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
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
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
“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
” 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
“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
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
“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
“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.”
Former House of Representatives Speaker Umar Ghali