…Form CUPP to field consensus candidate against President
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and 38 other political parties, on Monday in Abuja, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to form a Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) with the sole agenda of ousting President Muhammadu Buhari and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). and rescue Nigeria through the ballots in 2019.
The historic configuration of political alliances saw the 39 parties agreeing to field a consensus presidential candidate against President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the February 2019 presidential election.
Reading the memorandum, Chief Tom Ikimi said the memorandum set out conditions and terms of agreement establishing working agreements among the parties that have agreed to work together towards the emergence of a joint presidential candidate in 2019.
He said there will be a working agreement to zone all political offices into the six geopolitical zones among the coalition partners.
Speaking at the event organised by the Liyel Imoke committee, the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, likened the coalition to the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protectorates in 1914 among other landmark events in the political development of Nigeria.
He said the coalition was to “help rescue our nation that is presently going through hardship with endless killings and blood flow in a country that is not at war with any nation.
He said further, “We have all witnessed all forms of intimidation aimed at suffocating democracy in our land, frame ups, arrests and total breakdown of law and order in some states like Zamfara where a Governor had to relinquish his Chief Security Officer status”.
With the coalition, he said Nigerians are no more fearful of intimidation by the APC government, calling on leaders of the coalition to be strong, steadfast and courageous to chase out APC and form national government that will bring succour to Nigerians.
Explaining the purpose of the coalition, Senator Ben Obi said it is a movement of those concerned in the Nigerian project to usher in a new government of national unity in 2019.
He said it was meant to rescue Nigeria from further collapse and imminent disintegration. It is also to put an end to nepotism, ineptitude, lack of respect for the rule of law and sanctity of human lives, which are hallmark of the APC.
He said the parties forming the alliance have decided to elevate public interest above personal interests, adding that all hands must be on deck in the rescue mission.
Chairman of the newly formed rAPC, Alhaji Buba Galadima, said the coalition will send shivers down the spine of the APC and send signs to the end of the Buhari administration.
He said, “Leaders of the world continue to wonder whether there are men and women of courage in Nigeria to face the monster. This is an answer to that question. Here we have men and women of courage that have decided to face Buhari”.
Galadima, however, warned that it was not going to be a tea party because Buhari is never a democrat.
“But I know him very well. If I were his advisers, I will advise him not to contest. Gen. Buhari will not only lose the election, he will also lose his deposits”, he said.
He further disclosed that “a desperate person can do anything. He can jail or kill. Whichever he wants to do, we have prepared to let down our lives for the sake of the country”.
Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) said the coalition is a watershed to revive Nigeria from the dying days because this is not the best of times for the country.
He said the mission by the 39 parties is an assignment from God to ensure that Nigeria once again is in good shape because the APC has failed tragically.
According to him, “The content of the MoU is to restructure Nigeria in a workable condition” while calling for adequate implementation to the letters.
Chairman of the Social Democratic Party SDP, Chief Olu Falae, said there is no alternative to forming the coalition. He said, “The way things are going, we cannot afford to dissipate energy.
All our votes must go to the same presidential candidate”, while he advocated consensus across board for all elected positions in all states of the federation.
Apart from chairmen of the parties, notable persons at the gathering include Deputy Senate President, Ike Ektweremadu, Senators David Mark, Godswill Akpabio, Abubakar Baraje, Dino Melaye, and Aniette Okon.
Other PDP presidential aspirants present include former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Sule Lamido, Attahiru Bafarawa, Datti Baba Ahmed, Ahmed Makarfi, Gombe State Governor Ibrahim Dakwambo, and Kabiru Tanimu Turaki.
The PDP governors were led by Akwa Ibom State Governor Emmanuel Udom while there were former PDP legislators, former governors and governorship aspirants from Osun State.
The coalition parties are: Action Alliance (AA), Alliance for Democracy (AD), Africa Democratic Party (ADC), Action Democratic Party (ADP), All Grand Alliance Party (AGAP), Action Peoples Party (APP), Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD),
Better Nigeria Progressive Party, Democratic Alternative (DA), Democratic Peoples Party (DPC), Grand Democratic Party of Nigeria (GDPN), Green Party of Nigeria (GPN), KOWA Party, Labour Party (LP), Mass Action Joint Alliance (MAJA), Masses Movement of Nigeria (MMN).
Others include National Conscience Party (NCP), New Generation Party (NGP), National Unity Party (NUP), Nigeria Intervention Movement (NIM), Peoples Alliance for National Development and Liberty (PANDEL), Peoples Progressive Party (PPP), People for Democratic Change (PDC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Providence People’s Congress (PPC),
Reformed All Progressives Congress (rAPC), 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 Peoples Alliance (PPA), and Young Democratic Party (YDP) among others.