Saraki’s Ally, Baraje, Warns Apc Leaders, Threatens To Quit Party
Kawu Baraje, a Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and ally of Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has issued a note of warning to leaders of the ruling party, saying the party's performance since taking office close to one year ago as unimpressive.
Baraje, a former Acting Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and was the one who announced the formation of a faction of the 'New PDP', leading six governors of the party to eventually align with the APC in 2013, declared that the issues that made him leave PDP have started arising in APC.
Baraje, in a media briefing in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, said Nigerians were not happy with the socio-economic and political development in the country, that it was imperative for the government to address the sufferings and expectations of the people in order to make them happy.
“I belong to the group that is not very satisfied with the performance of the party; not only because the Senate President is having a very serious political issue, but because there are other cases and instances where we are not happy with the performance of our party,” he said.
“I am not a prophet of doom, neither am I a political prostitute. Are you happy going to queue up for up to two to three hours? Are you happy that electricity is not functioning well and people sleep in darkness?
“What we are saying is that majority of Nigerians are not happy and we need to make them happy. Majority of Nigerians are suffering and we need to make our impact felt by addressing the suffering of the masses.
“The PDP made me. I was the National Secretary and later become the National Chairman of the PDP. I made my mark. If I have to be grateful to any political party, I think, it is the PDP. So, if I can leave that party, then you will know that the party had gone contrary seriously against my principles of life.
“If I can leave the PDP because of impunity, lack of respect for the rule of law; then do I want to continue in another party that way? But it has not got to that level. That is why we are sounding a note of warning that gradually some of these problems are creeping into the APC. And we must warn ourselves.
“Some of us, with our experience, expected the national presence of our party much more during reruns, but we do not see that happening.
“If you look at the volatile nature of that rerun, some of us with our humble experience expected the national presence of our party much more during that rerun. We did not see that happen. It is regrettable.
“Today, we have gone in rerun elections both at the state and national levels. We ran over 115 rerun elections, and the APC has lost majority of those elections, not because of lack of popularity of the APC. No! But because of lack of enough presence as at now.
“Most of the distractions were created by APC itself. For instance, Senate President Bukola Saraki, who is heading an important arm of government, is not getting the necessary support from the party,” he said.
Baraje also warned against any attempt to heat up the polity on the ongoing trial of the Senate President, saying there will be a 'mother of all demonstrations' should anyone try to disrupt the peace in the nation, especially in Kwara State.
Story by David Oputah