*We shall face the monster – Galadima
*We’re deceived into APC, says Baraje
*Secondus warns FG against rigging Ekiti election
By Myke Uzendu, Abuja
A landmark alliance emerged in the political history of Nigeria on Monday as 39 opposition political parties formed an alliance against the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
This is the first time such a major coalition comprising of several political parties is storming the country’s political space since the nation’s return to democratic rule in 1999.
The arrowheads of the coalition – the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the newly formed Reformed All Progressives Congress (R-APC) – joined forces with other 38 political parties to form the alliance with a mission to rescue Nigeria from President Muhammadu Buhari’s alleged poor governance.
The parties, which will operate under the aegis of #OperationRescueNigeria, on Monday, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to enable them unseat the APC.
The coalition, principally the brain child of the PDP and chaired by the former Cross River State governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, resolved to form “a united front to rescue Nigeria from drifting towards dictatorship and anarchy, made worse by incessant killings by herdsmen and the purported bad economic policies of the APC”.
Under the coalition, member political parties are to nominate and vote for a single candidate for the presidential, governorship as well as National Assembly elections.
They also agreed to pursue the restructuring of the country and revive the economy, and make the protection of life and property their priority.
In his welcome address, Senator Ben Obi, who chaired the merger session, said that the coalition would truly usher in a Government of National Unity (GNU), to rescue Nigeria from imminent collapse.
He said: “We are here to form a government that will protect the life and property of its citizens. We are here to rescue the country from nepotism.
“The APC government has completely wrecked the economy and scared away investors; we are here to correct the history”.
In his goodwill message, the Chairman of the R-APC and former member of APC Board of Trustee, Alhaji Buba Galadima, expressed his delight on the formation of the coalition.
“What we are about to do,” Galadima said, “will send shivers to the other side and the international community. I am sure members of the international community will be wondering whether there are men of courage in Nigeria that can face the monster.
“If we are fair to ourselves, do things transparently and bring out one man or woman, we shall save the country for ourselves and our children.
“This is not going to be easy, this is not going to be a tea party because the person that we shall be facing is an Army General but I know him. If I were his advisers, I will advise him not to run. But I assure you that with what I know, Buhari will not only lose the election, but also lose his deposit”.
Former Chairman of the defunct nPDP, Alhaji Abubakar Baraje, who asked for forgiveness from the PDP, a party he once led, said: “We were led astray but we thanked the PDP for accepting us after several years of hopeless political sojourn.”
The Chairman of Social Democratic Party (SDP), Chief Olu Falae, said that most Nigerians were distressed because of the situation of the country which is an offspring of “incompetence, selfishness and lack of direction, hence the need to join forces to rescue the country from a retrogressive government”.
The Chairman of Obasanjo’s Third Force and chieftain of SDP, Chief Olagunsoye Oyinlola, said the MoU was a watershed in the quest to redirect the affairs of the country.
According to him, “insecurity has become the norm and the government is lost and continues to pass the buck in a ridiculous manner.
“We must ensure that we come together to ensure that our country is in good shape. This is an assignment from God which we must take very seriously and with sincerity of purpose”.
Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State on behalf of the PDP governors said that for the coalition to succeed, “honesty and sincerity must be separated from politics,” adding that the coalition must hold truth as truth and not politic with it.
The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremmadu said that with the coalition, a new Nigeria has been born.
Returnee Senator Dino Melaye said that “APC will lose power in 2019. I assure you that President Buhari is entitled to failure and in 2019, he will surely fail”.
The PDP Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, recounted that coalition in Nigeria started with our fore fathers in 1914, during the amalgamation in 1914 and later at Independence in 1960.
“On this day,” he continued, “it will be on record that all of you have come together to rescue this nation. It is on this day that we all agreed to take our common destiny in our hands, not only for this generation, but for the unborn”.
On Saturday’s Ekiti State governorship election, he warned that “if they rig the election, then there will be no election in 2019.”
Other speakers at the event included Chief Peter Ameh of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), Barr. Godson Okoye of the United Democratic Party (UDP), and Yinusa Tanko of the National Conscience Party (NCP).
All the 39 political parties signed the MoU which was read by Chief Tom Ikimi.
They included the Peoples Progressive Alliance (PPA), National Conscience Party (NCP), Green Party (GP), Coalition for Change (C4C), Democratic Peopled Party (DPP), Grassroot Development Party of Nigeria (GDPN), Labour Party (LP), and Advanced Democratic Congress (ADC).
There were also Action Alliance (AA), Action Party of Nigeria (APN), Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM), African Democratic Congress (ADC), Mass Action Joint Alliance (MAJA), Nigeria Rescue Mission (NRM), and Democratic Alternative (DA).
The event was attended by former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Ambassador Wali Jibrin, Senator David Mark, Chief Enenche Okon, Senator Ahmed Makarfi.
Others are Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, the Deputy Governor of Enugu State, Cecilia Ezeilo, Governor Ibrahim Dankwabo of Gombe State, Alhaji Sule Lamido, Chief Bode George, and Captain Idris Wada.