By Uche Mbah
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, former president, made good his threat to form a new coalition against the present government in his much advertised third force, which critics are beginning to equate with the desire to bring back third term through the back door. He recently launched The Third Force at the Shehu Yar’Adua Center in Abuja, barely one week after he threatened to do so n the controversial press release he issued asking President Buhari not to seek a second term. “We need a Coalition For Nigeria, CN,(a) coalition to salvage and redeem our country”, he wrote, adding that the coalition must have its headquarters in Abuja. But in attendance at the launch were Olagunsoye Oyinola, a loyalist of Obasanjo and former governor of Osun state and a retired military officer. He was also a military Administrator during the regime of General Sanni Abacha government, and currently heads a Federal Parastatal. He is however expected to resign from the board if push comes to shove.. He represented Obasanjo. Also in attendance was the former governor of Cross River State, Donald duke. Duke has been quoted in the past as saying he will never condescend to act as anybody’s Vice president when the presidency is there for all Nigerians to contest for. Others were Ahmadu Ali, former Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. At the last count, the force appears to be a coalition of the disgruntled elements of the PDP and the ruling party, All Progressives Congress, APC.
When the likes of Olisa Agbakoba and Donald Duke were being mentioned as the main force behind the National Intervention Movement, NIM, it became clear that the roller coaster group must be backed by formidable force; it is now obvious that NIM is the seed capsule for Obasanjo’s movement. It appears he is using the group as a third force in case PDP fields Atiku. His Press release has given Buhari a red card.
Besides the intervention force, Obasanjo is said to have an interest in projecting two candidates, Rabiu Kwankwaso of APC and Sule Lamido of PDP. Thus he had warned Goodluck Jonathan from re-contesting, giving bite to the rumor that Jonathan may still be secretly nursing presidential ambition. Kwankwaso is currently under fire from the Kano state government, who refused him entry into the state.
A follow up launching of the group is expected to be launched in Abeokuta.
Hence Obasanjo intends to have all fields covered for the 2019 elections. Head or tail, he had it covered. Will he have his way? Time shall tell.