By Daniel Idonor
ABUJA â€” THE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday denied allegations that it plans to turn Nigeria into a one-party state, saying that those who have joined it from the opposition political parties were only moved by the good works of the PDP at the federal and state levels.
The party disclosed that while all those who joined the party from the opposition parties came joined on their own free will, its leadership disown all those who have canvassed for the PDP to turn Nigeria into a one-party state.
National Secretary of the party, Alhaji Abubakar Baraje spoke to newsmen at the State House after a delegation of the partyâ€™s elders, led by Gen. Ike Nwachukwu (rtd) met President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua.
The elders were in the Presidential Villa to report to the President on the progress recorded in their efforts to settle disagreements and grievances among party members, aimed at reconciling the old PDP into one family.
Asked if the party is planning to turn Nigeria into a one-party state, Baraje said, â€œThat is not true. You would have said PDP wants to turn Nigeria into a one-party state if we are forcing these people to come to PDP.
â€œThese people are coming out of their own volition, out of their own conviction that PDP has a programme for the people, a programme for the grassroots, a programme that can solve the problems of Nigeria.â€
Baraje said Nigerians are happy with the PDP following its performance across the country, even as he also acknowledged that the party still suffers strong criticisms from several quarters.
â€œIn spite of the bashing and opposition here and there trying to confuse the public, the Nigerian public refuses to be confused, they know what they want and they go for what they want. They are getting what they want in PDP and PDP will continue to give it to themâ€, he said.
Nwachukwu also spoke on the reconciliation campaign, saying that â€œwhat we have done is to appeal to them and invite them, and they responded and we discussed with them.
â€œWe went back with the assurance that they will try to fix whatever problems that there are to ensure the party remains strong.
â€œI want to use this opportunity to appeal to all PDP members wherever they are that, yes, there could be problems, disagreements in a family but it is the responsibility of members of the family not to tear the family apart.â€