Nine PDP Govs float new party, apply for registration

Baring any last minute hitch, a new political party will berth in the already charged Nigerian political turf this week.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) confirmed on Wednesday that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and some Governors of the crisis-ridden ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have applied for the registration of a group, Peoples Progressive Movement (PPM), as a political party.
The commission said it is processing the application.
Kayodu Idowu, Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega, disclosed this to our correspondent on phone.
Daily Independent reliably gathered that among the Governors who are promoting the new political association are Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State, Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, Sule Lamido of Jigawa State and Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano State.
The five Governors have been in the vanguard of dissent within the mainstream PDP.
They have been moving round the country to “consult” with past leaders to “save the country’s nascent democracy.”
Beside the five, there are also indications that Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State and Governor of Taraba may have decided to stake their political lot with the yet to be registered party.
Though it could not be confirmed at press time, the Speaker of the House of Representatives is also said to be sympathetic to the new group.
A former INEC National Commisioner, Mohammed Abubakar, a lawyer who is a close political ally of Atiku, filed the papers at INEC  on behalf of the group.
A source privy to the development told Daily Independent on Wednesday that INEC will meet this week to give the political  group the legal backing. “INEC will definitely meet this week. The party was supposed to be registered at the same time the All Progressives Congress (APC) was registered but for strategic reasons, it was withheld. But that should be done now since all hurdles have been cleared.”
It was also reliably gathered that Atiku may likely pursue his presidential ambition on the party’s platform when it comes on board.
The disagreement of the pro-Amaechi governors with the national leadership of the PDP came into the open on eve of the May 21, Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) election that led to the split in the Governors’ ranks.
One of the factions is led by Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State while the other is being championed by Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State.
The rumpus that followed the widely disputed election result has since escalated the crisis among the Governors, especially those belonging to the PDP.
It was learnt that the new political group petitioned INEC shortly after the registration of APC protesting their non-registration.
“INEC decided not to leak the petition to the media, preferring to sort things out behind the curtains,” our source revealed.
However, INEC chairman’s spokesman on Wednesday debunked insinuations that the commission refused to register the new group.
He also denied that INEC refused to respond to protest letters written by promoters of the political association.
According to Idowu, “There is an application from the group, and you know that there is a procedure for the registration of a political party; the commission is doing that in conformity with the Electoral Act.
“It is not true that the commission has not responded to their protest letter, we sent them a response that their application is being processed,” he added.
In a related development, recent registration of the All Progressives Congress (APC) by INEC has also been described as a “blessing and the most convenient way of removing PDP in 2015.”
This was the position of the 11 APC Governors that met in Lafia, Nasarawa State capital, on Wednesday.
After a three-hour closed-door meeting at the Presidential Lodge, Lafia, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, who spoke on behalf of the others, commended INEC for registering the APC.
He stressed that it is the only way to dislodge the PDP and entrench a virile democracy in the country.
He added that key decisions were taken at the end of the meeting, essentially about the concerns of Nigerians and the way forward.
Reading the communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, Fayemi said strategies to compliment efforts of the interim national executives of APC to strengthen the party were discussed.
The forum also congratulated and expressed confidence in the interim national executives of the APC in their on-going efforts to reposition the party as a credible alternative to Nigerians that are yearning for change.
Apart from Fayemi, the meeting was also attended by Governors Umaru Tanko al-Makura (Nasarawa), Kashim Shettima (Borno), Rafiu Aregbesola (Osun), Babatunde Fashola (Lagos) and Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo).
Others are Abdullazeez Yari (Zamfara), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Adams Oshiomhole (Edo), Rochas Okorocha (Imo, represented by his deputy, Eze Madumere) and with apology from Ibrahim Geidam of Yobe State, who, they said, was in Mecca attending the lesser Hajj.
The APC governors also cautioned the National Assembly against legislating on any aspect of the local government administration in the country, saying that such an action will tilt the country towards a unitary state.



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