- Akin Osuntokun, the former managing director of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), says he believes the coalition movement's goals are achievable
- Osuntokun states that Nigerians have lost confidence in the All Progressives Congress (APC) and in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
- He says the major objective of the movement is save the nation from its political ruin
Akin Osuntokun, the former managing director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) and one time presidential adviser, is one of the promoters of the new political coalition on Nigeria’s political landscape.
In an interview with Guardian, he speaks on the need for the emergence of a 'Third Force' as a means of saving the nation from the shackles of corruption and decay.
NAIJ.com notes that when asked whether he thinks the coalition movement can succeed, Osuntokun said he does not only believe it is realisable, and pointed out that it will be successful. He said: "What do you mean? It is already flying. It has already taken off.
"The reason for that question is because the Third Force should be something new and shouldn’t be associated with either the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) or the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). But what we are seeing is typical of the two parties?
"This is typical Nigeria. Which English translation of Third Force means something new apart from the APC and PDP? That is your own definition of it. A Third Force would definitely have frustrated and disappointed members from the two major parties.
"It will also involve people who had hope in the ruling party and President Muhammadu Buhari but are now disappointed with the way government is being run. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo was part of those who invested trust and hope in the APC before now. So that alone contradicts what you are saying.
"If he is now floating or supporting Third Force, that means he was part of those who supported Buhari and APC to win the 2015 election and the reason the idea of Third Force has come on board is the disappointment and the terrible experience of the Nigerian people with the APC and PDP.
"People lost confidence in the manner the two parties rule the country and the loss of that confidence is gradually or has led to frustration and it may lead to hopelessness. So we have to find a way of channeling that frustration and the anger in such a way that it will not affect the country.
"We have seen the context of the civil democratic groups but there is another option and we are not by any means stuck with the APC or PDP because that itself is dangerous for the society.
"If we do, it may be difficult for us to know because we are stuck with it. So, the Third Force is not about dazzling over definition but it was just that we have two dominant parties before but the idea is to have another one."
In the interview, Osuntokun was asked if he is not bothered about the fact that the whole move looks like putting old wine in new bottle, considering the calibre of the members of the movement.
He stated that what matters is achieving positive national goal, not mere appearance. He said: "If the old wine is still good why not put it in new bottle? Don’t be too bothered with appearances; it is the substance that matters.
"I have explained to you the main motivator of the Third Force and by the way, other people are coming up with their own idea besides that of Obasanjo. The argument of putting old wine in new bottle is trivial.
"We are not talking about fashion but the survival of a nation. What you call it is irrelevant. It is what we set out to do that matters. Remember Machiavelli said the end justifies the means. If you are going to achieve a noble ambition, how you go about it doesn’t matter so long it is legal and constitutional."
Earlier, NAIJ.com reported that the PRP chairman pleaded with Nigerians to reject the coalition alleging that the old politicians wanted to use it to secure power through the backdoor.
Professor Mahmud Aliyu, the interim chairman of the party in Kwara state, told journalists in Ilorin, that both the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lacked ideologies.
Consider rest - Obasanjo to Buhari on Naij.com TV