Moves by the oppositions to unseat President Muhammadu Buhari at the 2019 general elections gained momentum on Monday as thirty-nine political parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Abuja to field a single presidential candidate in 2019.
According to the MoU, signed by the Peoples Democratic Party, the Reformed-All Progressives Congress, Social democratic Party and 36 others, the “parties shall promote a positive reaction to the above failures of the present regime and to give hope to all our people.”
“The parties shall ensure that the coalition is committed to working together in support of the single presidential candidate to contest the 2019 Presidential election in order to successfully enthrone a true democrat who will salvage the nation from the misrule of the APC government, the MoU added.
The alliance promised to restructure the country and embraced zoning of political and elective powers to ensure that all sections of the country were carried along in the scheme of things.
The MoU added, “That the parties shall promote acceptable core values for the restructuring of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, secure lives and property, rebuild and redirect our nation’s economy back onto the path of growth, respect human rights and freedoms, protect and uphold the cherished values of democracy and the democratic institutions and generally put right the country which unfortunately has now been dangerously divided along ethnic, religious and tribal lines.
“That the parties shall encourage state alliances among themselves to ensure that the cooperating parties under the grand alliance emerge victorious at the state governorship, state legislature and National Assembly elections.
“That the parties accept the policy of zoning political and elective offices between the six geopolitical zones of the federation.
“That the parties shall ensure that the emergent President under the grand alliance shall treat the presentation of an Executive Bill on Restructuring and Devolution of powers to the National Assembly a major priority”.
Among the political parties that signed the agreement are the Action Alliance, Alliance for Democracy, Africa Democratic Party, Action Democratic Party, All Grand Alliance Party, Action Peoples Party and Advanced Congress of Democrats.
Those who signed included Better Nigeria Progressive Party, Democratic Alternative, Democratic Peoples Party, Grand Democratic Party of Nigeria, Green Party of Nigeria, KOWA Party, Labour Party, Mass Action Joint Alliance, and Masses Movement of Nigeria .
Others are the National Conscience Party, New Generation Party, National Unity Party, Peoples Alliance for National Development and Liberty, Peoples Progressive Party, People for Democratic Change, Peoples Democratic Party, Providence People’s Congress, Restoration Party of Nigeria, Unity Party of Nigeria, All Grassroots Alliance, National Interest Party, Nigeria Democratic Congress Party, Progressive Peoples Alliance , and Young Democratic Party, among others.
The R-APC, which is a splinter group within the ruling party, APC led by Alhaji Buba Galadima, also signed the MoU.
Another pressure group known as the Nigeria Intervention Movement, equally appended its signature to the agreement.
All the chairmen of the concerned political parties signed the MoU.
Earlier in his opening address, a former Acting National Secretary of the PDP, Senator Ben Obi, said that concerned parties and associations chose to come together to salvage the nation and put an end to what he called nepotism and tribalism.
He said that President Muhammadu Buhari administration had left Nigerians more divided than they were in 2015, a trend he said must be corrected before it got worse.
He said, “We are here to begin a process that will lead to the formation of a government of national unity. We are here to put to an end the nepotism and corruption that the APC government has been known for in the past three years.
“They promised to tackle corruption, revamp the economy and address security challenges and restructure the nation but as soon as they were elected, they denied making such promises.
“We are here to put an end to dictatorial tendencies and this is a war between light and darkness and I can assure you that light would prevail. We are going to win and we will win.”
Buhari will lose 2019 election – Galadima
In his speech, the National Chairman of the R-APC, Alhaji Buba Galadima, said that the MoU would send shivers down the spine of the ruling party.
He said that since he led a splinter group out of the APC, the R-APC members had been receiving death threat messages and messages of solidarity from across the world.
Galadima said that President Buhari “is destined to lose the 2019 election and lose his deposit.”
The former ally to the President, who claimed that he knew Buhari so well, said that if the President knew what awaited him, it would have been better for him not to go into electoral contest as a candidate in 2019.
He said, “Let us not forget that the man we will be facing is a military general. We are ready, prepared to take on this fight despite their intimidation and threats.
“I know him but if I were his adviser, I would tell him not to contest.”
He warned that those who signed the alliance might become rich overnight if they chose to betray the cause, alleging that the ruling party had set aside a huge sum of money to bribe them.
He also said that members of the coalition would be harassed and intimidated, warning that Buhari, being a retired general, would not go down without a serious fight.
Politicians at the event were ex-Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, David Mark, the governors of Gombe and Akwa Ibom states, Ibrahim Dankwambo and Udoh Emmanuel, respectively.
Others were Senator Ahmed Makarfi, Dr. Baba-Ahmed Datti, Ibrahim Shekarau, Senator Liyel Imoke, Gbenga Daniel, Ibrahim Mantu, Tom Ikimi, Zainab Maina, and Chief Bode George.