Makarfi PDP Faction Mulls Option B, Forms New Party

  • Says APC has failed the nation
  • INEC to announce registration any moment

Olawale Olaleye

Ahead of the Supreme Court ruling on the leadership crisis in the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), the Senator Ahmed Markarfi-led faction of the party has begun to weigh its option in the event that the judgment did not go its way, chief of which is the formation of a new political party to be known as the Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance (APDA).

Beyond the challenges in the PDP as the catalyst for alternate platform, the birth of APDA is also said to have been largely informed by what the party terms the failure of the All Progressives Congress (APC) ruling party to deliver change as promised, adding that practically everything has fallen out of place since the APC assumed power in 2015.
The party, whose modalities are said to have been perfected by its originators, will be announced any moment from now by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), a member of the group told THISDAY in confidence at the weekend.

The source said with the technical muzzling of the opposition by the ruling government in spite of the crisis of governance and the deliberate orchestration of power tussle in the main opposition party for obvious reasons, the need to sidestep the traps has become imperative, hence the formation of APDA.

According to the source, the new political party had studied the existing two political parties – their manifestoes and constitutions – and has come up with a better platform for the people of Nigeria in terms of ideology and resounding policy for good governance.

The source said while the PDP started with a good notion with the care of the people at the centre of its objectives but missed its way along the line, the APC was a movement occasioned by the exigencies of time without any sound ideological background on how to move the nation forward or improve the political party system of Nigeria.
“This is where APDA differs. Having studied the two parties as well as their strengths and inadequacies, we have come up with an alternate political party that would lead the nation out of the woods. The focus here is sound ideology and that is clearly spelt out in our constitution and manifesto and only those who share these qualities are going to be members,” the source said.

While reading through copies of the manifesto and constitution exclusively obtained by THISDAY, APDA’s slogan is “stronger together”, while its flag is made of a white background and a ring of 36 stars circling a five pointed golden stars (emblem) in the middle of the circle, with its colours in red, white and green.
With “Unity, Progress, Peace and Equity” as its motto, the party which promised to always uphold its constitution at all times, in its manifesto addressed the state of the nation, stating “It is obvious that our nation is in dire need of social, political and economic re-engineering, retooling and remodeling.

“It is crystal clear that we cannot continue to operate our present system of governance, which negates the development of our natural endowments, agro-allied, minerals, water and promotes an import substitution model that is encouraging import dependence. We cannot continue to operate a system where a segment of our governance structures decide the fate of the rest.

“Fellow Nigerians, it is an incontrovertible fact that the change Nigerians yearned for has not occurred as statistics show our economy is in a free-for-all with massive loss of jobs and livelihood, increase in crime commission, youth unemployment, poor infrastructure, resulting to more Nigerians vegetating under poverty lines.”
In remedying the situation, APDA maintained that “Our social contract with Nigeria and Nigerians is that we shall protect our environment from those who negatively exploit it. This is because if our eco-system is destroyed, mankind would go into extinction.

“We want to rebuild the industrial base of Nigeria and create a sustainable job opportunity for our people. We shall make infrastructural development (power, transport, housing, etc) not only result and demand based, but hinged on the principles of Public Private Partnerships (PPP) to significantly reduce government expenditure on infrastructure,” it stated.

The party stated that the content of its manifesto has not only considered the current state of affairs in the country, “but proffers solutions to address and redress them. These identified concerns are inclusive but not limited to citizen rights, education, gender, power, infrastructure, social inclusion, participatory governance based on internal democracy, rule of law, climate change and food security, access to social housing, water and energy, health, skills based education, insecurity, crime, militancy, and insurgency, the youth bulge, the social imperative and vulnerabilities of the majority of citizens of the country, recession, unemployment crisis, environmental degradation and the rise in intolerance and hate.”

Promising to strengthen the corporate unity of Nigeria, it said “In our belief in the oneness and indivisibility of our country, APDA is totally and irrevocably committed to the corporate existence of our great nation. To this end, APDA would pursue through popular citizenry participation, strengthening the capacities of the sub-nationals to harness and process the natural endowments for the development of such localities as a first charge and subsequently our common good as Nigerians.

“We believe that it has become clear to all well-meaning Nigerians that our present governance structures and actors are either enamoured by the magnitude of the issues bedeviling our dear country or they have not been able, like the previous administrations, develop a holistic and all-inclusive socio-economic programmes that would return our nation to prosperity and social inclusion.”

But another prominent member of the PDP faction, who spoke to THISDAY, also off-the-record, confirmed the registration of the party and those behind it as part of them. He was quick, however, to point out that the party was yet to decide which platform it would actually use, because there are a couple of them even before the registration of APDA and that they would decide which one to use when the time comes.

The PDP stalwart stated that what was unanimous amongst those of them in that faction of the PDP was that the moment the Supreme Court goes south, they would all move en mass to another party, reiterating that the party to move to is not yet known or decided upon, but certainly one of the newly registered ones.

“I am aware of APDA and in fact, I have copies of the constitution and manifesto with me. There are existing new parties, so, we have a couple of them. I am not sure which one it is now that we might move to. But one thing that is unanimous amongst us is that we would all move en mass the moment the ruling did not go our way. We have all resolved on that and that is the true state of the matter as far as I know.”