Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of ACN and Major-General Muhammadu Buhari of the CPC
By Olawale Olaleye
The ongoing alliance talks between the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) will be finalised by October, THISDAY learnt Monday.
A source involved in the talks said contrary to speculations that the talks had started considering the likely pairing of candidates ahead of the 2015 presidential election, the two parties are basically engaged in confidence-building measures that would culminate in an enduring deal between them.
The leadership of both parties were said to have started the process of nominating persons that would represent them in a committee that will be set up to work out the kind of alliance the two parties should go into.
Already, it is unclear whether the parties would go into an alliance under which they would field different candidates for elections in some states or embrace an outright merger.
A senior national officer of the ACN, who confided in THISDAY, said it was both premature and lacking deep political extrapolation for the parties to have started the pairing of candidates in an election that is still some three years away.
He added that the ongoing talks were not about the ACN and CPC alone, but a phenomenon that would see to the coming together of progressive forces in the country, irrespective of party affiliations, to provide a credible alternative to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), hence the need for caution in deciding on candidates for any office at all.
The two parties are already planning to test run the alliance by fielding a joint candidate in the July 14 governorship election in Edo State where the CPC’s candidate, Mr. Roland Airhiavbere, will formally step down for the governor and ACN candidate, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, at a rally next week.
The rally will be addressed by leaders of the two parties, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari of the CPC and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of ACN.
“I can tell you for certain, although this is off the record, that by October ending, we will come out with something concrete from the ongoing talks. By then, the committee that we are about to set up would have fashioned out the modalities for our coming together.
“For instance, the committee will determine if the coming together will be a merger or alliance? If it is a merger, do we have to form a new party? If it is an alliance, what are the stakes of those coming in?
“If we are forming a new party, what will our logo be? These are the salient questions the committee will contend with.
“So you can see that it is early in the day to talk about candidates when the real talks have not even started. It is important that we learn from our experience in the past and that is why we must tread with caution.
“What is coming from the ACN and CPC is more than just talks. It is going to be like the Noah’s Ark because all politicians of like minds are coming onboard.
“Already, there are PDP members talking to us and they are just waiting for the talks to reach an advanced stage before they come in.
“They have indicated interest and this is the pattern everywhere. It is a move that is going to be bigger than either Buhari or Tinubu and its result will change the course of the nation for good,” the ACN member said.
He promised that the outcome would be like a tsunami, which the PDP would attempt to sabotage but would fail at it woefully, assuring Nigerians that things are moving very fast.
“I can tell you things are moving very fast and by October ending, the coast will be clear and the talks resolved concretely," he concluded.