Political observers say the heated political situation in Nigeria is suggesting the formation of a new political party.
A ranking senator of the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), told journalists that the rise of a new party is inevitable. ‘Honestly speaking, the APC as ruling party has failed. It’s an almagamation of various camps, such as that of President Muhammadu Buhari, the camp of ex-vice president Atiku Abubakar, the one of Bola Tinubu and that of the likes of Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, all with distinct philosophy,’ he said. The senator added that, ‘The problems in the National Assembly has already polarized the government and worse still, is the fact that the National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC is sharply divided.’
Recently, disgruntlement, disenfranchisement and rapidly-shifting loyalties have created problems within the two leading political parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). According to rumours, aggrieved party stalwarts from the two blocs are plotting a grand move to form new political party ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Engineer Segun Oni, the Deputy National Chairman of APC South, has denied having any knowledge of the move to form a new party.
A source told journalists that members of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) led by Tinubu, the nPDP like Atiku and some former PDP governors who revolted and joined are all aggrieved over the alleged ‘domineering influence’ of members of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) who were brought forth into APC by President Buhari.
The source told journalists that, ‘The simple truth is that in all intent, members of the CPC have short-changed others in the scheme of things, especially in terms of ministerial and other appointments. Just do a quick rundown of those in the corridors of power and you will see what I mean, they are all from the erstwhile CPC. So, some of us are really working to come together, including leaders and supporters of what I can call ‘banana political parties’ that do not have the wherewithal to make any impact on their own.’
The source also said, ‘We want to coalesce into a big force, far from the contraption in the PDP and the marriage of convenience in the APC.’
Recently, Tinubu had fallen out with the National Chairman of the APC Chief John Odigie-Oyegun for allegedly overruling the party’s NWC’s decision, by submitting the name of Chief Rotimi Akeredolu, as the party’s candidate in the Ondo governorship election scheduled to hold on November 28.
Akeredolu emerged against Tinubu’s preferred candidate Olusegun Abraham. All eforts to correct the mistake failed as INEC had already confirmed Akeredolu as the APC candidate for the election. This move was seen by Tinubu’s loyalists as another slight on their leader. They also believed that Oyegun was just acting ‘an elaborate script’ of some ‘invisible hands’ who are all out to seize the south west from Asiwaju.
During the Ondo governorship case, Tinubu said, ‘To rescue the party, Oyegun must go. He has shown that he and democratic fair play cannot exist in the same party at the same.’ He added that, ‘For those who care about the party, who care about Nigeria and its chance for a better tomorrow, now is the time to stand against this brewing evil before it grows to consume all we have built and hold dear.’
To support these rumours, on September 3, ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo emphasised what he called a need for a strong political party when Senator Sheriff visited him. He said, ‘Today PDP cannot claim to be a strong party in opposition. I don’t know if APC can claim at the national level to be a strong party in government, either. Now that is part of the misfortune of this country today. That being the case, it must be the concern of all Nigerians that the present democratic dispensation must not be allowed to be derailed. And for it not to be derailed, we must have a strong political party in government and a strong political party as opposition.’