohammed said that the recent defection of some governors, state and federal lawmakers to the main opposition party, PDP, was nothing to worry about.
“There have been so much hype about this defection, and to me, it’s nothing but a storm in a tea cup. We must appreciate the fact that at the end of the day, all politics is local.”
According to him, the foundation for the defection was laid the moment Dr Bukola Saraki emerged Senate President against the wish of the party which affected the relationship between the executive and legislative arms.
He said that since the day Saraki lobbied the opposition party to become the Senate President, the relationship between the executive and legislature had been turbulent.
“In fact, we could not have suffered more as an executive in the hands of the legislature if a PDP person had been the senate president,” he said.
On allegation of sideline and lopsided appointment Kwarans in Buhari’s administration, Mohammad described it as unfounded.
He said that no fewer than 24 indigenes of Kwara were given federal appointments of which he (Mohammed) only recommended two while the Senate President recommended 20.
On those complaining of not being given juicy appointment, the minister said that people complaining were not ready to serve and turn things around but eyeing what to steal.
“It is not true that a particular part of the country is being favoured against the other.
“I challenge anybody to go to the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and take out the list of appointees under this administration, you will be surprise that we have been fair to all,” he said.