PDP crisis: Aggrieved members form new party

•Party reschedules BoT, NEC caucus meetings

From Taiwo Amodu, Abuja

Indications have emerged that those not comfortable with the resolution of the leadership crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) in favour of the former Borno State governor, Senator Ali Modu-Sheriff, may have decided to pull out of the party.

A  statutory organ of the party,  Board of Trustees (BoT)which had initially vowed not to accept Senator Sheriff as the new National Chairman of the party last week shelved its opposition following the trouble shooting initiative of the PDP Governors Forum.

At the end of a  meeting held at the Ondo State Governor’s Lodge, the party’s National Working Committee(NWC), the BoT all resolved to abide by the earlier decision of the party’s  National Executive Committee(NEC) which elected the former BoT chairman of  the defunct All Nigerian Peoples Party, (ANPP) as the new PDP National Chairman.

But a new party emerged yesterday citing the failure of members of the party NWC   to throw in the towel after the 2015 general elections and the imposition of Senator Sheriff as reasons for dumping the main opposition party.

Protem National Chairman of the new party, Peoples Mega Party(PMP), Mr Perry Okpara told newsmen that disenchanted members of the PDP  were behind the formation of the new party.

The former chairman of the defunct National Unity Party, expressed regret over the manner the PDP handled the replacement of its former national chairman, Adamu Mu’azu as he noted that the North-east was almost shortchanged.

He said: “ Our party lost at the polls last year and the leadership refused to resign. Again, our brothers from the North-East were shortchanged. Some people from the South-South held on to the slot that should have been conceded to North-East. Unfortunately, all attempts to make them to see reason fell on deaf ears.

“We left the PDP because we were disenchanted with the impunity and high-handedness in the party. We also have our members from the Labour Party (LP) and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).”

Asked to give names of stalwarts of the PDP behind the new party, Okpara told newsmen that there were no big names behind the PMP,  but revealed that “there are people that have assisted us, but for strategic reasons, I won’t mention names for now.”

But Daily Sun checks revealed that Okpara is an ally of Ahmed Gulak,  the erstwhile Special Adviser on Political Matters  to former President, Goodluck Jonathan. Gulak was embroiled in leadership tussle with the Deputy National Chairman, Uche Secondus, who until recently, was the Acting National Chairman.

Gulak had stormed the national secretariat,  claiming that a declaratory  judgment delivered by Justice Hussein Buba of the Federal High Court in Abuja,  on December 15, 2015 asking  Secondus to vacate his office within 14 days equally pronounced himself (Gulak) as the new chairman.

His action was later  countered by the PDP Governors Forum which in its emergency meeting  condemned his action and rejected his claim to the party’s leadership.

Okpara assured that in the new party, all members shall be treated equally and further noted that his party would not play the role of opposition, but distinguish itself as an alternative platform for Nigerians.

“Today marks the beginning of a new dawn. We aren’t going to work as an opposition party, but as an alternative party.

“Any criticism of the government, we shall offer alternatives. From today, Nigerians will know that there is an alternative party.We are going to face issues, not personalities. We aren’t going to engage in name calling,” Okpara said.

Meanwhile, the PDP has fixed an emergency meetings of two of its  crucial organs for Monday, March 7. A statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh disclosed that the meetings of the BoT    would hold at 11am, while the NEC is scheduled for 2pm same day.

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