By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA- Speaking at the event, PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus likened the day the parties signed the MOU to the day the military first transfer power to an elected democratic government.
“Today is like that day on October 1, 1979 when the military handed over power to a civilian adminstration.
“On a day like this, we cannot forget the struggle that led to the elimination of Abacha regime on June 8, 1998, the struggle and sacrifice that culminated in the May, 29th 1999 final return to democracy in our land.
“Another landmark day in our polity that we must remember on a day like this is the first ever successful transfer of power from civilian to civilian administration that happened with the PDP surrendering power to APC on May 29th 2015.
“I have taken us this memory lane for us to properly appreciate the import of what we are gathered here to do today to help rescue our nation that is presently going through hardship with endless killings and blood flow in a country that is not at war with any nation.
“We have all witnessed all forms of intimidation aimed at suffocating democracy in our land, frame ups, arrests and total break down of law and order in some areas like Zamfara state where a Governor had to relinquish his chief Security officer status,” he said
He also picked holes in the Executive Order No. 6 signed by President Muhammadu Buhari to boost its war against corruption, saying
“We know why they are doing this on the eve of a general election because they know the people have turned their back on them but they want to retain power at all cost including cowing us down, adding that the opposition would remain resolute nonetheless.
“We cannot be cowed. If our heroes past had been cowed down in these historic events I just highlighted above, we would not have democracy or a nation today.
“We must stand up for the rule of law to prevail or posterity would judge us harshly.”
On his part, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu said the coming together of various opposition political parties to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) would rescue Nigeria in 2019 and restore her on the path of democratic freedoms, joy, security, and development.
The lawmaker stated that the mammoth crowd outside the venue which had gathered to witness the birth of a new Nigeria, showed that Nigerians have seen hope again and urged the grand alliance not be disappoint the people.
He said: “For three years, what I see on the faces of Nigerians is frustration and anguish. But for the first time, I tell you that I saw joy. I saw people laughing and smiling for the first time in three years.
“Those our brothers and sisters, and investors, who left Nigeria in the last three years are also rejoicing with you because by this time next year, they will all be back.
“Those factories that were closed are going to come back alive by this time next year and Nigerians will rejoice.
“The people of the South East whom the programmes and practices of this government forced to have a rethink on their membership of this country, today will rejoice and be happy that a new country that will be fair to all is coming; a country that they will be proud to be part of and continue to contribute to her development.
“All our people in Internally Displaced Persons camps, who have been wondering or believe that they will spend the rest of their lives in the IDP camps are happy today because their stay there is almost over; because next year, we will enthrone a government that will take them to their homes and protect them there.
“The media houses, all the instruments and institutions of democracy that have been trampled and muzzled in this country, will be free again to do their work without fear of intimidation.
“Those, who are being persecuted on account of their political views or insisting that the right thing should be done, are also going to rejoice because a new dawn is here. One of them is my brother, Senator Dino Melaye, who went through hell, but today, he is a free man.
“Also, remember that Nelson Mandela said that unless Nigeria earns the respect of the world, no one would respect Africa. So, various countries of Africa, who have looked up to Nigeria to provide leadership will have a good dinner in their houses today, happy that we are coming back again to retake our place again as the foremost country in Africa and to provide leadership.”