By Emmanuel Aziken
Last Monday the shell of what is expected to be the proposed mega party began to take shape at a meeting in a not too upscale hotel in Abuja.
Given the near comatose state of the opposition in the country, the expectation had been that the mega party would revive the fortunes of the opposition and bring the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC to check. At the end of the Monday meeting confidence in the mega party doing so was debatable. What could give the claim that it is really a mega party was the presence that day of political stalwarts from different political camps.
But beyond that, the lack of confidence was especially conveyed by the seeming reluctance of some the attendees volunteering their names for mention in public as part of the mega party. After all, politicians like to associate with big and reigning platforms.
No doubt about it, a number of big names were present at the meeting. Among them, was a former national woman leader of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. Also present were some former members of the National Assembly. One former female member of the House of Representatives who slipped into the APC just after the party won the 2015 presidential election and was a member of the presidential inauguration committee was also there. She like many others did not want to be mentioned. Also present was a former national chairman of a national political party who a few years ago abandoned his office to become a special assistant to the national chairman of the PDP.
Yes agreed, that the big names behind the mega party would not come out now, the fact that no incumbent office holder was directly linked to the meeting apparently raised some questions.
Nevertheless, the gist is that the big masquerades in the ruling party who have been speculated to be behind the emerging party would remain in the APC and destroy it from within.
However, their potential for such intrigues would be limited given the APC’s own record of keeping out moles.
When the founding fathers of the APC were making their plans towards the formation of the party and when doubts began to be raised about Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, it became the habit of those architects of the new party to avoid taking crucial or strategic decisions at meetings that were attended by Sheriff. Whether Sheriff confirmed their fears with his defection to the PDP after the formation of the party is anyone’s guess.
Nevertheless, for those seeking a more vibrant opposition they would have been comforted by the fact that the tentative steps required towards consolidating the opposition have been taken. Not only has the party identified an unencumbered name, Action Democratic Party, ADP, but it has also gotten the approval of the election management body to proceed with the steps towards registration.
Still on Ibori
No doubt one of the major news events of the year was the release of James Ibori from prison custody in the United Kingdom. The release has undoubtedly energised his political associates who in any case had not been totally isolated.
However, the way and manner some of them have carried about the celebration have opened the eyes of many to the intrigues that heralded the 2015 elections in Delta State. So, can those celebrating be faulted? As Senator Peter Nwaoboshi said in comments that have gone viral, Ibori from prison made him a senator and also installed Mr. Monday Igbuya as Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly. No surprise that the two men were part of the welcoming party in London.
In the midst of the euphoria, some journalists have also overstated some facts including alluding to him the conception of the Amnesty Programme. That aspect of the quelling of militancy would be better credited to the leg work of his successor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan who went to the creeks to make peace with Tompolo!