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Mutual distrust sinking PDP into abyss



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  • Fear of uncertainty at Supreme Court gives birth to new party
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has remained consistently disorganized since party’s defeat in the 2015 General elections by the All Progressives Congress (APC). National Daily inquiry revealed that all efforts toward rebuilding the only known mass and national political party in the country were truncated by inherent disharmony of interests, mutual suspicions and distrusts among renowned PDP leaders.  Our findings unveiled that front-line PDP leaders have been more preoccupied with projections for 2019 Presidential election, thus, tilting the various reconciliation initiatives to personal advantages than rebuilding and restoring cohesion and harmony of interests in the party.
A party source revealed to National Daily   that the clandestine struggle for PDP presidential ticket has been the crux of the intractable conflicts in the party.  He disclosed that Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and Senator Ahmed Makarfi have interest in the 2019 presidential race. Thus, both leaders have developed mutual distrust that whoever controls the PDP structures has advantage over the other.
Moreover, it was also revealed that Professor Jerry Gana, Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State, while former President Goodluck Jonathan was perceived to be rebuilding for a comeback.
Our source also disclosed that High Chief Raymond Dokpesi had long reached a consensus to float a new political party carved out of the PDP.
Apparently, there were indications that the reconciliation meeting convened by former President Jonathan in Abuja, penultimate week, failed because of the mutual distrust among party stakeholders. “It was not surprising that Sheriff who everyone expected to have given Jonathan maximum cooperation considering their close relationship when Jonathan was president set the stage to disorganize the dialogue proceedings, storming out of the meeting,” a PDP stalwart told National Daily. Jonathan was said to have played into the waiting hands of both Makarfi and Sheriff in that reconciliation initiative.
Accordingly, PDP governors have become divided between the conflicting interests of the party leaders. Initially, virtually all the South East and South-South governors were said to be with Makarfi but recent power configuration revealed that some of the governors have aligned with Sheriff.
National Daily investigation further revealed that since the return of former Governor James Ibori of Delta State, Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State and by extension, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, have subtly shifted their loyalty to Sheriff.
A PDP source disclosed that Ibori, through his political ally, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, former national vice chairman, South-South, later elevated to national deputy chairman by Sheriff, tremendously reinforced Sheriff in the PDP leadership crisis even while in the United Kingdom. The return of the former Delta Governor was gathered to have fortified the Sheriff bloc against Makarfi. Invariably, Ibori has become a critical factor to consider in the resolution of the PDP crisis by the party leaders.
However, the division in the party is gradually polarizing the PDP governors and other party leaders in the South-South. Governor Nyesom Wike has tacitly glued to former President Jonathan, courting former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, currently Senate Minority Leader, Obong Godswill Apkabio.
The shifting alliances made Governor Dickson of Bayelsa State submit the report of the Reconciliation Committee he was made Chairman to Sheriff instead of Makarfi who constituted the committee.
Some governors in the zone were, however, disclosed to be sitting on the fence, contemplating decamping to APC.    
Meanwhile, the appeal by the Makarfi group at the Supreme Court has increased the uncertainty in the PDP. There is the phobia that the pendulum could swing either way between Makarfi and Sheriff.
Elementary survey by National Daily showed that Makarfi controls the soul of PDP while Sheriff controls the legal structures of the party. This culminated into the phobia that the Makarfi group may encounter potential political impotency if the Court rules otherwise in the pending appeal. Thus, alternative platform has been considered a reliable safety net.
This phobia manifested in Lagos State in the preparations for the July local government election. PDP leaders had directed loyalists of the Makarfi faction in the state to seek for ticket on the platform of other political parties, abandoning the Lagos PDP for the Sheriff faction.
There has been the innuendo of the emergence of a new mega political party before 2019.
Initially, the Advanced Peoples Democratic Party (APDP) was projected as an alternative platform to the PDP.
However, while awaiting the judgement of Supreme Court, High Chief Dokpesi and former Chairman of the Labour Party, Dan Iwuanyanwu, on Monday, revealed the emergence of a new political party, Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance (APDA). They indicated ‘Stronger together’ as the slogan of the party. The new political party was inaugurated at Reiz Continental Hotels, Abuja. It is not confirmed yet whether APDA is the mega political party being anticipated towards 2019.
There are indications that the emergence of APDA symbolizes the sinking of PDP into irrecoverable gulf.