The crisis rocking the ruling Peoples Democratic Party may have trickled down to the rank and file of followers of the party on social media.
Seven governors and former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar had formed a faction of the party after they stormed out of the convention held in Abuja on August 31. The faction is led by Abubakar Baraje, an ex- acting National Chairman of the party.
A visit on Tuesday to the Facebook page of the party which boasts a following of over 20, 000 users shows that its fans on the social service are torn between supporting the Bamanga Tukur-led PDP and the Baraje-led faction of the party.
Those in support of the New PDP denounced Tukur as the chairman of the party. Some of them posted the green-white-red umbrella emblem of the party, with the inscription, “New PDP’’, on the Facebook page to drive home their support for the new faction. One Tanko Ibrahim wrote, “Up Abubakar Kawu Baraje, our new national chairman of PDP.’’
A PDP fan, Bagana Kauje-Birniwa, who claims to be resident in Birniwa, Jigawa State, says he welcomes the rebellion in the party. “We must change any wrong in our party. We only know Alhaji Abubakar Baraje, as PDP Chairman,’’ he wrote.
Aligning with the Baruwa’s argument, one Hassan Mohammed-Ndabagi wrote, “I want to urge you all, including the lawless mechanism in place, to allow internal democracy to thrive at all levels of party activities. Enough of illegal suspension, expulsion etc without giving people chance to respond to issues.’’
Also, Zaharaddeen Sule, commenting on one of the Facebook status updates of the party, labelled the Tukur-led PDP as the “unpatriotic faction.”
He wrote, “Sir, we will never obey your unpatriotic faction. We recognise only the Baraje led-PDP. Also your claim to unseat the elected leaders in our dear faction is considered a lie, impossible, null and void. Baba, we no need you; go back and seek forgiveness for your past deeds.’’
But the party’s fans who pledged support for the Tukur-led PDP, cautioned the break-away faction against causing chaos with their actions and urged them to pitch their tent with any of the opposition parties instead of laying claims to the name of the party.
One Pomak Retchen canvassed support for the Tukur-led faction and described members of the breakaway group as “traitors.’’
Retchen wrote, “Let’s rally support for Tukur. Our enemies are praying for Tukur to give up so that their candidate can be flag bearer. The so-called new PDP must surely fall! They’re traitors.’’
Calls were also made on the President and leadership of the party to “crush’’ the rebellion as much as possible before the situation goes out of hand.
“Jonathan has my support to call a bluff and also crush those recalcitrant members before it’s too late. This is a joke gone too far.’’ one Nnamdi Ukasanya said.
Some respondents on the Facebook page urged the Independent National Electoral Commission to declare vacant the seats of members of the New PDP who are legislators in both the National Assembly and state houses of assemblies. “If you are not in the main PDP that means you are out of PDP. So, INEC should declare their seats vacant. The provision is there, since they have openly declared themselves as non-members of the INEC-recognised PDP,’’ one Agbasonu Stanley noted.
Meanwhile, a handful of Facebook followers of the party appear to be neither here nor there. Some of those who fall into this category stated in their posts that they don’t care about the resolution or otherwise of the crises rocking the party.
A particular fan of the party, Shobayo Olumuyiwa, stated that he prays that the crises never end in due course.
Olumuyiwa said, “This kind of disagreement will never be resolved in Jesus name. This is because their agreement is to keep on enslaving the people they pretend to govern.
“How on earth will a former lecturer with a doctorate degree abandon issues pertaining to the industrial action embarked by the Academic Staff Union of Universities? God will scatter any party whose sole aim is to perpetuate poverty in this country. Many Nigerian leaders are satanic.”
Another follower of the party on Facebook, Prince Awelewa Temitope, said, “The problem we have today in Nigeria as an underdeveloped nation is caused by the so-called larger party (PDP). Before we all believed in this party, but now the people have been deceived.
“All of you are fighting for your pockets not for the benefit of Nigerian youths or nation’s future. To my able President Goodluck Jonathan, when things go wrong like this, as an educationist you should know what to do. Subtle 2015 campaigns by this time are very unfair.’’
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