Akin Akande, Abuja
The breakaway faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by Abubakar Baraje on Sunday said it has accepted the Federal High Court ruling in Abuja on Friday that declared Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and his National Working Committee (NWC) as the authentic leadership of the party.
The factional PDP said it accepted the court ruling in good faith and wished to abide by it.
However, Baraje’s faction was quick to add that it would appeal the judgment, noting that it was convinced that it has a good case and was determined to ensure that Tukur and his cohorts were not allowed to hold sway as leaders of the party.
An Abuja High Court last week barred Baraje and others from parading themselves as the ‘new PDP,’ a name Baraje and the faction had promoted using some major Nigerian media houses, and declaring Bamanga Tukur-led National Working Committee as the authentic leadership of the party.
Seven governors with the support of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar had walked out of the PDP’s special convention in Abuja to hold a parallel one but their struggle to wrest control of the party from the Tukur had failed so far.
The faction suffered major setbacks recently when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) refused to recognize but instead declared Tukur as the authentic leader of the party.
The faction in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, warned Tukur and his NWC’s members not to jubilate yet as the battle still continues.
The group stated: “The New Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) under the leadership of Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje has carefully studied Friday’s ruling by the Federal High Court, Abuja, presided over by His Lordship, Justice Elvis Chukwu, which declared the National Working Committee (NWC) headed by Alhaji Bamanga Tukur as the authentic leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“As a group that has a lot of respect for the judiciary, we have accepted the ruling in good faith and wish to abide by it.
“Even so, we have directed our legal team to appeal the judgment as a matter of urgency as we remain convinced that we have a good case and are thus determined to ensure that Tukur and his cohorts are not allowed to hold sway as the leaders of our great party.
“Along this line, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, who just returned from Holy Pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, has convened an emergency meeting of the G7, Stakeholders and the National Working Committee (NWC) of the New PDP to exhaustively discuss the new developments and chat the way forward as there is no going back on our just struggle to rescue PDP from the hands of usurpers.
“We feel nothing but pity for Alhaji Tukur and his NWC, who are already gloating over their ‘victory’ over us and even had the temerity to describe us and our governors as criminals.
“The heavens would fall if we should meet under any platform! By being so uncouth in addressing governors duly elected by Nigerians, Tukur and his disciples have one more vindicated our struggle to flush out these unholy undemocratic elements from our party.
“We are confident that this is one mission which we shall successfully accomplish by the grace of God not minding the use of State Security agencies to harass and intimidate our people,” it said.
The faction also reiterated that contrary to some insinuations in some quarters reflected in a section of the media of division and disunity amongst “our governors and National Assembly members because of our current travails, the fact remains that instead of division, our current travails have strengthen us the more and act as a unifying factor that have shown us that it is a matter of time that the undemocratic elements that have seized our party will be dislodged.”