Ex-Speaker Na’Abba Quits PDP

Former House of Representatives Speaker Umar Ghali Na’Abba yesterday dumped the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) citing frustration with the leadership and the running of the party.

He said it was difficult for Nigerians to know who governs the country and chided President Goodluck Jonathan for dividing the nation along religious and ethnic lines.

There were strong indications last night that Na’Abba could join the All Progressives Congress (APC).

A close aide to the former speaker said: “He may join the APC but he will make his intention known soon.”

Na’Abba told our reporter on the telephone that many parties were seeking his membership “but I’m yet to decide”.

Na’Abba, who was a member of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation and member of the Board of Trustees (BoT), resigned his membership in a March 15 letter to the chairman of Sharada Ward in Kano Municipal Local Government Area.

He sent copies of the letter to the National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, and party chairmen at the local government and state levels.

The letter reads: “You are no doubt aware of the abysmal level to which the leadership of our great country under President Goodluck Jonathan and the Peoples Democratic Party have reduced governance to, as a result of which our great party has been losing its sons and daughters including so many of its founding fathers and members by the day.

“All efforts of critical members and fathers of the party to offer advice remain always unheeded. It pains most of us that majority of the founding fathers that had died like Chief S. M. Afolabi, Alhaji Muhammad Abubakar Rimi, Chief Solomon Lar, Professor Osammor, Chief S. B. Awoniyi etc, all died as a result of their frustration by and with the party.

“Those living, like Dr. Alex Ekwueme, Malam Adamu Chiroma, Dr Shettima Mustapha, Alhaji Asheikh Jarma Dr, Victor Odili, Mr. Isaac Shaahu and many others, are equally living with such frustration. While others, like Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Alhaji Isyaku Ibrahim, Alhaji Musa Gwadabe, two former National Chairmen, Chief  Audu Ogbe and Chief Barnabas Gemade etc have since left the party. The party and the administration clearly possess neither compassion nor empathy.

“The country’s and the party’s leadership have become cabalised to the extent that while Nigerians are aware that they have a President in the person of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, they are at the same time at a loss as to who governs their country. Both Nigeria  and the PDP are left to drift.”

Na’Abba regretted that the nation had been drifting in the last few years.

He said it was regrettable that cartels and shady characters were becoming visible, important and indispensable factors in governance.

The letter added: “In the 16 years the party has been ruling at the centre, the party’s leadership has failed to lead by example. Instead, it has left us with the conventional wisdom that people can not succeed in life unless they are ruthless and unprincipled.

“The party has become characterised by corruption and impunity in the way and manner candidates for elective positions are being selected to the extent that in almost twenty states, crisis has engulfed the party over the gubernatorial primaries and the manner other candidates for other elective positions emerged.

“In short, the party and the country’s leadership have failed to consolidate democratic gains for sister African countries and other transition countries to follow. Instead, under the current leadership, Nigeria is suffering from loss of esteem, as we are now most often consigned to the back seat of international relations.

“Most worrisome is the current anxiety of most Nigerians as the regime wobbles and tumbles toward the oncoming election.

“It has today become incontrovertible that cartels and shady characters are becoming visible, important and indispensable factors in Nigeria’s governance. It appears those at the helm of affairs are more comfortable with such characters of easy virtue than with patriotic and altruistic Nigerians. No doubt, in our country today, the quality of governance is going down by the day.”

Na’Abba queried why critical institutions had been dragged into politics.

The letter said: “Critical national institutions that unify and weld Nigerians together have been dragged into politics, contrary to wise counsel and political correctness. No administration has used religion and ethnicity to divide Nigerians more than the current administration under the leadership of Mr. Goodluck Jonathan.

“ The ultimate test of any leader is looking at what has remained after he is gone.

You will agree with me that such pervasive political behavior should under no circumstances be tolerated by all who subscribe to decent and conscionable political practice.

“I have relentlessly pushed for reform of the internal policies of the PDP individually and collectively, without success. In fact, it is common knowledge that all critical members of the party have been made irrelevant by the party.

“ Members who are pliant and who lack principle and who stand for nothing are always more trusted by the leadership to carry out Party assignments. Such members are said to be ‘loyal’. Such loyalty is nothing but a euphemism for people who stand for nothing. Because no one is trusted by the leadership both at governmental and party levels, only a handful of party men and women are always entrusted with such party tasks as National Conventions, fund raising. Such men and women are now fully re circled. Their faces are today so familiar to the eyes of Nigerians.”

The former Speaker canvassed for change in the country to get out what he described as “inept leadership”.

The letter said: “As a politician with political science background, it is obvious to me that PDP is both self-destruct and irredeemable. Coupled with the regime’s divisive and unpatriotic disposition, Nigeria has become a bye-word for “touch and go”, if examples of contemporary nations are anything to go by.

“The challenge before Nigerians today, in order to secure a new lease of life, therefore, is how to get out this inept leadership that has neither allure nor inspiration. In its place, Nigerians deserve not just a good president, good governors, and other political office holders, but true and exemplary leaders.

“And within this context, leadership that is more truly both transactional and transformative and which have more competence and capacity to govern. Nigeria needs  leaders with a clear vision for the future. Leaders that will lead not from the back, side or front but from within.

“Leaders  that will provide courageous and moral leadership the dearth of which has led to the weakening of political and economic institutions throughout Nigeria.

“For the above and many reasons, effective today 15th March 2015, I hereby tender my resignation from the Peoples Democratic Party, it’s organs, including the Board of Trustees and all other committees to which I belong at national and state levels.

“I pray that your mind and those of other patriots would also be illuminated with truth so that you may also act wisely and accordingly.”

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