By Peter DURU, Makurdi
The General Muhammadu Buhari-led Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, and the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, have commenced merger negotiations which would be cemented before the end of the year.
CPC’s National Organising Secretary, Mr. Richard Mnenga, said this while fielding questions from newsmen in Makurdi, Benue State, weekend.
Mnenge disclosed that negotiations between the parties have reached advanced stage with civil society organisations while several Christian and Muslims clerics were also deeply involved in the parley.
He stressed that the move would further strengthen the parties to wrestle power from the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP.
On the strength of CPC in Benue State, ahead of the 2011 elections, the party chieftain boasted that they were fully on ground and battle-ready to unseat the ruling PDP in the state in the next elections.
He intimated that CPC has two gubernatorial candidates who were set for presentation to the Benue electorate, adding that the party would soon conduct its congresses.
Speaking on the character and person of Gen. Buhari who is the party’s presidential candidate, the CPC chieftain urged Nigerians to discountenance the rumour that portrayed the presidential candidate as a religious bigot, adding that the story was the handiwork of those who did not mean well for the former head of state.
Mnenga insisted that Buhari is one man who believed in the progress of the nation and so wants the right thing to be done which he exemplified when he was the head of state and later Chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund, PTF.
“Buhari’s antecedents are such that threatens his political opponents. His war against indiscipline programme, WAI was not targeted at a particular religion and when he was the chairman of Petroleum Trust Fund PTF, he performed well and the benefits were for everybody and every sector and not based on religion.
The allegations are cheap blackmail meant to score cheap political points”, Mnenga added.
The National Organizing Secretary further contended that if Buhari is rigid as alleged, he wouldn’t have accepted a merger with the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, neither would he have enjoyed the endorsement of Coalition of New Nigeria CNN, a socio-political organization made up of 32 political parties.
Reacting to media publication by Wantarregh Paul Unongo calling for the probe of General Buhari for the past wrongs done the nation, Mr. Mnenga expressed doubts if Unongo who have served in the same party with Buhari would now turn around to call for his trial.
“I do not believe Paul Unongo would say that; I really doubt he would say it, but if he said so, it is best known to him”, he stated.