Former Vice Presiodent Alh Atiku Abubakar led six Northern Governors, Governor Rotimi Amaechi and other disaffected members of the party to walk out of the Eagles Square, venue of the PDP’s national convention. The Governors who walked out with Alhaji Atiku Abubakar were those of Niger, Babangida Aliyu; Sokoto, Aliyu Wammako; Jigawa, Sule Lamido; Kano, Rabiu Musa Kwankawanso; Adamawa, Muritala Nyako, and Kwara, Abdulfatai Ahmed.
The disaffected members complained of exclusion of the supporters of the seven governors as well as what they regarded as the dictatorial tendencies of the PDP’s national chairman Dr Bamangar Tukur.
Alhaji Atiku and the seven Governors stormed out of the convention venue as former Senate President Senator Ken Nnamani, who was the chairman of the convention Electoral Committee, announced the names of candidates for election at the convention.
Those who walked out later re-emerged at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Conference Centre, a short distance from the convention venue, where they addressed a news conference and announced the formation of a splinter group, which they called the ‘New PDP’. They named former PDP Acting National Chairman Kawu Baraje as the the national chairman of their faction of PDP. The former PDP Deputy National Chairman Sam Jaja was announced deputy national chairman while former Osun State governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola, who was recently removed as PDP National Secretary on the orders of the court, emerged as national secretary.
The new factional chairman, Baraje, who addressed the press conference, said that the “New PDP” members were “worried by the increasing repression, restriction of freedom of association, arbitrary suspension of members and other such violations of democratic principles by a faction of our party led by Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.”
He claimed that he had severally tried to draw the attention of the leaders of the party and the government to the “wrong direction” the country was going on their watch, but that such counsels fell on deaf ears.
The former vice president praised the factional members for their “courageous” move to reclaim the soul of party and urged other disaffected members of the party to “join this new PDP.”