2015: New PDP, APC in Secret Agreement.

The Group of Seven Governors who broke away from the Peoples Democratic Party to form a splinter group called New PDP has reached a secret agreement with the opposition All Progressives Congress on the 2015 election.
Though the seven governors had been talking with the APC leaders for sometime, they, however, finally decided to enter into an agreement with the leaders of the opposition coalition after their last reconciliatory meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan.
The governors are Murtala Nyako of Adamawa, Babangida Aliyu of Niger, Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers, Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano, Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto, Sule Lamido of Jigawa and Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara.
After their last meeting with the President, the dissenting governors came to the conclusion that the President was not serious about peace in PDP.
Two reasons informed this conclusion, according to sources close to the governors.
One, after the meeting, President Jonathan carried out a cabinet reshuffle and removed nine ministers, mostly those nominated by the dissenting governors and President Olusegun Obasanjo, who is also perceived to have fallen out with the President.
Among the ministers axed were Prof. Ruqqayatu Rufa’i (Education) who was nominated by Lamido, Olugbenga Ashiru (Foreign Affairs) and Mrs. Olusola Obada (Defence), both of whom were nominated by Obasanjo, and Ms. Amal Pepple (Land and Urban Development) who was said to have pleaded with Jonathan to mend fences with Amaechi.
The other reason, according to sources, is that a day after the Sunday, September 15 meeting where it was resolved that both parties should give peace a chance and continue reconciliatory meeting on October 7, the Kano PDP executive committee was dissolved without consulting Kwankwaso.
A new executive council was constituted with Kwankwaso’s opponents and some of the people he had defeated, including son of late General Sani Abacha, Muhammed Abacha, given a pride of place.
“It became clear to Kwankwaso and the other governors that the President was not ready for peace,” one of the sources added.
Besides all that, however, it was further learnt that the governors were also moved to take their decision because they decided against going back to PDP and facing President Jonathan, knowing full well he would move ruthlessly against them the way he had checkmated former Bayelsa State Governor Timipre Sylva.
“So they resolved that there is no turning back. They resolved to eat the humble pie and work with APC,” another source said.
Following their discussion with the opposition party, the seven governors will join the APC jointly at a strategic time and integrate their structures with those of APC.
At the time of the primaries, it was learnt that based on their discussions with APC, the New PDP governors would choose one of them to contest for APC’s presidential ticket along with other candidates from APC.
“If a candidate from the New PDP, ostensibly from the North, wins, he will pick a running mate from the APC fold in the South-east. And if an APC candidate, ostensibly from the North, wins, the New PDP will provide a running mate from the South-east,” another source from the New PDP explained.
The two sides, APC and New PDP, are said to have, however, agreed that former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Tinubu, could run for the Senate and vie for the position of Senate President from the stable.
Meanwhile, Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, Saturday challenged those claiming to belong to New PDP, a breakaway faction of PDP, to get a registration certificate, logo, and other necessary qualifications if they are serious about the existence of the group.
Ndoma-Egba, who made this submission in an, said the insinuation that there is New PDP and old PDP exists only in the realm of imagination because a party cannot exist inside another party. He emphasised that the only PDP in existence was registered and officially recognised by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
According to the senate leader, organisations come into existence when they are created either by statutes or registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission. He said in the case of a political party, such party must be registered with INEC, insisting that as long as New PDP has not met those conditions, its existence is only imaginary.
“Which one is New PDP? A New PDP with registration certificate?”
Ndoma-Egba asked in a tone apparently intended to belittle the PDP faction. “When you have a legal personality, it is either you are a natural person or a corporate person. Corporate means that you are a creation of law, either you are created by statutes or you are registered by Corporate Affairs Commission or you are registered as a political party by the Independent National Electoral Commission. Is there any party called New PDP with a registration certificate?”
