The main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and at least 37 other political parties in the opposition Monday announced the signing of a MoU and formation of an alliance with a new name – Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP).
The announcement was made at the Musa Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja where leaders of the party met Monday.
The leaders are working towards defeating President Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressives Congress, APC, in next year’s general election.
In the coalition is the breakaway faction of the ruling party, which calls itself the Reformed All Progressives Congress, R-APC.
The main parties in the coalition are Labour Party, Social Democratic Party of Nigeria (SDP), and National Conscience Party (NCP). Others are mostly newly registered ones.
Leading politicians in the country across the political parties attended the event. Those in attendance included former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, former Senate President, David Mark, Senator Ibrahim Mantu, Chief Olu Falae, leader of the Social Democratic [Party(SDP), the governors of Akwa Ibom and Gombe states, Udom Emmanuel and Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo.
The African Democratic Congress(ADC) was represented by Chief Olagunsoye Oyinlola while the breakaway faction , Reformed All Progressives Congress Congress(R-APC) was represented by its National Chairman, Engr Buba Galadima.
Falae in a speech urged the coalescing parties to vote for common candidates in all elections if the incumbent government of Muhammadu Buhari was to be defeated.
Two key figures of the R-APC, Senator Dino Melaye and former Acting National Chairan of the PDP, Alhaji Kawu Baraje formally announced their return to the PDP at the event.
Baraje said in a speech, he was grateful that the PDP received him back as a prodigal son who went astray.
Atiku: MOU Will Consolidate Democracy in Nigeria
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar reacting to the development said Monday’s signing of a memorandum of understanding amongst the various opposition parties including the PDP, the African Democratic Congress, the Reformed-All Progressive Congress and many other parties is a watershed moment towards the consolidation of democracy, politics of purpose and citizens centered development in Nigeria.
In a statement in Abuja Atiku said:
“I commend Prince Uche Secondus-led National Working Committee of our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party, and our National Executive Committee, for having the foresight to bring together Nigeria’s opposition parties under one big umbrella.
“I wholeheartedly endorse this exercise and look forward to a spirit of collaboration amongst ourselves as we continue the campaign for the deliverance of Nigeria from the forces of retrogression, recession, division and blame games.
“It might be a cliche, but it still remains true that unity is strength and that only team work can make the dream work. I refer to the dream of our Founding Fathers for an indivisible united country that is progressive and founded on unity and faith.
“Much work needs to be done. Sadly, in the last three years, Nigeria has become the world head quarters of extreme poverty. We must thus rub our heads and minds together to ensure that by 2019, extreme poverty is on its way to becoming history even as we usher in extreme peace, progress and prosperity in its place.
Once again, I thank all those who made this epoch making event a reality. You have etched your names in the sands of time and Nigeria will be better off because of your actions.”