More trouble for PDP, Our govs can’t join APC —PDP



•As founding members regroup

The  leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the claim of All Progressive Congress (APC) leaders that some PDP state governors would defect to the opposition party as unrealistic.

Debunking the suggestions in Abuja on Saturday, the National Publicity Secretary of the ruling party, Chief Olisa Metuh, said that there was no chance that its governors would contemplate leaving PDP to join the yet to be registered party.

Describing the reports as false and intended to deceive Nigerians, the PDP said all its governors were working with the party leadership and the President, saying that there was no cause for any one of them to contemplate leaving the ruling party for the APC that was yet to have an operational structure.

The PDP National Publicity Secretary said the fact that the PDP took the high moral ground of decency to congratulate the opposition on the formation of the APC did not cover the new party’s inadequacies and its destiny to fall apart in no time.

According to the party spokesman, “Nobody leaves a moving train to join an inoperable one. That the PDP took the high moral ground of decency that we are known for, to congratulate the opposition parties on the formation of their new party does not cover its inherent inadequacies.

“So there is no PDP governor that will leave a stable and national party such as the PDP to join the APC. All our governors are working with the National Chairman and the National Working Committee and the President and there is no reason for anyone of them to contemplate leaving PDP for APC.”

The PDP also dismissed claims by the opposition that there was disunity in its ranks saying instead, that the PDP governors had been paying courtesy calls on the leadership of the party in addition to making public statements that they were with the party leadership and the President in his transformation agenda.

Confident that the opposition elements would soon realise that they were merely chasing shadows, the PDP said it enjoyed an overwhelming support from the people and would win more states in the 2015 elections in spite of the APC.

Meanwhile, the PDP may have launched a counter-offensive with strategic moves to tame the new grand opposition coalition.

Investigations among top caucus of the ruling party indicated that the new party is taken seriously as a potent threat, with reports indicating that measures are being designed to contain the fall outs of the merger.

One of the first steps, according to impeccable sources, is the resolution of the competition for supremacy within the party through a give and take arrangement among the competing interests within the party.

“Efforts to reconcile the warring leaders is now being stepped up. The president and former president Obasanjo are to be reconciled as quickly as possible. That is part of the London trip. We have to achieve this without further delay,” a party chief told the Sunday Tribune in Abuja.

The party chief said the disagreement is the source of much haemorrhage within the party, adding that “the new coalition has forced us all to make peace and make sacrifice.

“We are not jittery, mind you. But we want to be realistic and we don’t want to take Nigerians for granted. So we have a duty to tidy up our house,” the party chief said.

Another party chief from Kaduna told our correspondent that the party is also pushing to resolve the standoff between the governors and the president, adding that “the issue between the president and the governors goes beyond the rift between Obasanjo and the president.

“The problem is deeper. Our governors are afraid of the future and the president is yet to reassure them about the future. Some of our governors are ambitious and the president is yet to integrate them into his overall plan for 2015.

“But we cannot afford mutual destruction. So there will be reconciliation meeting. The president must meet the governors half way. Both sides must make concessions and that is where the difficulty lies now,” he said.

Investigations also revealed that the PDP, aside cleaning up its house, may also deploy its extensive influences to either weaken the new party or make it impotent between now and 2015.

Sunday Tribune was told that series of meetings have been lined up for this week in Abuja, even as reports indicated that the much delayed National Executive Committee meeting of the party may hold soon.

It was specifically gathered that three strategy meetings are lined for this week, involving key loyalists of the president, inter-groups caucus and another involving stakeholders from the state levels.

Meanwhile, few days after major opposition parties in the country merged to form the All Progressives Congress (APC) to challenge the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the party may have had its problems compounded, as the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM), a major force within the PDP, has selected a new set of leadership to guide it ahead of the politics of 2015.

The movement, a political machinery founded by the late elder brother of former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, Sheu, boasts of influential members of the PDP as its members, and was believed to have played major roles in the politics of the party in the past, had its influence whittled down following the victory of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo for a second term in office as president of the country and national leader of the PDP.

The PDM, which met in Abuja, last week, where it resolved to continue its repositioning in an apparent bid to be a major political player in the run up to the 2015 elections, chose the leadership under a National Management Committee that included Senator Abubakar Mahdi, national chairman; Chief Bode Ajewole, deputy national chairman; Chief Dubem Onyia, national secretary; Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim, director of research & planning and Prince Tonye Princewill, director of organisation.

Others are Dame Titi Ajanaku, director of women affairs; Alhaji Murtala Shehu Yar’Adua, director of youth affairs and Abdullahi Shuaibu Yeman, director of finance.

The movement also approved new zonal, state, senatorial and Local Government area management structures across the country to take effect immediately.

The meeting was attended by the national officers of the movement, state coordinators, women and youth leaders from the 36 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

According to a communiqué released, the PDM reviewed current developments in Nigeria and lamented “the culture of corruption and judicial collaboration which has engulfed the country,” condemning “the recent sentencing of a convicted criminal for a period of two years with the option to pay a paltry N750, 000 as fine for stealing a whopping sum of N33bn of pension funds.

“The era of business as usual should be dead and gone. Politicians must begin to do things differently. Nigerians are sick and tired of more of the same and are clamouring for change, a change which they deserve,” the communiqué read in part.

Source: Tribune



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