With less than a year to the 2019 presidential election, the major opposition parties and third force elements are expected to hold joint and separate talks in the coming days with a view to forging an alliance and supporting one presidential candidate with the sole aim to unseat President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Punch reports that some of the parties that will participate in the discussions include the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Olusegun Obasanjo-backed African Democratic Congress (ADC), and the Chief Olu Falae-led Social Democratic Party (SDP) among others.
It is understood that the Nigerian Intervention Movement (NIM), co-chaired by Dr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) and Dr. Abdujalil Tafawa-Balewa, has held alliance talks with the Coalition for New Nigeria, a coalition of 35 political parties.
The NIM said in a statement that it was holding separate and joint meetings with the Labour Party, United Progressive Party, Action Democratic Party, Action Alliance and several others.
It stated, “The NIM Coalition team has just ended a marathon coalition talks separately and jointly in Abuja at various locations with the Labour Party, United Progressive Party, Alliance for New Nigeria, Action Democratic Party, and Action Alliance in a process of setting up a national grand electoral alliance for 2019.
“All the parties have, by and large, agreed to the NIM’s terms and therefore asked to go and reaffirm the endorsement of their leadership organs and structures to avoid future problems.
“The MOU with the prospective coalition party and other parties in the electoral alliance will be signed next week after due consultations with their various leadership organs and the steering committee meeting of NIM must have given its nod and endorsement.”
It was learnt that the SDP was expected to hold talks with the NIM next week as well.
The Obasanjo-led Coalition for Nigeria Movement had adopted the ADC as its party.
The National Coordinator of the Obasanjo coalition, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, had told a gathering on Thursday that there was still room for the ADC to forge alliance with other interested parties to oust Buhari in the next general elections.
A source close to Obasanjo said on Saturday that the move had spurred others into action, not wanting to be left out.
The source added, “We have just nine months to the elections and the other groups, especially the NIM, were being slow about it. So, Obasanjo felt time was running out. With what he has done, others have woken up and the alliance talks are beginning to move quicker.
“In the coming days, you will see defections and re-alignments as the main opposition begins to take shape.”