By Emmanuel Oloniruha
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Social Democratic Party (SDP) and 37 other political parties and groups on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) ahead of 2019 general elections.
National chairmen of the political parties signed the MoU at the Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja, and pledged to work together under “Coalition for United Democratic Parties (CUPP)’’ to produce a presidential candidate for the 2019 election.
The other political parties in the alliance are Action Alliance, Reformed- All Progressives Congress (R-APC), Alliance for Democracy (AD), Africa Democratic Party (ADC), Action Democratic Party (ADP) and All Grand Alliance Party (AGAP).
The coalition also has Action Peoples Party (APP), Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD), Better Nigeria Progressive Party (BNPP), Democratic Alternative (DA), Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) and Grand Democratic Party of Nigeria (GDPN).
Others are Green Party of Nigeria (GPN), KOWA Party, Labour Party (LP), Mass Action Joint Alliance (MAJA), Masses Movement of Nigeria (MMN), National Conscience Party (NCP), New Generation Party (NGP) and 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) are in the group.
They also include 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).
In his remarks, National Chairman of PDP, Mr Uche Secondus, said that Nigerians were waiting for the coalition to rescue the country, and urged the coalition leaders to come together, drop their personal interests 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.
“It is important to know that the leaders of our parties 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.’’
Secondus said that the coalition would rescue Nigeria from intimidation, harassment, breakdown of rule of law and 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 for detention until the salvation of our country is restored.’’
On his part, National Chairman of R-APC, Alhaji Buba Galadima, said most leaders of the world kept on wondering whether there were men and women of courage, and integrity in this country to face the ruling party.
He described the event as “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 that though the task would not be easy, the coalition would oust APC in the general elections.
National Chairman of SDP, Chief Olu Falae, said that 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 candidates, the same senatorial candidates and 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 said and stressed the need to make the needed sacrifices to rescue Nigeria in 2019.
Chief Peter Ameh of PPA insisted that Nigeria must be rescued in 2019.
“In 2019 this battle will not only be declared for us, it will be declared for the emancipation and development of Nigeria. It will be for the benefit of our unborn generations.
In his contribution, Sen. Ben Obi, former Secretary, PDP National Caretaker Committee, said that the essence of the coalition was to rescue power from the APC in 2019 “to save Nigeria from 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 lack of harmonious relationship between the legislature and the executive.
Some of the dignitaries at the event were Deputy President of the Senate, Chief Ike Ekweremadu, former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Chief Tom Ikimi, Sen. Dino Melaye, serving and former governors, including Mr Peter Obi.