Mixed reactions have continued to trail the call for merger by major opposition political parties ahead of the 2027 general elections.
The call came from former vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
Abubakar was the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate in the last presidential election.
While the Labour Party, LP, appears indisposed to the call, the New Nigerian People’s Party, NNPP, has come out to embrace the initiative.
In 2015, former President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress, APC, defeated then President Goodluck Jonathan, all thanks to a merger by a number of opposition political parties.
Atiku believes only the same magic can send the APC packing in 2027.
“The truth of the matter is that our democracy is fast becoming a one-party system, and of course, you know that when we have a one-party system, we should just forget about democracy. We have all seen how the APC is increasingly turning Nigeria into a dictatorship of one party.
“If we don’t come together to challenge what the ruling party is trying to create, our democracy will suffer for it, and the consequences of it will affect the generations yet unborn. The project of protecting democracy in our country is not about just one man,” he said.
Agreeing with him, an Abuja-based communication strategist, Murkthar Suleiman said a stronger merger among the opposition political parties might oust Tinubu and APC administration from office in 2027.
Suleiman told FLYINGEZE BLOG: “A merger is good because it will create a stronghold. Do I think we should run a multi-party system? Not really, but that’s where we find ourselves.
“In 2015, Buhari won only because he formed a stronger opposition. A stronger opposition is good because it keeps the incumbent on their toes; they know a formidable force is watching against them in their next election, and they might definitely lose if they are not careful.
“On one hand, I will say yes, it’s good, and it should help in terms of the quality needed for our governance process. If that coalition is done now, then Tinubu and the APC administration know that they are in for it in 2027, and if they are not careful, they will be ousted from office.”
Meanwhile, FLYINGEZE BLOG observed that the merger of opposition political parties ahead of the 2027 presidential election might encounter some major roadblocks owing to selfish interest among the likely candidates.
Recall that the Labour Party, LP, presidential candidate, Peter Obi, his counterpart from the New Nigeria People’s Party, NNPP, Rabiu Kwankwaso, rejected moves to merge with the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar prior to the 2023 election – this ultimately paved the way for Tinubu’s victory.
“The possible roadblock to the merger would be who will be the flag bearer.
“Who will be the running mate will also be an issue, and the last issue they will have is what will be the name of the party.
“PDP is too much of a household name to just let go or be allowed to fade into oblivion; this will not be good for the party,” Suleiman told FLYINGEZE BLOG.
However, he noted that should a South easterner emerge as the presidential candidate from a coalition, a strong Northerner should be the presidential running mate.
“The election is a game of numbers, not sentiments; the person with the highest majority wins. If they field a Southern candidate, especially from the South-East, then they must get a very rich Northern candidate as a running mate.
“Somebody whom the North can rally around; so should they choose to merge, that is what they should do because they need to be strategic and not emotional about it.
“Beyond the credibility of the candidate, beyond the objectivity of the process, there is also the sentiment of the people who will go and vote; it needs to be put into account, that’s how the process works,” he added.
On his part, an Abuja-based lawyer and rights activist, Deji Adeyanju, described Atiku’s call for a merger as selfish.
He noted that a merger would not work in 2027 because Tinubu would infiltrate the ranks of the opposition and ensure they were not united.
Adeyanju told FLYINGEZE BLOG: “It’s a selfish call, Atiku is perpetually obsessed with contesting for public office.
“He is not making the call from a genuine point of view; he is just trying to take advantage of other critical stakeholders in the opposition.
“Before making such a call, he should first retire from politics; that way people will take him seriously for making such a call, but anything short of that, he is just being smart for nothing.
“They are basically dealing with someone that knows how to crush opposition. Tinubu has no plan to make them survive within the opposition space.
“He is going to compromise them, he will get more people to contest in 2027; the opposition should forget about 2027 because I see no light at the end of the tunnel for any of them.
“They had the opportunity of coming together in the last election but they refused, they allowed their egos to get in the way.
“The Atikus, Kwankwaso, Obis, and Wike of this world refused to see reason when we called on them to unite.”
Turkish Super Lig champions Galatasaray are lining up a January move for Club Brugge...
Former Tottenham Hotspur star, Darren Bent has claimed that Manchester United are too big...
Manchester United legend Dwight Yorke has told manager Erik ten Hag not to allow...