PDP crisis: We’re prepared to die, Baraje tells Jonathan

A factional Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Abubakar Kawu Baraje, has advised members of his National Working Committee (NWC) to prepare their Wills as the crisis rocking the ruling party festers.
He said the advice was necessary to guide against any eventuality because, according to him, his group was aware of alleged plot by the Presidency to clamp down on the members, a situation he says may lead to some deaths.
Baraje, whose faction of the PDP is known as New PDP, however, told the Presidency that his followers, just like himself, were prepared to die if need be to get their demands met.
He, however, urged the Presidency to spare former President Olusegun Obasanjo in the planned clampdown, saying inclusion of the ex-President among sponsors of the factional PDP to be dealt with by security operatives was an error.
A statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the group, Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, on Sunday quoted Baraje as giving the advice.
The statement said decision to include the Obasanjo and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar in the list of sponsors of the breakaway party to be dealt with was confirmed by an associate of the President, Mujahid Asari Dokubo, a former Niger Delta militant.
It said the decision to prepare for death by the members of the group was borne out of information at its disposal that President Goodluck Jonathan and his supporters are concluding arrangements to clamp down on them.
“Some days ago, we received intelligence reports that the Presidency was putting finishing touches to what it calls, ‘Operation Total Crackdown on G7 and their allies in the New PDP’.
“When we got details of the plot to arrest and commit the leadership of New PDP to prison without charge we thought it was a joke.
“The reality, however, dawned on us after we read the interview of our friend and brother, Alhaji Mujahid Asari-Dokubo, in the ‘PREMIUM TIMES of September 26, 2013, confirming that President Goodluck Jonathan is under pressure to arrest former President Olusegun Obasanjo and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar without any further delay.
“The sin of these two distinguished Nigerian statesmen, according to those plotting their ‘demystification’, is their alleged support for the New PDP, including the G7 Governors.
“This evil plot being conceived by the Presidency confirms that the Abacha days are truly here again with us.
“In view of the seriousness of this devilish plot to crack down on us in total disregard of the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution, the National Chairman of the new PDP, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, summoned an emergency meeting of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party to brainstorm on how best to respond to the situation.
“Our conclusion at the end of the meeting was that we would not be intimidated for any reason, even if it means death, as we are fighting a just cause of reclaiming, recovering and establishing our party based on the vision of its founding fathers, as the party is currently usurped by some members who do not know how it was formed.
“Baraje, knowing how dirty some of the hawks in the Presidency can fight when pushed to the wall, directed NWC members to write their Wills immediately after the meeting as we have entered the stage of no retreat and no surrender, fully determined to reclaim what rightly belongs to us.
“The NWC also resolved to urge the G7 Governors that on no account should they be intimidated or frightened by any tactics or strategy employed by state forces to coerce them to forgo any of the issues they have been asked to present before President Jonathan during the October 7 meeting,” the statement added.
Exonerating Obasanjo from the New PDP fight with Jonathan and the Bamanga Tukur-led PDP, the statement said there was nothing to link the ex-President with the group, advising the Presidency not to lose its sense of judgement in the fight against perceived enemies.

Daily independent
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