Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido
Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido has defended his decision to remain in the Peoples Democratic Party and not defect to the All Progressives Congress as done by his colleagues in G7, saying he could not abandon the house he built.
He said PDP was formed by a group of prominent Nigerians in 1998 who wanted to create a pan-Nigerian political movement that would instill an enduring legacy of democracy on the country.
“We started with G9, nine of us who included former Vice President Alex Ekwueme, late Senator Francis Ella, late Chief Solomon Lar, late Chief Bola Ige, late Alhaji Abubakar Rimi and myself among others. It later metamorphosed into G18 and G34. We built the party through our sweat and nobody can push me out”
Speaking in an interview with THISDAY, Lamido said his colleague governors who recently defected to APC did so out of frustration.
“Most of them had worked for the advancement of the PDP in their states but instead of the party to show appreciation, it ended up sending people packing unceremoniously”.
But he said defecting to the APC was not the solution to the crisis bedeviling the country's democracy, saying PDP's crisis is dangerous to the country's democracy.
Asked to react to the claim by Adamawa State Governor Murtala Nyako that Lamido and Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu who are yet to move to APC will do so in January, the Jigawa State governor said, “nobody should speak for me. I have always said I will speak for myself”.
He decried what he called the campaign of calumny and character assassination against his family, saying he would rather drop dead, than succumb to blackmail and intimidation.
“They are calling me a thief and father of thieves in order to soil my name. They are saying Sule is the only thief in the country but God will not allow them to soil my name. The courts are there”
He charged the judiciary to dispense justice without fear of favour.
The Jigawa governor had earlier on Thursday played host to the former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (Rtd), who was in the state to inaugurate the newly-built judiciary complex.
Lamido called on people of conscience like Abubakar, to rise up and save the country's democracy, insisting that PDP's crisis is Nigeria's crisis and is capable of derailing Nigeria's democracy.
He told the former head of state: "I know how you feel, seeing the democracy you nurtured being cannibalised by people who now regard government as their personal entity and personal industry, and subject people to their whims and caprices, where a governor of a state is being held hostage. This is a very dangerous development to our democracy. Therefore all democrats should unite to salvage this democracy”.