By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor
ABUJA—Political parties involved in the merger talks to produce a formidable opposition party are devising plans to keep moles of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in their midst from sabotaging their ultimate objective participating in the talks.
The plans of the opposition parties came to fore following revelations that two former governors presently members of All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP were already engaged in talks with the PDP.
The duo, former Governor Ali Modu Sheriff and Senator Ahmed Yerima were yesterday, reported to have held talks with the PDP national chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur as part of the process of wooing them over to the ruling party.
The revelation of the secret talks was received with mixed feelings in the ranks of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC and the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, the two major parties driving the merger talks.
“We have always said it that we will talk with progressive minds and so anyone that is frolicking with PDP cannot have a progressive mind,” CPC national publicity secretary, Mr. Rotimi Fashikin told Vanguard, yesterday.
Pledging that whatever actions of Sheriff and Yerima would not derail the process, he said: ”We are going to have the merger and will involve only those with progressive minds.”
He said that certain elements in the ANPP would pull the rug off the feet of the former governors.
A leading chieftain of the ACN involved in the merger talks was forthright last night saying that his party and the ANPP were conscious of those he described as black legs in the ANPP and had taken care to safeguard the merger plans from their actions.
“You would see that the two of them are not really involved in the merger talks and it is instructive that all sides have been watching them knowing their antecedents. We know those who cry out in the day time against PDP but go to bed with them in the night,” the ACN chieftain said.
ANPP national publicity secretary, Mr. Emma Eneukwu, said the party was unaware of the alleged talks between Sheriff, Yerima and PDP saying the party received it as newspaper rumour.
CPC national leader, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari had at the inauguration of the party’s merger committee last week disclosed that the merger plans would be achieved in phases with the CPC and ACN consummating the alliance before the ANPP would be ushered in.