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Again, Na’Abba, Rimi square up to Obasanjo, PDP

Posted by TINA ANTHONY, Kano on 2005/10/09 | Views: 2546 |

Again, Na’Abba, Rimi square up to Obasanjo, PDP

The rally held October 1, at Sani Abacha Stadium Kano by the three PDP factional leaders in Kano State and a faction of Jigawa State PDP has confirmed the speculation that the PDP in both states is divided.

The rally held October 1, at Sani Abacha Stadium Kano by the three PDP factional leaders in Kano State and a faction of Jigawa State PDP has confirmed the speculation that the PDP in both states is divided.

In Kano State, one of the PDP factions, called the SDP, is led by Alhaji Abubakar Rimi, another called the GDM is led by former minister of labour and productivity, Alhaji Musa Gwadabe, while the third, called the ANC, is led by Alhaji Gwadabe Satatima. A new faction is led by the erstwhile governor of the state, now minister of defence, Engineer Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.

In Jigawa State, one of the factions is led by Alhaji Sule Lamido, former External Affairs Minister, while the other is led by the former Minister of Power and steel, Alhaji Bashir Dalhatu.

The efforts by the leadership of the PDP in Kano State to stop members of the party from attending the rally failed. The members started trooping to the venue of the rally three hours before the conveners started arriving.

The factional leaders, in their speeches at the rally, declared that they were the authentic leaders of the PDP in Kano and Jigawa States. They were disturbed by problems bedeveling Kano State PDP especially the domineering influence of Kwankwaso as against the other three factions of the party made up of Rimi, Gwadabe and Satatima’s supporters that transferred their allegiance to the defence minister’s camp following which he won the number one seat in the state in 1999.

Kwankwaso who was the political son of Gwadabe was accused of betraying his mentor and seeking to become a leader of the faction while in office. The former governor was not perturbed by the accusation and remained focused, ensuring that he had total control of both the state Assembly and the state party executives while in power, against the wish of the three factional leaders who believed that they should control the state chapter of the PDP because they were among the founding fathers of the party.

They all accused Kwanwanso of destroying the unity of the party in Kano State.

On the on-going registration of party members nationwide, they accused President Olusegun Obasanjo and his supporters of planting the 2007 self succession agenda and vowed to ensure that the gameplan is disrupted to save the nation from the crisis that may result if the President forces himself on the people in 2007.

Satatima, the leader of the ANC faction, who accused the former governor of Kano State of working against the success of the party in the state, said the PDP lost the 2003 gubernatorial election in Kano State not because it didn’t have the number but because of the sentiment and selfishness of Kwankwaso who wanted to have his ways in all the elections.

On the third term agenda, he said they would not allow any game plan to materialize in the party and warned that the action of some sycophants in the PDP is capable of causing the fall of the PDP in the next elections if nothing is done urgently to correct the problem from the national to the state level.

"I want you to also know that the so-called reforms of the Obasanjo-led government is against northerners as the privatisation exercise is misguided because important public utilities are being sold out to only southerners who are currently serving in government," he stated.

Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Umar Ghali Na’Abba, in his usual soft spoken voice, lamented that Nigerians were suffering because of poor government policies and a weak National Assembly that has failed to represent the interest of the electorate who voted them to power.

He vowed that the authentic leaders of PDP in the North would do everything constitutionally possible to redirect the affairs of the party and the Federal Government, stressing that what is happening in the nation today is unacceptable.

On the revalidation of membership of the party, the Speaker wondered why the PDP leadership chose now for the exercise, and added that the method adopted was transparently fraudulent and faulty, but advised that all members of the party should ensure that they register, saying if members were not registered, the exercise would be rejected and dumped by the North.

Gwadabe, in his address, called on PDP members in the state to come to the true leadership of the party, noting that any member who fails to identify with the three factions led by himself, Rimi and Satatima is not a true member of the PDP.

Dalhatu told the rally that the registration cards meant for PDP members in Jigawa State were shared between some (PDP) members and ANPP members who were yet to decamp to PDP.

Accusing the former Minister of External Affairs, Alhaji Sule Lamido, of joining forces with some northerners to deny the North power shift in 2007, he assured that the factions would team up with other northerners to bring back power to the North.

Rimi, in his speech, called on PDP supporters and members in both states to team up with what that he called the authentic leadership of the PDP and charged them to ensure that they get registered. He explained that if the party officials refused to register them, they should bring it to the factional leaders' notice because it is the right of every member of the PDP to get registered unless the registration is meant for the 2007 agenda of Obasanjo.

According to him, Kwankwaso had destroyed the unity of the party in Kano State and vowed to fight him to a stand still because they are the founding fathers of the party in the country and would not fold their arms and watch what they planted die. He stated that they will not allow any PDP member in the state to be subjected to any form of intimidation by the defence minister and his likes whom he claimed Obasanjo is using to frustrate the northern 2007 agenda despite the party's agreement on rotation of presidency.

Said he: "I was not in support of rotation of presidency because I don’t believe it is democratic for presidency to be rotated on the basis religion or region but since PDP headquarters agreed and allowed President Obasanjo to rule for two terms, I am also obliged to support rotation of power from the South to the North, which simply means, it is the turn of the North to rule for 8 years too".

Rimi noted that if the North fails to get the presidency in 2007, it would be very difficult for the zone to get near power for a very long time. He said it is too dangerous for the North to allow that to happen, adding that it is one of the basic reasons they decided to start sensitizing the North before things get out of hand as the President had started using some northerners to promote his third term agenda.

"Every northerner must join our team to ensure that power comes back to the North in 2007. The struggle for 2007 is a serious business ", he said, promising to expose northerners who are currently working against the interest of the North.

He said that since he had exhausted all avenues to redirect the President and PDP officials at the headquarters to correct the anomalies within the party and government, he had decided to take the bull by the horn.

He continued: "This country is so rich, we are supposed to be enjoying oil boom, but instead Nigerians are suffering, they are yet to get the dividend of democracy. And Obasanjo is so proud of his reform programmes which have impoverished majority of Nigerians. The privatization exercise is a conspiracy against the interest of Nigerians because the only people buying the companies are the few Nigerians close to the seat of power. Our electricity is still not working. There is no water, no good roads, education system is falling, what do you expect from Obasanjo again if he stays for third term? Nigerians live in exile in neighbouring countries.

"We must fight Obasanjo and our northern brothers who have betrayed us by supporting him, so that we don’t become slaves in our own countries,’ Rimi stated.

Declaring that they will soon form a rainbow coalition of northern PDP leaders in readiness for the 2007 struggle, the veteran politician said the coalition would be a unique arrangement that would give Obasanjo and other groups a good fight in 2007.

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