The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has emerged as the arrowhead of a plot to coalesce all opposition parties and groups for the purpose of dislodging the All Progressives Congress (APC) from power in next year’s elections.
The party is already reaching out to such opposition parties and groups, The Nation gathered authoritatively yesterday.
Many power brokers across the land are said to be in support of the move.
“There is not going to be a divided opposition against APC. All opposition parties will coalesce to fight APC in 2019,” a highly placed source familiar with the plan said last night.
“We have discovered that unless we sink our differences and slug it out with APC, which is a common enemy, we cannot unseat the ruling party or defeat President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019,” the source said.
The PDP, he added, will not underrate the battle ahead, hence its determination “to reclaim power at the first ballot.”
Continuing, he said: “There are many talks/ discussions at various levels on the way forward for Nigeria in 2019, especially how to defeat APC.
“Some of these talks are at the level that people do not think about.”
Reminded about the exit of some PDP leaders to the Social Democratic Party (SDP), the source claimed that the SDP “cannot stand alone.”
He was confident that the PDP and SDP would “work together at the end of the day. So, we will all end up under the same roof.
“By the time we come out stronger, the battle would have been half won by the opposition.”
Meanwhile, fresh facts emerged yesterday on why some founding fathers like Prof. Jerry Gana and Prof. Tunde Adeniran left PDP for SDP.
A top source in PDP said: “We were aware that they were just aggrieved because their candidate did not win the chairmanship election at the National Convention of our party.
“They had been in control of the PDP and used to determine its affairs for a long time.
“They used to be in charge and they could not imagine themselves not calling the shots anymore.
“We are not bothered because some of those who defected from PDP to SDP have not even won councillorship seat or any election since 1999.
“They have been living on PDP like parasites. They have benefited from the party and they have dumped the party that has shot up their profile.”
Ex-Information Minister Jerry Gana and ex-Education Minister Tunde Adeniran are among the first set of PDP stalwarts to quit the PDP for the SDP.
The rest include a former Military Administrator of Katsina State, Sen. Joseph Akaagerger; Chief Mike Oghiadhome, who is a former Chief of Staff to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan; ex-Governor Saminu Turaki of Jigawa State; and ex-Minister of Defence, Dr. Olu Agunloye and a former Deputy Speaker of Ondo State House of Assembly, Dare Emiola.
Also teaming up with SDP are a former member of the House of Representatives, Dr. Junaid Mohammed; Sen. Bassey Ewa Hensaw; a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Olamide Oni; Supo Shonibare (South-West Zonal chairman of SDP), Dipo Olaitan (a former leader of the Alliance for Democracy in the House of Representatives); a former Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly, Kehinde Ayoola; Amb. Yemi Farounbi; leaders of the Middle Belt Forum; Mr. John Dara; the leaders of the National Intervention Forum led by Dr. Tafawa Balewa; and Amb Bejide; Shehu Gabam.
The SDP and the Gana-led team from the PDP on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work together.
Jointly signed by Falae (for SDP) and Prof. Gana (for Movement for a New Political Order), the MoU reads in part: “Whereas on the 12th Day of February 2018, a joint resolution was adopted at Sheraton Hotel Abuja, for working together to ensure the emergence of a new and credible political order to deepen democracy, good governance and genuine development, with peace, security and social justice. The said meeting also unanimously resolved to build:
1. a) a restructured, balanced equitable and truly functional Nigerian Federation:
2. b) a humane ,free, self-reliant and democratic society;
3. c) a dynamic, productive, transformed and sustainable economy;
4. D) a just, fair, egalitarian and peaceful nation
5. e) a land of bright and full of opportunities for all Nigerians; and
6. f) a national culture of raising good leaders through effective mentoring;
“Whereas, it was also agreed that the proposed movement shall be directed, driven and defined by such core values as: 1). Justice, fairness, equity and progress; 2). Democracy, good leadership, good governance and sustainable development; 3). Transparency, integrity, truth and honour; 4). Accountability and zero tolerance for corruption; 5). Respect for human dignity, human rights and sanctity of human life;; and 6). Peace, security, harmony, cooperative solidarity, within the rule of law; and 7). International cooperation for a common humanity within a secure and peaceful order.
” Whereas, the movement further resolved to be inspired and motivated by the ideals of social democracy, with great emphasis on: the triumph of social justice; the nobility of human dignity; the harmony of fairness and equality; the power of working together in solidarity; the excellence of good governance, driven by good leadership; the wisdom of reforms and transformation far beyond mere growth; the horror of poverty, demanding eradication; the dignity of prosperity; the imperative of democracy and the security of peace with justice
“Whereas with due reference to these objectives, core values, and ideals, a Strategy Committee was mandated to search for a suitable, popular, meaningful and widespread platform, with a name that already resonates with the people and to make appropriate recommendations; and
“Whereas, the Strategic Committee, comprising representatives from all the six geopolitical zones of the Federation, have met and submitted their report, unanimously recommending the adoption of Social Democratic Party(SDP) vehicle by the movement for a new political order:
“Therefore, we hereby resolutely agree to: (a) Fuse together into one political form; (b) adopt the Social Democratic Party(SDP) as the political vehicle for the fused political formation; (c) Convene a non-elective convention for Saturday, 14th April, 2018; (d) authorize the National Working Committee to serve as the Interim Management Committee until the said convention; Set up a National Steering Committee of 12 members to guide the Interim Management Committee during the transition period; Raise a Constitution Review Committee to consider all necessary amendments to the party constitution.”
Dr. Mohammed, speaking on the arrangement said: “Those involved in SDP are the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), Peoples Salvation Party (PSP), the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and some elements of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). It was like a merger but we do not want to call it so because the All Progressives Congress (APC) has destroyed the concept of merger.
“I am an optimist. I believe SDP will make a great impact. The main reason I want to be associated with it is because it is ideologically driven. Even it was not ideologically driven before it has to be ideologically driven.”
A top source in the SDP said: “The SDP has been approached by the Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM) which has been founded by ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo. We are hopeful that our ongoing talks will be fruitful.
“We share common ideals with the CNM on how to move the nation forward.”