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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

You are setting the North against the South, Baraje tells Akande

ABUJA- FORMER Acting National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and now a leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Kawu Baraje, yesterday lampooned former interim National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande over his statement that the emergence of the principal officers in the national Assembly, enjoy the backing of some business interests and anti-Buhari elements.

In a statement he signed yesterday and made available to Journalists in Abuja, Baraje stressed that he was disappointed that Chief Akande who had led the party and served as a state Governor could make such statements that were capable of dividing the nation by setting the North against the South west, adding that he was equally disappointed that the former interim chairman of the APC would present claims which he cannot substantiate.

According to Baraje, what was expected of an Elder statesman of Akande’s status was to join in the on-going efforts to achieve genuine reconciliation In the National Assembly, rather than waste his energy in further increasing the crisis and further sowing the seed of discord, just as he expressed surprise that with the position Akande had occupied in the party and the country, he could be making statements capable of accentuating and promoting the fault lines in the nation.

Baraje, the former Chairman of NPDP said, “I do not know where Chief Akande and his cohorts are getting this unsubstantiated information they are circulating. We challenge them to provide proof and let Nigerians make their judgment. Akande and co believe that they have exclusive right to determine who occupy what position in today’s Nigeria and whoever tries to challenge their position must be subjected to savage attack in the media. That tactic is definitely undemocratic.

“I have known Chief Akande to be an honest man. I got the shock of my life when he alleged that I had a meeting in my house with ‘some old and new PDP members with a view to hijacking the National Assembly’ through the aspiration of Dr. Bukola Saraki as the Senate President. I have been quiet as a leader so as to not to be seen as taking side because of my closeness to Dr. Saraki, else people will read meaning into it.

“Akande has been playing a role which I admire. He will recall that he met some actors, with a Governor from the Northwest and a leader of the party from the Southwest, where the leader from the Southwest was cautioned to be reasonable in this crisis and was also admonished to allow justice, fair play and equity to take place.

“He (Akande) supported the view of the governor from the North-west that the particular leader from the South-west should be admonished for his action. It is therefore surprising that Akande is now being economic with the truth and painting a picture that exists only in his imagination.

“My worry has been that President Buhari is being fed with lies and stories that are dangerous to the polity. My fears have now been confirmed with Akande’s statement. It is my prayer that the President should strengthen his information gathering network, so as to have a clear and true picture of what is happening.

“I am also appealing to Chief Akande and his cohorts to demonstrate more commitment to our party by exposing the President to the truth that would assist him in taking good decisions. I hope that this appeal will be heeded. I am still keeping quiet with the hope that our efforts in reconciliation will come to a fruitful end.

” I am happy to state that the former Governor of Kwara State enjoys the support of the critical constituencies that he needs to be President of the Senate, particularly that of the good people of Nigeria.”

According to Baraje, the story by Akande that a purported meeting took place in his house after the general elections where a so-called new PDP group plotted “with a view to hijacking the National Assembly with an ultimate aim of resuscitating the PDP as their future political platform” was a mere fabrication.

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