As alliance talks between the Peoples Democratic Party and political groups intensifies to oust President Muhammadu Buhari from office, the PDP is said to be under enormous pressure to change its name in order to accommodate the parties and coalitions with which it is seeking collaboration ahead of the 2019 elections.
The opposition parties, some leaders of former president Obasanjo-promoted Coalition for Nigeria Movement, CNM, and some key political figures in all the six geopolitical zones, are also calling for a change of name to enable more Nigerians identify with it.
DAILY POST had reported that PDP had discovered how to defeat the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in next year’s general elections through a strategy that entails building alliances with other parties and Nigerians.
In its publication on Sunday, The Nation is reporting that the participating groups in the proposed alliance aimed at denying Buhari a second term in office, say a change of name by the PDP is desirable to give everyone a sense of belonging.
They are also pointing out that the Nigerian electorate might not want to associate with the “party’s name that has been battered because of alleged massive corruption when it was in power for 16 years”.
According to a source, “Those interested in the coalition with PDP said the party’s name has been battered because of alleged massive corruption when it was in power for 16 years. They said the electorate might not want to associate with it.
“A few other parties do not want to lose their identities. They want a sort of merger like the case with APC.
“In fact, Obasanjo’s CNM would have loved to identify with PDP but the hijack of the party by some governors at the last national convention foreclosed a wholesale adoption of the opposition party. The CNM would prefer a change of name by PDP for effective coalition against APC.”
The source was reported as adding that the PDP had made it clear to those interested in working with it that it will not change its name or symbol.
The party believes that any change in its identity was an easy technical way of killing it for a new set of ownership.”
The newspaper also reports a PDP leader as saying: “The National Working Committee sees the demand for either merger or a change of name as a booby trap to kill PDP by some forces.
“The timeline does not favour a change of name or merger. It is like starting afresh.
“Why should PDP which has about 13 governors lose its name? We believe our party is in a position of strength and should be allowed to enjoy the privilege in a coalition.
“If we go for another name, won’t they say the same people in PDP are in the new party like the case now with the Social Democratic Party?
“You don’t change a party’s name on the basis of losing election
“We are also suspecting that some of those who left the party are plotting to return to PDP through the backdoor. This is why they are giving this condition of change of name.”
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