A former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Richard Akinjide (SAN), has expressed concern over the crises rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and attempts by certain people to “shake the party into certain directions.”
Akinjide, who is a foundation and Board of Trustees (BoT) member of the PDP, stated this in a statement entitled: “The PDP and the Game of Nations,” signed by him and made available to newsmen in Ibadan, on Sunday.
The most senior lawyer in the country particularly expressed worry that the schism in the party had affected the South-West region, which played a critical role in the country’s independence, and sued for peace and unity in the party ahead of the 2015 general election.
Apparently referencing the loss of majority in the House of Representatives by the PDP following the defection of 37 lawmakers from the party to the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), he charged the leadership of the party to invoke Section 68 Sub-Section 1 of the 2011 Electoral Act which asks a defecting National Assembly member to vacate his or her seat.
Akinjide, who was also the Minister of Education in the First Republic, called on Nigerians to throw their weight behind President Goodluck Jonathan for national interest to be achieved, warning that plotting against the president would lead to negative consequences for the country.
He warned the political class against “excessive greed,” adding that the country is “so large the game of nations for the government during our time is available to all.”
“In 1910 and 1914, we contracted our marriage. All parts of Nigeria are the beneficiary of that marriage… For the first time in the history of Nigeria we have a gentleman from the Niger Delta as the president of Nigeria. I say categorically that we must give him all our support.
“I hereby urge all Nigerians to be loyal to Mr President and to the PDP and to control their personal emotions. Again, I repeat that the PDP must remain as one united political party. We are all in the game of nations,” he said.
“The history of Nigeria cannot be complete without the names of these founding fathers: Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Sir Ahmadu Bello, and others.
“We now have one of our brothers from the Niger Delta as the President. I say categorically, without doubt, that we must support him in our national interest. Any contrary move will have negative and serious consequences.
“We must appreciate that the Berlin Conference provoked the creation of the various states in Africa. Originally, Africa was almost an empty shell in the game of nations,” he said.