The Democratic Peoples Party has said it decided to join the All Progressives Congress to ‘correct the failures of the Peoples Democratic Party and strengthen the opposition.’
The acting Chairman of the DPP, Mr. Olisaemeka Akamukali, and Senator Pius Ewherido (Delta Central), said this in separate interviews with SUNDAY PUNCH during the party’s 2013 special convention held in Abuja on Wednesday.
Akamukali said, “People are tired of PDP. I have always told people that you don’t send a boy to do a man’s job. It’s not done. So, people are looking at APC as their saviour and we want a better Nigeria and we want to be part of that history.
“We are not expelling anybody because we are decent human beings; at the right time, they will come back and they will definitely come back to DPP.”
He said the decision to join APC was taken during the party’s National Executive Council meeting held on March 26.
Also speaking, Ewherido said Nigeria needed a formidable opposition to check the excesses of the ruling party, adding that democracy would be strengthened when there was a virile opposition.
He said, “Opposition keeps the party in power on its toes to deliver the dividends of democracy. When there is such opposition that keeps the ruling party on its toes, the essence of democracy would be justified. That is why we are coming together so that we can form a virile opposition and thereby strengthen democracy in Nigeria.”
Meanwhile, no fewer than 10 serving governors on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party may be on their way out of the ruling party to join APC.
A report (not by SUNDAY PUNCH) had listed eight governors: Rivers State Governor and Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Rotimi Amaechi; Niger State Governor and Chairman, Northern Governors’ Forum, Babangida Aliyu; Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State; Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State; Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano State; Sule Lamido of Jigawa State; Seidu Dakingari of Kebbi State; and Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State, as those on their way out of the PDP.
A key member of the merger committee, who pleaded anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the matter, told our correspondent in a telephone interview on Thursday that more than 10 PDP governors were interested in APC.
The source said, “Most of the PDP governors are tired of the crisis rocking the party. They are tired because PDP has failed them. The electorate are seeking an alternative and the only way for the governors to remain relevant is to move along with the people.
“More than 10 PDP governors have shown their interest in APC. It would be like a tsunami for PDP; it will shock the leadership of the party when its prominent members defect massively. Some of the governors are doing well as individuals in PDP but they have lost their interest in the party.
“Nigerians want an alternative, so are many members of the ruling party. I will not mention names or which parts of the country they are from but the PDP will shake when these prominent members of the party defect to APC.”
The National Publicity Secretaries of CPC and ACN, Rotimi Fashakin and Lai Mohammed, respectively, however denied knowledge of the intending defectors. They however admitted that there was a “silent movement” of people into APC.
Fashakin said, “APC is becoming more of a mass movement. Just yesterday, the Movement for Democracy and Justice — the political party of M. D. Yusuf, a former inspector-general of police — came to CPC and said they were ready to merge with it.
“Why we are being silent on other groups that are coming into APC is not to unduly frighten PDP. It’s like the entire polity is shifting to the opposition. It is not just political parties; we also have political and civil society groups coming in.”
Similarly, Mohammed said, “We have a significant group from DPP and several other political associations and groups that have stated their resolve to be part of the merger.”