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Saturday, May 16, 2015

PDP Crisis: Party leaders plot change of name, merger with smaller parties

PDP
Top shots of the Peoples Democratic Party have set plans in motion to dissolve the party and merge with other parties with “similar ideology” to form a stronger and fresher coalition after the handover of power on May 29.

The PDP, which has ruled Nigeria since 1999, lost the March 28 presidential election to the opposition All Progressives Congress.

The party also lost its majority position in the two houses of the National Assembly, as well as governorship elections in many states especially in the north where it could only retain Gombe and Taraba states.

The party’s victory in Rivers and Akwa Ibom state is also being threatened by a strong set of evidence of rigging in the April 11 governorship election in the two states.

PREMIUM TIMES investigations revealed that Governors Sule Lamido, Godswill Akpabio, Muazu Aliyu and a few other governors are pushing towards forming an alliance with other parties.

Top PDP members of the party, such former defence chief, Theophilus Danjuma, former finance minister, Adamu Ciroma, and others, are in the lead.

A source, familiar with the moves, informed PREMIUM TIMES that the PDP is planning to merge with the All Progressive Grand Alliance, Labour Party, Kowa, Hope Party and others to form a mega opposition party to challenge the APC. 

“There will be a special convention after the handover on May 29 where a formal merger process will start,” he said.

The spokesperson to Governor Muazu Aliyu of Niger state, Israel Ebije, confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES that Mr. Aliyu is working alongside other colleagues to “take over” the party.

“You are right,” Mr. Ebije said. “There are moves going on along this direction and the plan is to transform the party into a very formidable opposition. Many individuals and of course political parties of like minds would be invited to be on board.”

He also said Governors Lamido and Aliyu decided to stay in the PDP as a matter of principle.
“They cannot leave a house they built to tenants to take over,” he said.

Mr. Ebije said the plan for a new, stronger party may not come as soon as power is handed over.
“The PDP convention will take place on May 15, 2016 and the plan is to take over the leadership with people who can deliver,” he said.

He also said that those pushing for the agenda have concluded that the word PDP has become toxic to Nigerians and that it will be counterproductive to continue to use it as a viable opposition party.

“PDP may go and a new party may emerge, that is the way to go,” he said.

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