He said, “In the eyes of the law, there is just one PDP. I don’t know why these New PDP, old PDP are being dramatised. If they want a new PDP, they should obtain registration certificate for New PDP with a logo, with its colour. So, until that happens, you cannot say there is New PDP or old PDP. There is only one PDP. The PDP that has registration certificate is the PDP.”
The senate leader also dismissed claims by Alhaji Abubakar Baraje – national chairman of New PDP – that he is the PDP national chairman as a daydream. He, however, advised aggrieved persons within PDP to wait for the outcome of the reconciliation meeting slated for October 7.
“I can wake up now and say I am the President of Nigeria. Does that make me president of Nigeria? Every party’s national officers are registered with INEC. That is why INEC supervises their national conventions to elect their party officers. We went into this convention that ended up in this walkout because INEC, as the regulator, said it had made this observation – you did not follow due process – and we went back and INEC was there and they have the record of who the national officers are.
“If I stand up today and say ‘I’m the coach of Super Eagles,’ does it change the fact that Stephen Keshi is the coach of Super Eagles? Let us wait till October 7. October 7 will come and go,” Ndoma-Egba said.
He also debunked the notion that the National Assembly had been opposed to the calls for a national conference until recently, when Senate President David Mark tended to have a change of mind. He said the federal legislature had always supported a conference that would provide the platform for discussion among Nigerians.
Ndoma-Egba, who said he agreed with the allegation that the origin of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) was dubious, added that what the National Assembly had opposed was the agitation to make the conference sovereign. He noted, however, that as long as the various institutions and powers that exist today in Nigeria emerged through the constitution, the claim of dubiety that heralded its advent had been ratified.
The senate leader said agitation for a sovereign national conference was belated, out of tune with reality, and misplaced, arguing that those making the agitation have also by their conducts and submission to the provisions of the constitution in the last 14 years, ratified it.
He said, “The National Assembly has never been against a national conference or a national dialogue or whatever you call it. Where we have consistently had problem is when you insist that the conference or dialogue or whatever should be made sovereign. That is where we have a difficulty. Let us say that our constitution has dubious origin. I concede that point. But are we saying that we don’t have a constitution? We have conducted elections under that dubious constitution. People had emerged as presidents. (Olusegun) Obasanjo emerged as president; (Umaru) Yar’Adua emerged as president. Now it is (Goodluck) Jonathan. They have exercised presidential authority which we have submitted to. Governors have emerged under that constitution.
We have submitted to those governors.
“A National Assembly has emerged. In fact, the office of president, offices of governors were created by that constitution. All the institutions of power that we know today, including the court, were created by that constitution and we have submitted to those institutions and powers. So, the issue of the dubious origin of that constitution can no longer arise because we have ratified whatever defects there are in the constitution and the sovereignty which we signed and derived from the people of Nigeria. There is no argument that the sovereignty of this country is derived from the people of Nigeria but that sovereignty is expressed in the constitution.
“Even the people who are still insisting that the constitution did not derive from the people have submitted to the constitution and ratified the constitution by conduct. You can ask for a new constitution but not because there is no constitution, because you have already ratified that one by conduct. So, the constitution which belongs to the people is now expressed in that constitution. When you now say a sovereign national conference, tell me, what and what and what will make it sovereign?”
How Minister of Sports Abdullahi Was Saved
The Minister of Sports Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi was retained because the day the cabinent reshuffle was effected was the same day Blessing Okagbare who won silver medal in 200 metres final at the 2013 World Athletics Championship in Moscow was honoured at the Presidential Villa.
Okagbare received a cash gift of N3m from President Goodluck Jonathan and the Sports Minister was generally praised on that occasion for the revolution he has brought to bear on sports.
The Sports Minister is a nominee of former Kwara State governor, Senator Bukola Saraki, who is in the splinter group New PDP and perceived to be opposed to Jonathan’s 2015 ambition.
Abdullahi’s name was said to be on the list of ministers to be removed on the day Okagbare was celebrated.
But President Jonathan, it was learnt, had a change of mind because he felt it would be incongruous for the minister to be removed while being praised for good performance.