From proposing the formation of a “coalition of the concerned and the willing’ in his scathing letter to President Muhammadu Buhari,Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has registered as a member of the Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CMN).
Mr. Obasanjo completed the membership form at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) secretariat in Oke-Ilowo,Abeokuta.
The ceremony was witnessed by former governor of Cross River state,Donald Duke and former governor of Osun state, Olagunsoye Oyinlola.
Addressing journalists and other attendees after his registration, the former President expresses optimism that the group would help to propel the nation forward.
“I am happy to be a member of the Coalition for Nigeria Movement which is a movement for good governance.
“This is the commencement for our popular and grassroots association.
“The membership will be free to collectively decide on whether it will become a political party and if it decides to transform itself and go into partisan politics, I will cease to be a member.
“It is necessary to make it clear that this new movement does not regard itself as a third force.
The Coalition for Nigeria Movement was launched in Abuja on Wednesday at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre.
Oyinlola, who spoke at the launch says: “If and when we come to an agreement that we must metamorphose into a political party, then we will. We’re not a political party, at least, for now”.
He described the coalition as a movement to salvage Nigeria.
According to Oyinlola, a former governor of Osun State, CNM remains a movement and not a political party unless members agree to transform it into a party.
He says that the movement came into being in response to Obasanjo’s call for the emergence of a Coalition to help rescue the country from bad administration.
Oyinlola was also the former Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), before defecting to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He notes that the movement would provide equal platform for all Nigerians, especially women and youths.
The former governor adds that the movement would be led by the youth, while the elders would only play the role of a guide.
Oyinlola faulted the allegation that the movement was carrying out Obasanjo’s agenda to install a new leadership for the country.
“To say that we are legitimising Obasanjo’s legacies is a beat off the mark.
“There is no one who can fault the issues raised in Obasanjo’s letter. Forget the messenger, let’s discuss the message.
“What he has done is to stir us from our slumber to the reality of what is happening in Nigeria to take charge and take action.
“Are there no other leaders sitting around and watching how things are going?
“I think we should give some kudos to him for being able to address Nigerians on the ills of the society which requires attention.’’
On whether the movement would be transmuted to a political party to contest the 2019 presidential election, Oyinlola says CNN remains apolitical.
“But if the movement says they want to transform to political party, that will be a collective decision, not mine.’’
Former governor of Cross River state, Donald Duke also spoke at the ceremony described the formation of the movement as timely.
Duke stresses the need for Nigerians to come together and chat the way forward for the country.
He says the country was not going to get better except Nigerians come together to change the narrative and the situation.
According to him, 39 years ago, Nigeria with a population of about 90 million budgeted 25 billion dollars, and now with more than 200 million people, her budget is only 23 billion dollars.
Buba Galadima, a member of APC, says that the movement was being formed to rescue the country from disintegration.
On the possibility that President Muhammadu Buhari may be seeking re-election, Galadima says Nigerians would only support his bid if there was concrete evidence that he had performed well.
“If the president wants to be re-elected and he can show us empirical evidence that he has performed in terms of infrastructure development in this country.
“Evidence that he has put food on the table and unify the people of this country, then so be it, we will be prepared to vote for him.
“But if those indices are not available, then he does not deserve a second term,’’ he adds.
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