A political movement proposed by former president Olusegun Obasanjo, Coalition for Nigeria Movement, CNM, has been launched, expressing readiness to hit the ground running even though it’s not yet a political party.
Obasanjo was not present at the unveiling of the movement in Abuja on Wednesday, but two former Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governors, Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Donald Duke, were in attendance.
Also present at the launch was the son of Nigeria’s former prime minister, Jahid Tafawa Balewa, who is CNM’s co-Chairman (North).
Newsworth recalls that the former president had suggested the formation of the movement in his recent critical special statement on President Muhammadu Buhari and the current administration.
He argued in the statement that the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and the main opposition party were incapable of repositioning Nigeria, having lost the confidence of the electorate.
“We need a Coalition for Nigeria, CN. Coalition to salvage and redeem our country. You can count me with such a movement.
“Coalition for Nigeria must have its headquarters in Abuja,” the elder statesman had said.
Oyinlola, who is the co-ordinator of the movement, acknowledged that for CNM to make electoral impact in the manner described by Obasanjo in his letter, its proponents would need to follow the Constitution and register it as a political party.
He pointed out that “there is need to run fast and ensure that the movement is carried to the nooks and crannies” of the country.
“The aims and objectives of the coalition make it mandatory for us to hit the ground running. Time is not on our side; if we are going to effect the aims of the coalition, we must run fast,” he said.
The former governor explained that the old ones in the coalition would be like guardian angels while the young ones would be in the driver seat. He stressed that the movement’s leaders are not necessarily eyeing political offices to benefit themselves.
“We are trying to be like guardian angels; it is you that must decide who is to do what and at what level. That is why we are having this meeting today and putting it back to you,” he said.
Oyinlola stressed that individuals would not bring money into the movement but that “everybody will contribute in order to avoid one person controlling and dictating the affairs of the movement”.