This article was published two years ago with the title: ‘The malaise of a Mega Party. Its contents are very germane to the recent meetings between General Buhari and Asiwayu Bola Tinubu on the March towards 2015.
The purpose was to defeat the ruling Peoples Democratic Party in a clean and fair election, come 2011. Given his age, the nationalist needed others to carry out his vision and Chief Olu Falae came in handy.
He, it was who led other prominent opposition party chieftains in endless rounds of consultations with the view of steering them into such a big -call it Mega Party under the sobriquet of Mega Summit Movement.
How else can we describe Chief Olu Falae, Gen. Muhammed Buhari, Atiku Abubakar and Alh. Attahiru Bafarawa – all presidential candidates between 1999 and 2007? Alh. Balarabe Musa, a professional opposition politician and a group of others not-so-prominent but important actors were part of the process.
From day one, the PRP leader announced that his party will neither dissolve into or be merged with any other party. He opted for alliance with other parties; but at the end, he let it be known that he and his party will not merge or align with the Mega Party!!
Many were astounded as to what went wrong and why Balaraba Musa behaved the way he did. Someone even asked if the PRP leader was not planted in the Mega Summit Movement to destroy or frustrate it in the first place. He is entitled to his opinion.
Not long after, a group of top members of the MSM broke apart to form what they called National Democratic Initiative (NDI) which changed later to become National Democratic Movement (NDM) – purporting to have absolved the MSM by adoption of the word ‘movement’.
But the NDM is a counterpoise to the MSM which was considered as too ‘southern’ by Northern leaders in the Summit. So, Muhammadu Buhari, Atiku Abubakar and Attahiru Bafarawa with a sprinkle of southerners like Tom Ikimi and Barr. Mike Ahamba went with the NDM. For sometime, most members of the MSM became also members of the NDM until-like water and oil - each went its own way.
However, and at this stage Alhaji Bola Tinubu and his team appeared on the scene on the side of the NDM and helped to finally nail the coffin of the MSM. But the NDM was to receive the most painful shock. Atiku Abubakar whose heart was in the PDP while pretending to be in MSM/NDM dumped it after slamming accusations against Buhari and Bafarawa.
And Bafarawa left, not before he accused Buhari of perfidy and betrayal. Buhari and his new party, the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) were treated like lepers by what was left of the NDM. Soon, Tinubu’s rump of the A.C. and Bafarawa” Democratic People’s Party (DPP) became the sole legatees of the NDM who agreed to merge into-presumably a mega party.
Right from the onset, Alh. Shitta-Bey was not happy with the pace of events and was very suspicious of certain MSM leaders of northern extraction whom he described as dealing deceitfully with the MSM. He left to file in his papers with the INEC to register what he called Mega Progressive Peoples Party- which remains in process.
Subsequent developments tend to justify Shitta-Bey’s action. Whatever was left of the MSM resolved to go ahead and form a new party called the Social Democratic Mega Party – which registration is also under way. The MSM still led by Chief Olu Falae still left its doors open to those who may change their minds to return to the fold; and to other progressive forces who are yet to decide.
Samuel A. Onimisi Writes!
TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK