By JIDE AJANI
At a time when the controversy sparked by last weekend’s disclosure that President Goodluck Jonathan allegedly entered into an agreement with some state governors to spend just a term of four years in office is still creating ripples, over 200 political heavyweights in the country have teamed up to form a new political group. The group started out as G-37.
At the weekend, Sunday Vanguard was reliably informed in telephone conversation with one of the conveners that the group, which “seeks to set itself apart from the fray of merger and needless sundry confrontation, would fashion a new path to Nigeria’s glory”.
Yet to come up with a formal name, the group is said to have been holding meetings and consultations as a non-partisan political organisation with the aim of instituting good governance in the country.
Former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, is said to be the arrowhead of the group.
Five formal meetings of the group have been held while “a plethora of consultations are going on across the six geo-political zones of the country”, a source based in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja said.
At the group’s last meeting on Wednesday, February 20, 2013, “it was a packed house as scores of politicians were in attendance.”
The meeting was held in Maitama, Abuja.
Among those in attendance were Senator Gbemisola Saraki, who is the vice chairman of the group, Basorun Akin Osuntokun, the secretary; a former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Nuhu Ribadu; one time minister, Odein Ajumogobia, SAN; a former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olabode George; Ambassador Fati Abubakar; Nigeria’s former High Commissioner to Ghana, Ambassador Musiliu Obanikoro; a former Minister of Aviation in the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode; and Chris Uche, SAN.
A member of the group told Sunday Vanguard that the main focus of the group is unity.
“At a time that Nigeria’s centenary is here, we need to first of all ensure that we are united as a people before politics comes in”, the member said.
“The way the country is going”, he continued, “gives cause for concern because we can only play politics when there is peace and unity”.
The group already has committees put in place to ensure a synergy of purpose.
Some of the committees include Mobilisation, chaired by Fani-Kayode, with Senator Grace Bent as deputy; the Finance Committee, chaired by Fafa Dan Princewill; Media, chaired Senator Emmanuel Onwe, with Prof. Mahmud Jega as vice chairman; while Nuhu Ribaud heads the Committee on Strategy and Research.
Some other members of the group include Lawal Shuaibu; human rights activist, Uba Sani; Senator Umar Argungu; Olusegun Awolowo; and Hon. Uche Ekwunife.