Nigeria’s main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has agreed to change its name as part of a re-branding drive as the country heads into crucial elections early next year.
Local media portals had reported of the move over the weekend but it was confirmed in Monday by PDP spokesperson after a meeting of its National Executive Committee (NEC) in the capital Abuja.
The Daily Trust news portal quoted PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan as saying: “The party has set up a committee on harmonization to commence the process for possible change of name as part of efforts to re-brand the party ahead of the 2019 general elections.
“Based on the workings of the PDP, R-APC and others, the issue of name change is not about time-frame; the time is now. So let’s follow the trend as it unfolds,” he added.
The Reformed-All progressives Congress (R-APC) is a breakaway faction of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) going into the elections.
The R-APC according to reports were the main driving force behind the need to change the name of a party that had previously governed Nigeria for 16 years producing four presidents in-between.
Under the PDP, Nigeria was governed by Olusegun Obasanjo between 1999 and 2007, next was Umaru Musah Yar’Adua – who died in office whiles serving his first term.
His vice at the time Goodluck Jonathan completed Yar’Adua’s tenure and won his first term in 2011. Buhari beat Jonathan in 2015 to end the PDP’s reign. It took a coalition of parties under the APC banner to achieve this feat.
The PDP entered an agreement with a number of parties to present a common candidate for the elections. Buhari has also expressed his intention to seek a final term and is most likely to get the APC’s mandate at an upcoming congress.