2019: Aggrieved APC, PDP Leaders Begin Merger Talks

• They are desperate, spoilers –Oni

Less than one year into the life of the current administration, politicians of the major partisan divides have commenced secret moves to realign forces ahead of the 2019 general elections, New Telegraph has gathered.

The talks, said to be causing ripples within the Presidency and a cross section of the All Progressives Congress (APC), cut across a sizeable portion of the ruling party and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The move, according to a source close to the leadership of the ruling party, is ostensibly triggered by the emergence of a new power cartel in the Presidential Villa that appears to have sidelined some founding fathers of the APC.

“Such leaders are aggrieved, but have resorted to remain calm and keep their cool even in the face of glaring subjugation to the background by those young Turks who have formed a new cartel in the villa to corner the spoils of war,” the source told our correspondent in confidence.

New Telegraph could not get reaction on the development from the Presidency as a text message sent to the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, was not replied as at the time of going to press.

But the deputy national chairman (South) of the APC, Engr. Segun Oni, has described such politicians as desperate spoilers who have nothing to lose any longer. “We are aware of all the antics of these so-called politicians. I am sure they are more in the PDP than they are in the APC.

Even if there are some in our party, they must be acting in ignorance and perhaps misinformed by their contact travellers in the PDP. “In this country, people have failed to realise that losing election itself is an opportunity for self-reassessment and reinvention. It is an opportunity to go back to the drawing board and see what could be done to salvage your party.

“You don’t just wake up one day and say because you lost, everything should be lost. It is absolutely impossible the way they view it. Like in America, once the Republicans or the Democrats lose, they concentrate more on what led to their defeat and not to immediately explore possible means of bringing down a government.

“As far as we are concerned, such elements are desperate and you the media should expose them, we know what they are up to, but we are more prepared to bring the dividends of change to the ordinary Nigerian who voted for our party than spend time trying to stop them,” Oni told New Telegraph.

The source said several attempts have been made by the APC leadership and the Presidency to placate those aggrieved party leaders who have lost out in their various states or geopolitical zones since the inception of the present administration in May last year. “The issue of politics is first to see how secure you are to further the national interest. If it is only national interest, it means that some leaders did not need to contest against incumbents to heat up the polity.

“Some specific leaders made sacrifices to bring about the change we are seeing today and where are these people? In most cases, they are either sidelined or relegated to the background because some new cartel boys have emerged to corner everything and have built walls around the villa against some of the real leaders.

“For now, we are keeping our strategies close to our chest, but I can assure you that in the course of time, things will start unfolding gradually because we can’t pretend that all is well among us. The real leaders of the party are watching developments and will give specific directives when the time comes. “The change we got was not the destination; it is just a bus stop and another vehicle can take us to that destination.

So, we are looking at various options, including two hard ones whether to go for a fresh party or revitalise the ailing PDP,” he said. The source, who was a member of the interim national executive committee of the APC, disclosed that the secret talks among the political class are being facilitated by two serving PDP governors and two former Senate presidents even as the tentative understanding is to scout for a less controversial presidential candidate from the North-East.

He said, the outcome of the March 19 Area Councils election in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) will determine, to a large extent, the direction of the realignment talks that are currently ongoing.