APDA was set up as a ‘plan B’ for PDP, Dokpesi confesses

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Raymond Dokpesi, co-founder of the All Peoples Democratic Alliance (APDA), says the party was floated as a plan B for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

At the time APDA was formed, there was a leadership tussle between Ali Modu Sheriff, former chairman of the party, and Ahmed Makarfi, the current chairman.

PDP leaders had denied having any association with APDA.

“For the avoidance of doubt, we reiterate once again that we are not in any way associated with the new political association in any form or guise,” Dayo Adeyeye, spokesman of the PDP, had said in a statement.

“The APDA is neither an offshoot of the PDP nor its alter ego as some are speculating.”

But addressing journalists in Abuja on Thursday, Dokpesi said founders of APDA were mostly those in the Makarfi camp.

He said those who did not want to take chances if the the supreme court had ruled that Sheriff was the authentic chairman brought the idea of the party.

Dokpesi, who is vying for the chairmanship of the PDP, also said all organs of the opposition party were involved in forming the APDA.

“I take full responsibility for the roles I played in the formation and funding of APDA. It was set up as a plan B for the PDP at the peak of its internal crisis,” he said.

“We did not want to take chances. Our geniune members were being deprived opportunity to contest as Sheriff kept shutting the door against them.

“So there grew the urgent need for an alternative platform through which our ordinary members could run elections as councillors, and local government chairmen. We cannot fold our arms and simply watch on.

“It was not done by me alone. All the organs of the party were part of the decision to form APDA. At a point, I wrote to all party governors to tell them that there is need for members of the party to know.”

He said his ongoing trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will not affect his chairmanship aspiration as he is yet to be convicted.

Dokpesi urged the PDP to stick to its plan to zone the chairmanship of the party to the south, saying any attempt to “manipulate this does so at a great risk for the party.”

He added: “The national convention zoned the position of the national chairman to the south and zoned the presidency to the north. And there is no micro zoning; the convention would have said it is zoning to the south-west, but the convention in its wisdom did not do so.

“The Ike Ekweremadu committee said the chairmanship should go to the entire south while the president goes to the north. We should allow all parts participate fairly.

“Anybody trying to manipulate this does so at a great risk for the party. An 88-member committee considered this and affirmed that the zoning should between north and south”

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