With few months to the 2019 general elections, which the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) plan to again feature President Munammadu Buhari for a second time as presidential flagbearer, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday rallied 38 other political parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which will enable them work as a team to dislodge the APC government. Even before the signing of the MoU, hundreds of APC politicians have been dumping the party for the PDP
Now operating under the umbrella of Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), the parties which signed the MoU at the end of a meeting in Abuja on Monday, among other agreements resolved to field a common presidential candidate against Buhari come 2019. The new alignment is of the opinion that allowing Buhari to continue will eventually disunite Nigeria especially judging by the spate of orchestrated killings that have been going on in the country.
Aside the PDP, other members in the coalition include the All Grand Alliance Party (AGAP); Action Alliance (AA); Alliance for Democracy (AD); Africa Democratic Party (ADC); Action Democratic Party (ADP); Action People’s Party (APP); Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD); and Better Nigeria Progressive Party (BNPP). There are also the Democratic Alternative (DA); Democratic People’s Party (DPC); Grand Democratic Party of Nigeria (GDPN); Green Party of Nigeria (GPN); KOWA Party; Labour Party (LP); Mass Action Joint Alliance (MAJA) and Masses Movement of Nigeria (MMN).
The new political block also has the National Conscience Party (NCP); New Generation Party (NGP); National Unity Party (NUP); Nigeria Intervention Movement (NIM); People’s Alliance for National Development and Liberty (PANDEL); Peoples Progressive Party (PPP); People for Democratic Change (PDC); Providence People’s Congress (PPC); and the Reformed All Progressive Congress (RAPC). The rest include the Restoration Party of Nigeria (RPN); Social Democratic Party (SDP); Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN); All Grassroots Alliance (AGA); National Interest Party (NIP); Nigeria Democratic Congress Party (NDCP); Progressive People’s Alliance (PPA); and Young Democratic Party (YDP) and others.
Top political gladiators at the signing ceremony included the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus; the National Chairman of the Reformed All Progressives Congress (R-APC), Alhaji Buba Galadima; the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu; Senator Dino Melaye, former national secretaries of the Senator Ben Obi and Mr. Olagunsoye Oyinlola; Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, governor of Akawa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, former vice president Atiku Abubakar, former minister of foreign affairs, Chief Tom Ikimi, national chairman of SDP, Chief Olu Falae, and a host of others.
Secondus, who addressed the coalition, said the alliance by the parties marked the commencement of the determined efforts to rescue the country from suffering and bad governance. He stated, “We are ready to go to detention until our freedom and good governance is restored.” According to him, the PDP was committed to fighting corruption in a most civilised manner and not the crude method of framing people as currently done by the APC government.
In his own contribution, Galadima expressed satisfaction with the presence of what he described as the cream-de-la-cream of politicians who had agreed to come together. He said, “What we are about to do will send shivers not only to those on the other side of the coin but to the entire world; we are witnesses to a significant event. Most diplomats and leaders of other countries of the world keep on wondering whether there are men and women of courage and integrity in this country that can face the monster. This significant event that we will be witnessing here very soon is the answer to the outside world and to Nigerians. Let me say since we made a declaration of the formation of the Reformed APC, we have received unprecedented messages of support, solidarity from all over the world and I am confident that should we put our acts together, should we tag together, if we are fair to ourselves, do things transparently and bring up one man or woman, we will save this country, we will provide a future for our children and grandchildren.” He also urged President Buhari not to represent himself for election next year.
Some of the big wigs that attended and also addressed the crowd include former Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; the Deputy President, Senator Ike Ekeremadu, former minister, Chief Tom Ikimi, former presidential aspirant, Chief Olu Falae, Senator Dino Melaye, governor Udom Emmanuel, Mr. Abubakar Kawu Baraje and former governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola among a host of others