Mega Party formation: Buhari’s ministers, govs named as sponsors
Ex-Reps Speaker, Jonathan’s ministers, lawmakers, others involved
They’re bound to fail- APC
FROM ADE ALADE and IHEANACHO NWOSU, ABUJA
The intrigues and political manoeuvring that will shape the 2019 general elections have begun to unfold with revelations that some serving ministers and governors on the platform of the two major political parties are deeply involved in the formation and funding of the much touted mega party; Action Democratic Party, ADP, which this week began its registration process.
Saturday Sun gathered that beside the serving ministers and governors, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, his father, Chief Alani Bankole and a minister of state for Agriculture under President Goodluck Jonathan, Alhaji Awodele Najeem Adewale have been named among notable promoters of the emerging party from the Southwest zone.
One of the top leaders of the yet to be registered party from the North who pleaded anonymity, told Saturday Sun on Thursday that “our support base cuts across party lines and cadres” when prodded to name some of the ministers involved in the party, said “it would be suicidal to mention their names now. But they are people not happy within the system but should they be dropped in the imminent cabinet shake-up, Nigerians will surely know them.”
On the governors in secret romance with the party, the source gave the same excuse “for fear of persecution.”
Further investigations by Saturday Sun however, revealed that a prominent All Progressives Congress, APC governor in the Northwest and another Peoples Democratic Party, PDP governor from the South-South are among the chief promoters of the party , aside their colleagues in the two major political parties.
Most of the big personalities involved in the new party, who are chieftains of the ruling APC, it was learnt are still playing hide-and-seek with the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, in order to avoid any backlash.
However, operatives of some security agencies who are fully aware of the clandestine moves, have continued to trail the “big actors involved, especially the movement of money to fund the new party and may move against them anytime soon.” According to a security source, “ we are on the trail of the party’s sponsors still hibernating in APC and others. When we start asking for the source of the funds they are moving around, we hope they won’t start shouting political persecution, that is if the party’s registration even scales through.”
Nonetheless, those saddled with the responsibility of organizing the party are pushing fast by setting up physical and administrative structures for the party across the country. On Tuesday this week, it was gathered that its protem national officers had relocated to Abuja to prepare for the party’s registration and national convention. This followed the zoning of positions in its National Working Committee, NWC and that of the National Executive Committee to the various geo-political zones of the country. According to the new party, the National Chairmanship position has been zoned to the North Central; South west gets Deputy National Chairman; South East, National Secretary; National Organising Secretary goes to the North West, South East gets National Legal Adviser, while the South South gets National Treasurer. The new party also made provision for two zones to produce the position of Deputy National Chairmen as it was during the early days of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, just as it created a novel office, National Diaspora Adviser. According to the breakdown, North Central has the National Welfare Secretary; National Vice Chairman; Vice National Organising Secretary; Deputy National Woman Leader; Assistant National Secretary; Deputy National Treasurer; National Vice woman leader; National Vice Youth Leader and ex-official. The North West aside the position of National Organising Secretary, has the positions of National Woman leader; National Vice Chairman; Vice Publicity Secretary; Deputy National Secretary; Deputy National Youth Leader; Deputy National Welfare Secretary; National Vice Woman Leader and Ex-Officio. The allocation also shows that the North East has the positions of Deputy National Chairman; National Vice Chairman; National Auditor; Deputy National Financial Secretary; National Vice Woman Leader; National Vice Youth leader and Ex- Officio.
APC KICKS, SAYS MEGA PARTY ALREADY DOOMED
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has shrugged off the speculation that some of its governors and chieftains are discreetly promoting the planned mega party, Action Democratic Party of Nigeria (ADP).
National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Bolaji Abdullahi said the rumour that some APC bigwigs are secretly funding and promoting ADP has not elicited the attention of the leadership of the party and dismissed it with a wave of the hand.
“It is all hearsay, we have not discussed the speculation”, the ex-minister of Sports told Saturday Sun . He added “ APC is focusing on delivering good governance to the people but not listening to hearsays.”
He described APC as a great party and wondered why key members would go and promote another party. The APC spokesman stressed that there had not been any report that any of the governors or chieftains are engaging in anti-party activities which he said, supporting or funding the new party would amount to.
He said “ there is no case of anti party activities by any of our governors and stalwarts which what you are talking about represents. It is all hearsay”.
This is the same way the National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun recently declared that the ruling party does not feel threatened by talks of the formation of a mega party that will wrestle power from it, advising proponents of the emerging party to focus on providing formidable opposition to his party.
He also absolved a leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar from the rumoured formation of the planned mega party, recalling that he had met with some of the leaders of the APC, including the leadership of the National Assembly and the former vice-president.
His words “We don’t feel threatened at all. I don’t know where the name mega party suddenly came from in the lexicon of politics in this country. When two people gather to have a meeting, it is a mega meeting.
“We don’t feel threatened, we will in fact, encourage a mega party because with the gradual collapse of PDP, we want a party that can make us sit upright and be on our toes in terms of delivery of services to our people.”
MEGA PARTY, DEAD ON ARRIVAL – SULE LAMIDO
A former Minister and immediate past governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido, in his reaction to the emergence of the new party, said it was dead on arrival because it was built on betrayal.
“You see, to be honest with you, those who are talking about mega party are just reckoning by the mood of the moment. They are just trying to indulge in some kind of self-help or what you call escapism. And they are even calling names, some even say those who left the PDP to join the APC, want to return to the PDP, but would prefer to return on a different platform, because they are probably ashamed of returning to the PDP. So, those of us who stayed back in the PDP are shameless?
“Has the APC mega party worked? It cannot work because it is a party that lacks history, and hurriedly put together, just for the purpose of election. The formation was driven by anger. But the Nigerian problem is still there. It has been there before, and it will still be there. So, whether major or mega party, Nigeria’s problem is still there. The challenge is to face it.
“When they talk about change, Nigerians fell for it. Where is the change today? They said everything under PDP was evil, yet the so-called mega party, that is today in government is doing worse evil. When Jonathan increased pump price of petrol by just N10, there was a protest led by Buhari and the APC chieftains, saying, fuel subsidy was a fraud. So, under Jonathan, because it was PDP, a party of evil, the increase too was evil. But when Buhari increased it, by over 100 percent, over and above what Jonathan did, they said because it was coming from a pious person called Buhari, if you come out to demonstrate, they would beat you.
“Today, the mega party has introduced the culture of coercion and intimidation, as an act of governance. Whereas, leadership should instill trust, respect and confidence, what we have today cannot do all that. When you fear leadership, there is a problem. There is no trust, no respect, no faith, since all that you do is based on fear, not out of love for the leadership. And fear, has its own limitation, because by the time you know what is called fear, you’ll no longer fear again. When you are about to be circumcised as a boy, you get scared. But after going through it, you discover it’s no big deal and you no longer fear again. “ I doubt if Nigerians will be afraid of any mega party again today. Two, rather than indulge in self-help, I think we should face the country’s challenge squarely and solve it because from what we have seen so far, solving the problem does not require the coming together of any mega or major party. Three, which parties will the PDP merge with to form the mega party? There is no partner to merge with, so merger, for the PDP, is out of it”, Sule Lamido who is poised to contest the 2019 presidential election declared.
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