The Chairman of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has asked the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to get ready to take up opposition role as the party would be soundly beaten in the 2015 general election by opposition coalition, All Progressives Congress (APC).
Onu who spoke while inaugurating the special convention committee headed by the Governor of Zamfara State, Alhaji Abdulazeez Abubakar Yari, in Abuja, said the national convention of the party fixed on May 11 in Gusau, the state capital, will signal its final journey towards the merger with other opposition parties.
"With this merger which by the grace of Almighty God would soon be completed, it is certain that the way politics is played in our country will change forever. Our dear country will never be the same again. Those in government today should prepare their minds to be in opposition tomorrow," he said.
Onu said with the emergence of APC, no one can easily pre-determine which of the political parties can continuously win elections in the country.
He said the merger would see the individual participating political parties lose their individual identities to be submerged into the APC, adding that this was definitely in the best interest of the development of democracy.
The ANPP chairman blamed the problems facing the country on poor governance and lack of genuine interest in the welfare of the masses by the PDP-led federal government.
"Our country is in great distress. Wherever we look, we see problems upon problems. We live in darkness. People feel insecure. Our schools and hospitals are not working as they should. Unemployment and poverty have crippled the dreams and ambition of many Nigerians. Hope for a bright future has continued to fade for many people, day after day. Things cannot continue this way. There must be a change for the better. The time to effect that a change is now.
"The common people, the masses of our nation yearn for change. They know that this change can only come when votes count and the voter matters. They know that this can only be realised when there is effective competition in the political arena.
"They know that major opposition political parties need to come together as a single political party so that politics in our country can be played with two strong political parties. “When this happens, no one can easily pre-determine which of the two political parties can continuously win a general election.
"ANPP will not relent in the effort to form a credible opposition coalition. It is certain that the way politics is played in the country will not remain the same.
PDP should make up their mind to go into opposition," he said.
Speaking o behalf of members of the convention committee, the Governor of Zamfara State said the merger movement was for the interest of all, adding that the committee will do its best make the convention successful.
"By the grace of God we accept the responsibility to organise the convention and we are going to do our best to hold one of the best conventions in the party's history. We are going to do all possible to ensure the eagerness of the opposition coalition party and to achieve this we in the convention organising committee are going work for a successful convention," he said.
The former Governor of Zamfara State and presently the Deputy Senate Minority Leader, Alhaji Sani Yerima said the merger of opposition parties cannot be prevented by the anyone, insisting that so long as the parties remain focused, APC will be registered by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
"INEC is a body of Nigerians and they must follow the law, so long as you know what you are doing, whoever is in INEC cannot do otherwise. If you are treated fairly, you can go to court and get your appeal against the commission," he said.