Epunchng - Most read newspaper in Nigeria Sunday, August 13, 2017 - Page 12

Sunday interview August 13, 2017 12 Dokpesi, Nwanyanwu wanted to sell our party to PDP — APDA chairman The National Chairman of the Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance, Shitu Kabiru, tells BAYO AKINLOYE that some prominent politicians are seeking to hijack the two- month-old party W hy was the Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance formed? Since the advent of Nigeria’s democratic dispensation in 1999, Nigerians have never had it good. Therefore, the vision of the Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance was formed to establish a new Nigeria where every good ideal will flourish. We intend to create a new Nigeria – envisioned by our founding fathers – where people are gainfully employed, where people are free to live in any part of the country they so desire without fear or apprehension; where youths have a say in the governance of the country; and a country that respects its women. In the constitution of our party, 25 per cent of our appointive and elective offices must go to Nigerian youths; 30 per cent must be given to Nigerian women and five per cent for physically challenged people. It is our conviction that there must be a new Nigeria. We also believe that the restructuring of the country is necessary in order to move Nigeria forward. Devolution of powers must also become a reality in Nigeria. Every state must be allowed to develop its own resources. We want a Nigeria whose states can generate their electricity and build their own roads – there should be no federal roads. Our dream of a new Nigeria is such that ethnicity will not be card to achieve political, economic or social benefits. What is the relationship between the APDA and the Peoples Democratic Party? Towards the return of democracy in 1999, political parties were created prior to that time to drive away the military government. At that time, political parties were formed based who knew who; it was a coalition of cronies. Now that democracy has been entrenched, our drive is to have an ideological political party where like minds come together to seek power for the development of the nation. You have former members of the PDP and the All Progressives Congress in APDA. Yes. We do have members not only from those two parties but from other political parties like Labour Party, Accord Party and All Progressives Grand Alliance. Isn’t your APDA an offshoot of the PDP, formed in the event that the Ahmed Makarfi-led PDP faction lost at the Supreme Court? That is incorrect. That is a blatant lie. You must have heard them (Makarfi-led PDP) publicly deny the fact that they were working with us. I have never had any meeting with them. They’ve never invited me to a meeting. It is not possible that APDA is another arm of the PDP. There is no way we can be part of the PDP – and there is no way they can be part of us. The two parties don’t share the same ideologies. In less than three months of APDA’s existence, it’s already embroiled in leadership crisis involving a former PDP chieftain, Raymond Dokpesi. Please, don’t mind Dr. Raymond Dokpesi. He is an impostor. They (Dokpesi, Dan Nwanyanwu, and Mainasara Ilo) joined the APDA with a lot promises to support the party but they were being used by the PDP to break us (the party) apart. You know what Dokpesi and his co-travellers did? They went to gather a few people and arranged a meeting in which they claimed that they were the real executives of the party. After he left that meeting, he left for the inauguration of the PDP reconciliatory committee. How can you reconcile that? What kind of human being would do that? Dokpesi and his cohorts wrote to the Independent National Electoral Commission without our knowledge. They told INEC that they were the BoT members. But INEC replied them that APDA doesn’t have a BoT yet. Because we knew that these hawks would, we stipulated it in our •Kabiru constitution that no one can be a member of the party’s board of trustees until the person has spent five consecutive years in APDA. We knew we would have these charlatans who would want to hijack our party. It is unfortunate that politicians are still acting in this manner. We need to change our mindset in this country. How can politicians who want to lead the country be acting like that? Some of us are thinking about how Nigeria can be developed and we can put food on the tables of millions of hungry Nigerians but some politicians are seeking ways to hijack the party machinery. Why? Dokpesi and his cohorts are political marketers. They are seeking to sell APDA to the PDP. Can you imagine how God has exposed them? Dokpesi organised a kangaroo meeting without the knowledge of the true executives of the party. They are charlatans; they are dark elements in our society that we must do away with. These are people that never want Nigeria to develop – all they want is just to milk the country dry. Money should not be the basis for selecting a leader again in this country; it should be merit. That’s what APDA is all about. Who exactly are these people trying to hijack the party? They are Dokpesi, Nwanyanwu, and Mainasara