President Muhammadu Buhari has called the bluff of the new Peoples’ Democratic Party (nPDP) faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC), National Daily has gathered.
The bloc which has the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara and several others pulled out of the PDP to team up with the APC for the 2015 elections had demanded to meet with the president to discuss some pressing issues.
A presidential source confirmed to National Daily that President Buhari has vowed never to sit down for a discussion with the aggrieved members.
The source said the president made his stance known to governors elected on the platform of the APC when he met them recently.
“The president told the governors as well as national leaders of the party pointedly to resolve the issues,” the source said.
He said the issue was a party matter and he was not ready to sit with any faction.
“It is a party matter. I am not ready to sit down with any faction. If they have problems, they should go to the party. I will not interfere,” Buhari was quoted to have said.
“Governors as party leaders in the states should deal with all issues. Where there is need, the party leadership can come in. I will not get involved.”
Buhari was said to have commended the earlier meeting with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and gave his nod that the discussion should continue.
The source also added that opinions were divided on the issue among the governors that attended.
“Some hardline governors asked the President to ignore the nPDP while the majority felt the party and the VP should continue to talk to them,” the source said.
Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, did not respond to inquiries as of the time of filing this report.
Last week, Kawu Baraje, leader of the nPDP, said the group would take a decision if the ruling party calls its bluff.
He had led the bloc to meetings with the national working committee of the APC and Osinbajo.
But follow-up meeting did not hold in protest of alleged harassment of Senate President Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the House of Representatives, who are members of nPDP.
Baraje had kicked against the withdrawal of some of the security aides of the national assembly leaders, last month.
The security aides were later reinstated.
There are reports that the nPDP would pull out of the ruling party before 2019 elections.