Human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), said on Friday that he was not involved in the newly floated political group, National Consultative Forum.
Also, the Movement of Unity and Progress said on Friday that a former military governor of old Kaduna State, Col. Abubakar Umar (retd.), was not a member of the new forum.
A communiqué issued in Abuja on Wednesday had stated that the political group was formed by 30 prominent Nigerian activists, professionals and academics, with the aim of mobilising Nigerians ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Falana and Umar were listed as part of the 30 members.
But Falana said in a statement on Friday that he neither attended the meeting where the forum was launched nor consulted before his name listed as one of the pillars.
However, commending the motivation behind the formation, Falana said he was in support of “all efforts aimed at creating an alternative platform with the potential of lifting the long suffering people of Nigeria from economic and political stupor”.
He added, “I also recognise the fact that some of the promoters of the NCF are people who are motivated by the common good. Many of them have made profound sacrifices to make Nigeria a better place to live.
“In this light I commend what appears to be the genuine motive of the organisers of the National Consultative Forum.
“However, I observe that my name has been mentioned as one of the pillars behind this initiative. While I appreciate the concern of the leadership of the new group to enlist my support, I wish to say that at no time have I been consulted neither did I attend the meeting where the forum was launched.
“I appreciate the almost desperate situation progressive Nigerians find themselves in the bid to save Nigeria from what looks like an imminent shipwreck. This might have informed the haste with which many honest and dedicated hands find themselves.”
He said his “clarification should not be conceived as opposition to all honest efforts designed to rescue Nigeria from the claws of abject poverty and increasing loss of hope”
“I wish to add that there are several efforts I have been involved in lately and I believe there is a growing perspective that all efforts should be harmonised for maximum impact,” he added.
Also, a member of the MUP, Chris Ephraim, said the former governor of Kaduna State neither attended the meeting of the group nor was consulted before he was listed as members of the group.
The statement stated, “Although Colonel Umar was made aware of attempts to invite him to the meeting such attempts were unsuccessful.”He therefore did not attend the meeting nor was he made aware of his membership.
“Colonel Umar does not wish to deny the group, whose membership includes persons he holds in high esteem. He however wished he was consulted before the publication that includes his name.”
A former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr Olisa Agbakoba, whose name was also mentioned among the promoters of the group, had earlier on Thursday distanced himself from it.