New party accuses its zonal leaders of holding secret meeting with PDP leaders to destabilize it.
The Peoples Democratic Movement, PDM, said on Monday that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar was free to contest the 2015 presidential election on its ticket.
The new party also accused some of its zonal leaders of holding a meeting with leaders of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to deride its registration.
The National Chairman of the PDM, Bashir Yusuf, who spoke in Abuja, said though Mr. Abubakar had restated this membership of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, he (former vice president) and others who belong to other parties, could join it to seek elective office in the country.
“It is not for me to say Atiku is a member of PDP and not PDM. I have read in certain papers where he asserted his membership of the PDP,” Mr Yusuf said.
“So unless he becomes a member of PDM we are not going to start talking about whether he will use our platform or not. But this gives me an opportunity to say everybody is welcome and join us and be members of PDM.”
He lambasted some of its zonal leaders who he alleged were part of the decision to register PDM as a party, for turning around to disown it.
Some of them include a former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dubem Onyia, former Senator Abubakar Madhi (PDM national leader), Kabiru Bawa, Ifeanyi Araraume, Shuaibu Oyedokun and Shuaibu Abdullahi.
They had issued a statement in which they denied being part of the moves to register PDM.
Mr. Yusuf alleged that they turned around to deny PDM because some leaders of the PDP invited them to a meeting where they were persuaded to deny their membership of the new party.
He said, “Politics in Nigeria is characterized by falsehood, hypocrisy and treachery. If you don’t know how to do this by the definition of most Nigerian politician you are not a good politician.
“This same people who have become so outspoken about not being members of PDM we don’t begrudge them for being members of PDP. It is their choice. Nigeria is a free country and the constitution guarantees freedom of association. But the same freedom they have to associate with PDP is the same freedom we have to associate with the PDM and I don’t see any conflict here. People are looking for crisis where none exist at all.
“We started this journey together we took the decision to register the PDM as a political party together. Admittedly of all those who signed that they were not in support of the registration only three were part of the defunct management committee of PDM. And that management is no longer in existence with the registration of PDM. It was supposed to be the management of registering the PDM itself. And that process has been concluded.
“Only ten days after the process was done by INEC I went to management committee and presented them with the registration of PDP this same people where part of the meeting and I was commended for leading the registration process of PDM as a political party. There was a resolution that congratulated me for successfully registering PDM as a political party.
“But you know we are up against a very vicious behemoth called the PDP. Before you know it some of the people were called in and I have heard so many stories. I don’t want to rely on stories but, their story began to change, they said we were never part of it.”
Mr Yusuf also recounted that there were three review meetings to “decide whether we should proceed with the registration of PDM or not were held and in all of them, everybody was asked to raise their hand to committee to the registration of PDM.
“Out of the eight of us, seven attended. Only one person sent a text message that we should suspend. So, all the other six raised their hands to reaffirm their commitment to our decision to register PDM, including Senator Madhi and Dubem Onyia. I was the only one who did vote and decided to go by what they decide. This meeting took place at Shehu Yar’Adua Center.
“Seven of us attended the meeting but the other six raised their hands to reaffirm their commitment to continuous registration of PDM until the conclude delivery of the project. But at the right time I would reveal some documentations of what transpired. We will bring out documentary evidence to show what happened.
The PDM national chairman described the PDP as a sinking ship, stating that the ruling party had drifted from its original ideals.
Stating that members of the PDM did not break away from the PDP as being insinuated, Mr Yusuf said he and others floated the new part because the ruling party had left Nigeria and Nigerians.
“We didn’t actually split from PDP. What happened was that PDP in our view left Nigeria and it has left Nigeria.
“So it is usually the PDP that has drifted, not us. And we decided to assert our identity because to be honest with you, the acronym PDP is a corruption of the acronym PDM. PDP was kicked started by PDM and it was the ‘M’ at the end of the PDM that was removed that made it PDP, that is, from movement to party.
“But what we stood for when we formed the PDP is still what we stand for today as PDM. But unfortunately the PDP has drifted from those ideals we stand for and we decided not to be part of the sinking ship to stay with the principles which we have known. And to stay on the side of Nigeria and Nigerians and allow the PDP to drift alone until it crashes,” h said.
Mr. Yusuf assured that PDM would give a level-playing field to all its members aspiring for elective positions, stressing that “no Nigerian would be barred unless barred by law to contest election through our platform. The only condition is that we have a process through which every person who wants to use our platform must go through.”
On its plan for the November 16 governorship election in Anambra State, Mr Yusuf said the emergence of his party’s candidate would emerge through due process even at the risk of not meeting the deadline for presentation of a candidate.
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