New PDP gets backing of 57 reps, 20 senators
The number of members of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) identifying with the splinter group that emerged last Saturday is making a steady rise.
Already, 57 out of the 204 members of the House of Representatives on the platform of the embattled Peoples Democratic Party have declared their support for the Alhaji Kawu Baraje-led New PDP.
About 20 senators had earlier on Monday side with the leaders of the PDP that engineered the breakaway.
A statement by Ali-Ahmed from Kwara State, which was available to newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday, indicated that the son of former President Shehu Shagari, Aminu and the former Chairman, House Committee on Education, Alhaji Farouk Lawan were among the 57 lawmakers.
The statement did not contain the federal constituency of signatories.
What is easily deducible however is the fact that most of them come from the seven states where the aggrieved PDP governors hail from.
According to the statement, 'We, the members of the House of Representatives under the platform of the New PDP, hereby congratulate our leaders on the emergence of the new party:
'Although a sizeable number of our members who could not append their signatures because of their unavailability in the country will do so immediately on arrival, we the under signed salute and appreciate the courage, sacrifice and resilience and patriotism of our leaders namely: former Vice President Atiku Abubakar GCON, and the Governors of Kano State, Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso; Aliyu Wamakko, (Sokoto); Murtala Nyako (Adamawa); Sule Lamido (Jigawa); Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu (Niger); Abdul Fattah Ahmed (Kwara); and Chibuike Amaechi (Rivers), and other well-meaning and eminent Nigerians for leading the way for the emergence of the New PDP.
The lawmakers also condemned alleged attempts by 'some agents of the Federal Government to use state apparatus to persecute their leaders.'
It reads further, 'As members of the House of Representatives, we call on the security agencies and other anti-graft bodies to be professional in their activities and not allow themselves be used by anybody no matter how highly placed for their political ambitions. Remember how you want history to judge your tenures.
'We won't hesitate however to use all instruments of law within our powers as provided by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), to stop this and bring anybody found wanting to book.
'We wish to state that by this statement, we pledge our loyalty and support to the New PDP under the able chairmanship of Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, the Deputy Chairman, Dr Sam Sam Jaja, National secretary, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinola and other members of the National Executive Committee.
'We congratulate them and wish them the very best as they steer the affairs of our party to provide level playing-field for all Nigerians.'
Those who signed the statement include Abdullahi Balarabe; Abdulmumin Jibrin; Ali Ahmad; Abdullahi Wamako; and Abdullahi Muhammed Rico.
Others include Abdulmalik Cheche; Adamu Bashir; Ahmanpatigi Aliyu; Ahmed Zerewa; Aishatu Binani; Aiyedun Olayinka and Alhassan Ado Garba.