BY EMMANUEL AZIKEN, Political Editor
Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State and others who left the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP for the All Progressives Congress, APC have spurned President Goodluck Jonathan’s ultimatum to return to the party or lose their seniority in the party.
In separate reactions to the ultimatum handed down at a PDP rally last weekend in Owerri, the defectors said that the president and the PDP burnt the bridge with which they crossed over and that the party left them with no option than to leave.
Governor Nyako in his own response said that he was on a different wavelength with the president in that he was not thinking of seniority but of service to his people.
President Jonathan had at the PDP rally in Owerri last weekend told the defectors to return or lose their seniority in the PDP.
A confidant of Atiku who spoke on his behalf told Vanguard that it was unrealistic for the president to woo the defectors after he kept mute severally when they were being hounded out of the party last year.
“The bridge has been burnt and how can they come back after the president looked the other way when the bridge was progressively destroyed by the Tukur leadership.”
Nyako in his own response said yesterday that he was more disposed to service to the people and not looking for seniority.
“Leadership is about service, it is not about what position you hold, it is not about seniority, you could be a ward chairman or a councilor and still contribute greatly to the development of your community rather than a minister whose only contribution is only to steal money from the treasury,” Nyako said yesterday through his director of media, Alhaji Ahmed Sajoh.
“We are not struggling for position within the PDP or in the nation, our concern is what quantum of development are we likely to contribute to the betterment of the society we find ourselves in and I think that should have been President Jonathan’s major concern not about seniority within the PDP.”
“He can keep his seniority within the PDP, we are not interested in seniority, we are interested in a better Nigeria and to make a better Nigeria, the leadership of this country must think outside the box, must think beyond acquiring power or position for its own sake, but think of acquiring power and position for the development of the country.”
“He is thinking of position, we are thinking of service, he is thinking seniority we are thinking of contribution,” the governor said.
Speaking on behalf of the five governors who left the PDP, Chief Chukwuemeka Eze, the spokesman of the new PDP which collapsed into the APC said yesterday: “With due respect, President Jonathan is simply playing to the gallery. For the avoidance of doubt, Atiku, Amaechi and the other patriots who left the sinking and undemocratic PDP have no intention of returning to the party, either now or in the future.