*PDP not behind formation of new party
By Rose Nwakuba
Former proprietor of of Africa Independent Television (AIT) and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Raymond Dokpesi and a former national chairman of the Labour Party, Dan Nwanyanwu on Monday floated a new political party in Abuja called Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance (APDA).
The establishment of the party must be part of the plans to wrestle power from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). The race for the 2019 general election definitely has started to gather momentum.
The two giant politicians were spotted at the Reiz Continental Hotel Central Business District the venue of the unveiling of the party. Nwanyanwu told journalists at the event that ‘this party is for the youths of the nation. The future belongs to them and we want to encourage them to rise up and take charge of the future like other youths from other parts of the world.
Speaking on behalf of the interim National Executive Committee, Dan Nwanyanwu, said though there were already political parties existing with all of them lacking any ideological anchor, “we concluded we needed a new platform to give room to new ideas, new alignments, new energy and most of all, new pragmatic approaches to confronting national and political challenges.”
Mr. Nwanyanwu, who was the National Chairman of the Labour Party, said so many of the established political parties appeared to be fixated with recycling the same old leaders, repeating the same old rhetoric and reabsorbing the same old moribund way of doing things.
He said, “Similarly, most of the political parties in existence today conveniently attach “progressive” to their names when indeed they are reactionary political parties in content and character or at best ultra conservative political parties.
“Progressivism connotes regular positive change, for the growth and development of the society whereas some of these so called political parties do not make any pretence about their resistance to change.
“The on-going debate in the country between those who support the implementation of the recommendations of the 2014 National Conference and those who are vehemently opposed to the outcome of that conference is a typical example here.”
He said APDA was a convergence of patriotic citizens committed to the indivisibility and corporate existence of Nigeria and who are determined to enrich true federalism, social inclusion, National Cohesion and public trust in governance.
Mr. Nwanyanwu said APDA believed that the office of president and national Chairman of the party should rotate between the North and South and amongst the six geopolitical zones while that of the governor and state chairman should rotate within the three senatorial districts.
Dan Nwanyanwu told journalists further that he was a member of the party but denied that the PDP was behind the formation of the new party. As the days go by, many new members of the party will be revealed.
The party which has the slogan “Stronger Together,” said it would soon apply to the Independent National Electoral Commission to be formally registered as a political party.
There are currently 40 existing political parties in Nigeria while 60 associations have applied to INEC for registration as political parties.
The interim National Chairman of the APDA, Shitu Mohammed Kabiru, who disclosed this while fielding questions from journalists during the event, however said there were members of other parties waiting to join the association. With him are Deputy National Chairman (South) Fijabi Adebo, and Deputy National Chairman (North) Mahe Dange.
However, Mr. Shittu Kabiru, who was the National Chairman of Republican Party of Nigeria and later Special Adviser to former PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, on Inter-party Affairs, further explained that the PDP members were present at the event to show solidarity with the new group.
“I want you note now that I am calling APDA. I am not calling any other party than APDA and we should have inter relationship,” he said.
“You should also note that I was the national chairman of the Inter party advisory council (IPAC). Therefore, members of various political parties who are present are here in solidarity with us. And most of these parties are even ready to come and join APDA.
In the speech he delivered earlier, Mr. Kabiru said APDA was formed to actualise the fundamental human rights of Nigerians to determine their national destiny.
He also said the association was formed in recognition of the general hopelessness brought upon Nigerians by mal-administration and the urgent necessity to give them fresh opportunities and new platforms to re-direct their electoral mandate to a dependable, committed and capable generation of leaders ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Kabiru assured that if the association formed the government at the centre, it would move Nigeria out of the prevailing atmosphere of political frustration, economic stagnation, leadership failure and betrayal of the popular will and aspirations of the Nigerian masses.
“APDA stands for an inclusive Nigerian society based on principles of freedom, equality, solidarity, diversity, equity and fairness,” he added.
“We are committed to fighting for social justice, job creation and economic growth. We shall initiate policies and programmes that will promote consumer rights, sustainable development and financial market reforms so as to create a stronger, more democratic nation and better future for every Nigerian.”
There were speculations that APDA was being floated by some prominent members of the Ahmed Makarfi-led faction of the PDP who planned to quit the party in the event that it loses its appeal against the Ali Modu-Sheriff faction at the Supreme Court.