- Past presidents, govt officials involved
- Birth of new party planned for Q1 2017
With the gulf in the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party widening and the discordant tunes in the ruling All Progressives Congress reaching a fever pitch, fresh facts have emerged, linking some political bigwigs with the planned formation of a new mega party that will be positioned to seize power from the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration come 2019.
Competent sources who spoke with The Point, but pleaded anonymity, because of the sensitivity of the issue and in order to protect the integrity of some of the promoters of the initiative, said that the sponsors of the ongoing new party movement were people no one would expect to be involved and were drawn largely from the APC and PDP.
Top on the list are former President Olusegun Obasanjo, his estranged former Vice President, Abubakar Atiku; former governor of Lagos State and APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; former Senate President, Ken Nnamani; and former governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke.
They also listed incumbent Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal; his predecessor, Senator Aliyu Wammako; and immediate past governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, as part of the realignment scheme targeted atdecimating and sweeping out the ruling APC from government.
The Point’s findings further revealed that Tambuwal and Wammako were coordinating the Sokoto axis; Kwankwaso, the Kano axis; while some governors, both in the North and in the South, who are serving out their second terms, are coordinating activities for the new movement in their respective states.
The new poliTical marriage, expecTed To be birThed in The firsT quarTer of nexT year, is a consummaTion beTween aggrieved members of The ruling apc, opposiTion pdp and some lesser poliTical parTies, and is expecTed To be a ‘Third force’
Since riding to power on the back of a popular change mantra, there has been growing discontent with the APC government among Nigerians, who are daily confronted with tough economic situations. This has been worsened by the perception in certain quarters that the administration may just never be able to rise to the challenge and change the narrative, what with the many battles and divisions within the party’s ranks.
A recent research by a United Kingdom-based professor, which showed Nigerians’ disenchantment with the current style of governance of the APC and the fight to the finish syndrome in the PDP, notwithstanding the disenchantment of members of both APC and PDP with happenings in their respective parties, further bolsters this perception.
According to one of the sources, the new political marriage, expected to be birthed in the first quarter of next year, is a consummation between aggrieved members of the ruling APC, opposition PDP and some lesser political parties, and is expected to be a ‘third force’.
A former National Chairman of the Alliance for Democracy, Adamu Song, confirmed to The Point that plans were on to form a mega party to challenge the ruling APC in 2019.
He said, “Of course, it is very true and it is a welcome development. In fact, we are getting close to the stage where we will approach the Independent National Electoral Commission, to register the party. I can confirm to you that I’m one of the people in the centre, coordinating the movements of the party.
“There are many leaders of both the ruling party, APC and opposition leaders that you know, that are involved in this move. But you know, some of them are active in government now; they may not want their names revealed. It would amount to anti-party activities. Some of the nation’s past presidents are also involved.”
An APC leader in the South South, who pleaded anonymity, said the major actors in the upcoming mega party were still very much active in their respective parties.
He, however, confirmed that talks were ongoing across party lines.
“Nigerians are not sure where the PDP would end with the crisis bedevilling it. Yet, Nigerians are fast losing hope in the APC. They are particularly irked by the non-inclusive nature of the party.
Hence, the wake-up call for a new movement that will give Nigerians a fresh breath,” he said. The APC chieftain added that some top APC members still hobnobbing with President Buhari were only playing to the gallery, as they were also involved in the grand scheme. “Many of them are not happy with the strength of the alleged cabal said to be holding the President hostage,” he said.
The South-South APC chieftain added, “You could see that their resolve to control the President is manifesting negatively for the APC. All the promises made by the party before the 2015 general elections are not being kept.
“Oil is only 15 per cent of our Gross Domestic Product. So, how can the failure of 15 per cent of our GDP drag us into recession? It is simply because those who are around the President have made it so hard for him to address the problems frontally. We are not happy with the development.”
The Point also gathered that some top and older members of the National Assembly from both the APC and PDP, who were not happy with the way the National Assembly was being piloted presently, were involved in the new mega party project.
The major reason for this development, according to findings, is the disappointment of the crux of the ruling party members, who worked for its success at the 2015 polls, but have now been reportedly sidelined by alleged opportunists.
Another source, a female party leader, who is close to Tinubu, told The Point that serious consultations were ongoing across the country, in a bid to rein in prominent sectional leaders for the yet to be formed party.
She said, “People will be shocked when this party is finally revealed, because people you don’t expect are involved in it. And their decisions were borne out of the fact that they felt betrayed by this administration. We, at the grassroots level, are already preparing for the move, because we are almost on a daily basis consulting and meeting.
“What we are just waiting for is for Asiwaju and his people to lead and we follow.
“The insult that Asiwaju and other people that worked for President Buhari’s victory in 2015 have received is enough.I think the best thing is to take such decision and we are solidly behind them,” she added.
Another source, a top chieftain of the opposition PDP, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity, confirmed the speculated fingerprints of former President Obasanjo in the upcoming mega party.
baba obasanjo is noT happy abouT everyThing happening in The counTry. and as iT is, consulTaTions are ongoing naTionwide on This issue. Tinubu is always wiTh baba and They have been conTacTing Their loyalisTs across The counTry
“Baba Obasanjo is not happy about everything happening in the country. And as it is, consultations are ongoing nationwide on this issue. Tinubu is always with Baba and they have been contacting their loyalists across the country,” he said.
He further stated that the architects of the mega party were also apprehensive of the speculated move by some members of a caucus in the APC, who had already begun moves to hijack the South West caucus of APC from Tinubu and others, because of their alleged ambition in 2019.
“Architects of this party are aware of some moves by some secret groups in the APC, who are planning to take over the South West. These people have their cliques and had already bought over most of the South-West governors, who people believe are Tinubu’s disciples,” he revealed.
Speaking on the underground moves, a former governor of Edo State, Prof. Osunbo Oserheimen, confirmed that Edo State had also been reined in.
In another development, a serving APC senator, who also does not want his name in print, told The Point that the realignment of sort was a response to the “situation of things in the country.”
“The Abubakar Atiku factor will also be factored in. Obasanjo might not have been seeing eye to-eye with Atiku before now, but you see, in politics, there are no permanent enemies, but permanent interests. Our party has not lived up to expectations and it has deviated from its core values and what we all represented. So, I am not surprised,” he noted.
Meanwhile, Afenifere, a pan Yoruba socio-political group, has said that its reunion with Tinubu is to unite the Yoruba nation against forces that have been against the Yoruba nation.
One of the leaders of the group, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, while speaking with The Point, said, “We don’t know anything about any party for now. What we are doing is uniting together as a Yoruba nation to fight forces that are working against us, especially the Fulanis.”
Meanwhile, concerned citizens have said that the formation of a new mega party may help put Nigeria back on track in the quest for a truly democratic government.
The Chairman, Governing Council, Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Prof. Tunde Samuel, told The Point that, by 2019, there would be a re-alignment of forces that would help to move the country forward.
He said, “What we have now is an amalgam of irreconcilable forces on the political planet, and there is no way we can move forward. APC is an amalgam of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party, Congress for Progressive Change, Action Congress of Nigeria and a faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance. These forces are battling for the soul of the party. That is high political engineering, and they will continue to battle for the soul of the APC till 2019.”