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New PDP: Obasanjo not part of us, alleges plot to crackdown on members

By The Citizen

Members of the New Peoples Democratic Party have said former President Olusegun Obasanjo is not a member of the faction.

It said the former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the PDP was not directly or  by proxy, linked to the faction of the ruling party.

A statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary of the faction, Chief Chukwuemeka Eze in Abuja on Sunday, also cautioned against alleged plans by the Presidency to arrest or ridicule the former President over his alleged closeness to the faction.

Eze said former President Obasanjo played an important role in making Dr. Goodluck Jonathan the President of Nigeria and deserved respect.

He said, 'We do not know why General Olusegun Obasanjo (retd.) is being linked with the New  PDP.

'Let us state unequivocally that 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 the 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.'

Eze also raised the alarm over an alleged plan to begin a crackdown on members of the faction, including the seven governors.

Governors in the New PDP are Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers); Rabiu Kwankwanso (Kano);  Murtala Nyaho (Adamawa); Sule Lamido (Jigawa); Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara);  Babangida Aliyu (Niger); and  Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto).

He said members of the faction had received intelligence reports that the Presidency was putting finishing touches to what it called  'Operation Total Crackdown on G7 and their allies in the New PDP.'

He said when the report got to them that members of the faction were going to be arrested and jailed without charges, they discarded it,  describing it as a joke.

However, he said an interview granted an online medium by Alhaji Mujahid Asari-Dokubo, in which he allegedly said there were pressures on President Goodluck Jonathan to arrest both Obasanjo and a former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, showed that such plan was in the offing.

Eze said, '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.'

He said in view of the seriousness of the plot, the National Chairman of the New PDP, Alhaji Abubakar Baraje had summoned an emergency meeting of the National Working Committee of the faction on how best to respond to the situation.

Though he said that they concluded at the meeting not to be intimidated for any reason, even if it means death, as the members believed that they were fighting a just cause, Eze nevertheless said Baraje directed the members to prepare their Will.

In his reaction, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Ibrahim Jalo, said all the aggrieved governors would soon return.

Jalo said, 'Our governors, though aggrieved, would soon return to us. No one would leave a winning team, or abandon a bright future for an uncertain one.'