Not less than 39 political parties, and new kid on the politics block, Reformed All Progressives Congress (R-APC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Abuja for a common political front.
Details of the MOU are sketchy, but political analysts are wondering how this new marriage will be “consumated” before the 2019 Presidential election to produce a single presidential candidate.
The parties represented at Musa Yar’Adua Center were the Labour Party (LP), Former President Olusegun Obasanjo-backed African Democratic Congress (ADC), Social Democratic Party of Nigeria (SDP), National Conscience Party (NCP), and others.
Among prominent politicians there was Senator Dino Melaye who claimed he got a spiritual message that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) was on its way out of power.
Governors on the platform of the PDP, former ministers; PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus; former Vice President
Atiku Abubakar, Chief Olu Falae of the SDP), Chief Bode George, Buba Galadima of R-APC, Abubakar Kawu Baraje, Senators David Mark, Jonah Jang, among others.
There, Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, has assured that 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.
He said that the mammoth crowd outside the venue which had gathered to witness the birth of a new Nigeria, showed that Nigerians now saw 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 are forcing them 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 (IDP) 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, they 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”.
He enjoyed Nigerians to keep faith with the new movement as they days of their anguish and suffering were numbered.
Monday’s meeting is to form a grand alliance to wrest power from the APC in the forthcoming presidential election.
In the terms of the MoU, the parties said:
* “We have resolved to ensure zero tolerance for corruption.
*We further resolved to ensure competitiveness and economic growth and development.
* ‘’In pursuit thereto the parties hereby agree as follows: that the leadership of the parties are hereby committed to work together in a Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) determined to replace the present APC-led government with an acceptable government of national unity in 2019, which will promote cohesion among the coalition parties.
*‘’To give hope to all Nigerians, the parties are committed to presenting a single presidential candidate to contest the 2019 election in order to enthrone a true democrat who will service the nation and heal the wounds caused by the APC government.
*‘’That the parties will seek to promote acceptable core values for the restructuring of the federation, secure lives and properties and redirect the nation’s economy.”
*Apart from the MoU signed Monday, the CUPP said that it would in due course present to Nigerians “a people-oriented manifesto’’ that is meant to ensure that Nigerians feel the immediate impact of good governance as soon as the parties form a national unity government in 2019.