Opposition May Unveil New Platform Next Month


Tobi Soniyi in Lagos
A platform that will be the arrow head of a democratic movement against President Muhammadu Buhari will emerge in a month’s time as forces opposed to his re-election close ranks.

According to sources familiar with the plan, some forces within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are working together to agree on a new platform to stop Buhari.

“Buhari’s declaration for a second term means that that space is closed to other contestants within the APC. It also signals the decline of APC’s fortune because many people within the party do not want him back,” an APC chieftain who is privy to the talks told THISDAY.

He also explained why the PDP would not be used as the arrowhead of the movement to challenge Buhari.

He said: “PDP has not done much to rebrand in the last three years and therefore cannot be the platform to use in challenging Buhari.”
He said the platform would have some serving governors and many members of the National Assembly on board.

He said: “Talks are going on across  the country because there is the realisation that we should unite now to get Buhari out.
“The talks are with forces within APC, PDP and those outside the two to create a formidable third leg
“In less than a month, the platform that will be the arrowhead of the democratic putsch against Buhari will be unveiled.”

The source explained that negotiation is being hampered by the insistence of the PDP for it to be the platform and to be in the driving seat.

But others disagreed, insisting on a neutral platform that would not have to carry the burden and liabilities of the former ruling party.

In support of its demand to drive the process, PDP points to its organisation skills and an array of structures across the country and in virtually all local government areas.

“Until, we are able to resolve this, we will continue to talk. But give and take, we  are closer to an agreement,” the source added.
The talks to form a united front to confront Buhari are going on amid moves by the PDP to reach out to others to form a coalition.

The ruling APC was formed by a coalition of five different political parties which eventually overran the then ruling party, PDP in the 2015 general election.

PDP has also come to the realisation it would have to team up with other political parties to stop Buhari from getting re-elected as president.
Already, PDP has constituted  a 22-member committee to mobilise a new coalition to upset APC in 2019.

The committee, headed by a former governor of Cross River State, Liyel Imoke, is  known as the contact and integration committee.
The committee would reach out to  stakeholders including  members of the APC who are frustrated by the lacklustre performance of their party.

With less than a year to the presidential election, many are worried that the opposition is yet to come up with a formidable candidate that can stop Buhari.
Despite the emergence of several groups opposed to the aspiration of Buhari to return as president, those in opposition have not been able to come up with a united front to challenge the president.