JOHN ALECHENU examines the fresh attempt by a group of Nigerian activists, intellectuals and political actors to birth another platform to challenge the dominance of the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party
The 2023 general elections are only two years away but intrigues by actors in the political space have undoubtedly started.
Prior to the 2014 merger of three opposition political parties, the then ruling People’s Democratic Party had made good use of the divide and rule tactics to run over the opposition especially during presidential elections.
Recall that the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, the All Nigeria Peoples Party and the Congress for Progressive Change, as well as a faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance had merged to form the All Progressives Congress to enable them to defeat the then ruling PDP.
The National Secretary, Project Nigeria, Mr Olawale Okunniyi, who was part of the moves to initiate a coming together of opposition political parties back in 2007, said, “It was late Alhaji Balarabe Musa, the leader of the Nigeria Unite for Democracy, and chairman of the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties in 2007, who proposed an alliance of opposition political parties against one-party rule in Nigeria. This later gave birth to the Mega Party Movement under the leadership of late Anthony Enahoro, Alhaji Lateef Jakande and Chief Olu Falae, respectively.”
He recalled that the realignments gave rise to the Congress for Progressive Change, led by the then Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), the Social Democratic Party and the Action Congress of Nigeria, among others.
Okunniyi, however, expressed sadness that the experiment collapsed a few months to the 2011 elections.
He said, “Faced with the reality that you cannot continue to do the same thing the same way and expect to get a different result, opposition leaders received wise counsel and decided to do what many considered the impossible prior to that time-they dissolved their various platforms to birth Nigeria’s first truly national opposition party, the All Progressives Congress.