Promoters of the hybrid mega party being plotted to emerge from the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (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.
Former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, had during the week confirmed plans to float a new political movement in the country.
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 very reliable sources, a prominent 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.
The Nation 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 into the emerging party.
Consequently, Obiano and his political camp are now considering shelving alleged earlier plans to dump APGA and join one of the two leading political parties.
A source familiar with the development said: “With our leaders, political and socio-cultural, unanimous in their belief that power should shift to the south, and with daily indications suggesting that some people have other plans, it is important we are not caught unawares.
“Leaders of the Southeast are convinced that entering the mega party with a party as strong as APGA will give us a good edge in the negotiations. That is why many people are putting pressure on Obiano and others to consider the invitation.”
Another source in Lagos said that leaders of the new movement, at a recent meeting, agreed on moves to reach out to Obiano, Tambuwal, Badaru, Bankole and others.
The source 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 commitments.”
Speaking recently while commissioning some projects in Rivers State, Okorocha who was a guest of Governor Nyesom Wike, had 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.
Meanwhile, the invitation of Tambuwal by Governor Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State to commission some developmental project in the state is generating speculation that the governor is romancing the PDP governor ahead of 2023.
This is just as the newly elected Jigawa State chairman of the PDP, Babansu Ibrahim Gumel, said the party is working to receive members of the ruling APC and governor Muhammadu Badaru Abubakar into its fold soon.
The chairman made the disclosure while speaking to news men in Dutse, the state capital shortly after the inauguration of PDP reconciliation committee at the party secretariat.
Babansu Ibrahim said: “The party constituted a powerful contact and reconstruction committee. Their main task is to meet all people irrespective of political party, region, religion and tribe, and I have the belief the party will bounce back stronger and wrest power in the state and even the country.”
He added: “I’m assuring you that you will see wonder in 2023. People you do not expect will return and others will join PDP.
“Our party is welcoming any interested opposition, including President Muhammad Buhari and Jigawa State governor, Muhammad Abubakar Badaru, and we will treat them with fairness and equality.”
When contacted the special assistant to the governor on media, Auwalu Sankara, said: “I heard this from you for the first time. To my knowledge, there is nothing like this.
“As you know, Badaru Abubakar is the governor of the state; he is for everyone.
“The governor was voted into power not by APC members, but also millions of PDP members. Disregard this speculation as just a rumour without basis.”