Days after former senate president, Bukola Saraki, led some People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chieftains to former president Goodluck Jonathan’s residence supposedly to appeal to him not to dump the party, a PDP chieftain, Femi Fani-Kayode, has slammed the ex-senate president for the move.
THE WHISTLER had reported how Saraki and former senate president, Anyim Pius Anyim, amongst several other former PDP governors, stormed Jonathan’s residence on Tuesday.
The PDP chieftains’ visit followed a report which claimed that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) was pressuring Jonathan to dump the PDP for its party, with a supposed promise to give the former president its 2023 presidential ticket.
Saraki, who is chairman of the PDP national reconciliation and strategy committee, had told journalists after the meeting with Jonathan that, “he (Jonathan) reassured the members of PPD’s Reconciliation & Strategy Committee of his strong commitment to the party — stating that he is ready to offer his time, experience and resources to strengthen the party.”
But responding two days after the meeting, Fani-Kayode took a swipe at Saraki and described his effort to stop Jonathan’s alleged defection to the APC as “an irony”.
Although Fani-Kayode did not mention Saraki’s name, he however made reference to how “the man that led the team to GEJ’s house” cost the former president his re-election in 2015.
Fani-Kayode tweeted on Thursday: “Interesting to note that the man that led the team to GEJ’s (Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s) house to appeal to him not to leave the PDP yesterday is the same man that led the rebellion against him and the defection of Governors from the same party in 2014 and cost him the 2015 presidential election. What an irony!”
THE WHISTLER recalls that in the run up to the 2015 presidential election, Saraki and 10 other PDP senators had dumped the PDP for APC on the grounds of “division and factionalisation” in the party, giving a boost to the then opposition APC’s chances of winning the election.
Prior to this, Abubakar Kawu Baraje, a breakaway factional leader of the PDP and loyalist of Saraki, had led about seven PDP governors and ex-presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to the APC.
The massive defections were believed to have led to Jonathan’s defeat by President Muhammadu Buhari of the APC, as the PDP had fewer governors supporting it than the then opposition APC party had.
Both Saraki, Atiku and Baraje had returned to the PDP ahead of the 2019 presidential election, which saw President Buhari securing a second term in office.