Posted by Fidelis Mac-Leva, Hamza Idris, Ismaila Mudashir, Muideen Olaniyi & Saawua Terzungw | 15 July 2018 | 3,467 times
Among prominent political leaders who witnessed the MoU signing were: Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, a former Vice President and presidential aspirant, Atiku Abubakar, PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, Buba Galadima, a former Plateau State Governor, Jonah Jang, a former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, Ibrahim Mantu, Sen. Walid Jibril, Sen. David Mark, Tom Ikimi, and Chief Raymond Dokpesi, among others.
Part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the parties reads: “The parties shall ensure that the coalition is committed to working together in support of the single presidential candidate to contest the 2019 Presidential election in order to successfully enthrone a true democrat who will salvage the nation from the misrule of the APC government…”
Although the signing of the MoU is said to be the first among other major steps aimed at producing a consensus presidential candidate that would fly the flag of the merging political parties in the 2019 presidential election, Daily Trust on Sunday findings show discordant tunes are emerging as different conditions are being advanced by key stakeholders in the alliance.
According to Daily Trust, the Buba Galadima-led rAPC members wanted PDP to change its name and also give automatic tickets to chieftains already occupying elective positions they won under the platform of APC who are mostly members of the defunct nPDP that defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2013.
However, the PDP which is the main platform upon which the coalition would confront the APC in 2019 is said to have rejected the demands of nPDP members, including the proposals by those who formed the rAPC recently.
This development, observers say, if left unresolved would undoubtedly pose a serious threat to the actualisation of the main objective of the mega alliance.
The nPDP has the likes of Senate President, Bukola Saraki; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; Governors Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto); Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara) and ex- Governors Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto) Murtala Nyako (Adamawa) and Danjuma Goje (Gombe), among others.
Saraki is the highest political office holder among the promoters of the alliance with a lot of political baggage; both positive and negative. Being the number three citizen, Saraki is believed to have been playing key role in the coalition by proxy through Baraje. The foundation for the crisis that engulfed the APC was laid on June 9, 2015, when Saraki romanced the opposition PDP to emerge as the Senate President.
As things stand now, Saraki is believed to be going into the alliance with a strong base, having a firm control of Kwara politics and sizeable number of his colleagues at the Senate is with him in the journey to sack the APC.
It is widely believed that Saraki in no time will also throw his hat into the presidential race. Sources around him said the Senate President was just counting days to make his presidential ambition public. If he does, he would join other aspirants in the newly formed alliance to oust Buhari.
Daily Trust reveals that when contacted for comment on the defection and presidential ambition of Saraki, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, simply said: “That’s Daily Trust’s permutation. We don’t know anything about that.”
Many have accused the n-PDP, especially Saraki, of being behind the formation of rAPC and at the same time spearheading CUPP movement.
Senator Abdullahi Adamu (APC, Nasarawa West) who spoke at the APC national secretariat on Thursday did not mince words when he said Saraki and others were behind what he called “fraudulent rAPC.”
“He (Saraki) has benefited more than any single new PDP person and he seems to be the arrow head of this resistance of betrayal,” he said.
Discordant tunes over alliance conditions
A source close to a chieftain of the PDP in Kano State said there were disagreements regarding conditions between the PDP national leadership and the rAPC faction which includes Kwankwaso and his supporters.
The source who craved to remain unnamed said the PDP leadership did not accept those conditions because they were unrealistic.
“One is that PDP should change its name and the second is that rAPC’s serving legislators should be given automatic return tickets,” the source said.
Another source said most of the actual people behind the rAPC had remained underground because they wanted to have a solid commitment before appearing in public.
“Remember that only Alhaji Kawu Baraje who is obviously the front for Saraki and Buba Galadima who is among the kitchen cabinet of Kwankwaso appeared during the revolt against the APC and the formation of the rAPC,” the source said.
According to the source, the whole idea about the rAPC is to create division in the APC so that by the time they ultimately seal their deal with the PDP and other parties, most of them holding key positions such as the Senate President and the Speaker would not be impeached.
The PDP was looking at what each individual or groups would bring to the table so that the power sharing formula would be determined, added the source.
Also speaking, Rufai Ahmed, a professor of political science and a key chieftain of the SDP, said alliance was more or less signing of an agreement to cooperate to achieve specific political objectives.
“Under normal circumstances, the alliance is supposed to go from top to bottom and vice versa. Political parties in alliance will agree to field candidates based on their strength at every level. Where they feel a political party has more strength and capacity, it should be allowed to field a candidate. Let’s say at the level of president, I can agree with one in principle. If at the state level, they can also agree.
A source in the PDP who does not want to be quoted said the party wanted something different from what transpired in 2013 when the defunct ACN, CPC, ANPP and a section of APGA surrendered their certificates of registration as political parties and signed their allegiance to the APC.
“What the PDP wants this time around is that all the political parties coming for the alliance should come seamlessly without stringent conditions,” he said.
•Excerpted from a Daily Trust report
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