The proposed merger of opposition parties to wrest power from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015 received a boost as the Chairman of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has met with the leader of the Action Congress (ACN), Senator Bola Tinubu.
Sources close to the party told LEADERSHIP exclusively in Lagos yesterday that the meeting took place at the Lagos residence of Tinubu and that it was arranged as ‘a means of exploring the options open to the ANPP’ come 2015.
This is coming just as the source who pleaded anonymity said the issue of merger had polarised the ANPP, with come members giving their support while others are of the opinion that the party, owing to its spread and performance, can wrest power from the PDP if well organised.
The source told our correspondent that the meeting between the two took place penultimate Saturday and that it was strictly between the two, saying good grounds were covered during the discussions by regarding the roles of the parties in the planned merger.
Onu had at a recently held National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the party in Abuja hinted at the possibility of the party joining the envisaged alliance, and he had gone further to float a six-man committee charged with the task of liaising with other parties on the issue.
He (the source) however refused to give details of what was discussed at the meeting, but stated that a lot of grounds were covered and that proposals for participation were made by the two for study, after which they (the proposals) would be ratified later.
“I can tell you that the national chairman of our party met with former Lagos State Lagos governor, it happened two Saturdays ago when he (Onu) was in Lagos and that the meeting held between the two without any of their aides or party members in attendance.” The source said.
The source who was not categorical regarding who amongst the two facilitated the meeting however stated that the decision to hold the meeting was informed by the need for all the political parties to work out an arrangement for ‘cooperation amongst the parties.’
“The meeting was in furtherance of the belief held by our national chairman that the parties must cooperate as none of them is strong enough to win the next round of elections, even if all of them come together, they still need to work very hard.” The source added.
According to him, the meeting was exploratory and that another one would soon be held after all the proposals would have been appraised, saying “When that happens, the media would be invited.”
Sources however maintained that the issue of merge had polarized the party into two camps along those infavour and those against.
“The issue is a dicey one, you know being a dynamic party that has continued to embrace all shades of opinion, and the issue is currently generating debate as to its desirability or otherwise. But in the end, the maturity of the elders in the party will prevail.” He said.