LEON USIGBE writes on the possibility of aggrieved members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) joining the Action Democratic Party (ADP) to escape Senator Ali Modu Sheriff. IF aggrieved members of the Peoples Democratic Party [...]
LEON USIGBE writes on the possibility of aggrieved members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) joining the Action Democratic Party (ADP) to escape Senator Ali Modu Sheriff.
IF aggrieved members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were to heed that advice of Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, they would be on their way out of the party pretty soon. The former aviation minister, in a fit of anger over the Court of Appeal’s judgment which reinstated Senator Ali Modu Sheriff as the National Chairman of the leading opposition party, suggested that well-meaning members should leave the “carcass” of the PDP for the former Borno State governor. If that happens, one party that stands to benefit will arguably be the Action Democratic Party (ADP). The new party has already submitted its documents for registration to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and it’s looking to be the new mega party to provide accommodation for all interests.
Most PDP leaders, it would appear, cannot stand Sheriff at the moment and see no possibility of them remaining under the same umbrella. They have said, as Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State put it pointedly, “no to Sheriff.” But an unyielding Sheriff is not prepared to cede an inch of territory which is now legally in his hands until at least another Supreme Court pronouncement on the leadership crisis. For Fani-Kayode, there may not no need to wait that long. Members should simply dump the PDP for a new party and let Sheriff have the empty shell.
The Interim National Chairman of the ADP, Alhaji Yabagi Sani, believes that the party will be the natural habitat of people aggrieved in the other parties and for others who are disappointed with the current state of things in the country. He said that the ADP has come to rescue the political space that is crumbling and people of like minds must therefore team up with the new party to realise Nigeria of their dreams.
He told the Nigerian Tribune: “Well, like you know, politics has come to a crossroads and there’s an urgent need for discerning politicians and concerned citizens of this country to do something to rescue democratic institutions in this country because if political parties are weak or are being weakened by internal squabbles, what it means is that democracy will disappear.
“You have a situation where the president or governor will rule in an autocratic manner. And that will be a disservice to this country because if at this point in time we cannot manage the development of democratic institutions, particularly the political parties, I don’t know what we will tell posterity.
“We have come on board to answer the clarion call to rescue the political space that is about to collapse. You just need to take a look at what is happening in the mainstream parties, the APC, the PDP and definitely, you know the cookie is crumbling and it will crumble. We don’t want to wait until everything is gone before we pick the pieces. No. Let’s rescue the situation.”
The Chairman of the PDP National Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi and the Chairman of the party’s Strategy and Inter Party Committee, Professor Jerry Gana, had already hinted that the PDP was looking forward to working with other political parties to devise ways to wrest power from the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2019. If the National Caretaker Committee does not have its way at the Supreme Court, it will not be unthinkable to project that many PDP members sympathetic to the committee may find their ways into a party like the ADP. This will gladden Sani who is sure that the ADP stands ready to be Nigeria’s party of choice going into the 2019 election which he says the new party is poised to win.
“Ask anybody on the street today, they know of the existence of the mega party. Everything has crumbled. So, we have come to rescue the situation. So, this is a clarion call to all compatriots. All citizens should come together and give ADP the support it deserves,” he said.
The Interim party chairman is confident that with the current nationwide membership mobilisation effort and the expected deluge of defectors of talents from other political parties, the ADP will not only win power in 2019 but will give Nigeria what other political parties have failed to produce. He is hopeful the party can create the necessary environment for the youth to thrive and for government to be able to realise its objectives unlike what he says is obtainable now where, according to him, the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is groping in darkness.
But things may not fall in as easy as that. Though the Makarfi-led PDP appears united so far in the buildup to the Court of Appeal ruling in Port Harcourt, which gave power back to Sheriff, managing a united PDP front in the aftermath of that ruling may not be an easy task for the Makarfi group.
There are talks of cracks already emerging within the ranks of the PDP stakeholders in the National Assembly, while no one really knows what would happen with a prolonged PDP crisis.
It has been said that with Sheriff taking over the Wadata Plaza of the PDP and his backing by the police authorities, the time might be here when the loyalty and resilience of the PDP stakeholders would be tested.
Can PDP stakeholders withstand the allure of automatic tickets in 2019 to contest elective offices if they are assured by the Sheriff faction? The fact that Sheriff is already re-painting the Wadata Plaza and giving it a new look could be a bait to drag as many loyalists of the Makarfi-led PDP as possible to fold and leave the mainstream PDP in shells.
On Monday, the cracks started emerging among members in the National Assembly as some started showing face on both sides of the divide.
For instance, a media report credited to Senator Fatimah Raji Rasaki indicated that she was backing the Sheriff faction against the decision of Governor Ayo Fayose who had pledged the support of all Ekiti stakeholders to Makarfi faction.
A member of the House of Representatives who represents Ijebu North/East/Ogun Waterside Federal Constituency, Adesegun Adekoya had said that many lawmakers in both the Senate and the House were behind Sheriff.
He was quoted in the media as saying: “You can quote me anywhere any day. We are for Sheriff. As a lawmaker, I should not be a lawbreaker. All the people in my constituency, down to the last councilor, are for Sheriff.
“In Ogun, we have two PDP members: myself and my second (Oladipo Adebutu). He is for Makarfi; yes, that is his choice. “But, I am for Sheriff. That makes it 50-50.
“If you go to Osun State, Hon. Wole Oke is for Sheriff. Go and check in all the states, you will find out that many of us are for Sheriff.
“That is why they always prefer secret voting because what they say in the open is not the truth.”
Even though the ADP may have thrown its doors open for the the Makarfi-led PDP, politics is a fluid game. As such, the PDP may yet find a way out of the present logjam and retain its identity. If not, the ADP is primed to provide the required solace for escapees from the former ruling party.Read Full Story