Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko
By Onyebuchi Ezigbo
Disagreement between the Action Congress of Nigerian (ACN) and the Labour Party led government in Ondo State has affected fresh moves for opposition party alliance talks.
THISDAY gathered that as part of fresh strategies to extract a workable coalition, opposition parties are weighing their strengths to able to make strong bargain in the event of a merger.
However the inability of ACN to convince the Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko to join its fold has dashed the party’s hope of flaunting the control of the South-West as a bargaining power at the coalition/merger talks.
The conflict between the two parties in Ondo has since snow-balled into a nationwide rivalry with LP fighting hard to assert its independence.
With the exception of Ondo State, ACN has successfully snatched the entire states in the South-West from PDP in the last election.
Among the opposition parties involved in the proposed coalition talks are, the ACN, Congress for Progressive Change and All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), LP, All Progressive Grand Alliance.
A reliable source said there was mini drama during the aborted median meeting convened by the National Chairman of the ANPP, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, last Month at his Asokoro residence .
He said ACN had insisted that it was would not participate in the talks if Labour the delegation were allowed to join the meeting.
According to the source, the meeting had hardly start before the representatives of LP and ACN began to exchange words. This led to a temporary suspension of the meeting but when eventually Onu emerged to welcome the party leaders, it was obvious that no meaningful resolution could be achieved considering the charged atmosphere and for the fact that some of the parties were not present.
An inside source in the latest attempt to mobilise opposition against the People Democratic Party told THISDAY that previous efforts at achieving coalition failed because the parties did not take advantage of their individual strength. As such, he said the opposition have “learnt their lessons and are taking steps to ensure that they get things right this time around”.
Some of the turbulent issues the opposition may be trying to weave around include the question of who leads the pack and under which umbrella would the coalition parties find space to operate in the event of a merger.
Following the failure of the parties to hold the April talks, THISDAY learnt that ANPP leadership has sent a new invitation for another meeting to held on June 1st.