Some few days after the zonal leaders of the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) distanced themselves from the registration of the movement as a political party by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Tony Anenih, has also disowned the newly registered party.
In a statement, Anenih, who felt betrayed by the registration of PDM, claimed that he was not consulted as a founding member of the pressure group before it was turned into a political party.
However, the new party in a terse reply said Anenih’s claim was a confirmation of its long held suspicion that the PDP chieftain had been the big masquerade behind recent attempts to discredit the image of the new party in the media.
Anenih in a statement entitled, “Our PDM is not a Political Party”, said the movement remained an integral part of PDP and would not be distracted from its original purpose.
The statement by Anenih read thus: “Reports about the registration of Peoples Democratic Movement, PDM, as a political party by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, have inundated the polity; and because of my leading role in the formation and nurturing of the Movement, concerned members of the Movement have contacted me to confirm if it was our PDM that has witnessed the transformation.
“After in-depth investigations and extensive consultations with a wide spectrum of the membership and leadership of the PDM, which is just like a pressure group within the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, I consider it moral to use this medium to clarify that the PDM, which some persons, purporting to be interim leaders, secretly and mischievously promoted and succeeded in registering with INEC to operate as a political party, is not our PDM that worked with other political associations to form the PDP in 1998.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the PDM, which we collectively envisioned under the leadership of the late General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, remains an integral part of the PDP, whose Board of Trustees, I currently chair by the grace of God and the consensus of founding fathers and leaders of our great party.
“I hereby wish to urge those who look up to me for guidance in this circumstance to remain steadfast with me in the task of building a much more united and formidable PDP and to discountenance the registration and treat it as a political trickery which will not survive the test of time.
“Members of the Peoples Democratic Movement, which is working for the unity and success of the PDP and the Federal Government under the able leadership of President Goodluck Ebele Joanthan should not panic. They should, instead, see it as an attempt to undercut our PDM, which was never intended to be and should not be a registered political party within and against the PDP.”
But the National Chairman of PDM, Alhaji Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim, said the party was happy that the forces against the party had been exposed.
In a statement through his Media Adviser, Alaba Yusuf, the National Chairman said: “The masquerader behind the anti-PDM propaganda has been unmasked. Chief Anenih’s statement is a positive advertisement for PDM and what it stands for.
“There is no turning back the hand of time. PDM is an idea whose time has come. We are not going to waste our time exchanging word with those who want to live in the past.
“Let the chief resolve the crisis tearing his party apart before dabbling in the affairs of another party over which he has no control.”