Amaechi, six other govs float new party

LAGOS—The crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, took a turn for the worse, weekend, with the decision of seven of the party’s 23 governors to float a new party, the Voice of the People, VOP.
The application for registration by the new party, it was learnt at the weekend, has been filed with the Independent National Electoral Commission, which is processing it. A source in INEC contacted on the development, yesterday, said he was unable to confirm the veracity or the stage of the application.
The party, it was learnt, is receiving the patronage of several chieftains of the PDP.
The seven governors alleged to be behind the new party include all five Northern governors that have engaged in a series of consultation with eminent statesmen, including former heads of state. The five governors are Murtala Nyako of Adamawa ; Rabiu Kwankwanso of Kano; Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto; Sule Lamido of Jigawa and Babangida Aliyu of Niger State. The five governors are being joined in the rebellion against the PDP by Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara and Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State.
Another governor is also sympathetic to the proposed VOP, but his identity could not be confirmed as at weekend. The inclinations of Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal towards the new party have also not been confirmed though it was learnt that he has been approached.
The decision of the governors to move out of the PDP came ahead of the special national convention of the PDP this weekend. Governor Amaechi who has been suspended has not been invited to the convention but the decision of the other six to pull out of the PDP could come as a blow to the PDP given the electoral weight of the states involved.
With Sokoto, Kano and Jigawa states out of control of the PDP and the Southwest totally out of control of the ruling party, the PDP would be reduced to playing second fiddle in the Northwest and Southwest regions whose total voters’ population is more than 40% of the national voting population.
There were indications that last Friday’s private meeting between Governor Kwankwaso and President Goodluck Jonathan was a last minute bid to stop the governor and his colleagues from the rebellion.
Though associates of Speaker Tambuwal in the House of Representatives claimed ignorance of his involvement or knowledge of the new party, there were nevertheless suspicions that the involvement of Governor Wamakko could inevitably lead the speaker into the emerging party.
Speaker Tambuwal has been severally flayed by some PDP associates for his close ties with opposition political parties.
The decision of the governors to float a party instead of teaming up with the All Progressives Congress, APC, it was gathered,  flowed from deep suspicions between the governors and some of the promoters of the APC.

One of the governors involved in the new party had told Vanguard that General Muhammadu Buhari and Mallam Nasir El-Rufai who are among the champions of the APC were missing when activists fought for democracy during military rule.

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