By Chidi Obineche
The protracted plot to float a new political party from the embers of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP may have finally sailed off, Sunday Sun learnt at the weekend. Although it has been touted as Advanced Peoples Democratic Party, APDP, it was however found out that no name has been pinned to it as the promoters are still keeping it close to their chest and weighing “ all options “ for optimum results. The new party, which is billed to be launched in November this year, is progressing steadily with those behind it discreetly canvassing for support in their various states of origin and seeking endorsement from acclaimed leaders across the national spectrum and the two leading political parties. Those believed to be shining lights of the new “movement” include former vice president Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, former Kano State governor and presidential aspirant in the 2015 elections Senator Musa Kwankwaso, former Sokoto State governor, Aliyu Wammakko, and Senator Adamu Aliero. Also part of the new scheme is a majority of former governors who served between 1999 – 2007, led by Mr Donald Duke. Intense lobbying and consultations are going on to rein in key members of the National Assembly and the support of some former presidents. While former president Olusegun Obasanjo is positively attuned to the new party, Goodluck Jonathan, Ibrahim Babangida and Shehu Shagari have so far not shown any disposition towards liking the new party. General Abdulsalami Abubakar is however believed to be all for any party that will deepen democracy in Nigeria and actualize the dreams of the people. In a tacit reference to the new development, Obasanjo on September 3, last year emphasized the need for a strong political party outside the APC and PDP. “Today, PDP cannot claim to be a strong party in opposition. I don’t know if APC can claim at the national level to be a strong party in government, either. Now, that is the misfortune of this country today. That being the case, it must be the concern of all Nigerians that the present democratic dispensation must not be allowed to derail. And for it not to be derailed, we must have a strong political party in government and a strong political party in opposition.” he said.
But even as various prognosis and permutations by the emerging stakeholders are on-going, some political leaders in the PDP are feigning ignorance of the emerging party. Former deputy national chairman of the PDP, Chief Bode George told Sunday Sun that he had no information about the party, preferring to stay put in PDP . He said, “ Let them advance to anywhere. We are not informed about it. We are waiting to sort out our problems in the party. You know, when you lose an election all sorts of things begin to play out. We are not a mushroom party. What is happening now is just a flash in the pan. We’ve learnt our lessons. PDP is the only party that is nationalistic” continuing, he said, “We have done our post mortem. You can’t run away from all the options on the table. It is PDP today. It may be APDP or ACD the next day. When we get to the bridge, we cross it. We don’t just jump ship like that. I am a retired military general. We weigh options tactically before we take decisions.”
George bemoaned the crises in the party, which he observed had been exacerbated by the recent judgment of the Court of Appeal on it. According to him, “ let justice run like a stream and righteousness like a river that will never go dry. Any shortcut to justice will never work.” He vowed to sit out in the party to await the judgment of the Supreme Court on the matter, but was non- committal on the next line of action if victory at the apex court still swings to the other side.
The national secretary of the caretaker committee (Makarfi faction) Senator Ben Obi equally said the new political party; APDP exists only in name. “I don’t know anything about it. If anything is happening in a group I belong to, I must know.” Further expressing suspicion that the new party may really be flowering without his knowledge, he said “But you can’t stop people from doing what they want to do, anyway.” He enjoined his party men not to panic over the Appeal Court judgment that was unfavourable to them, since all the legal options had not been exhausted.
For Wali Aminu, former minister of external affairs under the Goodluck Jonathan regime, the formation of the new party as an off spring of the PDP is likely not true. “ I’m not interested in it. I have no idea about it. I doubt if it is true.
I am in Kano now and will be returning to Abuja on Sunday (today) Maybe, when I get there I will find out more about the party.
But I know we are tired of dragging this thing (referring to the leadership tussle in the party). Maybe, those behind it also got tired and decided to go for APDP. I don’t know and can’t talk about something I don’t know about.”
However, a PDP chieftain in Lagos State, accused those he described as “political failures” and “ bad losers” as being behind what he called the “renegade party”. He said, “they were the ones who spoilt PDP. They have started again. They put APC in power. People want to see PDP come back.”Read Full Story