The new PDP bloc in the APC wants Saraki out of the governing party. Here’s the entire gist.
There are plans by the nPDP to make Senate President Bukola Saraki dump the APC.
On August 31, 2013, seven governors belonging to the PDP, walked out of the special delegates’ convention of the party in Abuja.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar led the seven governors out of the PDP gathering to the Yar'adua center for a press briefing.
How nPDP was born
The governors who staged a walkout on the day were joined by a former chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje and some senators.
Saraki was among the disenchanted senators.
The angry politicians would become known as the New PDP or nPDP.
Hours later, all the aggrieved members of the PDP who staged a walkout from the PDP delegates’ convention, announced that they were going to be joining the APC.
Why is nPDP still a thing even after collapsing into APC?
Even after joining APC, the nPDP subset within the APC has maintained a separate identity.
Recently, the nPDP has been making some demands from the Buhari led presidency.
On April 27, 2018, the nPDP returned to the front pages of newspapers and websites.
It was the day Baraje (remember him?) wrote a letter threatening the APC and presidency. To put it mildly, the nPDP threatened to pull out of the APC if its grievances aren’t met.
President Buhari was copied in the letter.
What are the nPDP's grievances?
In the letter, the nPDP said it had been marginalized in the APC and wasn’t getting its fair share of federal appointments.
“Harassment, intimidation and persecution of former new PDP leaders by the government is still an ongoing affair. We do not want to overstate the obvious by cataloguing names of former new PDP stalwarts that are targets of this political pogrom.
“There is inadequate reflection of programme and policy contributions of members of the former new PDP bloc in the running of the government.
“Our belief is that it does not augur well for our party if a section of it feels that it is being treated as outcasts and meddlesome interlopers in the party they rightly belong with the legitimate expectation to be treated with justice both in the running of the party and the government”.
The nPDP added that; “In appointments into Boards of various government agencies, very few former New PDP members were patronised. These are however not commensurate with our contributions to the growth and Victory of the party”.
nPDP meets Osinbajo for peace talks
On May 28, 2018, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo invited aggrieved members of the nPDP bloc to Aso Rock for peace talks.
Those who attended this meeting were Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara and other chieftains of the party.
The nation’s Attorney General Abubakar Malami and Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, among others, also attended this meeting.
Did the VP meeting with nPDP bring peace?
Things went a little quiet after Osinbajo’s meeting with the aggrieved APC faction, until the police declared that Saraki should report to its office in Abuja for questioning over the Offa robbery incident that claimed over 33 lives.
On Monday, June 4, 2018, the nPDP pulled out of a scheduled second meeting with Osinbajo over Saraki's police invitation.
The nPDP bloc saw the whole Saraki link with the Offa robbery incident as another attempt by the main APC bloc to humiliate its members.
Again, the nPDP threatened to pull out of the governing party.
In a statement, the nPDP frowned at latest developments since its meeting with Osinbajo and said it was clear that its previous meeting with the presidency achieved little.
“While we are truly and earnestly committed to achieving reconciliation, harmony, truce and cohesion in the APC as we approach the 2019 general elections, it appears that the presidency is not interested in the talks and that they may have been negotiating in bad faith”, the statement read.
Please permit us to reproduce a substantial part of the nPDP statement below:
“We were alarmed that immediately after our meeting with the Vice President last week, the presidency misrepresented what transpired at the meeting by trying to blackmail some of the principal actors involved in the discussions in a national daily.
“Similarly, the leadership of the party (APC) went ahead to ratify all the Congresses from ward, local governments, states and zonal where many of our members have complaints, effectively presenting us with a fait accompli.
“The persecution of our members using state security apparatus have continued unabated.
“We recognize the powers of the Police to conduct criminal investigations but by rushing to the public with the issue even when they have unfettered access to the leadership of the National Assembly suggests an attempt to undermine, caricature and humiliate the institution of the legislature.
“It appears that there is a fouled and toxic atmosphere and environment of intimidation and threat to life in which we now find ourselves which may no longer be conducive for members of the former nPDP to continue with the talks.
“Given the unfolding events in the last 24 hours, where the President of the Senate, His Excellency, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki and His Excellency, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, the Executive Governor of Kwara State , both of whom attended the meeting with the Vice President on Monday 28 May, 2018 ,have suddenly been accused of sponsoring armed robbery by the Police under the directives of the Presidency.
“Similarly, on Saturday, June 2nd, 2018, the Department of State of Services (DSS) also suddenly withdrew more than half of all the security details attached to the presiding officers of the National Assembly under questionable circumstances”.
Is there a plan to appease Saraki?
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo held a meeting with Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Idris and Attorney General Malami after the latest statement from nPDP.
Various reports say the presidency has instructed IGP Idris to go easy on Saraki and hand him a soft landing in the Offa robbery case.
Already, Saraki has been told that he doesn't have to report at the police station over the Offa robbery incident; and that he can tender his statement in writing.
Saraki's DSS (Department of State Security) detail–partially withdrawn after he was linked to the Offa robbery-–have been restored.
According to Sahara Reporters, “Senate President Bukola Saraki to get soft landing from presidency after intervention by some “elders”, his aides to be released without charges as long as he behaves”.
Expect another meeting between nPDP and the presidency soon enough.