Nigeria’s ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has reportedly assembled a reconciliation team to hold talks with former Vice President Atiku Abubakar who was the presidential candidate for the opposition Action Congress party. The move is an attempt to bring the former vice president back to the ruling party’s fold after he fell out with immediate past President Olusegun Obasanjo. There are speculations that if Abubakar were to return to the ruling party he could be offered the chairmanship of the board of trustees, a post recently held by former President Obasanjo. But the Action Congress party has described the PDP’s reconciliation overture as a diversionary tactic.
Lai Mohammed is the spokesman for the opposition Action Congress party. From the commercial capital, Lagos he tells reporter Peter Clottey that the ruling party’s reconciliation attempt is a non-starter.
“We did read about that report, and to me that is the biggest joke of the year. It is going to amount to monumental waste of time and money at the end of the day because it’s going to be taxpayer’s money. I do not see how Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Action Congress can ever contemplate going back to the PDP. You see, it’s just not on the card because the reasons why he left the PDP are still very much there,” Mohammed noted.
Mohammed said he is sure the former vice president would not entertain the thought of rejoining the ruling party after he was ill-treated.
“Why would he now go back to the PDP, the same party that cheated him out of the elections, and actually hear of him going back to the PDP and taking his rightful place in the PDP. We want to ask, what is Atiku Abubakar’s rightful position in the PDP? When he was in the PDP he was not just the vice president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; he was also the moving figure behind the PDP. That PDP is destroyed today,” he said.
Mohammed said the probability of the former vice president granting the emissaries of the PDP reconciliation team audience is negligible.
“I’m constantly in touch with the former vice president, and I can say this without fear of any contradiction that the committee would be very lucky if they are even granted audience by Atiku Abubakar in the U.S. If he does grant them any audience, it would simply be out of decency and being polite. But their mission failed before they even left the shores of Nigeria,” Mohammed pointed out.
He said the PDP reconciliation overture toward the former vice president is not genuine.
“The only position that can attract Atiku Abubakar today is that of the office of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he said.
Mohammed said the opposition Action Congress party is of the view that the ruling PDP wants Nigerians to forget about the numerous problems facing the country.
“Our position on this move, not just to the vice president, but the entire Ekwueme reconciliation committee, that it’s a diversionary tactic. The Ekwueme reconciliation committee is not going to bring food to the table of Nigerians, it’s not going to give us electricity, and it’s not going to provide employment, neither is it going to make our country safer. Now, we begin to wonder why the government or the PDP as a party is embarking on such wasteful journey. Now what should be of concern to Nigerians is what is the program of this government on the Niger Delta? What is their policy first on education? What do they have for us on housing?” Mohammed asked.