2015: Opposition merger partners consider Nasir el-Rufai and Nuhu Ribadu

by Akan Ido

There are indications that Nigeria’s opposition parties are in a frantic search for a young Northerner with a pan-nigerian outlook to be fielded in the 2015 elections.

Sources say this represents some sort of a back-up plan considered by the merger partners should former military president and leader of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) refuse to contest.

Those allegedly being considered include the former Federal Capital Territory Minister, Nasir el-Rufai and the former Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) presidential candidate in the 2011 elections, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu.

See the Punch Newspapers report below:

A chieftain of the CPC, who spoke in confidence with our correspondent, said, “We are working on a plan B. If Gen. Buhari does not contest, the parties will shift attention to younger candidates.

“Our search will be extended to non-politicians, including young technocrats from the North. El-Rufai and Ribadu will be among the pool of candidates who will be screened.”

Buhari, had after the 2011 elections said he would not contest again having contested three times and failed.

But at the inauguration of the CPC merger committee on January 16, 2013, Buhari said the outcome of the merger would determine his 2015 ambition.

It was earlier reported that Buhari might drop his presidential ambition as parties in the merger had an initial understanding that leaders must be ready to make personal sacrifices for the success of the merger.

Such a sacrifice, it was gathered, might see Buhari dropping his presidential ambition, if it would thwart the merger plan.

An aide of el-Rufai, who pleaded anonymity, told  our correspondent that, “There have been various speculations. There was a report that there was tension between Gen. Buhari and el-Rufai. There is nothing of such.

“The former minister is concerned with the success of the ongoing talks among some opposition parties.”

Efforts to get Ribadu did not succeed as calls to his mobile telephone did not go through, neither did he respond to a text message sent to him.

A member of the PDP Board of Trustees, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, had said the merger plan by opposition parties would not stop the PDP from emerging victorious in 2015 elections.

Iwuanyanwu described the move as one that would neither pull PDP down nor succeed.

“As a democrat, I should sound a note of warning; I have read recently about the coming together of some political parties. They are not coming together on the basis of ideology. They are coming together because they are afraid that unless they gang up, PDP will win the elections in 2015. This is a wrong political calculation.”

The parties involved in the merger have however accused the PDP of frustrating their plan.

They said the merger plans had driven the PDP-led Federal Government to resort to tactics aimed at tarnishing the image of key opposition leaders.

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  • Semiu says:

    Brian, God will bless you for that submission. Nigerians, any where El-Rufai is, run in the opposite direction!

    Nuhu Ribadu should fashi this lot. They sold out on him once, they will do it again. Instead, if PDP is sincere about reforming, Ribadu should offer himself to them to help put our country in order.

  • Brian says:

    We must be seen to walk the talk. Nigerians are over complaining about “The Federal Government”. The worst government officals in Nigeria are the Local Government officials. People should expend some energy on making sure that the GRASSROOTS are performing.

    Nigeria is a very complex country. Mr El Rufai is talking about Federal Structure and representation of Federal character, meanwhile the 6 geo-political regions in Nigeria do not have equal number of states… and Mr El Rufai is saying states should not be created.

    What I see is a man who talks in the direction of what will FAVOUR him.

    Mr El Rufai is talking about creating local security outfits… and what I see will be a “group of tribalistic illiterates” as State and Local police, that will carry out “extrajudicial, radical or religious killings” where ever they are stationed through out Nigeria.

    Of course, a Yoruba man can not be a member of police in Adamawa, neither can an Hausa man be a member of local police in Ogun, not even in Lagos.

    For example, LASTMA has been good enough, but “Knowing how to speak yoruba” can save you when you find yourself in a controversial situation in Lagos… EVEN IN LAGOS, OUR MOST ENLIGHTENED CITY??

    And Mr El Rufai here is asking for “local and state security agencies”??

    Nigerians are still highly illiterate and tribalistic to empower “locals” with weapons.

    In the 1960′s, the police and military helped to carry out killing of Nigerian civillians of Southern Origin.

    In the 1990′s Nigerian Police and Army were also turning blind eye to senseless religious riots in the NORTH.




  • idoko A. A says:

    D devil we know is better dan d angel we don't know. Meger party go & sleep. We know d north want 2 regain power by using d yorubers (ACN). Foolish Buhari must u rule b4 contributing 2 national development? Blood shocking-man

  • enitan says:

    I dnt trust any political party or alliance.all of u go 2 hell includin d PDP

  • Osita ona says:

    Nomather how they do it what & where they do, it will never work for niger as long as youths are consin! Old cagos wana come to robb our pocket.

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