Nigerian Political bigwigs in both the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are intensifying plans to form a broad based political platform to displace the two big parties in the country.
Talks to form what is called a “third force” in political circles, according to findings, centre around whittling down the influence of the ruling APC and the opposition PDP. The plan is expected to fully mature next year.
Moves towards that goal were said to have intensified during the disputed National Convention of the PDP which just ended in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, this week.
Sources close to the PDP told Saturday Tribune on Friday that the discussions that certain leaders of the party had expressed the sentiment that they should move out en masse from the PDP and go ahead to form the ‘third force’ with others in the ruling party a move which they reasoned, would ensure that the PDP is left to the Ali Modu Sheriff faction.
Some of those who spoke at a closed doors session in the Government House, Port Harcourt, were said to have declared that “in view of the continuous troubles emanating from the Sheriff-led faction and in view of the official backing now being enjoyed by the faction, the time has come for the soul of the party to move out en masse and ensure the formation of another strong political party.”
One of the speakers at the meeting was quoted as saying that those behind Sheriff are “not up to the size of a local government” and that if the PDP is abandoned for them it would become a hollow structure.
“With a united front at the National Assembly and the polity generally, it shouldn’t be a difficult thing growing another party,” a source quoted one of the party leaders as saying.
But it was learnt that some other speakers believed that the time was not ripe for the soul of the PDP to abandon the party and that things could still be salvaged.
It was, however, learnt that an understanding had been reached at the closed parley that efforts aimed at forming another party with likeminded politicians from within the PDP and the APC should intensify quietly.
A source close to the two parties indicated that “a working agreement is already in place to ensure that the aggrieved members of the APC and the PDP are brought together in a way that would decimate the ruling party and supplant it in 2019.”
Sources confirmed to Saturday Tribune that some political bigwigs within the APC are already getting excited at the prospect of joining up with like minds to form a party in which they would have equal stakes.
Some of such bigwigs are said to be uncomfortable with the lopsided nature of federal appointments in the current setting, where it is alleged that loyalists of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), founded by President Muhammadu Buhari, have taken over key positions in the government.
“There are two views on the line right now. There are those who believe that the crisis in the PDP could be managed. And that the party could still be hijacked from Sheriff. If that happens, the PDP would still remain the point of convergence. But there are others who are of the view that the APC would soon experience its own version of crisis and that either way, the formation of another strong platform would ensure a united front against the ruling party. The decision on the ground is that both views continue to prepare the way for the eventual decision which should be ratified early next year,” a source close to the plan said.
All efforts made to get gladiators in both the PDP and the APC said to be involved in the moves to speak with Saturday Tribune on the plans were not successful. They all begged to be excused, saying it was too early to make any statement and draw attention to themselves