PDP Crisis: Makarfi group denies forming new party

Former National Caretaker Chairman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ahmed Makarfi.
Former National Caretaker Chairman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ahmed Makarfi.

The Ahmed Makarfi faction of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has denied being behind moves to establish a new party called Advanced Peoples Democratic Party, APDP.

Some media reports have suggested that the faction has applied to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for registration.

Sources were quoted as saying the faction took the decision because it has become apparent that the court-recognised national chairman, Ali Sheriff, is not genuinely ready for reconciliation.

A report by The Nation on Friday quoted INEC spokesperson, Nick Dazang, as saying that the APDP is one of 70 new parties seeking registration.

However, the spokesperson of Makarfi group, Dayo Adeyeye, said on Sunday his faction was not behind the newly proposed party.

“We state clearly and without ambiguity that the National Caretaker Committee of the PDP is not in anyway involved in the plans to register any party by the name APDP or any other party for that matter,” he said in a statement.

He also said It is “unthinkable” that the faction, which enjoys the support of all the recognised organs of the party will contemplate such a move.

Mr. Adeneye, however, hinted that some individuals within his faction’s PDP may be behind the proposed new party.

“We however acknowledge and recognize the rights of party members to seek alternative platform to actualize their political dreams which is an inalienable right guaranteed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he said.

Several lawsuits filed by the two PDP factions after its May 21, 2016 national convention in Port Harcourt led to the recognition of Mr. Sheriff as the authentic chairman by the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division, two weeks ago.

The Makarfi faction said it has appealed to the Supreme Court.

Despite the Appeal Court ruling, Mr. Adeyeye in his statement said the National Caretaker Committee is the one “holding leadership power in the Party in trust for the millions of Party faithfuls who instituted the Committee at the National Convention.

“Whatever decision that will be taken on the PDP brand shall be taken by the owners of the party, i.e the party members at a properly constituted national convention, and not by a few individuals no matter how highly placed.

“For the records, no decision has been taken that the PDP should be abandoned and a new party formed out of the current structure. At least, no such proposal is before the National Caretaker Committee as at this moment,” he said.

Mr. Adeyeye expressed the belief that the issues before the Supreme Court would be resolved “on the side of truth, and justice will be served in the interest of peace”.‎

The spokesperson added that with the “political solution” as the alternative dispute resolution being suggested by some highly placed individuals and groups in the party, “albeit without prejudice to the Appeal before the Supreme Court, we will like to appeal for calm among all Party members and allow the reconciliation efforts to move forward”.

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