Dr. Agbakoba, SAN.
Before its official declaration as a political party, the new advertised political movement, National Consultative Front, (NCF), congregating prominent professionals and influential Nigerians of like minds who denounce the present political quagmire in the country, has already started witnessing cracks within its ranks as one of the big names paraded last Wednesday, July 1, 2020, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba, (SAN), a foremost human rights lawyer and ex-Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) president, has distanced himself from the group.
In a statement released on Thursday July 2, 2020, signed by him and made available to the Advocate News online he said: “My attention has been drawn to a widely circulated story that I am part of a new political movement known as the National Consultative Front.
“Without prejudice to the need for such a political movement, I want to place it on record that I was not consulted and so I am not part of the National Consultative Front”.
No further explanations were given for this turn of events nor were we able to reach the facilitators of the movement to find out why wide consultations were not made to intimate people of the group’s laudable intentions before cramping their names in the list of membership of the organisation.
In a communique issued in Abuja on Wednesday, the group unveiled the name of the new platform as “National Consultative Front”.
Among the members of the movement are Ghali Umar Na’abba, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives; Olisa Agbakoba, a prominent lawyer; (who has now declined his membership), Femi Falana, human rights lawyer; Obadiah Mailafia, ex-deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and Oby Ezekwesili, a former minister of education.
Others are Abubakar Umar, Jibo Ibrahim, Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, Shehu Sani, a former senator; Remi Sonaiya, former presidential candidate; Tanko Yinusa, Shettima Yerima and Funke Awolowo, among others.
The group added that its intervention is aimed at providing a credible alternative political class and leadership for Nigeria as a result of the “failures” of past leaders of the country.
Continuing the group said: “Against the worrisome background of the continued slide of Nigeria into political anarchy and unabated bloodletting and deaths, owing to the incompetence and failure of the present political leadership of the country in dealing with the national democratic question of Nigeria as a diverse multi ethnic, multi religious and multi cultural entity, We, a select group of National Leaders of Conscience, Social Democrats and Revolutionary Ideologues, have been in consultations under the auspices of a new Pan Nigerian Consultative Political Front with other like-minded Fresh breed political Ideologues and Stakeholders, beginning from Wednesday, 27th May 2020 to Friday, 12 June 2020 trying to agree on a new political intervention for rescuing our dear country from the exploitative grip of a lacklustre leadership and the manipulation of a bickering, factionalised ruling political elites in Nigeria
“Our nationwide consultations, essentially, motivated by patriotic concerns of Stakeholders regarding the chaotic and insecure state of Nigeria, an unfortunate situation basically induced by the country’s self serving politicians and rulers, were held largely within the prevailing ambience of the new Webinar communications technology, with a clear vision of building a new disciplined/competent Political leadership for the liberation of Nigeria’s muzzled democracy and hijacked State powers
“Therefore, we of the new patriotic association of select leaders of conscience and stakeholders in Project Nigeria, having undertaken thorough and painstaking deliberations and dialogue on the agenda to save our country from imminent political collapse and civil strife hereby wish to announce the outcomes of the historic national consultations”, the statement surmised.