by Deji Abiodun & Agency Reports
Former Speaker of the House of Representatives Alhaji Ghali Umar Na’Abba has dumped the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), saying the party has lost its soul.
He becomes the fifth speaker to dump the PDP. The current Speaker, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal defected to the opposition APC in October. Others before him that dumped the PDP are Aminu Bello Masari, Patricia Etteh, Dimeji Bankole.
Na’Abba announced his resignation in a letter dated March 15, entitled “Notification of Resignation from PDP, Its Organs and Committees”, addressed to his ward chairman, Sharada ward Kano Municipal local government area.
The letter was also copied to the party’s Chairman Kano Municipal; Chairman Kano State; Vice Chairman North West Zone; National Chairman and the Chairman Board of Trustees (BOT).
In his resignation letter, Na’Abba said no administration in the history of Nigeria had used religion and ethnicity to divide Nigerians more than the current administration under Mr. Jonathan.
He said: “You will agree with me that such pervasive political behaviour should under no circumstances be tolerated by all who subscribe to decent and conscionable political practice.
Nigeria, PDP leadership cabalised
He added: “The Country’s and the Party’s leadership have become cabalised to the extent that while Nigerians are aware that they have a President in the person of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, they are at the same time at a loss as to who governs their country.
“Both Nigeria and the PDP are left to drift,” he said. “It has left us with the conventional wisdom that people cannot succeed in life unless they are ruthless and unprincipled.”
According to him, “It is obvious to me that PDP is both self-destruct and irredeemable.”
For Nigerians to secure a new lease of life, he said, they should “get out this inept leadership that has neither allure nor inspiration.”
He added: “In its place, Nigerians deserve not just a good President, good governors, and other political office holders, but true and exemplary leaders.”
Na’Abba said such leaders must have competence and capacity to govern and a clear vision for the future.
The PDP, he noted, “has become characterized by corruption and impunity in the way and manner candidates for elective positions are being selected to the extent that in almost twenty states, crisis has engulfed the Party over the gubernatorial primaries and the manner other candidates for other elective positions emerged.”
Na’Abba contended that the PDP and the country’s leadership had failed to consolidate democratic gains for sister African Countries and other transition countries to follow.
“Under the current leadership, Nigeria is suffering from loss of esteem, as we are now most often consigned to the back seat of international relations.
“Most worrisome is the current anxiety of most Nigerians as the regime wobbles and tumbles toward the oncoming election.
“It has today become incontrovertible that cartels and shady characters are becoming visible, important and indispensable factors in Nigeria’s governance.
Patriots not respected
“It appears those at the helm of affairs are more comfortable with such characters of easy virtue than with patriotic and altruistic Nigerians.”
Na’Abba who was speaker between 1999 and 2003 expressed concerns that in Nigeria today the quality of governance was going down by the day even as he said critical National Institutions that unified and wielded Nigerians together had been dragged into politics, contrary to wise counsel and political correctness.
“I have relentlessly pushed for reform of the internal policies of the PDP individually and collectively, without success. In fact it is common knowledge that all critical members of the Party have been made irrelevant.”
He noted that members of the party who are pliant and who lack principle and who stand for nothing are always more trusted by the leadership to carry out party assignments because they are said to be “loyal.”
“Such loyalty,” he said, “is nothing but a euphemism for people who stand for nothing.”
Why founding fathers are leaving the PDP
He said it pains most of them that majority of the founding fathers that had died like Chief S.M. Afolabi, Alhaji Muhammad Abubakar Rimi, Chief Solomon Lar, Professor Osammor, Chief S. B. Awoniyi etc all died as a result of their frustration by and with the Party,” he lamented.
However, according to him, even those founding fathers who are still living like Dr. Alex Ekwueme, Malam Adamu Chiroma, Dr Shettima Mustapha, Alhaji Asheikh Jarma Dr, Victor Odili, Mr. Isaac Shaahu and many others “are equally living with such frustration.While others like Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Alhaji Isyaku Ibrahim, Alhaji Musa Gwadabe, two former National Chairmen, Chief Audu Ogbe and Chief Barnabas Gemade etc had since left the Party. The Party and theadministration clearly possess neither compassion nor empathy.
“I pray that your mind and those of other Patriots would also be illuminated with truth so that you may also act wisely and accordingly.”
Speaking with Daily Trust after releasing his resination later, Ghali said it was necessary for him to leave the PDP because it had lost its soul and the deterioration in the party had become “irredeemable.”
The former Speaker said by resigning few weeks to the election, he is sending “signal’ to his supporters and followers all over the country not to cast their votes for the PDP.
I may join another party
On whether he would join the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), which has been making gains from the gale of defections in the PDP, Na’Abba said “I may join another party in the next few days and I may decide to do so after the election.”
He alleged that the PDP had been distributing money to aggrieved party members not to defect to other political parties but that “I was not approached because they know that I can’t be bought over.”
The former Speaker said the PDP “has been losing its sons and daughters including so many of its founding fathers and members by the day adding, “I will not stay for the house to fall me.”