- Chieftain: We’re tired of playing second fiddle
As the political class continues to make permutations towards the 2019 general elections, some bigwigs in the North Central geo-political zone have concluded arrangements to float a new political party that will be dominated by the people of the region.
The move to create a separate political vehicle, New Telegraph learnt, was because prominent politicians in the region feel short-changed by the dominant parties in the present dispensation and have decided to chart a new course for their own people.
The new party, which started as a sociocultural organisation about five months ago, has since transformed into a political machine with the propagation of its ideology, mission statement and vision which are all geared towards the political emancipation of the people in the region.
Although the new party has undergone necessary clearance at the Corporate Affairs Commission and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), New Telegraphgathered that its promoters were still keeping the name of the party and those behind it under wraps.
Barring any last min-ute twists, the new party will be unveiled as soon as all registration formalities were concluded and its certificate handed over to its leaders.
A member of the Founding Committee of the party who would not want his identity revealed yet, said that the essence of forming the party was to give the people of the region an opportunity to pursue their political aspirations without other people taking undue advantage of them or forcing them to play the second fiddle.
“We want to contribute our fair share to the political, economic and socio-cultural development of this country. We don’t want to rely on our past glory; we want to be able to determine our political future in Nigeria.
Today, when it comes to elections, most zones vote with one voice. Even though we don’t like that strategy, we don’t want to be taken for granted by any group or region.
We have no umbilical attachment anywhere; any attachment we have to any region is purely historical and in this Internet age, North Central is mobilising all its intellectual minds to rise up to the challenge of defining our political future. “We started meetings and consultations in July and so far, state chapters are already in place.
At the moment, we have 10 strategic committees working on various areas such as: Contact and Mobilisation, Finance, Investment and Economic Development, Legal Matters, Research and Planning, Socio-Cultural Integration, Security, Women, Youth and People Living With Disabilities. We are drawing our membership from everywhere across party lines.
The project has received wide acceptance from across the zone and beyond. We have received a lot of goodwill and encouragement based on the track record of some of our leaders,” he said.
According to our source, the fledgling political organisation has completed a study on the character and operations of existing political parties in Nigeria with a view to understanding their strengths and weaknesses, as well as how to avoid their pitfalls.
“We are looking at 2019 with the eyes of an eagle because we don’t want to be taken unawares or for granted any longer. For a long time, North Central has been treated like a “no man’s land”; but, henceforth, we will demonstrate that we are a people with strong socio-cultural ties and a common destiny.
It used to be an open battlefield for political actors who come from far and near to seek our support. But now,we want to build our own political vehicle and determine where we shall go in 2019.
“North Central is very much aware of its political value in the Nigerian polity. By our geographical location and culture, we are strongly linked to all political zones in the country.
We believe that any political vehicle that originates in the North Central has a lot of passengers to pick up from across the rest parts of Nigeria,” he said.
New Telegraph learnt that the new party had opened consultations with many prominent political leaders from the zone with a view to wooing them to join the group.
However, these interactions have remained largely informal because these leaders, particularly those serving in the present administration, would not want to jeopardise the opportunities available to them in their current political parties until the coast becomes clearer.