Kawu Baraje, a national leader of the All Progressives Congress dismisses statements made Bisi Akande, former interim national chairman of the party, as unfortunate and mere fabrication
THE war of words in the All Progressives Congress, APC, over the leadership of the National Assembly is intensifying. On Tuesday, June 30, Kawu Baraje, a national leader of the party, described the statement credited to Bisi Akande, former interim national chairman of the APC, as unfortunate.
Baraje claimed that the allegation that principal officers of the National Assembly enjoyed the backing of some oil barons and anti-Buhari elements were untrue.
Baraje described Akande’s comments on the crisis as hypocrisy and reminded him of a meeting, which had an unnamed governor from the North-West and a leader of the party from the South-West and the latter was admonished about the crisis in the party.
Baraje said Akande’s story by that a purported meeting took place in his house after the general elections where a so-called new PDP group plotted “with a view to hijacking the National Assembly…with an ultimate aim of resuscitating the PDP as their future political platform” was a mere fabrication.
He reminded Akande how he supported the governor against the South-West leader’s antics and described Akande’s statement as “fabrication.” Baraje said he was disappointed that Akande, who had led the party and served as a governor, could make such a statement where he sought to divide the nation by setting the North against the South-West.
“I do not know where Chief Akande and his cohorts are getting this unsubstantiated information they are circulating. We challenge them to provide proof and let Nigerians make their judgment.
“Akande and co believe that they have exclusive right to determine who occupies what position in today’s Nigeria and whoever tries to challenge their position must be subjected to savage attack in the media. That tactic is definitely undemocratic.
“I have known Chief Akande to be an honest man. I got the shock of my life when he alleged that I had a meeting in my house with ‘some old and new PDP members with a view to hijacking the National Assembly’ through the aspiration of Dr. Bukola Saraki as the Senate president.
“I have been quiet as a leader so as not to be seen as taking side because of my closeness to Dr. Saraki, else people would read meanings into it.
“Akande has been playing a role which I admire. He will recall that he met some actors, with a governor from the North-West and a leader of the party from the South-West, where the leader from the South-West was cautioned to be reasonable in this crisis and was also admonished to allow justice, fair-play and equity to take place.
“He (Akande) supported the view of the governor from the North-West that the particular leader from the South-West should be admonished for his action. It is therefore, surprising that Akande is now being economical with the truth and is painting a picture that exists only in his imagination.
Baraje said he was pained that President Muhammadu Buhari was being fed with lies and stories that could harm the polity.
“My fears have now been confirmed with Akande’s statement. It is my prayer that the president should strengthen his information gathering network, so as to have a clear and true picture of what is happening.
“I am also appealing to Chief Akande and his cohorts to demonstrate more commitment to our party by exposing the President to the truth that would assist him in taking good decisions. I hope that this appeal will be heeded. I am still keeping quiet with the hope that our efforts in reconciliation will come to a fruitful end.
Baraje said he expected the former governor of Osun State to join in the on-going efforts to achieve genuine reconciliation in the National Assembly instead of exacerbating the crisis and further sowing the seed of discord.
“His press statement was targeted at setting agenda for the proposed meeting of the NEC, NWC and other organs of the party which they thought will hold on Tuesday, June 30. Incidentally, that meeting has been postponed.
”I remain committed to the APC principle and the positive change promised our people by President Buhari. As a democrat, I will continue to abide by the provision of the Constitution of Nigeria. I will, however, refuse to be blackmailed by those who believe that they must have their way at all times,” Baraje said.
— Jul 1, 2015 @ 13:00 GMT