The crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party might delay the planned formation of a mega party in the country, Sunday PUNCH has learnt.
The proposed mega is expected to be formed before the end of March 2017 by the Ahmed Makarfi faction of the PDP and aggrieved chieftains of the All Progressives Congress.
Sources within the PDP and the APC confirmed the plans with the suspended Deputy Publicity Secretary of the APC, Timi Frank, saying, “I can tell you clearly; political re-alignments are going on and people will make their stand known very, very soon. That is all I can tell you for now.”
It was however gathered that the two factions of the PDP, especially the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee, were waiting for the outcome of the ongoing factions legal battle to determine the authentic leadership of the former ruling party.
Already, the intra-party committee set up by the Makarfi’s PDP, was said to have met with some aggrieved members of the ruling party.
A member of the committee, who spoke with one of our correspondents on condition of anonymity, said some of the APC leaders the committee met had agreed to leave the ruling party.
He, however, said those who had agreed to defect from the APC, especially those who left the PDP, said they would not return to the former ruling party, but would be desirous of forming a new party with the PDP.
He said, “We have been meeting with politicians, our former members in the APC and those who were never members of the PDP.
“For strategic reasons, I don’t want to mention their names in order not to jeopardise our ongoing plan.
“Let me however say that majority of them are not willing to join our party. They are suggesting that we form a new party to accommodate all other interest groups. That’s where we are now.”
Asked if that condition would be considered, he said that would be determined after the ongoing case involving the Makarfi and the Ali Modu Sheriff factions was determined.
Impeccable sources said the leadership of the Makarfi faction of the PDP would determine whether to merge with another party if it wins the cases at the courts.
The Sheriff faction, however, accused the Makarfi-led group of working with the APC to destabilise the PDP.
It cited the defection of Senator Yele Omogunwa from the PDP to the APC, which it said was as a result of the ongoing talks between the Sheriff faction and those who defected from the PDP to the APC.
Sheriff’s deputy, Dr. Cairo Ojuogboh, told one of our correspondents that Nigerians should hold the other faction responsible if the party died.
He said, “I saw what Makarfi said in The PUNCH and I must say that the defection could be as a result of the talks they said they are having with those that defected from the PDP to the APC.
“They have told the world that those people would return the PDP. Is this a sign that they are coming?
“These people are killing the PDP and this is why we are in court, to retrieve the party from the grips of its enemies.”
Meanwhile, Senator Buruji Kashamu warned that the crisis rocking the party would linger for a long time.
He said the issue might become what he described as a circus show.
The Senator, representing Ogun East Senatorial District, said the final outcome of the leadership tussle would be determined by the apex court.
He said, “Let us not lose sight of the fact that the appellate court is yet to finally determine the issue of the national leadership crisis. Irrespective of what the High courts say, for or against Senator Ali Modu Sheriff or Senator Ahmed Makarfi, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court are still there to adjudicate on the issues, and it could become a circus show.
“Besides, anyone, who is unjustly punished, will not fold his hands and allow his rights to be trampled upon.
“He will do everything legally possible to fight for his rights. And this could result in a series of litigation and create more problems than they are meant to resolve.