Tireless power hunters, military dictator, General Ibrahim Babangida , and National Security Adviser, General Aliyu Gusau, are floating a new political party to take advantage of the loss of the presidency prematurely by Umaru Yar'Adua.
Compass Newspaper reports that the proposed party is called the National Democratic Initiative (NDI), adding that Babangida and Gusau have already told their loyalists to be ready to return to work. The duo's presidential ambition became stillborn in 2007 after moves by their boss, General Olusegun Obasanjo, who was then the president.According to the source, the decision to unveil the party came after sessions of marathon meetings from Wednesday into the early morning of Thursday last week in Abuja, which members of the Mega Summit Movement (MSM), led by the octogenarian statesman, Chief Anthony Enahoro, and former presidential candidate, Chief Olu Falae, had with the NDI, which is led by a former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari.
Our source did not categorically state which day of the week the party would be unveiled, but gave assurances that it would be done this week.
A source at the meeting told the Nigerian Compass in a telephone interview on Thursday that the party would “create a big bang.”
The source also said that the mega party had assurances from prominent political elite from the North that the North would go with the new party as far as the 2011 presidential race is concerned.
The source said that many political leaders from the North currently entertain fears that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) might not field a Northern candidate for the 2011 presidential race or pick a candidate who is not the choice of the region.
The source further revealed that Abubakar, Buhari and a former Governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa, “are choice candidates of the North and whoever emerges among the three of them will be acceptable.”
The source added, “There is no doubt that they (Abubakar, Bahari and Bafarawa) enjoy tremendous support in the North.
“What confirms it more is that about two weeks ago, the three of them went to Sokoto to attend a private wedding ceremony.
“The crowd that came to receive them at the airport was mammoth.
“Unfortunately for the General Manager of the National Television Authority (NTA) in Sokoto, he aired the stampede at the airport live and the government decided to remove him.”
Although the source said that the mega party leaders will watch the trend in the PDP before reaching a conclusion on the path to follow for its presidential primaries, the primaries will be open to all interested aspirants irrespective of which region of the country they come from.
The source also further revealed that apart from Abubakar, Buhari and Bafarawa, a number of other political bigwig from the North, including Babangida and Gusau, are also reaching out to the new party.
The source said, “We have decided to trash out all outstanding issues and it is certain now that the party will be revealed next week.
“The good thing is that we are receiving responses from a lot of leaders from the North and our strength lies in the fact that our party parades the best of presidential hopefuls from the North.
“Of course, the party is yet to make a formal decision on where to zone the presidency, but we are closely watching the trend in the PDP and that will serve as guide to us on the way to go.”
There have been previous similar claims by sources in both the MSM and the NDI that the new party would be unveiled, but which came to naught.