A member of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT), Sir Olisaemeka Akamukali, who stated the party’s position in an exclusive chat with LEADERSHIP was reacting to the recently held run up polls in Rivers and Gombe States where the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won massively.
The statutory caucus member also maintained that elections in these areas were not a true reflection of the strength of APC, even as he said the party is still strong and will go on to win the 2019 elections.
Akamukali further stated that while politics was about winning some and losing some, the party would restrategise to win elections in those states in the nearest future.
He said, “So far, there have been elections in Ondo, Edo, and a by-election in Edo to replace the former seat of the current deputy governor and we won. Even in the last Rivers senatorial rerun, we won some and lost some.
“Politics is about winning some and losing some. Nigerians should not be thinking that APC is here to institute a one-party state; hence, there must be a government in power and an opposition party. PDP should be there so that they can play good opposition but that does not mean that the party (APC) is weak.
“The party is very strong, but all parties have their catchment areas and I think what happened in Rivers and Gombe is a lesson for us. We will bounce back and see how we will reclaim them later. The bottom line is that despite their victories, we are still in control of the two houses at the centre”.
‘80% Of New Parties Before INEC Owned By PDP Members’
As the leadership crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) continues unabated, national chairman of the National Unity Party (NUP), Chief Perry Opara, has disclosed that 80 per cent of political associations waiting to be registered by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are owned by members of the PDP.
He also described plans to register the contentious Advanced PDP as a “huge joke that will not be achieved,” just as he said the same fate awaits another mega party, Action Democratic Party (ADP).
Although INEC had maintained that they register parties based on transparency devoid of sentiments, national chairman of the PDP, Sen Ali Modu Sheriff, told LEADERSHIP that he will not be surprised if such allegations were true.
The national chairman warned that any attempt to register any party, including the APDP with the PDP franchise will be resisted through a legal process.
So far, over 70 political associations have applied to be registered by INEC, including the contentious APDP.
It was widely alleged that APDP is projected to serve as a backup plan for the Sen Ahmed Makarfi-led group in case the ongoing political solution led by former president Goodluck Jonathan fails or if they (Makarfi’s group) fails to secure victory at the Supreme Court, where they are challenging the judgement of the Court of Appeal which recognised Sheriff as the legitimate national chairman of PDP.
But speaking exclusively to LEADERSHIP yesterday, Opara, a former PDP chieftain said, “Do your investigation at the INEC. The commission has said 75 political groups have applied to be registered as political parties. I can tell you that 80 per cent of those political associations are being floated by members of the PDP. That means the soul of the party has left.”
The NUP chairman who expressed doubt about the registration of APDP and ADP said, “APDP is a huge joke. It is something that can never be achieved. INEC won’t register them. Now, we have ADP, APDP and PDP. By the little knowledge I have of political party registration, these parties will find it very difficult.”
He, however, admonished the PDP to sheathe its sword and abide by the appellate court judgment which recognised Sheriff as chairman, even as he also ruled out the possibility of PDP returning to power in 2019, saying all the fragments were together yet they lost power in 2015.
His words: “They should sheathe their sword, come together and rebuild the umbrella. The flagrant disregard of court judgment will not help anybody.
“In a couple of months, parties will start preparing for primaries in states and local governments. It took the PDP almost one year to get judgment in Appeal Court. It will take them another one year to get judgment at the Supreme Court.”