National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, yesterday, disclosed that his party is in talks with some All Progressives Congress (APC) governors, especially those in the North-Central geopolitical zone, assuring that they are on their way to the party.
He added that he is talking with APC governors in the North-East. Secondus, who spoke in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, while addressing party members, also declared that no PDP governor has any intention of leaving the party.
“I have talked with APC governors in the North Central and they are on their way to PDP,” he said, adding: “All PDP governors are intact and in agreement with the party. No rumours again.
Nigerians are in the mission of recovering the country. Even market women know that APC has collapsed.” The six states of the North Central – Benue, Plateau, Kogi, Nasarawa, Plateau and Kwara – were formerly under the control of the PDP until the 2015 elections, when it lost them to the APC. But the six North-Central governors denied Secondus’ claim.
Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, said he is “stuck with the APC in a marriage that cannot be put asunder.” His Niger State colleague, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, told New Telegraph that he is not one of those Secondus had spoken with.
On his part, Nasarawa State governor, Tanko Almakura, said he was not contemplating leaving APC while Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, said he cannot abandon the house he helped build for a strange abode.
Kwara State governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, said he already said by bye to PDP, describing Secon-dus’ claim as ‘a grandiose dream’. For Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, this is not time for defection, but that of mourning his people killed by herdsmen. Decrying the state of insecurity across the country, Secondus urged Nigerians to hold the APC responsible for the killing of innocent Nigerians by herdsmen.
“We must blame the APC-led Federal Government for its inability to protect lives and property. All have collapsed, there is no fuel, while herdsmen have been given license to kill,” he said. The PDP National chairman assured party faithful that the PDP is on a rescue mission and will liberate Nigerians from APC’s misrule in the 2019 general elections.
“The PDP is on a rescue mission; APC is divided, they have no mission, they have no vision. They are playing games with hunger, but enough is enough,” Secondus said. He expressed confidence in the government of Okezie Ikpeazu, saying PDP’s elected office holders are working with the fear of God and the support of the people.
But, the governors of Kwara, Benue, Niger, Kogi, Nasarawa and Plateau states, denied holding any discussion with the opposition party. Kwara State governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Wahab Oba, said: “The governor was not part of such talk. It’s a grandiose dream to expect him to leave a high performing party like the APC for a decimated party that brought Nigeria to this current mess.
“The governor and other stakeholders in the state are comfortable with the APC, which has vigorously pursued the promised change from impunity to the rule of law; from corruption to transparency; from arbitrariness to pragmatism, and from economic stagnation to sustainable development. The APC is the party for today and the future.”
Similarly, Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, said defecting to PDP is not on his plan for now. The governor, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Terver Akase, added that he has suspended all political activities for now as he is confronted with security challenges over ongoing killings of Benue people by suspected herdsmen.
“Governor Ortom has suspended political activities because of the security situation in Benue State. He has not yet lifted that suspension and we have no comment about anything politics for now.
“We are talking security; we are talking Benue’s future, so we are not commenting about this (defection to PDP) at all,” Akase said. Niger State governor Abubakar Bello, who also declared that he was not among those spoken to by the PDP national chairman, said he has no issues with the APC. Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mallam Jibrin Ndace, told New Telegraph that his principal is a very consistent member of the APC and cannot be one of those moving to the PDP.
“Governor Abubakar Sani Bello cannot be one of them. He is very clear; he is someone who is very consistent and has a very good relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC both at the national and state levels. “He is so much on ground; there are no issues with the party structure both at national and state levels. So, I do not think that the governor is among those the PDP chairman talked to. “If Secondus has spoken to other governors,certainly Governor Bello can’t be one of them.
It is very clear, he can’t be one of them.” Kogi State governor, Bello, on his part, said there is no reason for him to leave the party he helped in building. Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mrs. Petra Akinti, who spoke with our correspondent, said her principal is busy with preparation to host APC governors to a mega rally in Lokoja, the state capital.
“My principal is a loyal party man, a strong believer in President Buhari’s ideology and he will rather woo PDP governors to his party and not the other way round.
“It is very funny to think that someone will abandon the house he contributed in building and perch in a strange house that he doesn’t have a stake in. The governor is not going anywhere; his loyalty to the APC is absolute and unshakable.
The PDP might have talked to some APC North Central governors, but not Alhaji Yahaya Bello,” she said. Nasarawa State governor, Tanko Al-makura, who dismissed Secondus’ claim, said he has no intention whatsoever to defect to the PDP.
His Chief Press Secretary, Musa Elayo, said the governor has never contemplated leaving the APC, not to talk of joining the PDP. “I am not aware of the governor having any discussion with the National Chairman of PDP, Uche Secondus, and I am sure that he has no intention whatsoever to defect to PDP,” Elayo said. Also reacting, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State described the PDP chairman’s claim as mere wishful thinking and a figment of his imagination.
The governor, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mark Longyen, said: “The comment credited to the PDP National Chairman, Uche Secundus, is mere wishful thinking. It is a figment of his imagination to think that an incumbent APC governor would contemplate moving away from his party, the ruling party at the national level.
That will be tantamount to nursing a reverse ambition with its attendant reversal of fortunes for any APC governor. “As far as Governor Lalong is concerned, he is stuck with the ruling APC in a marriage that cannot be put asunder, come rain, come shine! The PDP chairman should stop throwing imaginary kites and instead face the arduous task of reinventing his party so as to remain a virile opposition party to the APC in as many foreseeable years to come.”