There are indications that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and major opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) face the risk of breaking up ahead of the 2023 general elections, Blueprint has reliably gathered.
As a precursor, two political groups-New Nigeria Progressive Group (NNPG) and Progressive Leaders Association of Nigeria (PLAN)-have emerged.
For instance, as a mark of its seriousness, it’s gathered that PLAN has been duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) with CAC/IT/NO139792 as the registration number.
The alignment and realignment among stalwarts of APC and PDP, Blueprint learnt, “is being considered to give Nigeria a new direction, back a consensus presidential aspirant and quickly settle for a platform where such aspiration will be realised.”
The plan to break away from the ruling party, it was further gathered, is enjoying the backing of some serving governors who are either considering whether to form a new party or team up with Malam Barabe Musa-led Peoples Redemption Party (PRP).
For PLAN, its focus, according to the organiser, “is to primarily bridge the gap in leadership capacity building for socio-cultural interchange, political and economic advancement in Nigeria.”
Already, the new groups have started mobilising major stakeholders across the major political parties with the sole purpose of forming another progressive political party to dislodge the ruling party in 2023.
For NNPG, one of our correspondents gathered that the group was formed by some top members of the ruling APC to “renew the march towards a rebirth of the new Nigeria, to address challenges of the lingering security, economy and democracy for the sake of national unity.”
Some members of the two political groups who spoke to Blueprint under anonymity weekend said they did not want their names yet in the media “because we want to be heard for now and not seen.”
One of the leaders of PLAN revealed that the membership of the political group cuts across all the political parties, with most however coming from both PDP and APC.
The source further revealed that they had commenced the process of recruiting a credible presidential candidate who will be acceptable across the country come 2023 general elections.
“We want a credible and acceptable Nigerian as our flag bearer in the 2023 presidential elections. And to realise this, we are looking at some prominent Nigerians from whom we can make a better choice.
“Names like former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Borno state Governor Babagana Zulum, Ambassador Babaginda Kingibe, former Lagos state Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Ekiti state Governor Kayode Fayemi, National Chairman of Action Democratic Party (ADP) Yusuf Yabagi Sani, former Minister Finance Ngozi Okonjo Iweala and former Anambra state Governor Peter Obi among others. We want to make the right choice because of the enormity of the task ahead us as a nation, and Nigerians won’t be disappointed.”
For the NNPG, one of its immediate plans, as gathered, is to “bring like minds together from all over the country who believe in a new Nigeria devoid of the divisive manipulations being used to set us apart.
“The New Nigeria Progressive Group (NNPG), to the best of my understanding, is determined to right the wrongs of the past and, is prompting patriotic Nigerians to rise to the occasion to effect the necessary and needed changes and rebirth of a new nation under the leadership of this group.”
Tinubu, Oshiomhole factors
Speaking to Blueprint under confidentiality, a senior APC member who is one of the party leaders working against the removal of the party’s National Chairman, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, said those wishing to have the former Edo state governor removed are the ones planning to divide the APC.
He said: “I am not unaware of the move by some of our members to break away, and I can also tell you that it is those who are working for the removal of the incumbent chair. Having realised they can’t have their way; their next move is to move out of the party. Yes, we will try to reconcile our differences, but in event they chose to go, that won’t affect the fortune of our party in 2023.”
Also, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the North-central, who did not want his name in print, said those in opposition have started working with some elements in the APC to ensure Tinubu is stopped “by all means from getting the presidential ticket of any big party.”
‘Realignment ongoing but…’
When contacted for comment on the development, an APC chieftain and Director General Voice of Nigeria (VON) Osita Okechukwu, confirmed there were meetings and realignment ongoing.
In a telephone interview Sunday, the VON boss said: “Yes, I’m in the know that meetings are ongoing, but I don’t think that they are capable of dislodging the APC. APC will still remain the biggest party. These arrangements will only cause us in APC to restructure, especially, leadership style under the current Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC).”
We are not aware – PDP
Also in a reaction, PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, Sunday, told Blueprint in a telephone interview that “the PDP is intact and not aware of anything known as PLAN.
“We are not aware of anything like that. Our members are not part of it, and we, as a party, will not react to what does not concern us or our members.”