No fewer than 38 political parties have teamed up with the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to sign a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, towards presenting a single presidential candidate who would challenge President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 elections.
Meeting at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja, on Monday, they resolved to work under the name Coalition of United Political Parties, CUPP, for the emergence of a single presidential candidate under a National Unity Government. They equally resolved to seek and promote acceptable core values for the restructuring of the federation, secure lives and property and redirect the nation’s economy.
The 39 parties which signed the MoU at a crowded ceremony in Abuja Monday, include, PDP, rAPC, Social Democratic Party, SDP, African Democratic Party, ADC, Action Alliance, AA, Alliance for Democracy, AD, Action Democratic Party, ADP, Action Peoples Party, APP, Advanced Congress of Democrats, ACD, Better Nigeria Progressive Party, BNPP, Democratic Alternative, DA, and Democratic Peoples Congress, DPC.
Others are National Conscience Party, NCP, New Generation Party, NGP, National Unity Party, NUP, Nigeria Intervention Movement, NIM, Peoples Progressive Party, PPP, People for Democratic Change, PDC, Providence Peoples Congress, PPC, Unity Party of Nigeria, UPN, Restoration Party of Nigeria, RPN, Young Democratic Party, YDP, KOWA Party, Green Party of Nigeria, GPN, C4C and others.
Kicking off the event, the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, said signing of the alliance by the parties marked the commencement of the determined efforts to rescue the country from sufferings and bad governance, saying: “We are ready to go to detention until our freedom and good governance is restored.”
He said PDP was committed to fighting corruption in a most civilised manner and not the crude method of framing people by the APC.
Using the opportunity to comment on Ekiti State governorship election slated for Saturday, he asked President Buhari to prevail on his party and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to ensure that the election was free and fair.
He added that PDP would resist any move to rig the Ekiti State governorship election, threatening that there would be no election in 2019 if the Ekiti election was rigged.
Reminding the security agents that their responsibility is not to do the bidding of one man but Nigerians, he lamented the wanton killings of innocent Nigerians.
The National Chairman of the rAPC, the break-away faction of APC, Alhaji Buba Galadima, said he was highly delighted and elated by the presence of the cream de la cream of the Nigerian society seated for the MoU.
According to him, “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.’’
Galadima cautioned that the MoU is not going to be a tea party, saying: “The man we will be facing is a military general; but we know him and you and I know him; if I were him, if I were his adviser, I will advise him (Buhari) not to attempt to contest.’’
He added: “From the day we announced the formation of the rAPC, a lot of people received threats, a lot of people received gratifications, a lot of people received pressure from unsolicited quarters to persuade them to back out.
“We are ready, prepared to take on this fight despite any deprivation, intimidation, even torture because this country belongs to all of us. We must together fight for this our right.
“They can use the big stick. You do know a desperate person can do anything. He can kill, if he has powers, he can arrest, detain. Whichever one they choose to do, we are prepared to lay down our lives for the sake of our country.’’
Speaking more on the reason for the gathering, the former National Secretary, PDP National Caretaker Committee, Senator Ben Obi, said the parties had come to sign an MoU, explaining that the political parties in alliance had resolved to reverse all the anomalies in governance brought about by the inept Buhari-led administration.
Reading a communique after the endorsement of the MoU, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief Tom Ikimi said the objective was to vote out the government of the All Progressive Congress, APC, and rebuild and redirect the nation’s economy and security.
The MoU read in part, “We have resolved to ensure zero tolerance for corruption. We further resolved to ensure competitiveness and economic growth and development.
“In pursuit thereto the parties hereby agree as follows: that the leadership of the parties are hereby committed to work together in a Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) determined to replace the present APC-led government with an acceptable government of national unity in 2019, which will promote cohesion among the coalition parties.
“To give hope to all Nigerians, the parties are committed to presenting a single presidential candidate to contest the 2019 election in order to enthrone a true democrat who will service the nation and heal the wounds caused by the APC government.
“’That the parties will seek to promote acceptable core values for the restructuring of the federation, secure lives and properties and redirect the nation’s economy.”
The coalition agreed to zone all political offices to the six geopolitical zones of the country with the membership of the coalition directed to vote for only its candidates across all levels of elections.
CUPP agreed to ensure the advancement of the common interest of the group, as well as inclusiveness in the administration of the party affairs just at it, said its manifesto will be a covenant between it and the Nigerian people.