By Simon Ebegbulem
BENINâ€”FORMER Senate Chief Whip and chieftain of the Action Congress, AC,Â Senator Rowland Owie, yesterday, gave reason why the proposed plan to merge the Action Congress and the Democratic Peoples Party, DPP,Â will fail.
He recalled how the move by prominent politicians in the country, including former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, General Muhammadu Buhari and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to form a merger party that would serve as an alternative to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, failed due to what he described as the â€œinordinateâ€ ambition of some of the leaders in the committee, adding that the recent plans to merge the AC and the DPP will also fail in that manner.
Owie, who spoke to newsmen in Benin City, regretted that after the failure of the formation of the mega party, prominent AC leaders such as Atiku, Dubem Onyia, Dapo Sarumi, Titi Ajanaku and others went back to the PDP, adding after that â€œ I do not think that any form of merger will work again at this point in time.â€
According to him, â€œI have actually heard about the plan to merge the DPP with the Action Congress. The leader of DPP is my friend and former Governor of Sokoto State, Atahiru Bafarawa.
The truth is that the issue of merger now is late and irrelevant. But may be those who are spear heading it are those who have not ran for election, so they do not know the implication of losing elections.
â€œThe time the merger was on, we held meetings in Abuja several times and at one of the meetings,Â I warned, Atiku was there, Bola Tinubu and quite a number of leaders were there. I said the only hope for this merger party to work is for every body to forget their ambition and that if they continue with their various ambitions,Â it will not work, which was why it failed,” he added.
Others said oh, they should talk about electoral reform that they are not keen on merging.
â€œAnd I told them the history ofÂ PPA,Â which during the second republic the UPN, NPP,GNPP and PRP were to do. And at our Yola convention in 1982, the arrangement back fired and because none of the leaders of the four political parties, late Nnamdi Azikiwe, late Obafemi Awolowo, Aminu Kano and Waziri Ibrahim agreed to step down their ambition at the early stage.
â€œEven though Aminu Kano, Azikiwe and Waziri Ibrahim were willing to say lets leave our ambition and pick other people, but late Awolowo said no, he said he will go ahead and if possible he will go it alone.
Because of the inordinate ambition of the various leaders, the PPA in 1982 collapsed and the NPN won more states than they won in 1979. We are at it again, and I warned them that day that if it is not done, it will be difficult to form a mega party,â€ he said.