Independent National Electoral Commission

The Independent National Electoral Commission on Friday said it had registered two new political parties.
They are the Peoples Democratic Movement and Independent Democrats.
A statement signed by Secretary to INEC, Mrs. A.C. Ogokwu, said they were registered in accordance with the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the 2010 Electoral Act (as amended).
The statement added that the constitution, logo/flag manifesto and National Executive Officers of both parties have been approved by the commission.
Associates of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar are believed to have floated PDM, as an alternative platform for the realization of his presidential ambition.
Atiku was defeated in the Peoples Democratic Party primaries in 2011 by President Goodluck Jonathan.
Although he has not openly declared his intention to run in 2015, there are feelers that he may have given his associates tacit approval to float the new platform.
Atiku has lately complained of alleged moves to prevent him from participating as a delegate in the PDP special convention scheduled for August 31 in Abuja.
The party has, however, denied the claim.
PDM was floated by a former Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters, Gen. Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, in 1992 to actualize his presidential ambition.
Although he couldn’t realize his bid, the movement became a rallying point for his associates.
Although he died in prison custody in 1996, the movement was resuscitated in 1998 by Atiku and some other associates of the late former deputy to ex-head of state, Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo.
The movement played a prominent role in Obasanjo’s emergence as president in 1999.
Its influence eventually manifested in Atiku becoming vice-president.
Atiku had some days ago denied reports that he and some Northern governors were planning to defect from PDP to PDM.
He, however, confirmed that his associates were behind the move to register the movement as a political party.
Atiku also noted that he remained a loyal member of PDP.
Abubakar?s spokesman, Garba Shehu, had in a statement made available to journalists on Thursday, said, “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.”
If Atiku eventually defects to PDM, it will be the second time he will be pushing his presidential bid on the platform of another party.
In 2007, he switched to then Action Congress and picked its presidential ticket although he lost to Umaru Yar’Adua.

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