The National Publicity Secretary of the Congress for Progressive Change, Mr. Rotimi Fashakin, in this interview with LEKE BAIYEWU, speaks more on the party’s merger plan with other opposition parties
People are saying the merger will hit the rocks because of controversies over what name and logo to adopt.
I don’t want to talk about what cynics are saying. They don’t want to believe good things can come out of Israel; they believe an alliance has never worked in Nigeria. What we are talking about is not about alliance, it is about a merger of different political parties that have seen that the only way to salvage our nation from imminent collapse is by coming together under one umbrella.
We have not come this far only to allow very small issues to scatter us; the issue of the name to adopt is a very minute issue with regard to three political parties coming together and submitting their certificates to the Independent National Electoral Commission to collect a single certificate. I think the very minute issue of party name will be a total disservice to the huge sacrifice the parties have made.
But some have based their argument on the fact that one of the parties has insisted on maintaining its identity.
People can speculate and say many things. Two of the parties have indicated those that would sit at the negotiation table on their behalf; the third party, which is CPC, has not even inaugurated its merger committee. How did this people get the information they are peddling.
I want to believe that it is the Peoples Democratic Party. PDP is very adept in this kind of tune of discord just to ensure that this arrangement does not work and the status quo is maintained. We don’t need to worry about that because the PDP is not a party we can reckon with.
Why is it taking the CPC so long to constitute its committee for the negotiation?
The CPC is the newest; the youngest out of the three political parties. The party has gone through many travails because, like a child of necessity, there will be many that don’t want it to survive. There is a need for utmost perspicacity in the way things would be done. There are conflicting interests (within the party) and the leader (of the party) has come up with the name of the chairman (of the committee). We have charted a way forward as regards that.
How will the emerging political party come up with its manifesto, when the participating parties already have their differing programmes?
Sometime last year, a group under the leadership of Chief Olu Falae attempted to harmonise all the manifestoes of four parties and, coincidentally, these three parties that are merging were part of the arrangement. Already now, there is a consolidated manifesto encompassing all the manifestoes of the three parties. As we speak, it’s already there; that is not a problem.
Should Nigerians expect the National Leader of the CPC, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to be the presidential candidate of the emerging party in the 2015 election?
When you have an arrangement involving three parties, you need to come openly and discuss very frankly. I believe that the issue of who to be the presidential candidate cannot divide us; it will only strengthen the accord.
With the financial and political stature of the PDP, in terms of its dominance of the political scene and the power of incumbency, do you think this merger will be strong enough to tackle the party?
Point of correction, the PDP has not really won any election. Are you going to talk about the 2003 and the 2007 elections; the latter in which the outgoing president brought out his entire arsenal in autocracy? In fact, he declared that the election was going to be a do-or-die affair. It is a language couched in autocracy. In those places that the PDP did not capture in 2003 and 2007; those places where the people resisted it, we are forming a merger such that in all the nooks and crannies of our lives we will sensitise our people to the fact that the PDP has not benefitted them. So, the PDP cannot capture anywhere anymore. We shall sensitise and help our people to resist the PDP.