•Obasanjo’s group not an option- PDP Vice Chair
•Buhari should forget 2019 -NANS
•Ezekwesile’s, MFC join the fray
•They are vehicles to nowhere -APC
•Herdsmen attack, nepotism ‘ll work against Buhari
As the battle for the 2019 elections gathers momentum, over 30 political parties and coalitions of association have insisted that President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress would not be re-elected.
According to the Presidential candidate of the National Conscience Party in the 2015 elections, Chief Martins Onovo, with the coalition of the various groups and most importantly the alliance of the 30 parties, the APC government will terminate in 2019.
The parties involved in the merger plan, according to Onovo, include Labour Party (LP), Alliance for Democracy (AD), Democratic Peoples Congress (DPC), Action Alliance (AA), Progressives Peoples Alliance (PPA), Young Democratic Party (YDP), Democratic Alternative (DA) and National Conscience Party (NCP).
Others are Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN), Mega Progressive Peoples Party (MPPP), Better Nigeria Peoples Party (BNPP), African Democratic Congress (ADC), People for Democratic Change (PDC), United Democratic Party (UDP) and National Action Congress (NAC).
He said former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s damning verdict on President Buhari set the tone for the current shift with his letter three weeks ago. In the letter, Obasanjo accused Buhari, among other things, of “nepotic deployment bordering on clannishness, the President’s poor understanding of the dynamics of internal politics which has led to wittingly or unwittingly making the nation more divided and inequality has widened and become more pronounced. It also has effect on general national security. The third is passing the buck,’’ for which he said he should not be re-elected
Already, the Nigeria Intervention Movement believed to have been midwived by Obasanjo, has been launched in Abuja and Ogun State and it is currently calling for membership across the nation.
It is said to be reaching out to some Nigerians like the Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, Col Abubarkar Umar Dangiwa and Mallam Adamu Ciroma, Prof. Pat Utomi, General Alani Akinriade.
At the launch last week were former governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke, and the convener and former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, who promised that the group constitutes the Third Force for the betterment of Nigeria.
Over the weekend, the former President, who wrote a letter to President Buhari listing 11 infractions, was slated to visit South Africa as part of his campaign to ensure that neither the APC nor PDP is elected into office in 2019.
Similarly, the Citizen’s Movement for Good Governance in Nigeria (@RedCardMng) under the leadership of former Education minister, Dr. Oby Ezekwesile, has been mobilising Nigerians to register and obtain their voter’s card with which they can vote out this government in 2019. Besides, there is Movement for Fundamental Change.
Onovo said everything Obasanjo said resonated with all Nigerians, adding that with the current movement, it is certain that APC won’t be re-elected in 2019. “It is about leadership and once the various movements and leaders take the lead, as opinion leaders, the government will be voted out in 2019,” he said.
He added that Obasanjo’s group is popular and necessary, but it is not a political party. “All the alternative platforms are welcome, but you cannot be an alternative to a political party, if you are not one. To contest and win an election, they must register as a political party, which I think is too late in the day, or fuse into existing one.
“Over 90 per cent Nigerians agree with and endorse the problems list by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and that is an indication that we are united in purpose.
“If you have read the book, ‘The Problem with Nigeria,’ written by Prof. Chinua Achebe in 1985, you will agree that the problem with the country is leadership. Once the leaders of the various 30 political parties go to their respective towns and moblise people, the election will be won and lost,” he said.
PDP Chairman, South-West, Mr. Eddy Olafeso, said that much as the former President plays a major role in Nigerian politics, his option is not one that can help Nigeria at this state.
“Time is not on their side because we have about 10 months to presidential election, But as it is often said in politics, ‘never say never’. But I am not optimistic about how far they can go. To us in the PDP, they are not a source of major concern. Rather, right now, we want to consolidate on our achievements and rebuilding efforts of the last two years and make great success in the next elections.
“In advanced democracies, there are usually two major parties and that is very clear in Nigeria. You see, you can criticize and in democracy there is freedom of association, but I see these people as opportunists.” Olafeso said.
However, Publicity Secretary of the APC in Lagos State, Chief Joe Igbokwe, said the various movements and coalitions are vehicles to nowhere. He acknowledged, however, that Nigerians are going through some tough times but the APC government is fixing the problems and will earn re-election in 2019.