On Wednesday, July 1st, news of a new political group, Nigerian Consultative Forum (NCF) filtered into the media. Initially, some notable names such as rights activists Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), Col. Umar and Femi Falana (SAN) were being touted as members of this political movement.
A portion of the news soon got debunked as some of the members listed were not aware of their membership of such a group. By Friday, Falana had already disowned the NCF, saying he was neither consulted nor did he attend the meeting where the movement was launched. Olisa Agbakoba and Col. Umar also soon debunked membership of the NCF.
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The quick turn of events made some Nigerians question the sustainability of the movement if it could be having such issues from onset.
More details have since emerged as to the exact member constituting this group as well as their goals. But a good number of Nigerians still keep asking if this is not just another political charade to hoodwink Nigerians into believing that their much-awaited political freedom has come.
While some names have been listed by newspaper sources to be involved with the political movement, a few personalities denying membership so far does not render the movement insolvent or non-credible.
Some of the members listed of NCF are Rt. Hon Ghali Umar Naaba, Prof Pat Utomi, Engr Yabagi Yusuf Sani, Comrade Joe Ajero, Prof Chidi Odinkalu, Comrade Isa Aremu, Alhaji Shettima Yerima, Lady Funke Awolowo, Mallam Shehu Sanni, Barr Dan Nwanyanwu, Peter Ameh, Mallam Tanko Yunusa, Dr Kemi George, Barr Georgina Dakpokpo, Dr Chris Ekiyor, Prof Remi Sonaya, Mallam Hamzat Lawal, Mr Jude Feranmi, Mr Alistair Soyode, Comrade Mark Adebayo, Ogbeni Lanre Banjo, Hajia Kadijat Abdullahi and Comrade Promise Adewusi.
Balarabe Musa, 2nd Republic governor of Kaduna state, has also thrown his weight behind the movement. Likewise, a prominent ex-labour leader, Comrade Issa Aremu, who was the Labour Party governorship in Kwara has equally endorsed the initiative.
Leaders of the party are reportedly still making consultations towards the formulation and launching of a proper political movement from this initial group, by January 2021.
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Recall that the last popular political movement, alternatively tagged the “Third Force” which was formed in Nigeria got founded a few months to the 2019 elections. The “Third Force” soon collapsed as members could not reach certain consensus on a unity candidate to bear the flag at the polls.
Now that this new political movement is being hacked together, would it fill that looming gap which has always jinxed the Nigerian political sphere? Will Nigerians trust this movement enough to back it up with their votes in coming national elections? Or Is this new political movement another machinery to further exploit the political innocence of the Nigerian masses?
A cursory look at the member list also suggests a predominantly labour and rights activist leaning background. Therefore, it can be said that the political ideology of this group, once it is launched, might be leaning towards Socialist doctrines as against a much-needed market-driven economic ideology for Nigeria.
At the time, another political movement or party might not be the most urgent necessity for the Nigerian polity; but a lasting restructuring template per True Federalism, Fiscal Responsibility and Institutional Reforms could be better than any new political movement whatsoever.
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