AGGRIEVED members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, are reportedly making frantic efforts to join the mega party that will be the offshoot of the merger arrangement between the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, and the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, so as to wrestle power from the PDP.
Secretary of the merger committee for the CPC, Mr Okoi Obono-Obla who disclosed this to Vanguard, yesterday, said the essence of the merger plan was to recue the country from the pit of the ruling PDP.
Obono-Obla also allayed fears of those who had the belief that the merger arrangement was centered on the former CPC presidential candidate, General Mohammadu Buhari and the ACN leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinunbu, saying that with the new development, Buhari and Tinunbu will make sacrifices for the interest of the country.
He said that from the stories in the media, the PDP had been jittery and planting stories in some national newspapers since the merger talk started with a lot of propaganda that the merger would not work out, adding that the two political parties and some other opposition parties had agreed in principle that merger was the only way to give the PDP a run for its money.
He said, “what CPC and ACN were trying to do in 2011 which did not materialize was an alliance. Merger is a new concept in Nigeria political history. It has never taken place before. The parties are collapsing their structures into one party.
“So all these people who are cynical about the merger arrangement do not know what they are talking about. I am very optimistic because we agree in principle that it is the only way to give the PDP a run for its money, enthrone democracy, eliminate corruption, restructure the country and rescue Nigerians from the pit,” he said.
Obono-Obla who is also the CPC Assistant National Secretary said another area the mega party will look into if given the mandate was the 36 states structure to ensure that the states will not be hanging in Abuja every months for allocation before projects could be done.
“The 36 states structure has not brought development to the country. Maybe, we may resort to regionalism or to six geo-political zones to provide true federalism to the country.”
On the fear that Buhari and Tinunbu would try to dominate and determine who gets what in the planed merger, he said, “I don’t think that Buhari factor will cause any obstacle. Buhari and Tinunbu will make sacrifice, all of us will make sacrifice, all the structures of the two political parties will go. We are going to make sacrifices because Nigeria is in trouble. For now we are not talking about candidates, we have the committee that will decide and General Buhari had said that he will abide by the committee recommendation.
“The whole essence of the merger is to reorganize the country and win political power. CPC is the biggest party in the North. We got 14 million votes in the last presidential election. We are merging with the ACN that has South West and Edo state and also Anambra and some parts of Benue states. PDP disenchanted members are interested and want to come on board, it is a movement of the progressives that want to proffer solutions to the multi ferrous problems confronting the country that is why we are talking about a broad based political party.
“We will be having two ideological based political parties, the rightist and the leftist.The merger will provide alternative to the chaos we are having. We will reorganize the country for proper federalism so that every body will control resources.
“If you want good governance and a party that is not corrupt, then you will vote for the party that will emerge. Our manifesto has these features, good governance, true federalism and so on. No Jupiter can thwart this effort; we have gone beyond somebody trying to thwart this effort.
“Everybody is serious with the merger talk, the international community and Nigerians are serious encouraging us,” he said.