Three former ministers are leading an exodus of top members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after efforts to heal the wounds of the last national convention of the party hit the rocks.
Ex-Information Minister Jerry Gana, ex-Education Minister Tunde Adeniran and ex-Niger Delta Minister Godsday Orubebe are moving to the Social Democratic Party (SDP) which is merging with the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), Peoples Salvation Party (PSP) to form a formidable party ahead of next year’s elections.
More chieftains of the PDP are expected to join them, The Nation reports.
The Olusegun Obasanjo-led Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM) is reportedly in talks with the SDP to work together.
The likes of Gana, Adeniran and Orubebe,all founding members of the PDP, are still displeased with what they see as the hijack of the party by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and others during the party’s last national convention.
Adeniran was defeated in a bitter chairmanship election by Wike’s candidate, Uche Secondus.
A high powered committee headed by Governor Henry Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State to reconcile the aggrieved members could not help the situation.
The aggrieved party chieftains launched into a marathon meeting/negotiation with the leadership of SDP on Thursday night in Abuja for a merger.
The meeting ended early yesterday with the the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding by the coalescing group at Ladi Kwali Hall in Sheraton Hotel, Abuja.
Joining Gana from the PDP are a former Military Administrator of Katsina State, Sen. Joseph Akaagerger; a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Peter Godsday Orubebe; Chief Mike Oghiadhome, who was a former Chief of Staff to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan; ex-Governor Saminu Turaki of Jigawa State; and ex-Minister of Defence, Dr. Olu Agunloye and a former Deputy Speaker of Ondo State House of Assembly, Hon. Dare Emiola.
Also teaming up with SDP are a former member of the House of Representatives, Dr. Junaid Mohammed; Sen. Bassey Ewa Hensaw; a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Olamide Oni; Supo Shonibare (South-West Zonal chairman of SDP), Hon. Dipo Olaitan (a former leader of the Alliance for Democracy in the House of Representatives); a former Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly, Kehinde Ayoola; Amb. Yemi Farounbi; leaders of the Middle Belt Forum; Mr. John Dara; the leaders of the National Intervention Forum led by Dr. Tafawa Balewa; Amb Bejide; Shehu Gabam who gave the vote of thanks.
A former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae is a stalwart of the SDP.
The Nation reports that although ex-Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State and a former Deputy President of the Senate, Sen. Ibrahim Mantu were part of the preliminary talks, it was unclear why they were not at the signing of the MoU.
More to come…
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