Jay Samuels, national chairman of Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), says his party walked out of the recent meeting where some political parties formed a united front ahead of the 2019 general election.
He said the party dissociated itself from the coalition because the parties involved are led by “the same people we have committed to retiring”.
At a meeting on Monday, leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) signed a memorandum of the (MoU) with their counterparts in 37 political parties on presenting a candidate that will slug it out with President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
Among the parties involved are the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Social Democratic Party of Nigeria (SDP), Labour Party, as well as the Reformed All Progressives Congress (R-APC) — made up of aggrieved members of the APC.
Addressing journalists during the ANN national executive council meeting in Abuja on Wednesday, Samuels said the coalition does not represent what the party stands for.
“I was invited to the meeting and they were shocked when I walked out. When I saw what they were talking about, we walked out because we were not interested,” he said.
“I wasn’t comfortable when I came into the room and saw the grandfathers, grand patrons of everything that is wrong politically with Nigeria.
“So it doesn’t stand with the party’s ideals of generational leadership change that will lead to building a new Nigeria we all can be proud of.
“So I decided to take my leave. What I saw in that room was the same people we have committed to retiring; to retire and replace.”
He said the coalition is a prayer answered for the ANN because “only very few of us are left and are independent”.
“Everybody in Nigeria today is tired of APC. We have been in Egypt with PDP. Now we are in the wilderness with APC. We are going to the promised land with ANN,” he added.
“ANN is clearly focused on what we believe in, and from the beginning, our agenda is to create a new voting block, and to do away with current leaders.”