The All Progressives Congress (APC) backed by the Presidency may have launched a desperate move to dislodge the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), the forum of 32 opposition parties inspired by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to confront the ruling party in the 2019 elections.
DAILY ASSET learnt that the formation of CUPP is said to have posed a threat in the camp of the APC since it was seen as a deft move to rally the opposition parties by the PDP.
The 32 political parties who signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the PDP with a fanfare at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja, on July 10, 2018, with the view to fielding a common presidential candidate in the 2019 elections against incumbent, President Muhammadu Buhari.
Although 39 political parties were said to have initially agreed to the plan, only 32 turned out for the MOU, it was learnt.
Among the coalescing parties were PDP, Social Democratic Party(SDP), Labour Party(LP), All Progressives Grand Alliance(APGA), National Conscience Party(NCP), Fresh Party (FP), Democratic Peoples Party (DPP), Justice Party(JP),among others.
Worried by the development, the APC and the Presidency may have launched desperate moves to dislodge the coalition and reduce its potency in the political field.
As a first step, a strategy committee was assembled to “monitor and oversee activities in CUPP” and report back at reasonable intervals, for appropriate action, a source close to the development at the APC secretariat told DAILY ASSET.
Secondly, it was resolved that a “carrot and stick approach” be employed to dissuade the member-parties to leave the coalition and instead, team up with the APC to support president Buhari’s candidature, it was further learnt.
Our source disclosed that under the “carrot” approach, any party which agreed to pull out of the coalition would be provided “logistics and mobilization,” while “arm twisting” tactics would be deployed for others, especially those whose leaders have cases with the anti-corruption agencies.
The plan may have already began yielding positive results as five opposition parties have come out to disown MOU and the CUPP.
The five parties include Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM), Accord Party (AP), Action Democratic Party (ADP), Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN) and All Peoples Democratic Alliance (APDA).
At a Press Conference in Abuja on July 11, 2018, the parties claimed they were not consulted before the MOU was signed and therefore, should be counted out of the arrangement.
An official of the national secretariat of the PDP who wanted to be anonymous, confirmed to DAILY ASSET that the parties were not part of the ceremony at Yar’Adua Centre.
Under the new strategy, the APC is working to either “negotiate” or “bully” out of CUPP some of the parties, the source stated.
An official of the APC who spoke to DAILY ASSET in confidence said the party was justified in wooing CUPP members.
“This is politics; you must get your support somehow. Remember this is not happening for the first time. During OBJ, most of the small parties were mobilised to support his second term and adopt him as a sole presidential candidate. What we are saying is that the President has performed and deserves a second term,” the official said.
He, however, declined comments on the allegations that the opposition were being compromised to support President Buhari’s re-election bid.
“As you rightly pointed out this is a strategy, nobody gives out his strategy,’ he retorted when pressed for comments on the issue.