By Simon Ebegbulem
BENINâ€”FORMER Foreign Affairs Minister and chieftain of Action Congress (AC), Chief Tom Ikimi, yesterday, debunked reports that he was on his way back to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Chief Ikimi, who expressed surprise when Vanguard met him to clarify his stand on the report, acknowledged that he was a member of a group that had been meeting with the former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and others, to find a formidable opposition to the PDP, but that no agreement or decision had been reached on the issue.
It was reported last Wednesday that associates of the former vice-president, includeding Chief Ikimi, might return to their former party, the PDP, after they expressed frustrations in mobilizing a national opposition to the party.
But reacting, Ikimi asserted that â€œit is not such a simple matter for a person of my status to simply come one morning and say I am now going back to the PDP, after all, I was in the PDP before.
â€œEveryone remembers the effort I made to give the PDP credibility when I conducted the primaries that selected Obasanjo in 2003 for a second term. After that, the PDP took actions that we were not able to reconcile ourselves with. They de-registered all members who they felt did not fall in line with their plans and plots.
â€œThen, we discovered that the plans and plots, included giving Obasanjo a third term or life presidency we did not want and we fought it. Eventually, we had to file behind Atiku Abubakar when he was being hounded by the former president.
â€œThese issues were so fundamental that they caused us to depart from the party and form another party. And I am not aware that the situation has changed in the PDP to such an extent that I will voluntarily go and join the PDP at this time.”