2019: Governors shun Obasanjo’s coalition

Governors are yet to identify with the Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM) – former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s antidote to Nigeria’s leadership quandary.

CNM had claimed that 13 of the 36 governors would embrace it.

But with the exception of a southern governor whose commitment is “fluid”, no governor has joined the movement, The Nation learnt.

The development is said to be troubling some of the coordinators of the organization, which Obasanjo hopes could transmit into a party.

According to sources, the seeming stability in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the prospect of a sustainable reconciliation in the All Progressives Congress (APC) have made some of the governors to have a rethink on CNM.

It was also learnt that time constraint accounted for the avoidance of the coalition by the governors and most members of the National Assembly.

The governors are said to prefer fighting for survival in their parties than taking a gamble.

Although the CNM is banking on a likely implosion in APC, the permutations are said to be “not working” right following the consolidation of the party’s strength in the Southwest especially in Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Ondo, Ekiti, and Osun states.

A PDP governor, who spoke in confidence with our correspondent, said: “We believe there is no basis for going to a new movement when we have a virile party. Most of our governors,who are eligible for second term, may get automatic ticket. So, what is the basis for teaming up with CNM.

“Nobody wants to leave a known party for the unknown and risk his political career. CNM cannot fly in spite the fact that its ultimate target is to turn into a political party.

“Their target is to produce a party, which will be a hybrid of PDP, APC and lesser parties.

“In fact, technically, if you look at their plan, there is no time for any effective movement against APC other than adopting PDP which the CNM does not want.

“Obasanjo’s coalition is already tackling APC on socio-economic problems facing the nation. PDP is ready to benefit from the consequences of their Cold War.”

The source added: “I think there is a PDP governor whose position is fluid on CNM but we are watching him. We may end up expelling him from the party.”

A source in APC said: “We are preoccupied with reconciliation and consolidation of our strength in many states. We have heard rumours of some governors defecting to CNM and PDP, but none of them has signed up for Obasanjo’s coalition.

“There is no doubt that some of our leaders, governors and lawmakers are unhappy; we will try to reconcile our differences because allowing irreconcilable division will affect all of us.

It was learnt that ex-President Goodluck Jonathan might not join forces with Obasanjo in CNM.

He reportedly told his associates that he preferred to remain in PDP.

A source close to the ex-President said: “His Excellency, Dr. Jonathan, told us that he believes in the leadership of Obasanjo and he respects  him a lot but he won’t join any movement outside PDP.

“So far, this is where we are at present. We are focusing on how to strengthen the PDP, which has a good chance of returning to power in 2019.

“We are working on our vision bordering on the reconstruction of Nigeria for better.”

Our correspondent spoke to CNM spokesman Akin Osuntokun at about 7:53pm. He promised to return the call but he never did until this paper went to bed.