Ahead of 2027 elections, Nigeria will rise again through merger parties, Utomi assures
In less than a year into the concluded Nigeria’s 2023 general elections, some political key actors and opposition leaders have started regrouping on how to wrestle power from governing All Progressives Congress, APC, as strategic meeting ongoing across the country.
A renowned Political Economist, Prof. Pat Utomi, says his proposed merger of opposition parties to wrestle power from the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2027 is not for ‘machine politics’ but for genuine service to the people.
Utomi, the Convener of the National Consultative Front (NCFront) and the BIG TENT disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday that the proposed merger party was not a hurried coupling together of interests.
He was reacting to the comments by the Deputy National Organising Secretary of the APC, Nze Chidi Duru, on his merger plans.
Utomi had said that three presidential candidates in the 2023 general elections, Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi of Labour Party (LP) and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), had agreed to form a formidable party that would sack the APC in 2027.
According to the professor who is also a leader in the Labour Party, after having a conversation with the three political heavyweights, he agreed to form a mega party that would take over the country’s leadership.
He said that Nigerians needed people who would make sacrifices for the development of the nation.
However, while Duru described Utomi’s plan in negative terms, the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Felix Morka, had also described him as a serial promoter of mega parties which never materialised.
Reacting, Utomi expressed confidence that through the merger initiative Nigeria would rise up again.
He said: “I read with interest the response by Nze Chidi Duru to speculations about what has been called a merger of opposition parties. That response itself is much evidence of progress.
“To clarify, what I have been speaking to is not the hurried coupling together of interests to create a platform for machine politics like the Daley machine in Chicago to obtain desired elections outcomes and foist state capture on a wearied people.
“What I have been speaking to is the founding of a real political party. This is something that has eluded this fourth republic.”
According to him, their efforts begin with ideation that will birth a world view of this party. Some call it ideology.
He added that his team would develop shared values around the approach to a people’s centered political party.
Utomi said that the next would be a structure for community based solutions to the personal troubles of people and flow of what the people want into the policy process.
“When agreement is reached on National Strategy, which from my agenda setting position, will be moving the country away from elite rent seeking and mindless corruption to production on value chains erected on our regional factor endowments in which we have latent comparative advantage .
“The major issues we adopt such as constitutional reforms and the emphasizing the principle of subsidiarity and bottom up people’s entrepreneurial capitalism will be agreed to before people sign up for leadership roles.
“Can old gladiators I have called out previously have a role?. If they do a mea culpa and accept that this is about Nigeria and not themselves there will be room for embrace,” he said.
The NCFront leader pointed to the Malaysia feuds between Dr Mahathir Mohammed and Anwar Ibrahim who was his Deputy in 1997.
He said that that led to imprisonment and much bad blood.
“But when a very bad and corrupt government came up decades later, Mahathir Mohammed as a Nonagenarian, came out of retirement, founded a new party and in partnership with Anwar Ibrahim and won the election against the incumbent Najib Razak.
“We are confident that through our efforts in this initiative Nigeria will rise up again,” Utomi said.