PDP, APC mistakes may propel new political party
• As Igbo Eye Presidency In 2019
Following irreconcilable ideological and procedural issues, a new political platform seems set to rise from the ranks of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
This is just as the former Special Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan on Inter-party Affairs, Senator Ben Obi, disclosed how some prominent northern leaders released him to work for the Jonathan administration, despite earlier decision by some South East leaders to support a Northern presidential candidate in 2011.
Checks by The Guardian revealed that most politicians in APC and PDP are no longer enthusiastic about the scheme of things in the two parties and are therefore waiting on the wings of the forthcoming national convention of the PDP and final lap of appointments in the APC to declare their new line of action.
It was also gathered that the recent fence mending within the South West caucus of APC, in which the former Ogun State governor, Chief Olusegun Osoba, returned to the party was preparatory to a new political direction for the region.
A source in the presidency, who did not want his name in print, so as “not to endanger group confidence”, told The Guardian that the zone is no longer very much interested in the future of the ruling party, as presently organised, stressing: “time will tell what becomes of APC in no distant time.”
“You know our leaders have a knack for planning ahead; they have seen the way things are going. So, what you are seeing is part of the long-term plan to secure our political future,” he said, adding that there is a plan to hijack the ruling party ahead of 2019.
Further signs of the impeding crack in APC emerged during the zonal caucus of the party in Enugu, where the South East leaders declared their intention to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari, to harmonise Igbo interest in the party.
An indication of what would constitute Igbo interest emerged when a delegate from Imo State, Chief Ezekiel Izuogu, suggested that allowing Igbo to fly the flag of APC in 2019 should be included in the document to be sent to Buhari.
In a communiqué released by the party leaders after the meeting, however, the caucus stated: “APC South East is open to welcoming notable/prominent Igbo personalities into the party. We believe that the political aspirations of Igbo are realisable in the short run in the South East. We mandate all APC South East chairmen to constitute a membership drive/mobilisation committee in their various states to woo credible and notable Igbo personalities into the party.
“The South East APC supports the anti-corruption war of President Muhammadu Buhari and urges Mr. President to go ahead and recover all looted funds.”
The communiqué, which was signed by the National Vice Chairman, South East, Emma Eneukwu, and the Zonal Secretary, Jonah Mkpuruka, noted that after extensive deliberations, the meeting resolved as follows:
“To support President Muhammadu Buhari’s other policies, particularly the capital intervention scheme for micro-credit geared towards empowering women and uplifting the standard of living of average Nigerians.
“We thank the Federal Government for capturing the Second Niger Bridge, Enugu-Onitsha expressway, Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway and Onitsha-Owerri expressway in the 2016 budget. We are confident that Mr. President will implement the 2016 budget as promised.
“We call on all the groups agitating for separation from a united Nigeria, particularly the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), to rethink and abandon the idea and join other ethnic groups in building a formidable united country where all Nigerians will be equally treated in line with the constitution of the Federal Republic.”
The zonal leaders stressed that the South East APC contributed immensely to the success of the party at the federal level and therefore demanded commensurate appointment in the Federal Government.
The Special Adviser to former President Jonathan, disclosed in an interview with The Guardian that when the former president decided to bring him into his cabinet, “I went back to all these leaders: President Babangida, Vice President Atiku, Gen. Gusau and Saraki and to all the 15 northern leaders that were at the meeting.”
He disclosed that he was specifically instructed to ‘go and help him.’Sources in PDP said there is a plan to renew the understanding between South East and Northern leaders, so as to strike a new political pathway to 2019.
National Chairman of United Progressives Party (UPP), Chief Chekwas Okorie, told The Guardian that Igbo have been schemed out of contention in PDP, adding that there is need for a new political thinking for the zone to be relevant politically in Nigeria.