By Bode Olagoke,Abuja

As part of calculations leading to the 2019 presidential elections and who will be the flag-bearer of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), a forum of the defunct Congress for Progressives Change (CPC), which included former chairmen of the party in the 36 states of the federation, has met behind closed doors for what a source described as “a strategic meeting.”

The Forum said its members were the original stakeholders of the movement of Buhari for President, tagged: “Buhari Project” which dated back to 2012.
Recall that the APC had emerged as a result of political alliance between the Action Congress if Nigeria (ACN), All Nigerians Peoples Party (ANPP), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and a faction of APGA.
According to a communiqué signed by 26 defunct CPC state chairmen, after a closed door meeting in Abuja, also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to “remember the goose that laid the golden egg in the scheme of things.”

Some of the defunct CPC chairmen at the meeting included: Hon. Ahamad Dan Zago from Kano, Sebastian Akpan from Akwa Ibom, Oko Agha Chris from Ebonyi, Comrade Francis Ikonomwan from Edo, Dr. Iheanacho from Abia, Dr. Mike Nwielaghi from Rivers and Mr. M. A. Oderinde from Oyo among others.
Though, our correspondent gathered from a reliable source that the main reason for the new front is to identify and bring together all the men and women across the country who had worked for President Buhari presidential project even before the formation of APC
“The fact is that we can’t totally trust men and women from other political parties like the ACN and ANPP, though we are under one umbrella, the APC, everybody knows where he or she belongs. So, we need to come together to support our own; this is politics.”
When Blueprint pressed further to know whether the closed meeting had to do with 2019 presidential ticket, the source, who was in the know, said “but there is nothing bad in it; if Mr. President wants to re-contest, we are his men and women to take his vision across the nation.”
The communiqué read in part:

“We, the undersigned, are among the following members and original stakeholders of the movement of Buhari for President which dated back to year 2002, originating from the defunct All People’s Party (APP) which converted to All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) and later metamorphosed to Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and finally merged with some other opposition political parties to form the present ruling party of the central government of Nigeria and in most states of the federation, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“Specifically, we the undersigned are among the founding members and pioneer state chairmen of the defunct CPC, the only political party founded, established and owned purposely for the actualisation of Buhari for President.

“As commanders in the 16-year-old struggle for justice, sanity, accountability, transparent, sense of direction and genuine unity in Nigeria, we were the direct targets of and suffered from all forms of PDP brutalisation and repression from the beginning to the end of their misrule, particularly during the general elections when the prevention of rigging through the protection of votes was always our main pre-occupation.

“We are, however, happy to note that our suffering in the struggle was not in vain or wasted, but worthwhile and fruitful. The revolutionary victory at the polls in April 2015, was the culmination of that struggle.
“The meeting of the Legacy Forum was convened to retrospectively congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari for the victory. The beautiful performance of Mr. President so far is invigorating and highly encouraging. It is, indeed, this performance that made it compelling for us to convene the meeting in order to acknowledge and appreciate as a forum of original stakeholders and founding members of the Buhari Project.”

It would be recalled that the APC deputy national publicity secretary, Comrade Timi Frank, recently confirmed at a press conference that the party was divided.
According to him, the national leadership appears not to be doing much to harmonise the aggrieved persons’ interests so that the party can move forward.
“If anybody should tell you that there is no division even at the national level, they’re telling lies, I can tell you that there are issues, there are very critical issues.

The issue of the senate president is still lingering, nobody is saying anything at the national level, but I tell you, any Nigerian that knows will tell you very clearly that with the body language of our party as at today, if we are not careful, we are going to lose our popularity,” he said.
The deputy spokesman warned that the party and everyone who had sacrificed to lift it up would become the loser if nothing was done to arrest the widening division within the ranks of members.
“It will be a big disgrace that we have hands that are not competent at the centre to harmonise the aggrieved persons and make us move forward.

“So, there is crisis in the party. If anybody says there is no crisis, it is a lie. We have many divisions right now within the party; so, I won’t be scared to speak. That is my personal opinion and I have spoken again and I will continue to speak out.
“I have nothing to worry about, in a matter of short time; this will come to play out. I spoke of problem in my state, Bayelsa, but people ignored me. I am speaking again, it would happen soon at the national level that these things we are sweeping or hiding have started already,” he said.

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