The presidential candidate for the All Nigeria Peoples Party in the 2011 elections, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, on Thursday expressed the hope that the merger of opposition political parties in the country would produce a viable alternative to the Peoples Democratic Party’s dominance in the country.
Shekarau spoke on the topic ‘National rebuilding, inter-party committee on merger plans’ at the South-West meeting of the party in Ibadan.
The former governor of Kano State said, “The ongoing merger talks among opposition parties in the country is necessary. With this, there is the hope that Nigeria will succeed.”
According to him, the three leading opposition parties – Action Congress of Nigeria, the Congress for Progressive Change and the All Nigerian Peoples Party – are already discussing the merger plans.
Shekarau, who is the Chairman of the inter-party Committee, pointed out that the proposed merger was not just aimed at dislodging the PDP, but to create a party that could offer good governance.
The PDP, he said, lacked the ability to deliver good governance.
He said, “This idea is not about merging to dislodge the PDP, but to provide good governance. We just don’t want to dislodge the PDP; it is about its policies and programmes.
“For instance, former President Olusegun Obasanjo introduced the National Economic Empowerment Development Strategy and forced the states to adopt it. But Yar’Adua, his successor, abandoned it and started the seven-point agenda.
“Again, Goodluck Jonathan, who is also a PDP member, jettisoned that and introduced the Transformation Agenda. The merger is about dislodging people who do not understand Nigeria, people who are inconsistent and people who run disjointed programmes and policies.
“So, what we are going to have is a new party, programmes and a new identity. It is a serious matter. We will agree on a common focus.”
The former governor hinted that the three leading opposition parties were at an advanced stage in their discussions, stressing that the merger would work.
According to him, happenings on the political scene since independence are mere alliances.
He added, “This is a true merger that will see current parties fused into a new party that will be a solid platform to win the elections.
“Now we are looking backward and we have seen that there is a reason why God put us together as a nation. Now, people are clamouring for change. We have resolved to work with any credible party.”