By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA-The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Social Democratic Party (SDP) and 34 other political parties have begun preliminary talks over possible alliance, Saturday Vanguard has gathered. The move, according to findings by this medium is to build a formidable platform to wrest power form the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 general elections.
National Chairman of the SDP, Chief Olu Falae told journalists in Abuja recently that 36 political parties were mooting the possibility of coming together to form a broad-based coalition with the sole intent of rescuing the nation from the pangs of hardship and sufferings. According to him, the parties have come to the realization that a mega party coalition was the most effective means of building a government of national unity as well as ensuring the defeat of the ruling party in next year elections.
“We have identified implementable, relevant and effective solutions to the problems confronting our nation. To that effect, we are going to set up a committee to work on a common blueprint for the survival, growth and progress and unity,” Falae stated.
Asked if the parties were mooting the possibility of fielding a joint Presidential Candidate, Falae was evasive, saying however that “we cannot pre-empt the outcome of our discussion. What is happening is that we are consulting with one another. We are 36 political parties. We will distil our various ideas with common blueprint. At the end of the day, it may be a common alliance or coalition. We don’t rule out any option. Before you start a discussion, you not must rule out anything, conclude before you start.”
A few days ago, PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus while playing host to the Forum of PDP Local Government Chairmen echoed Falae’s sentiment when he said the PDP would be receptive to the idea of a government of national unity by sitting together with parties of similar ideologies ahead of the 2019 polls.
“It is not about the PDP; it is about Nigeria. Nigerians are suffering and everywhere you go, there is hunger, lack and hardship. This government must give way to a competent one that will address the issues affecting this nation and like we have stated over and over again, this party will form a government of national unity where there will be no nepotism, tribalism and isolationism.
“This nation belongs to all Nigerians but the government of the APC is fast dividing the country. This should not be allowed to continue, if we are truly desirous of a united and indivisible Nigeria,” Secondus stated.
Although neither Secondus nor Falae revealed the identity of the groups they are currently in talk with, our correspondent gathered that the alliance may bring the PDP and SDP together as equal stakeholders in a common enterprise where interests of both would be guaranteed. Findings by this medium revealed that though prominent SDP chieftains were initially loathe to cooperating with the PDP; the need to fight a common enemy “in the interest of Nigeria,” is fast bringing hitherto estranged brothers back on the negotiating table again.
A highly-placed SDP source told Saturday Vanguard that most of the parties currently mooting the idea of coming together to forge a common front were disappointed with the state of affairs of the nation and the style of governance of President Muhammadu Buhari. According to him, the parties have all resolved that the task of ousting the APC in 2019 should not be left for a single party as government-backed ruling party would be too much a portent force to confront alone; hence the need for synergy amongst the various political parties.
He said: “The political parties have resolved to take a clue from what the then legacy parties did to defeat the PDP three years ago. They are stronger by coming together and weaker if they choose to enter this contest as independent parties. Aware of this, they are meeting frequently and what I can tell Nigerians is that the parties have decided to put Nigeria first. Whatever it takes to defend the interest of Nigeria, we will come up with it and ensure we take this country back from those who think it is exclusively theirs and give it to all Nigerians.”
The parties involved in the proposed alliance according to our findings include Legacy Party of Nigeria (LPN), Justice Must Prevail Party (JMPP), Mass Action Joint Alliance (MAJA) and National Democratic Congress Party (NDCP). Others are Democratic Peoples Congress (DPC) and the African Peoples Party (APP). As at the time of filing this report, the identity of the other parties could not be verified.