Leader of the Reformed All Progressives Congress (R-APC), Alhaji Kawu Baraje, has said the group will leave APC with or without Senate President, Bukola Saraki
He said if Saraki felt the need to stay back in APC, it is okay for him but he would not have his supporters with him.
“The followers of the Senate President particularly from Kwara State and across the country have already resolved to leave the APC with or without Saraki, so it is now left for the Senate President to take a decision more so that he is an experienced and seasoned politician.
“As far as I know, there is no juicy position that can replace the kind of embarrassment, debasement, and horrifying experiences many of us have suffered and gone through in the hands of some few mischievous members of the APC, it’s quite unfortunate,”
“If the Senate President feels it is fit for him to stay back, all is well and good. But the Senate President as a leader also has his supporters and followers, and if they have decided to leave the party, I don’t know what he (Saraki) will still be doing behind.
Baraje made the declaration after news that the Presidency, and the National Chairman of APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, are making serious moves for reconciliation, with re-election promises.
Saraki’s loyalists in Kwara State, however, warned him that they would not remain in the APC with him in the face of embarrassment they experienced in the party.
While former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of APC, Comrade Timi Frank, maintained that the Presidency and Oshiomole’s lobby would not stop the defection of five state governors, 30 serving senators and 135 members of the House of Representatives who have reportedly made up their minds to leave APC soon.
On his part, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, APC spokesman, said it was the responsibility of Buhari and Oshiomole to reconcile embittered members.
It was learned that Oshiomole’s reconciliation move has started yielding fruit as some lawmakers are already having a change of mind after promise to reconcile them with their governors who they had already fallen out with.
However, R-APC, spokesman Prince Kassim Afegbua, dismissed the reconciliation move.
He revealed in a statement that the train had left the station and that the APC would not change its colors.
“It is interesting to suddenly see Mr. President holding meetings with the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, reportedly promising mouth-watering offers.
‘’The same leader who was ridiculed, scandalized, demonized, criminalized and called all sorts of names by agents of the Presidency just to give the Senate President a bad name in order to hang him.
‘’As soon as the Supreme Court gave a resounding verdict on the trumped-up and frivolous charges against the Senate President, Mr. President suddenly felt a need to praise the judiciary for standing on its own. Power, as they truly say, must be a crazy aphrodisiac.
“Those who said they won’t lose sleep over the R-APC, have become sleepless in the last two weeks. The President, who has held himself in the inner sanctuary of the Presidential Villa, is all of a sudden, opening his doors to one meeting or the other all in the name of re-election.
“Just to make the point that it is too late in the day. The train has left the station. Leopards cannot change their spots, no matter how much one tries to tame them.
‘’We enjoin all our members to remain steadfast and resolute in defending their rights and taking the appropriate action in defense of democracy.
“This democracy must survive on ethical grounds and not on lawlessness and exclusion. It must provide a level playing ground for all participants. Those who prevented some persons from visiting their states in the name of politics have suddenly realized that they need the services and support of those persons.
“They are now pleading, ready to submit to all demands. That won’t work because examples have shown that political agreements are often observed in the breach.
“This is to inform our members nation-wide that we are still maintaining our stand against the APC and no amount of carrots, intimidation, and harassment can dissuade us in our shared commitment to rescue this democracy, he noted”
Meanwhile, Tribune reports that the R-APC has given conditions for rejoining mainstream APC.
The seven points demands are:
1. The return of Bukola Saraki as Senate President in the 9th National Assembly in 2019
2. The retention of Yakubu Dogara as Speaker of the 9th House of Representatives
3. The return of party structures to members of R-APC faction displaced by the APC leadership in the process of the last national convention
4. The dissolution of state executives of the APC that emerged through parallel congresses
5. A new national convention must be held and a new strong executive would be elected
6. Automatic return tickets to all members of the R-APC in the Senate and House of Representatives ahead of the 2019 election
7. Stopping of all legal actions against members of the R-APC who are currently standing trial.