2015 Elections: 10 Opposition Governors Support Merger To Defeat PDP

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The planned merger by opposition parties against the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party got a boost when 10 governors from four different parties met in Lagos and declared their unanimous support for the merger plans by their leaders.

In a communiqué which they issued at the end of a four-hour meeting at the Lagos House, Marina, Lagos, the governors said they were hopeful that they would wrestle power from the PDP and take the country of its present political quagmire.

The merger project also got support from an unlikely party: the PDP itself, who said it was praying for the success of the project because “it would strengthen the national debate”.

The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Chief Olisa Metuh said that such an alliance must not be based on ethnic and religious sentiments, neither should it be based on any personal agenda.

“We welcome the alliance or the merger. It is in the best interest of the country as it would provide a viable opposition. It would also lead to a healthy debate in the polity. But such an alliance or merger must not be based on ethnicity or any religion.

“It must also be national in outlook. We pray it works. We are not against it at all,” he said.

Those who present at the Lagos meeting included the five governors from the Action Congress of Nigeria-controlled states viz; Babatunde Fashola (Lagos), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Abiola Ajumobi (Oyo), and Rauf Aregbesola (Osun).

The sixth ACN governor, Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State was absent from the meeting.

Others who were present included, Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha, All Progressive Grand Alliance; Nasarawa State Governor Umaru Tanko Almakura, Congress for Progressive Change; and Zamfara State Governor AbdulazizYari, All Nigeria Peoples Party.

The other ANPP governors, Kashim Shettima (Borno) and Ibrahim Gaidam (Yobe) were represented by Senator Dejere Alkali.

Governor Shettima of Borno who read the communiqué at the end of the meeting said the governors decided to endorse the merger initiative after reviewing the situation and making a primary intention to fix Nigeria.

He said this was being done as progressive and patriotic leaders of our people across party, religious and geopolitical zones.

Yari of Zamfara State said that the people promoting the merger would offer this country a better political option to what the country has been witnessing since 1999.

“The objective is to fix Nigeria in the right perspective. Go and ask many people outside here whether they are happy since 1999 till date. It is a duty for all of us as leaders to drive our people right and we believe the PDP has done less.

“We have the knowledge and progressive idea to move the country forward, so if you say that we intend to move the PDP out of power, yes we are ready to do that.”

The host governor, Fashola said that the meeting was essentially about the concerns on Nigeria and the way forward. He also waved away talk that the merger was dead on arrival, adding that the drive behind the merger would produce some of the best hands the nation could boast.

“The commitment that we bring to the table will certainly override any scepticism. I am convinced that the full weight of 10 governors and many more, who, unfortunately, could not make it today, is a much stronger force. The underlying reason is clearly how to make this country a better place. This is not the best that this country can have and we intend to deliver Nigeria’s best,” he said.

Fayemi said the merger was aimed at rescuing the country from bad governance, adding that governors had resolved to work in patriotism and serve the people of Nigeria.

He said the representation from the different political parties and geopolitical zones was a proof that the merger plans were aimed at nothing but rescuing the future of the country and the citizens.

Okorocha said the move would prevent any chance by the government at the centre to turn the nation to a one-party state.

He said, “The merger has become very necessary in order to save our democracy and the likelihood of turning Nigeria into a one-party state does not augur well for democracy, therefore I personally fully endorse this movement and this new merger to rescue the nation.”

Amosun said, “A lot of other people will come on board once they see our sincerity, that is why we are determined and I am sure that with the support of all Nigerians, this merger will work.”

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