20180617

NewPDP Faces Tension Over Moves To Dump APC

Plans by members of the nPDP to dump the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) appears stalled for now, seven days to the crucial national convention of the ruling party. What's the way forward?

According to The Nation, leaders of the group have come under pressure from their supporters to let them know their next line of action as early as possible, after suspending peace talks with the APC.

The nPDP, which comprises Senate President Bukola Saraki, House of Reps Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Governor Aminu Tambuwwal (Sokoto), Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso and Senator Abdul-Aziz Nyako, among others, wants to exit the APC over alleged marginalisation and harassment of its members by the Presidency.

Nyako said last week that there is no going back on their decision to leave the APC.

He said the group has held talks with the PDP, Social Democratic Party (SDP) and African Democratic Congress (ADC) with a view to picking which one to merge with.

The group is also considering forming a new party, he said.

However, The Nation gathered that confusion has gripped the group with members unable to reach an agreement on how to go about their exit from the APC.

Some members are even said to be opposed to the idea of defection.

Sources familiar with the development said nPDP members rooting for defection are not happy with the APC leadership for its handling of complaints arising from the conduct of the recent congresses of the party in states like Bauchi, Adamawa and Kano.

The nPDP recently pulled out of talks with the presidency, citing alleged continued persecution of Saraki, withdrawal of security aides of the principal officers of the National Assembly and the decision of the Chief John Odigie-Oyegun led NWC to go ahead with the ratification of the congresses from wards, local governments and states where some of its members had issues.

A source in Kano State said many members of the group are surprised at what they see as foot-dragging by their leaders in the face of obvious nonchalance towards its complaints by the presidency and the leadership of the APC.

Such members wonder why the APC is busy with preparations for the national convention without first looking into the grievances of the nPDP.

“We don’t need anybody to tell us that the APC cares less about how we feel,” the source said.

“We are saying we have been sidelined at the ward, local government and state levels of the party, without addressing our complaints, the party is going ahead to use the same processes we are faulting to conduct elections at the national level. What more do we need to see for us to know this is the time to act?

“Unfortunately, some of our leaders are playing some games we don’t understand. We are all stakeholders in this matter and we must all be concerned with common interest and not some personal considerations.

“I hope we will be able to take the right decision as a group. I say this because many of us are very concerned and we are not comfortable with the uncertainty that is now the order of the day in nPDP,” the source, a former Commissioner in Kano State, said.

Other sources told The Nation, however, that contrary to such opinions, some leading chieftains of the nPDP may have tactically resolved to suspend moves about leaving the APC until after the convention.

This, it was gathered, is informed by the willingness of the camp of Saraki to wait and see how some of his men seeking elective positions at the convention will fare.