PDP Crisis: Baraje resigns as NRC chairman

Semiu Salami
Semiu Salami

The suspended Chairman of the splitter group of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Abubakar Kawu Baraje on Tuesday resigned his appointment as Chairman, Nigeria Railway Corporation Governing Board.

Baraje said in Abuja that the move became imperative to avoid being blackmailed, just as he stressed that the resignation would give him the ample time to concentrate in managing the splitter group of the PDP.

A statement signed by the group’s National Publicity Secretary, Eze Chukwuemeka Eze says “The National Chairman of the New Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP), Abubakar Kawu Baraje, today resigned his position as Chairman, Nigeria Railway Corporation Governing Board to give him room and time to manage the nPDP adequately and avoid any insinuation or plot to use the appointment of his NRC Chairmanship to blackmail or embarrass him in future.

“According to him, the struggle to emancipate and enthrone proper democracy in our polity is a task that must be won. The decision was conveyed through a “LETTER OF GRATITUDE AND RESIGNATION OF APPOINTMENT AS CHAIRMAN, NIGERIA RAILWAY CORPORATION GOVERNING BOARD” addressed to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim.

“The letter personally signed by Baraje said: “I hasten to express my sincere gratitude to His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, through your good office for the confidence he placed in my ability to have appointed me to such an exalted position as Chairman, Nigeria Railway Corporation.

“His Excellency, Mr. President, will recall that this appointment came from his discretion in allotting some positions to our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). However, it is no longer news that there is an ongoing disagreement in principle between some top stakeholders of our party of which I am among on the one hand and the current leadership of the party on the other.

“This quagmire has upturned my belief in the present leadership of our great party and has consequently made my continued stay as the Chairman, Nigeria Railway Corporation Governing Board uncomfortable.

“Realizing that the position of the Nigeria Railway Corporation Chairmanship was allocated to the party and of which I am supposed to symbolize, I would appreciate if your good office could please convey to His Excellency, Mr. President, of my intention to relinquish this position with immediate effect because I can no longer represent the interest of the party whose leadership I no longer believe in.”

Our correspondent however gathered on Tuesday in Abuja that Baraje’s resignation was a coup of sort against forces perfecting strategies to remove him, especially when there were strong indications that the presidency had polarised the board members against Baraje.

Our correspondent gathered that the presidency was using some members of the board, just as the members under the aegis,”concerned members of the Board of Directors of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) have written a letter to President Goodluck Jonathan which was submitted on Monday where they passed a vote of no confidence on him against the backdrop that Baraje had failed to promptly convene board meetings as prescribed by NRC Act.

The Abubakar Baraje led Board of NRC of sixteen non executive and four members drawn from the NRC, Nigeria Port Authority, NPA; Ministry of Transport and that of Labour was inaugurated May 28th, 2013.

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