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Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Obasanjo’s Third Force Coalition Set To Acquire Political Party Status

Obasanjo’s Third Force Coalition Set To Acquire Political Party Status

... as PDP, APC chieftains flood launch
Coalition For Nigeria

The political platform called the “Third Force” by former President Olusegun Obasanjo is set to transmute into a formally registered political party.

Indication towards this emerged on Wednesday at the formal launch of the platform called Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM).

The coalition drew attendance from politicians from both the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as well as the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

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In fact, former Osun State Governor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola at the event openly declared his readiness to quit the government of President Muhammadu Buhari if need be, for the actualization of the dream of making the coalition work.

It would be recalled that Obasanjo had in his caustic letter to Buhari alluding to the need for a third force in the political setting of the country that will take over power in 2019, pushing aside the ruling APC and the opposition PDP.

At the well-attended event, aside Oyinlola, other notable member of APC at the even include a member of the Board of Trustee (BOT) of the APC, Buba Galadima, while former National chairman of the PDP, Dr Amodu Ali, and former Governor of Cross River state Donald Duke, led the cream of PDP members to the event.

Giving a hint of its readiness to transmute into a political party, Oyinlola, who is coordinating the movement, called on other groups and movements in the country to become a formidable body that can seize Nigeria from it’s present crop of leaders.

He said clearly that the movement “is not a political party but may metamorphose in near future.”

He denounced the insinuation that the group is just echoing the mind of Obasanjo and will be a lackey of the former President.

“To say that we are legitimising Obasanjo’s legacy is wrong. I think what he has done is steering us from slumber.

“However, nobody can fault Obasanjo’s letter. We are not a political party for now. Our aim is to help Nigerians take the country from those who take the country as business. It is not the destiny of Nigeria to remain in crisis and in the doldrums,” he said.

He noted that if Nigeria must be rescued from its present crop of leaders and taken to where it ought to be with the help of the young men and women “there is need to have a synergy between all the groups.

He asked Nigerians to be committed to the movement while assuring that the youth will lead while they (the old) will follow.

“There is no other assurance for this movement other than your commitment. Don’t say we are going to carry you along; no, you are the one (the youth) who will carry us along.

When asked whether he was ready quit Buhari’s government to achieve the desire of the movement, Oyinlola said that he was willing to give up his Chairmanship position on the Board of National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to ensure that CNM becomes a success story.

“I am not tied down to a political party. This is a part time Commission, which means I have only four meetings in a year but get it straight. I joined a political party to serve my country and my service in NIMC is to my country and countrymen.

“If my being Chairman will rob off my desire to see this movement to its greatest height, then the Chairmanship will yield. The style of convening this movement is noble and it is quite different from any other we have had in this country.”

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In his remarks, former Governor of Cross River State Donald Duke, who is also a co-convener, said that the movement has received overwhelming support since it came on board, saying that the present hardship in the country is as a result of long years of bad governance.

“Forget about the story that we are the largest economy in Africa, it is an imagination of numbers. There are so many people in Nigeria and even if we are doing nothing, it will still be the largest economy but in terms of productivity, we are nowhere.

“And if 39-40 years ago, our federal budget is 25bn, and today, it is 23bn and our population is 196 million, it practically explains where we are and what we have to do, the need to work as a coalition and change our nation,” Duke said.

Speaking with newsmen, a Board of Trustee member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Buba Galadima declared his support for the coalition, saying it does not go against his membership of the APC.

He said, “It is not a political party. It is a movement being put together to salvage our country from the verge of disintegration.”

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