Party merger: New thinking

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BY GABRIEL EWEPU

Opposition political parties were in 2012 engrossed in fusing whatever advantages they have to wrest power from the PDP

Plans for a merger and robust check on the activities of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP were the central issues in the agenda of the major opposition political parties in the year 2012.

In 2012, the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN and the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP leaderships met for severally on their merger plans. Their national officers despite the history of past mergers and alliances till year end kept reassuring that the merger would proceed and the ruling PDP would be the loser for it.

“We have learnt our lessons and the outcome of the election showed that the PDP cannot be defeated without all opposition leaders coming together. We are in touch with each other now and we all realised the bitter facts. We will form the alliance again,” Prince Tony Momoh, the national chairman of the CPC said in an interview with a national newspaper earlier this year.

Tinubu and Buhari - leaders of opposition parties

Tinubu and Buhari – leaders of opposition parties

The ACN spokesman, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, speaking on the trepidations of the PDP on the proposed merger in an interview with another national newspaper, said:

“Clearly the PDP is very jittery. Honestly there is no alternative to pushing out the PDP. If Nigeria wants to survive as a corporate entity, the PDP must be given the boot. I think that the leaders of the opposition (when I say opposition, it is not all parties that are not in power that are in opposition.)

There are some political parties that are not in government but they are even more PDP in their thoughts and actions.

“But I believe that the ACN, CPC and ANPP have come to the realization that posterity will not forget us, if we allow PDP to remain one day more in power after 2015. I think the leaders of the parties are taking this responsibility very seriously? We are not saying that it is going to be easy to have a merger. But we shall have a merge, I can assure you,” Mohammed added.

The opposition parties that are serious to wrest power from the PDP, however, still have issues such as cracks that could derail their efforts.

The most prominent of such cracks is in the CPC where a faction led by Senator Rufai Hanga is claiming the seat held by Prince Momoh.

Besides, there are concerns on the CPC’s Muhammadu Buhari laying automatic claim to the presidential ticket of the merged party.

Recent comments by the general that he had not yet ruled himself out from contention it is feared could derail the merger talks.

But at the year end, the leaders of the various parties were still upbeat, asserting their determination to come together to wrest power from the PDP.

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