The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC on Friday issued a statement announcing the registration of the Peoples Democratic Movement, PDM a party reportedly co-sponsored by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and the Independent Democrats, ID party.
This is coming barely two weeks after the registration of the All Progressive Party, APC which is a merger of three main opposition parties, namely: the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC and the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP.
Secretary to the commission, A. C. Ogakwu, said in the statement that: “The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has registered two new political parties in accordance with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amended) and the Electoral Act 2010 (as Amended).”
He went on to say that “The newly registered parties are the Independent Democrats (ID) and the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM).”
Ogakwu said the Commission had approved the constitution, manifesto, logo/flag and list of National Executive Officers of the two new parties.
But the former Vice President says he has no plans of leaving the ruling Peoples Democratic Party,PDP as is been speculated in the media.
National daillies had reported that Abubakar, together with nine PDP Governors were sponsoring an application for the registration of the Peoples Democratic Movement, PDM party which is before the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Some of the Governors named as co-sponsors are Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State, BabangidaAliyu of Niger State, Sule Lamido of Jigawa State and Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano State.
However, Abubakar who disassociated himself from the report said he would always welcome the expansion of the political space.
While acknowledging that many of his political associates are involved in registering the PDM,Abubakar explained that he had no powers to stop adults with common interests from coming together to form a party.
He also noted several active roles played by the PDM in the country’s democratic transition from the Ibrahim Babangida, Sani Abacha and Abdulsalami Abubakar military administrations.
“The PDM platform, which was founded by late General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, provided the impetus for his impressive performance across the country during the September 1992 Presidential primaries, which were later cancelled by the military regime,’ he said.
Abubakar said further that: “The late Yar’Adua came close to becoming President, thanks to the formidable PDM structure. In 1999, the PDM was also in the forefront in the emergence of former President Obasanjo as PDP Presidential candidate.”
Indications that Abubakar, a founding member of the PDP, may be nursing plans to bolt out of the party emerged from his recent public expression of dissatisfaction with the current leadership style of the ruling party.
He has alleged that he is not accorded due respect as a founding father of the party and has not been getting invitations for major meetings.
In fact, some of his associates think he is being tactfully de-registered from the party.
The former Vice President was not invited to the last National Economic Council, NEC meeting inAbuja, neither has he received invitations to the meetings of the Board of Trustees (BoT), led by Tony Anenih.
The most recent is his exclusion of his name from the delegates’ list to the PDP mini-convention, which will hold later this month.
Abubakar had written a letter to the party’s national chairman, Bamanga Tukur about his exclusion from the list which he described as “curious”.
He said in the letter that: “As a member of our party, I look forward to the respect and privileges conferred on the office of the Vice President and founding fathers of the party by our party constitution. I therefore, request for a correction and restitution of my right to attend the forth-coming special national convention of our great party and also membership of the Board of Trustees”.