Expectantly, intrigues, alliances and nocturnal political meetings have started holding at various levels ahead of the 2019 general elections. Some political parties have decided to go into an alliance to challenge the ruling party.
The parties, about seventeen in number, said they are not merging but like the ruling APC, but forming an alliance to produce a consensus presidential candidate.
Seventeen (17) registered political parties in the country have announced the formation of a new alliance to adopt one candidate in the 2019 presidential election.
The political parties launched the alliance today under the title “G21,” even as they disclosed they are still open to admitting new entrants into their fold. They however stated that membership will not be allowed to exceed 21 political parties.
Speaking at a press briefing in Abuja, the national chairman of New Generation Party (NGP) who doubles as the coordinating national chairman of G21, Dr. Yakubu Shendam, said: “The only way for us to seize power from the current dispensation is to come together in alliance. Of course, if we don’t do that we can’t go anywhere. We cannot win the elections on our own by filing various presidential candidates.”
Although Shendam failed to give details of the said alliance – its structure and modus operandi including its manifestoes, he however said “most of our parties have structures all over the states. All we need to do now is to mobilise our members across to begin to begin to work in partnership with this G21.”
He said they are not merging like the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) prior to the 2015 general elections, but forming an alliance whose unity and purpose is limited to producing a consensus presidential candidate in the 2019 elections.
His words: “We are only interested in the presidential election. The House of Assembly and National Assembly elections and governorship will be run in our individual parties,” he stated, adding: “the issue of merger is not discussed here – we are only discussing alliance and take a position on adoption of a presidential candidate in 2019.”
Shendam said the G21 is yet to identify who would be its flag bearer in the 2019 presidential election.
“As we continue to hold our meetings across the country, we believe that we will be able to have and unveil our candidate to Nigerians,” he said.
Others who also spoke on the sidelines of the launched alliance said it was felt that it is time, as political parties who have been actors in the Nigerian political process; the time has come to change the situation whereby political parties are form without winning elections.
Meanwhile, there are indications that the APC is clearing the coast for President Muhammadu Buhari to emerge as its sole candidate ahead of its primary election later this year.
Buhari, who informed the APC National Executive Council (NEC) recently about his interest to seek reelection in the coming presidential election has been endorsed by the 24 governors of the party.
The governors are said to have firm grip and control of the delegates that would vote during the presidential primary. This is an advantage ahead of the exercise for the incumbent against other contestants.