Former presidential candidate and Co-Convener, Nigerian Consultative Forum, Prof Pat Utomi, has said prominent Nigerians, labour unions and civil society organisations are forming an alliance against Nigeria’s biggest political parties – the ruling All Progressives Congress and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party – in the 2023 general elections.
Utomi, a professor of political economy, said the coalition would not register as a new political party but adopt the already existing ones.
Apart from the APC and the PDP, there are 16 other parties registered by the Independent National Electoral Commission, with over 100 applications awaiting the electoral umpire’s approval.
Speaking on Sunday Politics, a current affairs programme on Channels Television which our correspondent monitored from Abuja on Sunday, Utomi said the coalition should not be considered as a ‘third force’ like that of the 2019 elections.
Utomi decried that “those who have captured the Nigerian state” have excluded various groups of citizens such as women, youths and professionals.
When asked about the agenda of the coalition, the Professor said, “It is the alternative. The third force is usage; there are these two juggernauts (APC and PDP) and there is a third one coming. They are actually not two juggernauts but one people who call themselves different names. Now, we want to create another group that is more authentic, more focused on the people. This is the group that we are putting together.”
Responding to a question about those who are forming the alliance, Utomi said, “It is an amazing array of Nigerians. By the way, for the first time, civil societies are ready to be inside of the arena. They played as civil society in the past but civil society is coming in. Think of all the major leaders of the civil society, whether it is Femi Falana, Oby Ezekwesili; they are all part of this arrangement.
“The labour; as I told you, the NLC President made a full and total commitment that they would bring the labour movement into what we are founding. People like Dr Usman Bugaje; former Governor (of Kano State) Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, and on and on. We are fully committed to this process.”
Join our WhatsApp Group to receive news and other valuable information alerts on WhatsApp.