By Onyebuchi Ezigbo
The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) may have ran into some difficulties getting key stakeholders to buy into its reforms, alliance and merger plans.
Indications are that the party is currently facing stiff opposition within its ranks in trying to secure the support of majority of its members over the merger talks.
THISDAY gathered from reliable sources that some leaders of the party though in support of some kind of solidarity among opposition parties, but were not comfortable with the present push for an outright merger which might lead to their loosing influential positions in the party.
There are others too who feel that the merger and reforms were mere ploy by infiltrators to decimate the party and subsume it under a new nomenclature.
Following some far-reaching proposals already adopted by the negotiating teams, the CPC has proceeded on nation-wide consultation and sensitisation with its members with a view to bringing them on board to support the merger plan.
A top member of the party told THISDAY that the leadership intends to listen to the views of the party supporters at the grassroots before finally convening a meeting of its National Executive Committee (NEC) and Board of Trustees (BoT) to consider and take a stand on the way forward.
He said CPC is hoping to use the opportunity to sell its latest idea of transformation and reform of the party’s constitution aimed at attracting new members.
Some of the reforms being proposed by the party seeks to establish internal democratic procedures for all elective positions and bares officers of the party from receiving monetary inducements while in office.
However, it was learnt that conservative elements within the party have gone around mobilising members to oppose the idea and equally resist the new reforms being propose by the Renewal Committee headed by the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Nasir El -Rufai.
An inside source told THISDAY that because of the division and lack of overwhelming support from members, the party is still consulting and could not convene the NEC meeting yet.
“They are trying to constitute a stumbling block to the success of efforts of the el-Rufai committee to reposition CPC. However, we have resolved to go ahead with the party reform and merger arrangement despite the resistance of a few retrogressive elements who are bent on frustrating the process, “ the source said.
He said some of these elements within the CPC saw the reform of the party’s constitution and move for a merger with other opposition parties as a threat to their continued stranglehold on the party and as such were opposed to it.
“It is these elements that thwarted the chances of the party during the 2011 general election and brought the party to its present sorry state,” he said.
Apart from these set of members, there are also opposition coming from aggrieved reneged former national officers of the party led by Senator Rufai Hanga who are threatening fire should the party go into the planned merger with the Action Congress of Nigerian ( ACN).
Another group, led by the estranged pioneer National Chairman have viewed the current move by the party for a merger with the ACN “as deceitful, selfish and capable of wiping out the CPC.”
In statement signed by a member of the group, Alhaji Abubakar Hayatu, they said the merger talk is a mockery of a purported repositioning process being canvassed by the party.
“It is a mockery for one to think of propagating a new constitution and code of conduct for the party at a point a lot of issues concerning the party is still undergoing legal test.
“While we are in support of broadening the political base, widening the frontiers and consolidating the party, such moves should be done on sincere a basis so that the generality of our members and supporters can benefit. For any sincere progress to be made honest efforts should be made to reconcile the multiple crises in the party.
“From our findings, it was revealed that the move to merge the party and dissolve into the ACN is one of the grand designs to exterminate the CPC and disorganise the political strength and cohesion of the North seen as the only sincere challenger the PDP come 2015.
“The ACN is in no doubt a solid political party in the South-west and therefore the choice of every weak opposition political party to align with it. But their strength was not achieved by going into alliances but by putting their house in order and ensuring that round pegs are put in round holes.
“In the case of our present CPC the fifth columnists within are busy expelling all those that would ensure victory for us and repositioning the party with people who can be considered to be total visitors to the original philosophy of the party, “ he said.
Also opposing the move by the party, the former National Publicity Secretary of the party and an ally of Hanga, Chief Dennis Aghanya in a interview with THISDAY, threatened that the group would go to court to challenge any attempt to amend the constitution of CPC in order to actualise the merger.