The two major political parties, All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), clashed yesterday over the visit of progressive governors to former President Goodluck Jonathan on his 63rd birthday.
Chairman of the caretaker/extraordinary convention planning committee (CECPC) of the APC and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni, had last Friday led a delegation of progressive governors to Jonathan’s residence in Abuja. The other APC governors in the delegation are Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi); Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa); Engr David Umahi (Ebonyi).
The visit came amid insinuations that the former president is being cajoled to contest the 2023 presidential election. Worried by the visit, the PDP yesterday lampooned the APC governors, saying their meeting with Jonathan has further affirmed that Nigeria, as a nation, was better under the governance of the PDP. The opposition party also described the visit as APC’s apology to PDP and Nigerians over the lies and beguilements they deployed to grab power in 2015.
The national publicity secretary of PDP, Kola Ologbodndiyan, in a statement said, “It is evident that the Jonathan administration succeeded in office basically because our party understands the nuances of our nation, which we translated into people-oriented policies and programmes, in line with the manifesto of our party, to make life comfortable for Nigerians.
“This visit to Jonathan by the APC governors is a direct acceptance of the successes recorded by our party in building a strong nation with a virile economy that was rated as one of the fastest-growing economies of the world. “The visit is, therefore, a subtle step by APC governors into the corridors of the PDP in agreement that our party holds the solution to the myriads of problems brought to our nation by their APC and President Muhammadu Buhari”.
Ologbondiyan stressed that the PDP considers the visit by APC governors as an apology by the APC “over the lies, beguilements and other irresponsible allegations deployed by the APC to grab power, only to lead our nation on a journey to nowhere.” The opposition party, however, cautioned Nigerians to be watchful of the antics of the APC that have failed in governance and the management of its own affairs.
“For us in the PDP, the unity, stability, progress and development of our dear nation remain paramount and as such, we will not allow the failed APC and its pranksters, who have betrayed the trust of Nigerians, to mislead them once again,” the party stated. But in a swift reaction, the APC berated the PDP over its comments on the visit and charged the opposition to rather focus on itself. Insisting that it will continue its quest for a national appeal, the APC wondered why the PDP was disturbed by the visit.
APC said the PDP “is obviously rattled and disoriented by the recent courtesy visit by some Governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to former President Goodluck Jonathan.” The deputy national publicity secretary Yekini Nabena, in a statement, said, “At a time when the PDP and its leadership is grappling with a crisis of confidence, one would expect the failed opposition to focus on picking itself up. “As a party for all progressives, the APC on its part will continue to consolidate on its national appeal and acceptance.”