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29 Nov 2017

2019 Election: Donald Duke, Pat Utomi, Agbakoba, Others Float New Political Movement

Prominent Nigerian influential politicians including Donald Duke, Pat Utomi and activist lawyer, Olisa Agabakoba, have formed a new political group ahead of 2019 elections.

As political actors commence preliminary activities geared towards capturing power in 2019, some eminent Nigerians yesterday floated a new political movement which will serve as an intervention force to rescue the citizenry from those they described as political predators.

The movement known as the National Intervention Movement, has in its fold, a former Governor of Cross River State, Mr Donald Duke; renowned political economist, Prof. Pat Utomi; former President, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Dr Olisa Agbakoba, as well as Dr. Abdul-Jhalil Tafawa Balewa, son of Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Nigeria’s first Prime Minister.

Others are a former Vice President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and General Secretary of the National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria, Comrade Isa Aremu; university don, Prof. Jibrin Ibrahim; Alhaji Rabiu Ishaku Rabiu and Dr Elena Okengwu, among others.

The group which met in Abuja to deliberate on the state of the nation, expressed disenchantment with the trend of political activities and poor level of governance in the country.

The group said it had a pan-Nigerian mission and vowed to mobilise Nigerians towards effecting the real change desired by the citizenry.

Agbakoba who was named as the leader of the group's steering committee, and spoke while responding to questions from reporters at the unveiling of a new political group in Abuja, on Tuesday, explained that his daughter had advised him against taking part in the 2014 conference but that he also had its doubts.

He said, “But I resolved that (conflict) with Pastor Tunde Bakare by rejecting the N12.5m allowance. It is now clear that the 2014 confab was meant to serve President Jonathan’s political interest.

“The difference between what we are doing today and what IBB did in his confab, what Abacha did in his confab what OBJ did in his own confab and what President Jonathan did in his own confab is that, they had their own political agenda.

“So, if we start from saying that Nigeria is a failing or failed state we have about 180 million people who do not take part in the political discuss. If we can get this political movement and get these people to make a political choice, that will be the difference.”

Also speaking at the event, a labour activist, Isa Aremu, explained that it was sad that Nigeria had suffered the misfortune of having individuals who cared less about the people they were supposed to be serving at the helm of affairs.

He recalled that the nation’s first labour strike during the colonial era was not about workers’ wages but about allowances.

According to him, it is now an irony that it will take an appeal by the President (Muhammadu Buhari) for state governors to pay workers their salaries.

Aremu said, “This is the right time for all compatriots to stand up for our nation and for those of us in organised labour to speak, we need to get political.

“There is a need for us to have a new set of governors who will regard constitutional provisions.”

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