*Hold opposition leaders’ summit Oct 30
By Emmanuel Aziken
ABUJA â€” FORMER Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar and erstwhile Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa are convening a national summit of opposition political leaders, this month-end, to, among other things, stop the PDP from fielding President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua for a second term.
The opposition also plots to frustrate the PDP from emerging victorious in the 2011 presidential election and in many other states across the country.
The trio, it was confirmed yesterday, are jointly issuing the invitation for the national opposition summit to, in their words, save the country from the path of national disintegration.
The three leaders who have until now congregated under the banner of the National Democratic Initiative, NDI, expect the summit to transform their alliance into a national political movement to be known as the National Democratic Movement, NDM.
The summit according to their joint spokesman, Alhaji Sule Hamman, will involve participants drawn on an equal basis from across the country. Hamman was until now Buhariâ€™s spokesman.
Atikuâ€™s spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, confirmed the active involvement of his boss in the scheduled opposition summit.
Buhari, Atiku and Bafarawa contested the 2007 presidential election on the tickets of the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP; Action Congress, AC, and the Democratic Peoples Party, DPP, respectively.
Vanguard gathered that some Northern elements within and outside the PDP are in support of the alliance.
Hamman told Vanguard yesterday: â€œThe aim of the group is obviously one, to carry out a national consultation on the state of the nation as it affects the security of the country, the problem of infrastructure collapse, population explosion, corrupt and inefficient administration and the collapse of the judicial system. In a nutshell, the threat to the integrity of the country is what we are concerned about.â€™â€™
Rebutting claims that the promoters were preoccupied with keeping the presidency among themselves, Hamman said: â€œI think people are entitled to start mentioning what they want, but Gen. Buhari as a former President of Nigeria, you should expect that he knows some minimum standards of efficiency of governance, some certain minimum standards that are required to keep the country going, to ensure stability and security and to create opportunities for others.
â€œSo, if he fights for those values, I think people will understand why he is doing so.â€™â€™
Giving details of the national summit, he continued: â€œThere is going to be a meeting on the 30th of this month at which the whole country is going to be represented on equal basis. There will be no distinction between the north and the south in terms of representation, in terms of diversity or in terms of number.â€™â€™
Elaborating further, he said: â€œIt will be held under the platform of the National Democratic Initiative. The National Democratic Movement, NDM, is what we hope the meeting of 30th will transform into.â€™â€™