By nseobong okon-ekong
Chuks Okocha considers the prospect for a mega political party that can upstage the popularity of the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party
The notion of a mega political party has gained momentum since the former governor of Imo state, Senator Rochas Okorocha called on a certain governor in the South-south to join him to form a new political party.
The erstwhile governor has fallen§ out of favour with his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and since then, he has not failed to call for a third alternative that would become the next ruling party by 2023.
Okorocha said the regrouping of ‘good politicians’ was urgently needed to restore public confidence in governance and save the country.
“The movement for a new Nigeria has begun and we must come together, I mean progressive Nigerians, to make the country work,” Okorocha said.
Many have dismissed Okorocha’s plan for a mega political party because of his perceived presidential ambition and coming to terms with the fact that it may not be possible under his present party, the APC.
One of the political pundits who should know said, “I can tell you that the mega party will not fail to contact all those we consider as assets to the movement.
“It is wrong for anybody to think Okorocha is trying to form a political party for himself alone. Let me tell you that what is coming is a broad based movement that will change the face of Nigerian politics ahead of 2023.
“Majority of those who were part of the failed attempt to form a mega party during the build up to the 2019 general election have been contacted.
“Many are willing to join this new effort. As a group, we are already part of the movement and I can tell you some PDP and APC governors are already talking to us with varying degree of commitment.”
Okorocha has also dismissed the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). But in actual terms, is there any plan to form a mega party.
Though amorphous, the promoters of the hybrid mega party being plotted to emerge from the APC and PDP are reaching out to more chieftains of the two leading parties for membership.
Governors Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, Willie Obiano of Anambra State, Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State, and former House of Representatives Speaker Dimeji Bankole are among the prominent figures of the ruling APC and opposition PDP being wooed to come on board.
Okorocha, who currently represents Imo West in the Senate, said that he and other progressive-minded politicians were perfecting plans for a new mega party in response to the silent agitations and complaints across the country against the current state of the nation.
Investigation revealed that Okorocha is working with a group of ex-governors and National Assembly members who are currently chieftains of the APC and PDP.
According to sources, a South-south governor is also being pressured by the Okorocha group to dump the PDP and join the new movement. The said governor has recently expressed his dissatisfaction with the current leadership of the opposition party, accusing its NWC of working against unity in the party.
It was also gathered that promoters of the new party, through some prominent Igbo leaders, have reached out to Governor Obiano of Anambra State, urging him to be prepared to move his faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) into the emerging party.
Consequently, Obiano and his political camp are now said to be considering shelving alleged earlier plans to dump APGA and join one of the two leading political parties.
There is already in existence a registered political party with the name, Mega Party of Nigeria, which was deregistered by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in February 2020 for not meeting with the prerequisites and terms of registration as a political party.
Records have it that the National Chairman, Mega Party of Nigeria (MPN) was Mr. Biyi Poroye
However, it is not known if Okorocha is part of the group floated by former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Na’Abba, Prof. Pat Utomi and Wale Okuninyi among others under the aegis of the National Consultations Front (Ncfront).
The NcFront has both Ghali Na’abba and Pat Utomi as national coordinators, while Wale Okunniyi is the National Secretary. According to Ncfront, their mission is to rescue Nigeria from the maladministration of the APC and the PDP.
According to Wale Okunniyi, “Since its formation in July, 2020, the National Consultative Front, NCFront, has come to terms with the fact that political power is crucial to the realization of our goals and objectives for a New prosperous Nigeria.
“So we will not hesitate to seek political power to lead and govern Nigeria as a credible alternative peoples’ movement but not as a matter of desperation or precipitation.
“To this extent, it can be said that the NCFront is not fixated on the power politics of 2023 but rather on providing Nigeria first with a brand new people’s Constitution that will enable Nigeria work for all and to eliminate corruption and self aggrandizement in Government,” he explained on the mission of NcFront as an emerging mega political party.
He explained that the point being made here is that the “ideological focus of the proposed Mega Political Mass Movement, to be launched by the end of end of January, 2021, as agreed in the first communiqué of our Consultative Front issued on 1st July 2020, shall, first and foremost, be to pursue popular democratic constitutional reworking and remaking of Nigeria to enable the country work out and embrace a new legitimate political structure and national constitutional relationship that will essentially make politics less juicy or attractive but service oriented and values driven.”
Therefore, he stated the new Mega Party Movement shall be expected to immediately embark on a vigorous struggle for a new peoples constitution for Nigeria and it is after the struggle is won by the peoples of Nigeria that the movement in form of an alternative mass party to PDP and APC shall be expected to venture into the second phase of its agenda, which shall be to present and sponsor credible candidates for electoral power, as a mega movement party and mass ideological platform to pursue the good governance and prosperity of Nigeria.
In other words, the mass movement shall be expected to first mobilize Nigerians as a movement for a new Nigeria or a peoples front for popular constitutional restructuring of the country before venturing into electoral power politics (after effecting a democratic merger and fusion of credible political parties and movements presently in the NCFront as advised by the former INEC Chair, Prof Attahiru Jega during the national consultation on internal party democracy as one indivisible alternative political block.
To the organisers of NCFront, when the time comes what they are building now is formidable movement and credible political leadership that can step in to fill Nigeria’s leadership lacuna or lead the country in the event of any emergency at any time.
The secretary of the group said argued that ultimate aim of the NCFront is to win power to lead Nigeria, however the various consultations and recent experiences have revealed that without first replacing the existing warped corruptive military constitution of 1999, it may be fruitless and impolitic to engage in electoral contest with moneybags and state captors, who have milked the nation dry, on the basis of money politics and highest bidder’s electoral merchandising, rather than on ideology, principles, values and service to the citizens and electorate.
