By Maram Mazen and Yinka Ibukun
Bloomberg, September 4, 2013
Nigeria's ruling People’s Democratic
Party threatened to punish members who have created a rival
leadership, causing its biggest internal crisis since it came to
power 14 years ago.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar led seven out of 23
governors elected under the PDP out of a party convention on
Aug. 31. The group declared afterward they were the New PDP and
appointed a different leadership.
“The People’s Democratic Party has no faction and there is
neither room nor reason for such a claim under any guise,”
Chairman Bamanga Tukur said today in an e-mailed statement. Any
unelected person who “goes ahead to arrogate such to himself
will be made to face the full wrath of the law.”
The party has won all general elections since Africa’s top
oil producer ended more than 15 years of military rule in 1999.
President Goodluck Jonathan, a southern Christian, is facing a
mounting challenge from northern Muslims who accuse him of
breaching an unwritten rule to rotate power between the two
regions when he ran in 2011 elections.
Jonathan had succeeded Umaru Yar’Adua, a northern Muslim,
who died in office in 2010. He hasn’t ruled out running for
another term when his current four-year tenure ends in 2015,
prompting efforts to take control of the party by rival interest
A majority of the seven state governors and 79 lawmakers
who have expressed support for the dissident faction is from
Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north. Southern Nigeria has a
predominantly Christian population.
Ruling party lawmakers “who identify with these enemies of
the oneness and greatness of our party shall have their seats
declared vacant as required by law.” Tukur said.
To contact the reporters on this story:
Maram Mazen in Abuja at
Yinka Ibukun in Lagos at
To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Dulue Mbachu at