The three leading opposition political parties, the Action Congress of Nigeria, Congress for Progressive Change and the All Nigeria Peoples Party, on Tuesday said their plan to merge was to save the country from collapse.
Their leaders spoke in Abuja at the presentation of Manifesto of a Nigerian Opposition Politics, written by a civil rights activist, Mr. Salihu Lukman.
According to the ACN National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, all progressives must unite in order to send the ruling Peoples Democratic Party out of power in 2015.
This, he said, was necessary in order to save the country and its people from the “misrule” of the PDP-led Federal Government.
Represented by the party’s National Secretary, Senator Lawan Shuaib, Akande said, “Nigerian and its people are at crossroads. We must move fast and save the country from the PDP. That is the essence of the merger.”
Also, the CPC National Leader and a former Head of State, Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari(retd.), called on Nigerians not to lose hope.
Posterity, he said, would not forgive the opposition leaders if they allowed personal agenda to mar the proposed merger plan.
Buhari, represented by a former Deputy Governor of Bauchi State, Alhaji Garba Gadi, said the desire to consummate the relationship would make the CPC inaugurate its merger team by Wednesday (today).
He said, “By morrow (today), the CPC will inaugurate a committee on the proposed merger talk. This is to show that we are determined about it and we must not fail.”
The ANPP National Chairman, Dr. Ogbonaya Onu, said the 2015 political battle would be between the conservatives and the progressives.
Describing the PDP as the conservatives, Onu said the party had failed the nation.
He said, “By the grace of God, we will make it in 2015. The 2015 election battle will be between the conservatives and the progressives. The conservatives have been in power since 1999 and people have been dying of hunger since then.
“From 2015, the progressives will put a stop to this. Now, our schools are no longer working. Our children are now going to Ghana, Benin Republic and Togo to get education.
“The conservatives have refused to build hospitals and that is why Nigerians are now going to India to get treated for minor sickness. This must stop.”
Former PDP National Chairman, Chief Audu Ogbe, who chaired the event, said it was disheartening that many politicians preferred to jump from one party to the other in search of tickets to contest elections.
Ogbe, who urged politicians to drop their personal interest for the nation’s interest, said their desire to seek elective positions at all costs “leaves them without honour.”
Former governor of Lagos State and National Leader of the ACN, Bola Tinubu, promised that he and Buhari would do their best for the merger to succeed.
Tinubu, represented by the Minority Leader in the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, however appealed to the opposition members to close ranks in the interest of the nation.
Meanwhile, the CPC National Chairman, Tony Momoh, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Abuja that the opposition parties were determined to take over power from PDP in 2015.
He said, “The basic fundamental thing that the CPC will be involved in this year is to establish a massive election wining body that will give Nigerians an alternative government.”