By Emmanuel Oloniruha
In an imitation of the formation of the All Progressives Congress in 2014, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) today 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.
It was not clear whether the alliance partners were going to seek INEC registration to run on the CUPP platform as the alliance of ACN, CPC and ANPP did in 2014, by dissolving themselves and fusing into a mega party before the nPDP joined them.
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.
Buba Galadima speaking at the event announcing CUPP in Abuja
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.
Another section of CUPP leaders in Abuja
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. (NAN)