by Stanley Azuakola
They took their time, that’s for sure. But it seems now that opposition parties in Nigeria have finally warmed to themselves and are set to unveil some details about their expected grand merger. They’ll be doing that a week from today on Tuesday January 15th at the Yar’adua Centre in Abuja by launching a Manifesto of Nigerian Opposition Parties.
The event was scheduled to hold about a month ago, on Tuesday 18th Dec. 2012, but was put off. It’s expected to proceed as planned this time.
Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu disclosed the news on his Facebook page.
Not much detail is known on whether a new name will be announced on that day for the alliance or whether the merger would even be discussed at all. But according to Tinubu, ‘“2015: Manifesto of Nigerian Opposition Politics” is an assessment of the current state of Nigerian opposition parties, how they evolved, issues and challenges militating against electoral collaborations and recommendations for a way forward.’
The event would be chaired by ACN party elder, Audu Ogbeh, who is a former chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). No mention was made about the parties which came together to put up the manifesto, but from the names of the presenters at the event, it is likely a combination of the three leading opposition parties – the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Mal. Ibrahim Shekarau are scheduled to jointly present the manifesto.
The Scoop recently included Bola Tinubu and Muhammadu Buhari in its list of top 10 people in politics to watch in 2013 due to expectations concerning the proposed merger.
Curiously, the list of special guests included Olusegun Mimiko, the Labour Party governor of Ondo state, whose battle for re-election last year pitted him against Bola Tinubu and the ACN in what The Scoop listed among the Top 10 political clashes of 2012. It would be interesting to see whether Mimiko would grace the event. Also listed are the Chairman of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and the two governors elected on its platform, Rochas Okorocha of Imo and Peter Obi of Anambra. Traditionally, APGA aligns more with the PDP. The party endorsed President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011 and did not field any presidential candidate for that election.
The forward to the book was written by Dr. Kayode Fayemi, the ACN governor of Ekiti.