Accordingly, he said. “we have resolved to mobilise Nigerians to first change the humongous and outrageous cost of contesting elections and winning electoral power in Nigeria
“A two prong mega movement to rescue and lead our beloved country, Nigeria”, Okunniyi stated, adding, “Therefore, what is required from the NCFront is a legal framework and procedure of how to replace the corrupt and crisis generating 1999 constitution with a new legitimate people’s constitution without creating a constitutional lacuna or pitfall for the country.
“We may therefore have to collaborate with some eminent jurists and statesmen/women, among others, who have already provided substantial answers to that requirement in their work on how to legitimately and legally repeal the 1999.
“However, the NCFront has also in the recent past canvased that to overcome any constitutional quagmire in this regard, the National Assembly should be compelled to amend sections 8 and 9 of the 1999 constitution (which presently takes away the sovereign power over the Nigerian Constitution from the peoples and citizens of Nigeria and technically put it in the hands of their lawmakers) for a new referendum clause in the two sections of the existing 1999 constitution, so as to enable Nigerian citizens take full ownership of their constitution and sovereignty over the country as applicable in advanced democracies.”
However, it was for this that NcFront stated clearly that they are not a group desperately out to acquire power at all cost.
“So, we will not hesitate, if the political dynamism changes, to join hands with other similar ideological forces to create, collaborate, realign or endorse a credible alternative political party that shares our vision and objective and are passionate to give full vent and implementation to our vision, mission and programme for the redemption of Nigeria,” Okunniyi stated.
For the preparation of January lunching, NCfront Inoa statement by the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Na’Abba and Pat Uromi listed what could be described as over ambitious invitations to perceived members.
Those invited to the January date include Rt Hon Ghali Umar Na’abba, Prof Pat Utomi, Prof Attahiru Jega, Dr Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, Hajia Naja’atu Muhammad, Dr Hakeem Baba Ahmed, Dr Usman Bugaje, Engr Buba Galadima, Prof Kingsley Moghalu, Femi Falana, SAN, Dr Oby Ezekwesiili, Dr Obadiah Mailafia, Prof Remi Sonaiya. Princess Adenrele Ogunsanya, Chief Raph Okey Nwosu, Ben Murray-Bruce, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, Engr Yabagi Yusuf Sani, Peter Ameh, Mr Gbenga Olawepo – Hashim, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, Prof Chidi Odinkalu, Comrade Isa Aremu, Comrade Promise Adewusi, Barr Dan Nwanyanwu, Mr Donald Duke, Mr Alistair Soyode, Senator Shehu Sani, Alhaji Shettima Yerima, Dr Olu Agunloye,.Barr Natasha Akpoti, Mrs Habiba Balogun, Mike Ozekhome, SAN, Dr Shina Fagbenro Byron, Col Tony Nyiam, Dr Muiz Banire, SAN, Mallam Jibo Ibrahim, Dr Sam Amadi, Comrade Femi Aborishade, Dr Eugene Enahoro. Barr Eze Onyekpere, Bashorun Dele Momodu, Hon Nkoyo Toyo, Mr Peter Obi, Dr Osagie Obayuwana, Comrade David Ajetunmobi,, Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN, Dr (Mrs) Kemi George, Dr Elishama Ideh
and Alhaji Falalu Bello.
The list is endless. Others invited are Dr Joe Okei Odumakin, Dr. Datti Baba-Ahmed, Hajia Zainab Maina, Dr Bilikisu Magoro, Sen Grace Folashade Brent, Rt Hon Margaret Icheen, Amb Tokunbo Awolowo Dosunmu, Hon Engr Janet Adeyemi, Sen Daisy Danjuma. Hajia Aliyu Aisha, Hajia Aisha Dankani, Rt Hon Inuwa Garba, Hajia Mariya M. T, Engr Bello Suleiman , Comrade Salisu Yakasai, Comrade Isa Tijjani, Dr Hamza Dendo. Mr Jude Feranmi, Seun Anikulapo Kuti, Folarin Falana, Toyin Laoshe, Otunba Rotimi Paseda, Ogbeni Lanre Banjo and Barr Toyin Tokuta Adeoye as well as over 100 others
In the statement of invitations, both Utomi and Na’abba clarified that the above listed distinguished Nigerians and leaders of conscience are essentially, persons, who the NCFront have consulted in recent past or are on the various platforms of the NCFront since the front was initiated on 1st July, 2020
According to the NcFront, the intention here is to invite all the people listed above and others, who may show interest before the date, to a final consultation of NCFront in form of a national retreat to an inclusive launching of the new mega political mass movement/party to rescue Nigeria
The NCFront is quite optimistic that majority of those listed above for its final national consultative retreat, given the enthusiasm and clarity they have demonstrated so far, will sign on and join forces with other citizens of conscience to build a new rescue movement for Nigeria.
Accordingly, Utomi and Na’abba said, “we are also of the view that a few of them may not be ready yet or keen for now. So nothing is cast in iron for now until after the national consultative retreat, when the leadership of the new movement nationwide will be announced.”
The erstwhile governor has fallen out of favour with his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and since then, he has not failed to call for a third alternative that would become the next ruling party by 2023. Okorocha said the regrouping of ‘good politicians’ was urgently needed to restore public confidence in governance and save the country. The movement for a new Nigeria has begun and we must come together, I mean progressive Nigerians, to make the country work,” Okorocha said. Many have dismissed Okorocha’s plan for a mega political party because of his perceived presidential ambition and coming to terms with the fact that it may not be possible under his present party, the APC