Barring any last-minute change of plans, the proposed creation of new party opposition in the country will be formed before the end of March, 2017, URBAN EXPRESS has learnt.
It was gathered that the Ahmed Makarfi faction of the Peoples Democratic Party and aggrieved chieftains of the All Progressives Congress had intensified efforts aimed at creating another party since the result of the Ondo State election was released.
Findings showed that besides the plan to form a new party, those involved in the talks were also considering adopting any of the existing political parties as their platform.
It was gathered that those who were participating in the talks included former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar and a national leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
A PDP chieftain, who confided in Urban Express on Saturday, said with what happened in Ondo, it had become obvious that the Muhammadu Buhari administration was ready to relinquish power despite the fact that it had no solution to the economic recession in the country.
The source said, “The new party is still at a formative stage but I can tell you we are making steady progress.
“With what happened in Ondo, you will agree with me that the cabal around the President, including a governor from the North-Central, and some ministers, has hijacked the party structure.
“They have shown more than once that they want to frustrate Tinubu and Atiku out of the APC. These are tested politicians, who have no plans of retiring any time soon.
“The picture will become clearer before the end of the first quarter of next year (March 2017) because some of our people believe that if we come out now, the cabal will use executive powers to frustrate us. Others feel it is better to let Nigerians know but our leaders are meeting at home and abroad. We are waiting for them.”
Checks also showed that those involved in the talks were aware of the Federal Government’s plot to thwart the groups’ plan to form a new party, informing the plan of the groups to adopt any of the existing parties and uplift it to a party with large followership status.
A PDP chieftain, who confided in urban express, said, “We are working on the plan to form a new party, but we may adopt any of the existing parties, if the government thwarts our efforts.”
It was also gathered that the Makarfi faction planned to strengthen its electoral strength in the South-East by entrenching rotational presidency in the constitution of the new party.
A top member of the party, who spoke to urban express on condition of anonymity, said the group was aware of the plans by the Buhari administration to make an inroad into the South-East in 2019.
The PDP chieftain added, “The Southeast and South-South are areas of our strength. We have noticed that the Presidency has been receiving Igbo leaders at the Aso Rock. This is part of the bid to win the zone in 2019.
“We may have to make some concessions to the South-East to truly show that we care for the zone. These will include rotational presidency.”
For Tinubu, it was also gathered that the group was seriously considering the offer of the Makarfi faction to form a mega party.
It was learnt that the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, had been reaching out to the Tinubu group on behalf of the faction.
A member of the Tinubu group, who confided in urban express stated, “We do not want to make the mistake we made with Buhari by rushing to support him. We are considering the offer from the PDP faction.”
Besides Tinubu and Atiku, other prominent politicians being targeted by the Makarfi faction include a former Governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Kwankanso; the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, and an ex-governor of Sokoto State, Senator Aliyu Wamakko.
It was gathered that the Makarfi faction was aware of the desperate move of the President to woo Saraki.
This, it was learnt, was one of the reasons for the Senate President’s recent frequent visits to the President.
“We have not given up on Saraki. He is one of us and we believe he is going to be part of the mega party we will form,” a PDP chieftain stated.
One of our correspondents learnt that the Federal Government had dropped the Senate Order forgery suit against Saraki in order to ensure his loyalty to Buhari.
It was also believed that the Senate President was instrumental to the emergence of former sports minister, Bolaji Abdullahi, as the National Publicity Secretary of the ruling party.
“Even the trial of the Senate President at the Code of Conduct Tribunal may crumble or never be concluded. It’s all part of the plan to ensure that Saraki does not join the new party to be formed,” a source told one of our reporter.