The President of the West African Association of Political Parties, Chief Perry Opara, has warned smaller political parties in Nigeria against merging or collapsing their structures into bigger parties in the upcoming general elections.
Opara gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Friday.
He argued that it would be difficult for any political party, including the entrenched ones, to win the 2019 presidential election in the first ballot because of current disenchantment in the polity.
Opara, who is also the Secretary-General of the Inter-Party Advisory Council of Nigeria, noted that the level of disenchantment was so high among the Nigerian electorate for them to give massive support to any presidential candidate in the upcoming elections.
“No political party in Nigeria can win the 2019 presidential election at first ballot; not even the ruling APC or PDP.
“If we go by the level of dissatisfaction among the Nigerian electorate with the ruling party and the poor performance of the PDP in the last election, none of the parties can win 25 per cent in 24 states of the federation at first ballot.
“So, I will propose a coalition of forces in the form of alliances to ensure that there will not be a run-off election in 2019.
“Smaller parties should be allowed to wobble and lose or win elections; learn from their mistakes and forge ahead. They should not kill themselves with their own hands by merging.
“Merging is not good for parties in West African countries. Alliance and coalition is better for parties to grow,’’ Opara, who is also the National Chairman of the National Unity Party said.
He advised politicians wishing to seek high offices to consult former President Olusegun Obasanjo, describing Obasanjo as “Nigeria’s political oracle, who must be consulted by politicians to make progress in Nigeria.’’
According to Opara, God uses someone at any time in a nation’s life to talk to the masses.
“God used Olusola Saraki in Kwara State and whoever he supported won elections.
“God uses Bola Tinubu currently in the South West God has also been using Obasanjo in Nigeria from Shagari to IBB and Yar’Adua to Jonathan.
“Whichever party Obasanjo chooses, and whosoever he endorses in 2019 will win the presidential election.
“I have had a number of meetings with Obasanjo. He is sincere and courageous in his quest to enthrone good leadership and better economic management in Nigeria.
“He is also passionate to see that the younger generation and women take over the reins of leadership in Nigeria.
“In 2015, PDP never believed they were going to lose, despite the huge money they spent and the tireless campaign, yet it was a disaster for the party,’’ Opara said. (NAN)