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2019: Atiku woos CUPP

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…Set for crunch talks with stakeholders next week
By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA- Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar will take full advantage of the Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, signed by the Coalition of United Political Parties, CUPP, by engaging its members in the prosecution of his 2019 electioneering campaign, Vanguard has learnt.

Former vice-President Atiku Abubakar speaks during the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP)’s national convention in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on October 6, 2018.
Nigeria’s main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has picked Abubakar to challenge President Muhammadu Buhari who is seeking a second term in presidential polls scheduled for February 2019. / AFP PHOTO /

Atiku who recently pipped 11 other aspirants to the PDP ticket in Port Harcourt, is aware of an existing agreement among 38 political parties in the CUPP which will likely make them support a sole candidate against President Muhammadu Buhari of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in the 2019 elections.

Findings by Vanguard revealed that in exchange for the support, Atiku will meet with bigwigs in the CUPP to reveal his plans for the parties in the event of his success at the polls.

A member of the Atiku Presidential Nomination Council told Vanguard on Thursday that the former Vice President is set to co-opt some members of the coalition into his campaign organization, which membership is currently being put together.

He said: “The victory of His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar at the Port Harcourt convention is a demonstration of his popularity across the country and indeed the world. But we are not even celebrating yet because the work ahead is enormous. To this extent, our Presidential flag bearer is reaching out to our brothers and sisters in the CUPP to discuss the possibility of working together.

“He (Atiku) is aware that the signing of an MoU by the parties does not guaranteed anything. So, in a meeting with them next week, His Excellency will discuss the need of forging a common front starting from the soon-to-be- constituted Presidential campaign organization.

“The reason this is being done is to make concerned parties realize the importance of ousting the APC in 2019 and now that they have made the singular mistake of fielding an unpopular candidate who in in the past three and a half years, has left the country in deep mess, all hands must be on deck to ensure victory for the only man who has what it takes to send Buhari back to Daura.”

Vanguard also gathered that it was for the sole purpose of drumming support for Atiku that many stakeholders of the CUPP, including the national chairman of the Reformed All Progressives Congress, R-APC, Alhaji Buba Galadima flew to Port Harcourt last week for the PDP national convention.

In the weeks ahead, representatives of the grand coalition would continue to meet with Atiku’s camp in a bid to fashion out strategies that will lead to the election of the erstwhile Vice President in next year’s election.

The source also added that the move to ensure victory for Atiku was what informed Thursday’s endorsement of the Waziri Adamawa by prominent leaders in the land including former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, former Osun State governor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola and top religious leaders such as the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Hassan Kukah and ace Islamic cleric, Sheikh Abubakar Gunmi among others.

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