In an imitation of the formation of the All Progressives Congress in 2014, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday, July 9, 2018 cobbled a loose alliance of about 30 political associations in readiness for the 2019 elections.
The new group, a replay of the alliance that toppled the Jonathan administration in 2015, was christened the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) at a meeting at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja.
However, the collaborating parties and associations in CUPP signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the aims of defeating President Muhammadu Buhari’s All Progressives Congress (APC) at the centre, states, and the Legislature.
PDP National Chairman Uche Secondus, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar,former Senate President David Mark, and Chairman of the so-called R-APC Buba Galadima, were also present at the meeting.
Leaders of President Olusegun Obasanjo-backed African Democratic Congress (ADC), Social Democratic Party of Nigeria (SDP), National Conscience Party (NCP), Labour Party, and a host of other newly registered parties were in attendance.
Some of the parties touted as members of CUPP, such as NCP are traditionally strange bedfellows of the PDP and denials may emerge in the next few days by their leadership, as to whether they were genuinely with CUPP.
That the new group was the brainchild of the PDP was not in doubt as the party summoned all its presidential aspirants, former ministers and legislators to attend what it called a ‘crucial meeting’ at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja.
Signatories to CUPP included Action Alliance, the unregistered association called the Reformed- All Progressives Congress (APC), Alliance for Democracy (AD), Africa Democratic Party (ADC), Action Democratic Party (ADP), and All Grand Alliance Party (AGAP), Action Peoples Party (APP), and Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD), Better Nigeria Progressive Party, Democratic Alternative (DA), Democratic Peoples Congress (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 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), and Providence People’s Congress (PPC), Restoration Party of Nigeria (RPN), 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), were also part of the coalition.
The PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus said that Nigerians were waiting for the coalition to rescue the country, urging the party leaders to come together, drop their personal interest and rescue Nigeria.
“We must all agree that today we take our destiny in our hands to rescue Nigeria not only for ourselves but for the generation to come.
In a remark that sounded more like historical revisionism, Secondus said the leaders of his party, the PDP, fought for democracy during the military.
“Some of them were jailed, some were detained but they were not weary. They came out strong and they rescued Nigeria,’’he said.
Secondus said that the coalition would rescue Nigeria from intimidation, harassment, breakdown of rule of law, killing across the country.
“Nigerians are waiting for you to vote out APC, we are not afraid. Fear has escaped. We are ready to go on detention until the salvation of our country is restored.’’
The National Chairman of RAPC, Buba Galadima, said most leaders of the world kept wondering whether there are men and women of courage, and integrity in this country to face the APC.
He described the event as the answer to the outside world and Nigeria.
Galadima said that the task of rescuing power from APC was possible if all members of the coalition resolved to work together.
“We will save this country; we will provide a future for our children and grandchildren.
Galadima said though the task would not be easy, if he were to advise President Muhammadu Buhari, he would tell him not to run because he would not only lose the election but his deposit.
He said that since the formation of R-APC, the group had received support from across the world and also threats.
“We are ready, prepared to take on this fight despite any intimidation because this country belongs to all of us. We must together fight the fight.
“Whichever they choose to do, we are prepared to lay down our lives for the sake of all.’’
The National Chairman SDP, Chief Olu Falae, said the way the country was at the moment, the political parties could not afford to split their votes and energy in 2019.
“All our votes must go to the same presidential candidate, governorship candidate, the same senatorial candidate, members of the house of Representatives in each state.
“It is not sufficient to elect a president, because he needs the legislature to succeed.’’
Falae stressed the need to make the needed scarifies to rescue Nigeria in 2019.
The National Chairman of PPA, Chief Peter Ameh said that Nigeria must be rescued in 2019.
“In 2019 this battle will be declared the emancipation and development of Nigeria. It will be for the benefit of our unborn generation.
Sen. Ben Obi, the former Secretary, PDP National Caretaker Committee said the essence of the coalition was to rescue power from the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2019 to save Nigeria form further collapse.
Obi said it was also to form a coalition that would usher in a unity government and put an end to nepotism as well as the current trend of disharmony between the legislature and the executive.
Some of the dignitaries at the event were serving and former governors of the PDP, Chief Olu Agunloye, Sen. Ike Ekweremadu, Sen. Dino Melaye, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Chief Tom Ikimi, Femi Fani Kayode and former governor of Anambra Peter Obi.