Plans to resuscitate the late Alhaji Shehu Musa Yar’Adua’ss political machinery, the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM), is no less rooted in the intrigues of 2015, writes ChuksOkocha
The Although dead, the political spirit of Alhaji Sheu Musa Yar’Adua still looms larger than life. His is an unending story defined within the high wire politics of the nation. He was instrumental and indeed the arrow head for the formation of the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM). The political movement was formed during the era of National Republican convention (NRC) and the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
It was no doubt a political bye-product of the Peoples Front (PF), when all the political associations that sought registration as political parties were turned down by the military government of General Ibrahim Babangida. And since Yar’Adua’s death, PDM has been on and off the political scene. It played a prominent role in the election of Chief OlusegunObasanjo as President in 1999.
At the time, prominent PDM members including AlhajiAtikuAbubakar, who later became the Vice-President, Chiefs Anthony Anenih and Sunday Afolabi, AlhajiLawalKaita, AlhajiAngoAbdullahi, Mrs. TitiAjanku, DubemOnyia, Chief YomiEdu and others were instrumental to the Obasanjo presidency. It is also fact that the ambush on Obasanjo to become the president was planned by members of the Yar’Adua Political family.
It was not surprising, therefore, that because of their efforts they were rewarded with key political offices. But with Obasanjo as president, the centre gradually began to shake as he through political maneoruvering, decimated the ranks of PDM which soon went underground.
Although, Atiku being the new arrow head refused to allow the group die. When he moved to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) where he became the presidential candidate of the party in 2007, Atiku went with the PDM political machinery, except for a few people like Anenih, ShuaibuOyedokun and others. For the two tenures of Obasanjo as president, the PDM played crucial role and so was the case in 2011.
Also, in run up to the 2011 presidential primary of the PDP, the PDM deployed to work and significant roles. But this time, as a divided group. Atiku who has remained the arrow head found himself in opposition to the group he nurtured. The powers that be in the PDM adopted President Goodluck Jonathan and supported his presidential aspiration against Atiku. This brought about disunity in the once united and formidable political union.
In the political maneuvering that played out, then leader of the group, Farouk Abdullazzi, moved the group against Atiku and this disunited them and since then, the affairs of the PDM had remained moribund.
But as part of strategy ahead of 2015, the PDM has commenced meeting with its principal stakeholders. The basic reason for this could not be farfetched. This is because Nigerians are on the match again. The journey for 2015 has commenced in earnest and the need to start forming alliances is imperative.
This year alone, THISDAY gathered that the PDM has met over five times with the second to the last meeting taking place in Asokoro, Abuja at the residence of a prominent politician from the north in June. Though, prominent members like Atiku and Anenih were allegedly absent at the meeting, it was learnt that their ‘foot soldiers’ actively participated.
According to insiders at the meeting, the PDM members are planning to launch a comeback to limelight through a seminar to discuss the security situation in the country and how to proffer solutions and other matters of interest.
A member of the group and an associate of Atiku, Prince TonyePrincewell, confirmed that the PDM has been meeting, but refused to give details of the meeting. According to the Niger Delta Prince, “Recently, an old political movement has started to resurface, the Peoples Democratic Movement, the foundation structure of PDP. Now, PDM the foundation structure of PDP will ultimately meet to think on how to address the national questions.”
The PDM, it was gathered, plans to use the seminar to launch itself into limelight to discuss the security situation in the country basically as strategy for 2015 presidential election.
Another source who also confirmed the development but pleaded anonymity said it would be doubtful to know the role two prominent members; Atiku and Anenih would play now because of the different political interests they have at the moment.
Atiku is said to be interested in contesting the 2015 presidential primary of the PDP, whereas Anenih is also one of those allegedly supporting the second term presidential ambition of the President.
The understanding within the PDP stakeholders from the North is not to challenge President Jonathan picking the party’s presidential ticket, but to float a new party that could promote a march to wrest the presidency from the South.
However, sources at the weekend said the Pro-Jonathan group in the PDM using Anenih as their guide is working frantically to check Atiku and his 2015 presidential ambition.
Unfortunately, Atiku is said to have suddenly developed cold feet in the plan to bring the PDM alive. Inside sources said this twist is forestalling a situation where the Yar’Adua political machinery will be used against him for the second time. It was gathered that several attempts to bring the group back to life has always met a big opposition because Atiku has remain “non-receptive”.
Thus, it was in line with plans to call Atiku’s bluff that Anenih, Ajanaku and Kaita met last Wednesday where they played prominent roles. Ambassador YahayaKwande was also at the meeting. Though, Atiku was said to be in town, but merely sent in words that he would not attend.
THISDAY gathered that Atiku was still not happy over the role members of the PDM played in the 2011 during the PDP presidential primary election where the Yar’Adua Political Associates supported Jonathan against him. His grouse was that Abdulazzi led the PDM members to support Jonathan’s ambition.
However, at the Wednesday meeting which took place at the Yar’Aduacentre, a new leadership was enthroned. A protem National Steering committee was put in place with Chief Bode Ajewole as chairman, while Engr. GodieIkechi is the secretary. Other members of the committee include Senator AbubakarMhadi, Yar’Adua’s son, Muritala, Dr. EtimAmba, Bashiru Yusuf Ibrahim, TonyePrincewill and OlupunleEbo as members.
Those who attended the meeting included Mrs. ZainabBoniHaruna, former first Lady of Adamawa State, AlhajiInuwa, former Chief Protocol Officer under Obasanjo and A.A. MatawellenHadeija.
It was gathered that the meeting has a large attendance of some political heavy weights from the six geo-political zones of the country, where issues bothering on politics were extensively discussed. According to insiders at the meeting, new PDM is being anchored on the vibrancy and resourcefulness of younger Turks within the group to enhance the movement’s reinvigoration, complete re-engineering and to make it acceptable to Nigerians.
A communiqué issued at the end of the meeting and signed by its Secretary, Ikechi made said goodwill messages and tributes to late Chief of General Staff, General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua were received from members across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory for his efforts in bringing democracy and good governance to Nigeria.
The protem secretary said members were taken round the completed bridge at the Yar’Aduacentre, which is a symbol of the uncompleted mission of the deceased in ensuring unity and bringing democracy and good governance to Nigerians. As part of plans to ensure a complete reintegration of the PDM, Ikechi said a national summit would be organized within the last quarter of 2012 on the theme: State of the Nation.