By Chibuzo Ukaibe, Abuja
National chairman of the Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance, (APDA) Malam Shittu Mohammed, has disclosed that some chieftains of People Democratic Party (PDP) are trying to lay claim to his party after they disassociating from it during and after formation.
Speaking in a chat with LEADERSHIP, Mohammed wondered why PDP members who had earlier denied APDA when, according to him, it was a baby, now want to claim ownership upon the realization that it has become a more credible political alternative.
He, however, declined to mention names.
Denying any link with the former ruling party, he noted that he has told the PDP members that will be allowed into APDA if they promise to do away with acts of impunity and abide by the party’s constitution and manifesto.
The APDA national chairman, who also knocked the APC-led federal government for not meeting expectation, noted that his party will contest the presidential election.
He added that he is sure APDA will win many states in 2019, adding that nobody gave them a chance in the Anambra State governorship election but they came sixth place out of then 46 parties in Nigeria.
At the peak of APDA’s leadership tussle, a PDP national chairmanship aspirant at the December 9 national convention, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, alleged that the Sen Ahmed Makarfi PDP-led gave him permission to form and register APDA as a backup plan in case former national chairman, Sen Ali Modu Sheriff, won the then legal tussle for PDP’s national leadership.
But while reacting to question over Dokpesi’s claim APDA national chairman said, “I believe that you are a journalist and you have records. When this issue of APDA first came up, Prof. Jerry Gana, denied it and said they don’t know us. The then spokesperson of PDP even called us names. The BoT chairman of PDP, also said they don’t know anything about APDA.
“The question I want journalists to ask themselves is that when did they now believe that APDA is a credible alternative that they want to come. Is it because they have failed to give Nigeria a credible alternative? And that APDA is providing that now and so they now want to lay claim to the baby they denied? When the baby was born, they said they don’t know the baby, when the baby has now grown to give credible alternative they are now saying we know him and we own it.
“How do you born a baby you don’t know? That is how I will leave it for Nigerians to judge. They came out earlier to say they don’t know APDA, they called us names, and they are now coming back to say it’s their baby. Nigerians should judge. But what we will tell Nigerians is that we have nothing to do with PDP. We didn’t start with them, were are not with them and I don’t think we will never be together.”
He, however, gave conditions upon which the PDP members will be allowed to be members of APDA.
“That is why we have told them to drop their mind of impunity. We will give them guidelines on how to behave in our party because, our constitution and manifestos which guides our every action, has spelt them all out. If you abide by them we will welcome you.
“Those that abided by our constitution came in deceived us and took us to court. But they have seen what they got because our constitution is there to guide us. As for being a distraction when they don’t have their way, our constitution is there to guide us as well. If the human mind is wicked, there is the constitution to regulate it. And we believe in our judiciary.”
He further denied claims that he was part of the dummy executives in the course of registration the party at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“Does any political party have a dummy executive that INEC recognizes? The day INEC recognizes you, you are there for four years.”
Mohammed also refuted claims that Dokpesi signed his appointment letter to become APDA chairman.
He said, “That issue has been settled by the court. The court even added that the human mind is wicked. And that is why there is law to regulate the human mind. The answer is that when did he become an umpire to start making appointments. Can you appoint people into elective positions? That is the impunity that APDA is fighting. And we have told the whole world that we are out to fight impunity and that impunity started from them.”
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