Aggrieved governors are free to leave PDP- says Akpabio
The chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum, Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State, has urged the G7 governors to desist from their acts of rebellion against President Goodluck Jonathan, warning that the same fate awaits them in their states if they do not desist.
Akpabio fielding questions from State House correspondents yesterday, however expressed confidence in the President’s ability to bring the crisis which has rocked the party in recent months to an end if only he can get the cooperation of the aggrieved governors.
Akpabio said the dialogue process would continue until the matter is solved but warned that the President’s humility should not be taken for granted.
Speaking more on the possibility of the aggrieved governors facing rebellion in their states, Akpabio said, “Well, I have seen newspaper clips where they said rebellion, rebellious governors and all that. You see, in any rebellion, you can resolve it through dialogue and I think that is what the President is doing and I think that’s is what the PDP leadership is out to do to see how we can dialogue and see how we can bring the situation to a close.
“But you see, it all depends. For me, I believe you cannot be a good leader unless you are a good follower and I believe strongly also that leadership comes from God. So, the question of rebelling against leadership does not occur because if I rebel against the leadership at the federal level, I should expect somebody also to rebel against my leadership at the state level. Maybe from some of my local governments or thereabouts.
“And if I expect to be respected as a governor of a state, I should also expect to respect the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“So, it is not important who occupies the position. I think what is important is that we give respect to the institution of Presidency in Nigeria and that way, the international community will also respect Nigeria,” he said.
Asked if he was in support that the aggrieved governors should leave the party, the Akwa Ibom Governor said, “I don’t see a problem with issues of certain politicians wanting to change camp. It is a normal thing in politics that people move from one political party to the other but what is important is that we move on, the country moves on.
“The PDP is very big and robust enough. It has branches in the 774 local governments in Nigeria that if you have five people moving away from PDP, you will have 10 to 60 others coming into the PDP.
“So, it is the same thing. You know there are so many APC members who are approaching me on a daily basis that they want to move to PDP and I kept telling them that it is not yet time. Let us resolve this issue of G-7 governors and then you will see the big fishes that will come out of APC.
“They are ready to come out and when they come out, it is going to be a bomb. It is something the entire country will shout.”
He added further, “We just believe that here, you have a very humble President and who is very patient and I hope we don’t take advantage of his patience and then continue to waste his time and distract him.”
Akpabio further advised the G7 governors to watch their backs since they can’t be too sure that their followers would go with them to their new party.
“I can tell you the truth. The reality is that some of us that are leaders, we have to be careful because when we are saying we are moving to another political party, our followers may not be going with us and vice versa
“We can also stand in a political party while our followers are moving the other side but of the PDP, there is no shaking. I am very delighted that the President is prepared to continue to dialogue with any group, not just the G-7, any group of Nigerians who are outside the party, either trying to come in who have grievances and I think that we should address those things through dialogue. I am happy about it and I think there will soon be an end to it, ” he said.