Lagos — Ten state governors of opposition political parties met in Lagos yesterday where they endorsed the proposed merger of their parties to challenge the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2015 general elections.
The governors include Babatunde Fashola (Lagos), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) and Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), all belonging to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).
Others are Rochas Okorocha of Imo, a member of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Kashim Shettima of Borno and Abdul-Aziz Yari of Zamfara both of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) as well as Umaru Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State, a member of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). Gov. Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe (ANPP) was represented by Sen. Alkali Jajere at the meeting, which held at the Lagos State Government House, Ikeja.
Addressing newsmen on behalf of others, Shettima said the resolve of the governors to support the merger was borne out of the need to rescue Nigeria from its present state.
"Having reviewed the situation in our country, we resolved that to rescue Nigeria is a task that must be done," he said. "As progressive and patriotic leaders of our people across party, religious and geo-political zones, we are extremely concerned about the state of the nation, which informed this meeting.
"We fully endorsed the merger initiatives already commenced by our various political parties and we will put our full weight behind these efforts." Also, Okorocha said the merger was necessary to save Nigeria's democracy. He said the country was gradually drifting to a one-party state, a situation that would not augur well for the development of the country and the interests of the people. "I personally endorse this movement and this new merger, at least to rescue Nigeria. We want to rescue this country to make sure things get better. That is the essence of the alliance," he said.
Fashola said the merger was aimed at rescuing the country from underdevelopment and propel it to attain its right destiny. Amosun dismissed fears over the workability of the merger, saying the stakeholders in the alliance were determined to ensure its success.
He said the merger would promote national development and implored Nigerians to support efforts to make it succeed. Yari said the merger would offer credible alternatives to move the nation forward.
Daily Trust reported exclusively yesterday that the meeting will hold today to, among others, sort out the position of the ANPP governors on the merger talks given the reported moves by some of the party's leaders to defect to the PDP.