The recent endorsement of the newly-formed All Progressives’ Congress (APC) by former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida is said to be giving the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) some worry.
General Babangida had while speaking with journalists on Thursday at his Minna hilltop home, expressed joy over the emergence of APC, describing it as a good development for politics in the country.
Babangida was reported to have claimed that his position on the desirability of a two-party system in the country when he was in the saddle, which led to the formation of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the National Republican Convention (NRC), had been justified.
It was reported that when asked whether the development would not pose a problem for his party (PDP), Babangida retorted: “PDP or my party? Which one is my party? PDP was my party,” and was said to have declined to explain what he meant by that statement.
However, it was gathered that the party leadership was not comfortable with such a statement from an elder of the party.
His comment lends weight to the suspicion that he is one of the brains behind the emergence of the APC since he had failed in securing the presidential ticket of the PDP as far back as 2003.
“We are worried as a party if IBB actually made those comments on the emergence of APC. I think the national secretariat of our party needs to get in touch with the Niger State chapter to confirm his membership status so as to know what to do with him. The constitution of the party is very clear. To me, this is anti-party,” said a PDP chieftain in confidence on Friday.
“When we read the report of the IBB’s comments in the dailies, we thought he was being misquoted as a supposed leader of the party and that one of his aides or himself would quickly refute the report, but nothing like that has happened so far. Then, we don’t need any soothsayer to tell us that he is not with us in the PDP again, but now on the other side,” the party chief said.
The source also revealed that the discomfort of the party leadership was intensified by rumours that loyalists of former President Olusegun Obasanjo were planning to quit the PDP en masse for the APC in expression of their grievances with the leadership of the party.
The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh could not be reached immediately for comments, but another party chieftain said that there was no cause for alarm as the party’s national leadership was capable of handling the matter and “put IBB where he belongs.”