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Sunday, 11 February 2018

Obasanjo’s coalition movement to open offices across Nigeria this week

The director of media and public communications for the Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM), Akin Osuntokun, disclosed in an interview that the organisation will open offices across the six geopolitical zones of the country this week.

Punch reports that the director-general of the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation in 2015, Senator Ahmadu Ali, has also been named as the pro tem chairman of the coalition.

Osuntokun said: "We are going to inaugurate zonal offices in the six geo-political zones this week. We have done the one for Abuja already. We will subsequently launch campaigns in the 36 states of the federation.

When asked why most of the personalities in the organisation are from southern Nigeria, Osuntokun said: "That is not correct. Ahmadu Ali is the pro tem chairman, to begin with. Don't forget that the coalition has just been launched and there will be more developments as time goes on."

On why the coalition was accepting old politicians despite preaching a shift of power to the youth, Osuntokun said there was a need to blend the old and the new.

He said: "For any organisation to survive, no matter your ambition, it has to be a blend of the old and the new. The coalition will be depriving itself of a source of strength if you rule out completely the enlistment of significant political actors who have been on the stage for a while.

"Also, not all of them are tainted. There are quite a number of them that have their integrity intact. In politics, you don't drive people away as long as they subscribe to the ideology of your organisation."

Asked if the national leader of the All progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, would be welcome into the coalition, he said: "If Tinubu says he is joining, that will be a big boost to the organisation because he is a big fish. He has immense political value in terms of followership and boots on the ground.

Reacting to whether the coalition would merge with the APC or the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of the 2019 elections, Oshuntokun said both political parties had lost the confidence of Nigerians and it was unlikely that the coalition would endorse either of the two.

Osuntokun, however, stated that it was possible for the coalition to register as a political party and contest independently.
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