PDP disowns hatchet man, Ikenga; says ACN behind “APC” name crisis for attention

Former PDP Deputy National Chairman, Bello Mohammed and Ikenga Ugochinyere

The ruling party says opposition are merely seeking attention and sympathy

The governing Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has denied it is behind the “APC” name crisis that has engulfed opposition parties seeking alliance, disowning a party hatchet man, Ugochinyere Ikenga, named as the instigator of the feud.

Multiple media investigations have exposed Mr. Ikenga, a card-carrying member of the PDP, as the individual behind the formation of African Peoples Congress, APC, a rival controversial group seeking to be registered as a political party under the acronym “APC” already adopted by a merger of four opposition parties.

The effort is suspected to be aimed at thwarting the new coalition, namely Action Congress of Nigeria, Congress for Progressive Change, All Nigeria Peoples Party and All Progressive Grand Alliance, seeking to form the All Progressives Congress.

A figure well known to similar underhanded deals at the behest of the ruling party, Mr. Ikenga’s scheme this time, to launch the new party, has struck off intense crisis between the opposition parties and the PDP, accused of backing him.

In a statement on Saturday, the PDP denied the allegation, a refutation it has repeatedly made. The party said Mr. Ikenga’s past, which saw him also lead a campaign against the current chairman of the party, Bamanga Tukur, had rendered him an “estranged fellow” who cannot be an agent of the party.

“To the best of our knowledge, no member of the PDP is involved in the formation of any other political organization, neither are we interested in the activities of any other Party,” the party said in a statement signed by spokesperson, Olisa Metuh.

“The alleged involvement of one Ugochinyere Imo Ikenga in the formation of the other APC has no bearing whatsoever on us. From our findings, Mr. Ikenga’s recent activities, including his unsavoury attacks and illicit campaign for the dissolution of the the Bamanga Tukur led National Working Committee makes him an estranged fellow and therefore can never be an agent of the PDP in anyway.”

The party accused the opposition, led by the ACN, of staging the crisis to gain sympathy and popularity.

“We strongly suspect that the current drama on ownership of name may have been contrived by the ACN to attract attention to themselves and earn undue sympathy,” it said.

“This plot has played out in the sudden emergence and withdrawal of a third group bearing the acronym APC. The question is, could the merger group be creating a scenario where they would compete within themselves and claim “victory” after overheating the polity with phantom parties? The capacity of our opposition for mischief has never been in doubt. We will not be surprised to find out at the end of the day that the merger parties are behind this needless crisis”

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