Leaders of two leading opposition parties; Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), have met and expressed their determination to work out a merger ahead of the 2015 presidential election.
ACN’s national leader, Bola Tinubu on Thursday met with the leader of the CPC, Muhammadu Buhari, at his residence in Kaduna for a meeting which was held behind closed doors
In his address to journalists after the meeting, Mr. Tinubu stated that the meeting centred on how to work out an acceptable leadership to steer the affairs of the country.
Hinting on the willingness to reach a compromise for the merger talks ahead of the next presidential election, Mr Tinubu stated that “if we have security agencies that are charged with the protection of the sovereignty of the country at the expense of their own lives, then the leaders must be able to make sacrifices and be flexible enough to help redirect.”
“Not just anybody can steer the ship of a nation, but it takes exceptional leadership to chart the course and steer the ship to a proper destination” he added.
“I am not going to be specific, but we discuss on the national patriotism and the direction the nation is going and the need for a change. That change may be about us, forming a government of our own”.
He also revealed that the meeting centred on the need to have a credible election in 2015 because “the conduct of free and fair elections is critical to the growth of democracy and development in Nigeria.”
“Every democrat must be able to work hard and sacrifice for a free and fair election. Any democrat must be able to celebrate and accept the result of free and fair elections in order to deserve the joy of victory” he averred, adding that “but every democracy must resist the abuse of power, manipulation and rigging in the election. We have areas that even if we are not in the same political party, we can collaborate”.
Mr Tinubu also expressed the determination of the two parties to resist being perpetual opposition, saying “we are working for a positive change in 2015. We don’t want to perpetually be in opposition, every politician wants the opportunity to govern,” he said as he explained that both parties were working for a change in the nation’s political history in 2015 that will lead to the formation of a government led by progressive minds.
He declined to give further details of their discussions saying “as politicians we discussed in general the situation in the country and how we can help ameliorate the problems facing the nation.”
“The doors are open and politics is not about a dark room event. It is about transparency and our ability to work with one another for a common agenda and that is the purpose; we are still looking at areas where we can help our nation. As you all know, patriotism is about putting the national interest above self” he said.
Accompanying the former governor of Lagos state on the trip to Kaduna were the governors of Ogun and Ekiti states. Former Minister of the FCT, Nasir El-rufai represented the CPC.
Both parties were involved in a possible merger talks, weeks to the April 2011 presidential election, but the talks collapsed days to the final round of campaigns, owing to irreconcilable differences. The party’s presidential candidates both came second and third respectively in the poll that was adjudged free and fair.