Jega, Utomi groups, Others Create New Party To Fight PDP, APC

On October 1, prominent Nigerians like Attahiru Jega, the former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, and Professor Pat Utomi, a political economist, will launch a major political campaign.

The NG Times assembled the massive group on Wednesday, which would later morph into a political party and fight the country’s two leading parties, the APC and the PDP.

This was brought to light on Wednesday, when INEC informed NG Times that 95 organizations had filed to be registered as political parties.

However, it was learned that talks for the new mega group scheduled for October 1 had moved to an advanced stage for the merger of certain current opportunities.

The goal of those involved in the new group, according to a person familiar with the situation who talked on the condition of anonymity to one of our correspondents, was to press for electoral and political reforms.

“By God’s grace, we will reveal our movement on October 1 to coincide with Nigeria’s 61st independence anniversary,” the insider stated. For the time being, we can’t call it a political party because conversations are still underway.

“I am aware that talks between the Peoples Redemption Party’s Professor Attahiru Jega, the African Democratic Congress’s National Chairman, Chief Ralph Nwosu, and the Labour Party’s leaders have moved to a critical level.

The proposal being considered is the collapse of the structures of existing political parties involved into one strong one. We recognise the fact that forming a political party from the scratch is both cumbersome and capital intensive.

“It will involve getting offices across the 36 states of the federation and Abuja and going through all kinds of hurdles before being registered by the Independent National Electoral Commission and we know time is of the essence.

“To avoid this, we are looking at first agreeing on terms of engagement. We will adopt a name, hold our conventions where structures will be collapsed into one then we will approach INEC for a change of name to reflect our new identity

“With the existing Nigerian political framework, we don’t want to just join the fray,” the source said in answer to a question about what was keeping the group from officially declaring itself as a political party. We need to make a difference, so we’re focusing on electoral change first. We shall join forces with like-minded individuals to advocate for electronic election results as well as amendments to Nigeria’s constitution that would make it truly representative of “we,” the people.”

There was some misunderstanding over the status of the Rescue Nigeria Project, which was launched in Abuja on Tuesday by Dr Usman Bugaje, a former presidential adviser and diplomat.

According to some reports, the meeting on Tuesday intended to announce the formation of a political party. Jega, Utomi, Donald Duke, a former Governor of Cross River State; Abdelfattah Ahmed, a former Governor of Kwara State; Senator Lee Maeba, and Professor Tunde Adeniran are among the new party’s promoters.

Several people who attended the event, however, claimed that nothing of the sort was discussed. Attempts to obtain clarity from the event’s organizer were unsuccessful. Calls to his cellphone number went unanswered and unreturned. As of the time of reporting this story, he had not responded to a text message addressed to him on the matter.

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