Barely 24 hours after the major opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and 34 other political parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to wrestle power from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), some of the parties in the PDP list have distanced themselves from the opposition coalition. On Monday, 39 opposition political parties were said to have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to field a single candidate for the 2019 presidential election.
The political the parties under the aegis of Coalition of Unity Political Parties (CUPP) also resolved to enter into a covenant with the Nigerian people by commencing work on a blueprint manifesto. But some of the political parties, including the People's Democratic Movement (PDM) and Accord Party (AP) yesterday disowned the PDP coalition, alleging that they were fraudulently included in the list to deceive Nigerians. Accordingly, a total of 20 political parties under the auspices of Coalition for Progressives Political Parties (CPPP) have formed an alliance to back President Muhammadu Bihari's re-election bid.
Addressing journalists yesterday in Abuja, chairman of PDM, Alhaji Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim, said the CPPP coalition is "made up of like mind political parties who believe in the unity and stability of the country". He noted that the coalition which was formed in 2014 ahead of the 2015 presidential election aligned with the presidential candidature of the current president, emphasising that the coalition was resurrected to counter the "orchestrated PDP coalition" against the APC-led government. While berating the PDP coalition, he stated that the parties were driven by selfishness and hunger to capture power in 2019.
He explained that the 20 parties that formed the coalition and those who abstained from the PDP charade believed in the drive to building a new Nigeria. The PDM chairman alleged that most of the parties in the PDP list were fraudulently included to sign the MoU to deceive Nigerians. He noted that, while the Accord Party chairman, himself and other parties abstained from the PDP meeting, their party names were found on the list without their consent. Noting that this alone raises doubt about the credibility of the coalition, he said, ", we woke to a new development where PDP outside power has now managed to create another coalition. As facts continue to emerge, they listed 36 political parties. Our analysis of that coalition reveals that a number of political parties were included in that coalition fraudulently.
"Part of the 42 political parties they listed is Accord party and the chairman of the party is here with us. If you are creating a coalition, you need to be honest about it as to who and who are members of the coalition. "As of today, the membership of that coalition is in doubt. Two members also listed at that coalition are here. We are not part of that coalition because we represent a type of politics, which is in total contradiction of what they are doing. "We do not believe that our country should be governed by people whose only objective is to capture power. Of what purpose is that coalition built? Is it for the purpose of taking Nigeria back to 1999 and 2015 or is it for the purpose of building a new Nigeria? "That purpose has not been stated, even in their memorandum. The only thing in their MoU is to agree to capture power in 2019. Their programme has not been made known to the Nigerian public. We will not be part of a coalition that does not have a programme for Nigeria."
On the objective of the CPPP coalition, Ibrahim said it was to mobilise Nigerians to play greater role in political activities in the country and ensure that they are given the right to elect their leaders in a free, fair and credible electoral process. He also stated that CPPP objectives also include to monitor and exert pressure on INEC to uphold the sanctity of elections and to help identify security threat, amongst others. Also, the Secretary of the Coalition and National Chairman of the Advanced People's Democratic Alliance (APDA), Shittu Muhammed Kabiru, noted that the coalition is to advance the course of democracy and to stabilise the economy which was mismanaged by past PDP led government. Shittu said the coalition would bring Nigeria out of economic impoverishment. "We want Nigerians to know that our coalition is for a new Nigeria and to advance the course of Nigeria and democracy and also to change the country from impoverishment to economic prosperity.
"We want Nigeria to survive; we will do everything to defend the economy of this country. We are concerned about the unity and stability of Nigeria", Shittu said.
The political parties present at the meeting include Accord Party, Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM), United Progressive Party (UPP), Advanced People's Democratic Alliance (APDA), Hope Democratic Party (HDP), Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) and Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN).
Others are Freedom Justice Party (FJP), Fresh Party, (FP) New Nigeria's Peoples Party (NNPP), Nigeria's Peoples Congress (NPC), Nigeria Peoples Movement (NPM), Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), National Action Congress (NAC), and NDLP.
Take Opportunity Of Reconciliation Window, APC Tells R-APC
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday advised aggrieved members of the party to take the window of reconciliation while it is still open, saying the party's leadership is committed to addressing real grievance. The party also took a swipe at the Reformed All Progressives Congress (R-APC) over the MoU it signed with the PDP and other opposition parties.
Noting that some political parties have already disassociated themselves from the deal, the party stressed that the R-APC is not a faction of the APC and that it is confident in the delivery of its campaign promises. In a statement signed by its national publicity, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, APC said, "We respect the right of everyone to join any association or group. However, we wish to reiterate that the so-called R-APC is not a faction of our Party. Our Party, the APC remains united under the leadership of our President, H.E. Muhammadu Buhari. "It is also noteworthy that some political parties that have been named as signatories to the MoU have disassociated themselves from the publicised deal. "We once again reiterate the commitment of our Party to address real grievances of our genuine members. We call on them to take advantage of this opportunity while the windows for reconciliation are still open. "We are confident that no level of gang-up can make our government under President Buhari to waiver in its promises to Nigerians to rid our country of corruption and improve the quality of lives for our people".
Earlier yesterday, PDM had distanced itself from the MoU signed by 39 opposition parties on Monday. The national chairman of PDM, Ibrahim, in a statement said the party was not desperate to capture power for its sake. The national chairman further warned party members to be alert and wary of mercenaries who do not wish the nation well. The statement noted: "We would like to draw the attention of the general public that PDM is not part of any coalition of political parties and not part of any arrangement to work with a group of political parties for the purpose of 2019 general elections. PDM has never attended any meeting at which such a coalition was discussed, let alone be part of it. "PDM is not a party of desperate people whose only objective is to capture power for its own sake. Our party has its own aims and objectives and these are not compatible with the aims and objectives of the kind of coalition mentioned in the report.
"As the general elections approach, our members and indeed the general public are advised to be on the alert and be wary of mercenaries who do not wish our nation well and whose actions are motivated by pecuniary interests."