By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA-Former Minister of Information and a chieftain of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Professor Jerry Gana, Wednesday said the decision of 39 political parties to form the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) was to prevent the possibility of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from returning to power by default in 2019.
Gana, who stated this during a retreat for SDP 36 state chairmen in Abuja, also condemned the spates of senseless killings in parts of the country even as he called for the creation of state police and restructuring of the nation as panacea to the perennial challenges facing the country.
It would be recalled that 39 opposition political parties, including the SDP, on Monday, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to produce a single candidate for the presidential election in 2019.
The former minister said opposition parties chose to forge a common front in order to confront the APC-led administration headlong.
He said, “This APC government is not like the previous one that we participated in which was people-oriented. We are seeing indications that they don’t care, that they just want to retain power. And so we said Nigerians must come together and we don’t want to be divided and allow this government to win by default. We were strong individually but we decided to come together and become stronger.”
Gana also noted that the coalition will ensure that the will of the people prevails in 2019, by inflicting heavy defeat on the ruling party through free, fair and credible elections.
“In this kind of restructuring, we believe that there should be a devolution of power to federating units so that state governors and those in charge of security would have the means of making sure that the people are protected,” he added.
Gana who is set to declare his Presidential ambition on the SDP platform stressed that the party’s retreat was necessary to enable it’s state chairmen and the national leadership familiarise themselves with the party’s manifesto and programmes.
Speaking also, national secretary of the party, Shehu Gabam, decried the level of poverty ravaging the land and called for concerted effort to eradicate it.
He condemned what he termed the ill-treatment of Nigerians the in the guise of fighting corruption.
“Effectiveness of the judiciary must be enhanced. We must do all that is necessary to protect the three arms of government. The nation is highly insecure. People are being maimed daily. We have lost our conscience in the present administration.”
The party scribe charged party members to comply with dictates of the SDP constitution to ensure effective party administration.