Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Timi Frank, has warned his party and President Muhammadu Buhari not to overlook the seven-day ultimatum given by the leader of the defunct new Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) to the ruling party.
Frank, who is a key member of the group, said if nothing is done as demanded to address the grievances of the nPDP members, it would give the impression that “we are no longer needed in the APC”.
Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje had on Wednesday led a delegation on behalf of the nPDP to protest what he described as “maltreatment and exclusion” of his members in the scheme of things by the leaders of APC.
Reacting to the development in a statement signed in Abuja on Thursday, Frank said Baraje spoke the minds of their group, adding that it will be dangerous for President Buhari and the leadership of APC to give a deaf hear to “our grievances”.
According to Frank, what the group is asking for is to be given fair hearing and equal stake in the change project as it is given to other groups.
“Apart from being sidelined, our people are also the most harassed within the party; from the Senate President Bukola Saraki, Senator Dino Melaye, myself and many others. These and other reasons call for a roundtable renegotiation.
“Since APC came into power in 2015, there have been deliberate efforts by the government at the centre and the national leadership of the party to sideline members of the New PDP, when compared to other blocks of CPC, ACN and ANPP which made up of APC,” he said.
While emphasising on the need to honour the seven-day ultimatum given by their leader, Baraje, Frank also said since APC came into power, only the Minister of Transport Rotimi Ameachi and Minister of Women Affairs Mama Taraba were given appointment among the nPDP members despite their unquantifiable contributions to bring APC to power.
“If President Buhari will be fair to all groups and blocks of APC, we expect him to urgently order for an emergency meeting where the grievances will be resolved, that is, if he still care about the interest of the oppressed.
“The meeting we are calling for at this point is important, as it will enable us to renegotiate our interest within the APC and whether we can continue to bear the maltreatment or not,” Frank stated.