Posted by News Express | 17 August 2013 | 5,379 times
Acclaimed “Mr. Fix It” of Nigerian politics, Chief Tony Anenih, has a hand in the revival of the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM), whose registration as a political party was confirmed yesterday by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), News Express can reveal this morning.
Investigations by News Express showed that Anenih, the incumbent Board of Trustees Chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was one of the party’s chieftains who attended the August 29, 2012 Rejuvenation Meeting of the PDM held at the Shehu Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja, the Nigerian capital. Other PDP heavyweights who graced that meeting attended by delegates from all the 36 states of the federation and Abuja included Alhaji Lawal Kaita and Ambassador Yahaya Kwande.
When Anenih’s presence at the meeting was about to become an issue, the old fox convinced the party’s leadership that there was nothing to fear as there was no plan by the PDM, one of the main component units of the PDP, to break away.
It was as a result of this that the then PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, stoutly defended Anenih’s presence at the PDM meeting, quoting Anenih as saying that he was there to re-emphasise the oneness of the PDP as a political party. “I have it on good authority that he told them that we don’t have division within the party,” Metuh had said.
Also, contrary to his claims not to have anything to do with the new party, News Express can confirm that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar is very much involved in the PDM. Addressing delegates at the August 29, 2012 Rejuvenation Meeting, Alhaji Lawal Kaita had told them that Atiku could not make it to the meeting due to cold. Atiku, through Kaita, apologised for his absence and pledged his unalloyed commitment to the group.
Founded by the late General Shehu Yar’Adua, “the PDM structure,” according to media consultant Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, “was instrumental to the emergence of the late Chief M.K.O Abiola as the flagbearer of the SDP (Social Democratic party). The late Abiola went on to contest the June 12, 1993 presidential election and was coasting home to victory until the election was annulled by Gen. Ibrahim Babangida.
“By then, the influence of the PDM had become very visible for any student of the politics and power not to note. His political structure (the PDM) was reputed to have provided the platform upon which former President Olusegun Obasanjo rode to power in 1999. Indeed, most of the leading members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at inception were leading members of the PDM.”
The new PDM is chaired by Chief Bode. Alhaji Inuwa Baba, former Chief Protocol Officer under President Olusegun Obasanjo and late Shehu Musa Yar’Adua administrations, is also said to have worked behind the scenes to ensure PDM’s revival and registration as a political party.
•Photo shows Anenih.
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