New Telegraph - Barring any unforeseen circumstances, a new political party that would challenge the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would emerge in the first quarter of 2017. New Telegraph learnt from authoritative sources that the political party, which would be a third force, will be made up of aggrieved members of the ruling APC and the opposition PDP.
It was also learnt that though clandestine, talks on the emergence of the party are at advanced stage with leaders of the main two political parties involved. It was gathered that meetings on the new party have been held both in Nigeria and outside the country.
It was learnt that the emergence of the party became imminent following a research revealed by a United Kingdom-based professor that Nigerians are neither happy with the governance style of the APC nor the present state of the PDP.
Thus, concerned leaders of both parties, who are equally not satisfied with the goings on in the polity, are “talking to find a way out of the Muhammadu Buhari presidency.” A top APC leader from the South-South told New Telegraph over the weekend that talks were still ongoing. According to him, it is not certain that the APC or the PDP would go into the 2109 election as presently constituted. “Yes, there are talks about a new political party.
I would not be honest with you if I say I am not aware of it. People are talking across party lines. I am aware that there is an opinion poll showed me by a United Kingdombased Nigerian Professor (names withheld), which showed that Nigerians are not happy with the APC.
By the same token, they are not sure where the PDP would end with this crisis. The opinion poll is one of the many conducted recently, which showed that Nigerians are fast losing hope in the APC.
Nigerians are particularly irked by the non-inclusive nature of the party and the protracted crisis in the PDP. The opinion poll also showed that Nigerians would not be happy to see the PDP return to power under the same name. For many who have seen the report, it is a wake-up call,” he said.
It was gathered that even though some top politicians in the APC are still on the surface, showing solidarity with President Muhammadu Buhari, they are rankled by the strength of what they called the ‘cabal’ around the president’s cabinet. Thus, many top members of the party are dissatisfied with the vice grip of the group on the president.
The politician added: “You could see that their bent on holding the president is manifesting negatively for the party. All the promises made before the 2015 general elections are not kept. It is as bad as the Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi, asking us why we are using drop in oil prices as an excuse for the economic downturn.
Oil is only 15 per cent of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP). So how can the failure of 15 per cent of our GDP drag us into recession? It is simply because those who are around the president have made it so hard for him to address the problems frontally. We are not happy with the development.”
Sources told our correspondents that at the head of discussions for the new party are a party leader from the South- West, another one from the North-East and others in the National Assembly who feel that the way things are running at the Assembly was not right.
The trio forms the core of the leadership even as members of the PDP who are not sure of the way the pendulum would swing in the battle against Senator Ali Modu Sheriff’s faction of the party have joined the discussion.
Already, the PDP governors and the Ahmed Markarfi faction of the party have filed a suit at the Appeal Court to challenge the Justice Okon Abang’s ruling on the party, which recognised Sheriff as the National Chairman of the party.
A PDP governor from the South-South, told New Telegraph at the weekend that they were hopeful that the Appeal Court would give the matter an accelerated hearing from September 19. “Our only constraint now is the Sallah festivals coming up this week. We had hoped that from September 12, the Appeal Court would begin sitting. All the papers have been filed. We are only waiting for the break to pass. As from September 19, we will push for an accelerated hearing and throw Sheriff out.
We hope that the Judges of the Appeal Court would see reason with us on the decision of the National Convention that dethroned Sheriff and restored mandate to us. By that, we will be able to make progress in the party.”
While not unaware of the plot for a new party, he said that those looking for a new party were deluding themselves. He said that the Buhari presidency was too strong to be threatened by the formation of a new party. He said: “Make no mistake about it.
This is not a Jonathan presidency where all sorts of things happened. If you make the false move now and they know, all they need is to show you some papers and tell you what you had done in the past. That is trouble.
The cabal now is stronger than that of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua. Don’t be fooled that you can threaten them. Our safe passage is to go to Appeal Court and get judgement and start rebuilding our party.”
Indeed, another top politician from the South-West PDP told New Telegraph that talks are at advanced stage. He emphasised that the PDP, as at now, cannot convince Nigerians on returning in 2019, hence the need for another vehicle.
“You heard what former President Olusegun Obasanjo said last week about the state of PDP in opposition and APC in governance. Neither is strong to give Nigerians hope. There are ongoing talks now. By November, it would be clearer.
The truth is that talks are at advanced stage. They are being spearheaded by the people you know from both the APC and PDP. It is going to be a very strong party that will rival the big two. What is not clear is, for instance, if people would remain in the PDP after. But the way Sheriff is behaving shows he has a back up from the APC-led Federal Government.
So, we don’t know if PDP will survive it. There is need for a back up on our side.” It was learnt from multiple sources that many leaders in the APC are unhappy with Nigeria sliding into recession under their leadership. Multiple sources attributed the state of the economy to a lack of capacity of those saddled with the responsibility.