Immediate past acting National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, at the weekend said the ongoing gang-up being planned by opposition parties, especial that alleged to be championed by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Nigeria Progressive Party (ANPP) and the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) ahead of the 2015 general elections against PDP would fail.
He also cautioned the former presidential candidate of the CPC in the last presidential election, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), to desist from any inflammatory comments that may hinder the unity and corporate existence of the nation.
Baraje disclosed this in Ilorin, Kwara State capital, shortly after a special reception prayer organised for him by the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Zulu, held at the Emir’s palace.
According to him, “The gang-up of the opposition parties would fail because all their merger talks ahead of 2015 will be exercise in futility. It is not new, we are all living witnesses to the kind of ganging-up that came up in 2011 when we were preparing for the general election, it is not different.” He added: “The ganging-up came up in 2003, the PDP demolished the gang-up. It came up in 2007, it was demolished and in 2011, they were demolished.”
Baraje further stated that “So, even if they have settled 2011 preparing for 2015, it is going to be a fruitless effort. The ganging-up is nothing as far as PDP is concerned, it is only giving PDP further strength.”
On the recent comment of Buhari ahead of 2015 general polls, Baraje said: “What we need in the country is peace and unity and not statements that may spark violence.”
He said: “The statement given by Buhari is unfortunate, very very unfortunate coming from somebody who Nigerians thought had run one of the most disciplined governments in his time, for him to have uttered such statement. This is not the first time that he has been making such divisive (statement), statement that can divide Nigeria and that is why we described it as very unfortunate.”
The PDP chieftain noted that, “But at the same time, the government has given appropriate warning that not only him, anybody no matter how highly placed, they must watch their words.”
“And I join the government to say that we Nigerians must be very conscious about what we say. What Buhari is saying is beyond him, he didn’t create Nigeria and Nigeria cannot be broken by him or by any other person. We therefore urge any other person whether ganging up in the name of politics or not, Nigeria will remain one indivisible,” he said.
He urged Buhari to desist from making inflammatory statements that could divide the country, while also thanking residents and members of PDP for all activities they had organised for him since his recent return home after meritorious service to the PDP.
He said: “It can only be likened to a homecoming. And a child who has left his father or parents for quite some time to serve the nation and is now being welcome home by no other person than that particular parent, by no other person, by no less person than His Eminence, the Emir of Ilorin. It’s like a fulfilment.”
Baraje added: “I have a feeling of being fulfilled, I have the feeling of being accomplished today particularly. The reception started about two weeks ago, today capped it all. I am now welcome back home fully to the corridor.”
He stressed, “We are here, we are at home and that is not to say that we are not available to serve this country. I am quite available and ready to serve this country further with more commitment and more sense of belonging to the people, the good people of Nigeria.”
Baraje therefore advised the people of the country to use their positions to better the lots of the people so as to move the nation forward.