..rules out alliance with PDP
By Jihnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – THERE are indications that the United Progressive Party, UPP, may adopt President Muhammadu Buhari as its Presidential candidate for the 2019 presidential election.
The party has also ruled out the possibility of going into alliance with the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, despite attending some of the meetings with relevant political parties that formed the Coalition of United Political Parties, CUPP.
Already the party’s National Executive Council, NEC, was meeting in Abuja to deliberate on possible alliance with any political party for the presidential election as it said it was not going to field any presidential candidate.
The National Chairman of UPP Chief
Chekwas Okorie who was the party’s presidential candidate candidate in 2019 in an exclusive interview with Vanguard in Abuja said he had concluded that the UPP will not field any presidential candidate in the forthcoming election..
He said, “We will be holding our National Executive Committee meeting which will take final decisions and in fact, approve recommendations already made by the Committees we set up in terms of the direction but I can in advance tell you that the UPP will not present a Presidential candidate this time for reasons we have articulated.
“Today Nigeria has been foisted with a kind of faite accompli where unwritten rotational presidency has almost become a convention since the time of (former President Olusegun) Obasanjo till now.
“When PDP shortly after losing the election set up the (Senator Ike) Ekweremadu Committee that quickly zoned their 2019 presidential ticket to North, over three years ago even before they started having their crisis, it became clear that any party picking up its presidential candidate anywhere from the South will probably be swimming against the tide.
“So, it has become the most sensible thing to do, so UPP read that hand writing clearly and decided to use the period between now and then, especially between 2019 to 2023 to consolidate since we are going to contest the rest of the elections.
“The major decision we are taking will be whether to re-continue on our own even without a Presidential candidate or to align with any set of political parties, one party or group of parties for the purpose of the 2019 presidential election because we are not marging we can only align.”
Responding to the question that there was an understanding between UPP and APC to work together in 2019 he said there was no such understanding at the moment but expressed the optimism that it could be possible.
He said, “There is no political romance at the moment, there is no understanding of any kind, of course there has to be some interface at a certain level before understanding can be reached. For instance you have a group of political parties that went and signed an MoU with the PDP. So such people can no longer claim that they have no relationship with the PDP. They have an umbrella body they call CUPP.
“Having said that, in UPP we believe in following due process, if we have made up our mind one way or there other, there wouldn’t have been meeting for the NEC meeting to consider which way to go and
“But I can tell you that PDP doesn’t hold any attraction to us at all. The reason is that we were invited to all the meetings in fact it is actually the APC that hasn’t even been inviting parties to any kind of meeting. I can tell you there is no room for us to relate with PDP at all.”