A new political party, Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance (APDA), was unveiled yesterday, ahead of the pending Supreme Court’s judgment on the leadership tussle in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The party was linked to the Ahmed Makarfi faction of the PDP.
Apparently unsure of the direction of the judgment in the struggle between him and the court-backed PDP National Chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff, the new party is seen as a preemptive move by the Makarfi camp.
The two warring factions are awaiting a date from the Supreme Court for a final judgment on a cross appeal filed by the Makarfi camp seeking to remove Sheriff as national chairman.
The APDA, which said its national convention would hold in November, was unveiled at the Reiz Continental Hotel, Abuja with proxies as its interim national officers.
Chairman of DAAR Communication Chief Raymond Dokpesi and former national chairman of Labour Party Chief Dan Iwuanyanwu attended the ceremony.
Dokpesi chose to remain inconspicuous at the venue by mixing with the crowd. Iwuanyanwu played an active role at the ceremony. Iwuanyanwu had dumped the Labour Party a few months ago.
The new party featured Alhaji Shittu Mohammed as chairman; Mr. Fijabi Adebo as Deputy National Chairman (South) and Alhaji Mahe Dange, Deputy National Chairman (North).
But in a swift reaction, the Makarfi camp denied sponsoring the APDA.
In a statement yesterday by its spokesman, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, the faction denied any links with the new party.
The statement said: “In the last few hours, we have received numerous calls from our party members, concerned citizens and well-wishers on our association or otherwise with the Advance Peoples Democratic Alliance (APDA), which was unveiled today in Abuja.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we reiterate once again that we are not in any way associated with the new party in any form or guise. The APDA is neither an offshoot of the PDP nor its alter ego as some are speculating.
“This statement is made purely to set the records straight and to avoid unnecessary innuendos, speculations and ambiguity that may threaten the continued unity and solidarity of our party members.
“We thank millions of well-meaning Nigerians for their concern and commitment to the defence of our nascent democracy. In the end, this democracy cannot survive without a strong and vibrant opposition”.