July 7, 2018

2019: PDP, SDP, APGA, 39 other parties move to produce one candidate

2019: PDP, SDP, APGA, 39 other parties move to produce one candidate

•To form Govt of National Unity if victorious
•Say its agenda is to save Nigeria from Buhari
•Imoke heads PDP Contact Committee 

By Henry Umoru & Dirisu Yakubu
HEAD of 2019 presidential election, Nigeria’s major opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP,  and 41 other political parties have moved to come together to form a coalition aimed at producing a formidable candidate.

The objective of the alliance is to field a consensus candidate to be presented by one of the parties.

Against this backdrop, and desirous to defeat President Muhammadu Buhari, the parties had been engaged in marathon meetings on the viability of the agenda.

Saturday Vanguard gathered that the latest forum was well attended by representatives of the various parties last Wednesday at the Abuja residence of a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief Tom Ikimi.

A Source told Saturday Vanguard that the PDP was well represented with its Contact Committee Chairman and former governor of Cross River State, Sen Liyel Imoke in attendance.

Also present were the party’s National Secretary,  Senator Ibrahim Tsauri; National Legal Adviser,  Barrister Emmanuel Enoindem; former National Woman Leader, Ambassador Kema Chikwe, and Ambassador Aminu Wali, among others.

The Action Peoples Party, APP, was represented by its National Chairman, Ugochinyere Ikenga.

The source further said another meeting was scheduled for yesterday at 5 pm. But as at press time, it was not clear if the gathering had taken place.

Speaking with Saturday Vanguard on the condition of anonymity, a National Chairman of one of the parties said: “ What we have is not a merger, but a coalition of over 42 registered political parties coming together to challenge the  President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. The parties have voluntarily come together on their own to save Nigeria from its present challenges.

“We plan to form a Government of National Unity.  Buhari is already an outgoing President. He will be defeated like a baby boxer. At the end of the day, the political parties will confront Buhari with one individual that will defeat him. The person may come from the PDP, SDP, LP, or PPA.”

Apart from the PDP, other parties in the coalition are the Accord Party,AP; Action Alliance, AA; Advanced Congress of Democrats, ACD; Alliance for New Nigeria, ANN; Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance, APDA; All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA; African Peoples Party, APP; Democratic Alternative, DA; Democratic Peoples Congress, DPC and Democratic Peoples Party, DPP.

Others are Fresh Democratic Party; Hope Democratic Party, HDP; Labour Party, LP; Social Democratic Party, SDP; Kowa Party, KP; Modern Democratic Party, MDP; Mega Progressive Peoples Party, MPPP; Peoples Democratic Movement, PDM, and Socialist Party of Nigeria, SPN, among others.

An SDP source said: “The political parties have resolved to take a cue from what the then legacy parties did to defeat the PDP three years ago. They will be stronger by coming together and weaker if they choose to enter the 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.”