SWITZERLAND, JULY 04 – A member of the newly formed political movement, National Consultative Front (NCF), Professor Pat Utomi, has said details of the group’s meetings were leaked to the media prematurely, leading to some members distancing themselves from the group.
Confirming the formation of the National Consultative Front, renowned economist, Professor Utomi, told Today’s Echo that the group is a movement rather than a political party, as some media reports have suggested.
In a phone call with Today’s Echo’s correspondent on Friday, Utomi said, “We are just a group of people acknowledging that something is wrong with our country and looking for new ways to provide solutions. It is just a group of Nigerians, not a party.”
Another source close to the eminent business scholar revealed that political conversations are ongoing, but no party has been formed.
“He (Utomi) states that series of conversations are ongoing on the political environment. So far a new party has not been formed/announced,” the source told Today’s Echo.
Earlier this week, several media platforms reported that a group of 30 eminent Nigerians have formed a new political movement “aimed at driving reforms” in the country.
According to the widely circulated media report, a communique had revealed the name of the new platform as National Consultative Front (NCF).
Members of the movement include Ghali Na’abba, a former speaker of the house of representatives; Olisa Agbakoba, a prominent lawyer; 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, Chidi Odinkalu, Shehu Sani, a former senator; Remi Sonaiya, former presidential candidate; Tanko Yinusa, Shettima Yerima and Funke Awolowo.
On Thursday, Legal luminary, Olisa Agbakoba publicly distanced himself from the group. In a statement signed by Niyi Odunmorayo, his media assistant, the senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), said he was not consulted before being included as part of the coalition.
The statement read, “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.”
Today’s Echo gathers that legal luminary, Femi Falana ,and former military administrator, Col Abubakar Umar, have also denied membership of the NCF through statements made on Friday.
Utomi, however, clarified the matter. He told Today’s Echo that everyone included on the list in the news report is a part of the group, but that the premature leak to the press had obviously caused some discomfort.
“The truth is that everybody on that list are actually part of the movement. The problem is that information from the meetings leaked to the media prematurely. That is why some people are denying it”, Utomi said.