Ahead of the 2019 general elections, political leaders from the North Central geo- political zone yesterday unveiled a new political platform, the Action Democratic Party (ADP).
The promoters of the new party said that the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the two dominant political parties in Nigeria today, were too weak for the forthcoming elections.
The new political vehicle, New Telegraph learnt, is the political wing of the North Central Unity Bridge (NCUB), a socio-cultural organisation embraced by the people of the zone.
The party has an open book held by a hand on a red, white and blue background as its symbol. Convener of the NCUB, Engr. Yagbagi Sani, who unveiled the party at a meeting held in Abuja, said that given the present scenario where the two major political parties were in crisis, the new party would become the third force in the political equation come 2019.
He said that the ADP will not only give the North- Central a voice on the political turf, but will play a very active role in salvaging democracy in Nigeria. Sani explained that the new party became necessary because of the desire of the people to have a political platform upon which they can actualise their socio- economic and political aspirations in Nigeria.
He lamented that the zone, which has helped to keep Nigeria united, has been used and dumped by political actors in the past, stressing that the people of the zone would no longer allow such a fate to befall them.
“In the past, our zone has at various critical stages of Nigeria’s political development played strategic roles in bringing the nation out of seemingly intractable political challenges such as the one currently facing the polity and the stability of the country.
“It has, therefore, become imperative that The Bridge as a socio-cultural organisation for the people of the North Central rises to the occasion and provide the necessary leadership in salvaging the fast degenerating political situation in the country,” he said.
Sani said that while the socio-cultural organisation would remain focused in the task of pursuing the goal of uniting the people of the region, it cannot afford to remain apolitical. According to him, the new party will be what the Alliance for Democracy (AD) is to the Afenifere in the South-West and what the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) is to the Ohaneze Ndigbo in the South-East.
“Take the South-West, South-East and even the North-West; they have mastered this game which we are trying to play. They have socio-cultural organisations, but alongside it, they have political platforms, which they can call their own. So this is why we thought it wise to have an organisation that will be purely political, but different from the socio-cultural organisation. “We must take interest in what is happening around us and this is why we have Action Democratic Party (ADP).
It is a party that you can say has its roots from North-Central. “But you know, you can’t have a party that is only in one zone, because we want to form the national government come 2019 and if we want to do that, then we must carry all other zones along. We must be equal partners; we must be cofounders of this party. We must, from the starting block, build this party together.
So you can say the idea came from the North- Central, but it is a national party that will have the interest of Nigeria,” he said. The interest of the new party, he said, was how to develop Nigeria in a sustainable and harmonious manner and create a bright future for generations yet unborn.
Meanwhile, the North Central Unity Bridge has elected Senator Joseph Waku (Benue State) as the Chairman of its Board of Trustees while Hon. Amusa Amanga (Nasarawa State) will serve as the sec- retary of the board. Other notable politicians on the board of the organisation include a former Governor of Plateau State, Sir Fidelis Tapgun; a former Minister of State (Foreign Affairs), Ambassador Bagudu Hirse; Senator Usman Jibrin Wowo; Senator Haliru Kaima; Publisher of Leadership Newspapers, Chief Sam Nda-Issaih; a former Minister of State (FCT), Chief Solomon Ewuga and Mr. Mike Omeri, the immediate past Director General of the National Orientation Agency.