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Published On: Thu, Aug 15th, 2013

Atiku Confirms Knowledge of PDM Seeking Party Registration with Reservation

Atiku Abubakar

LAGOS AUGUST 15TH (URHOBOTODAY) – Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Thursday confirmed that his associates have filed an application with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to register the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) as a political party.
The PDM is a political group founded by late General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua.
In a statement by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, the former vice president welcomed the development but said he “remains a loyal member of the PDP.”
The full text of the statement reads: “I’m In PDP, Other Parties Are Welcome – Atiku
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has said while he remains a loyal PDP member, he doesn’t have the right or power to stop others from associating or seeking registration for new parties.
Following press enquiries on the reported registration of the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) as a political party, the former Vice President said he would always welcome the expansion of the political space to accommodate all shades of opinions or political hue.
While acknowledging that many of his political associates are involved in registering the PDM, Atiku Abubakar explained that he had no powers to stop adults with common interests from coming together to form a party.
He also noted that many of his political associates are equally members of political parties other than the PDP.
According to him, freedom of association as enshrined in the constitution is the beauty of democracy and that he wouldn’t dissuade any of his followers from seeking a platform to promote their programmes.
Political analysts recalled the active role of the PDM in the country’s democratic transition from the Babangida, Abacha and Abdulsalami administrations.
The PDM platform, which was founded by late General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, provided the impetus for his impressive performance across the country during the September 1992 presidential primaries, which were later cancelled by the military regime.
The late Gen. Yar’Adua came close to becoming President, thanks to the formidable PDM structure. In 1999, the PDM was also in the forefront in the emergence of former President Obasanjo as PDP presidential candidate.
Political observers also noted that the choice of Atiku Abubakar as running mate to Obasanjo in 1999 was a recognition of the active role of the PDM platform in his victory.”
In a related development, INEC has refuted a news report which said the commission confirmed receiving and processing an application by nine aggrieved PDP governors and Atiku, seeking to register the Peoples Progressive Movement (PPM) as a political party.
INEC spokesman, Kayode Idowu, in a statement said he neither discussed the identity of any group or promoters of a new party with the newspaper’s correspondent.
Idowu’s open letter addressed to the Editor of the Daily Independent, reads: “I write to refute an attribution to me in your paper today that a former Vice-President and nine Peoples Democratic Governors are floating a political party.
“You cited me in a story titled ‘Nine PDP Govs Float Party, Apply for Registration’ as confirming to you that the former Vice-President and some Governors of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party have applied for the registration of a party to be known as the Peoples Progressive Movement (PPM). Your reporter will confirm to you that I never said such a thing.
“The question your reporter asked was if there is any pending application for party registration in the Commission, and I confirmed that an application, as always, is pending. Please note: He mentioned no name of any particular group (because he confessed he didn’t even have it) or the promoters.
“INEC, by law, receives applications for party registration and treats them on individual merit. It makes no public issue of the party identity or their promoters. For avoidance of doubt, I did not discuss any party identity or promoters with your reporter because he didn’t have enough information to provide such detail in his enquiry.
“Kindly put the phone conversation I had with your reporter in proper perspective – urgently, please.”

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