Opposition parties and critics of President Muhammadu Buhari have strengthened their alignment and realignment to stop him at the 2019 presidential election.
The renewed onslaught against Buhari received a boost on Wednesday as the African Democratic Congress (ADC) led by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the Peoples Democratic party (PDP) and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) met and signed a working partnership.
Also, the nPDP bloc in the All Progressives Congress (APC) pulled out of the ruling party to form the Reformed All Progressives Congress (R-APC).
Other members of the R-APC are a faction of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). The R-APC named Buba Galadima, an estranged ally of Buhari as the chairman of the National Working Committee (NWC), whose members were drawn from 20 states of the federation.
The meeting of the coalition agreed to produce a strong and credible candidate to unseat Buhari at the presidential election.
it was gathered that in the determination to actualise their resolve to unseat Buhari, Obasanjo led his ADC to a meeting with leaders of the PDP and the SDP to agree on a united alliance against the President and the APC.
Sources close to the meeting which lasted into the late hours of Wednesday, confirmed to The AUTHORITY that the leaders of the three political parties were expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the end of the meeting.
The sources however said they were yet to agree on the platform to use for the election.
It was learnt that while PDP members insisted that its platform should be adopted, the ADC chieftains differed, saying the coalition should adopt a new name to get the attention of Nigerians.
One of the sources said: “We’ve met at least five times now, but the major problem we have is the ADC wanting its platform to be used as flagship for the coalition. Their contention is that the name PDP has been smeared by series of corruption allegations against many chieftains of the party.
“But the PDP would not have any of that, as it insisted ADC was still young and might not fly in many remote parts of the country,” he said.
The PDP recently set up a committee to commence talks with other parties and groups with a view to forming a grand alliance against the APC.
The 22-member committee, known as the Contact and Integration Committee, was headed by the former governor of Cross River State, Mr. Liyel Imoke.
The, spokesman of the Coalition for New Nigeria (CNM), Obasanjo’s group, which has collapsed into the ADC, Mr. Akin Osuntokun, said ADC was already in synergy with the PDP.
*Why we formed R-APC, by Buba Galadima
Also yesterday, the leadership of the R-APC explained why they pulled out of the APC to form the new group.
Briefing the media yesterday in Abuja, Galadima said the decision to take over the leadership of the party by the R-APC faction had become imminent, stressing that the APC and its leadership had derailed from the main manifesto of the party.
Galadima, a founding National Secretary of the defunct CPC, which was one of the legacy political parties that merged with others to form the APC, regretted that rather than alleviating and protecting the interest of the sufferings masses, which was the party’s main campaign against the government it succeeded in 2015, the APC has “run a rudderless, inept and incompetent government that has failed to deliver good governance to the Nigerians.
“You will recall that in the build up to the 2015 general elections, some political parties and groups came together, and formed a brand new political party, the All Progressives Congress, APC.
“This merger was based on the strong belief that Nigeria had come of age, but was severely underperforming and unable to meet its potential for good good governance to the Nigerian people.
“It has rather imposed dictatorship, impunity, abuse of power, complete abdication of constitutional and statutory responsibilities, infidelity to the rule of law and constitutionalism. It has failed to ensure the security and welfare of our people and elevated nepotism to unacceptable height.
“The APC has failed to deliver on its key promises to the nation. There is no evidence of any political will to reverse the decline of our party, while leaders who have created these circumstances continue to behave as if Nigerians owe our party votes as a matter of right.
“The APC government has been a monumental disaster, even worse than the government it replaced. The political party that was a vehicle for enthroning the government was rendered powerless by manipulations and complete lack of due process in its operations.
“The last straw was the congresses and convention of the APC held recently. The congresses were intensely disputed as it was conducted with impunity, total disregard for due process, disregard for the party Constitution and naked display of power and practices that have no place in a party we all worked the very hard to put in place.
“There are countless cases in courts all over the country challenging the legality of congresses and even the national convention itself. It is very likely that the judicial decisions on these cases will result in massive chaos, confusion and uncertainties.
“There were parallel congresses in 24 states namely: Abia, Adamawa, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Enugu, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Niger, Ondo, Oyo, Rivers, Sokoto and Zamfara.
“The national convention of the party was ridiculed with constitutional infirmities that were so glaring and obvious that no fair minded person can claim that a legitimate and lawful executive emerged from that process.
“The chairman of the Organising Committee, Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, declared 18 seats unopposed and uncontested, since only one valid candidate stood at the end of the grossly manipulated nomination exercise for each of the offices. He therefore proceeded to declare them duly elected in flagrant abuse and violence to the Constitution of the APC,” he said.
He also cited the treatment meted out the members of the defunct nPDP bloc, a group he said made a major contribution to the emergence of the APC administration as a prove that the APC leadership was heading for a serious crisis
“Under the circumstances, patriotic elements and most of the original founders of the APC have found themselves in the opposing side of this charade.
“Most of the delegates who bought and paid for forms for the congresses and convention and were elected as delegates have come together to take control and give legitimacy to APC to be now known as and called REFORMED-APC (R-APC),” Galadima said.
Galadima listed the NWC members of the R-APC as: Yobe State – Buba Galadima (National Chairman); Kano State – Bala Muhd Gwagwarwa (National Deputy Chairman, North); Abia State – Chief Theo Nkire (National Deputy Chairman, South East); Ondo State – Hon. Eko Olakunle (National Vice Chairman South West); Kaduna State – Hon. Hussaini Dambo (National Vice Chairman North West); Kogi State – Mahmud Mohammed Abubakar (National Vice Chairman, North Central); Benue State – Hon. Godwin Akaan (Deputy National Secretary), and Oyo State – Dr. Fatai Atanda (National Secretary).
Others are Edo State – Kassim Afegbua (National Publicity Secretary); Adamawa State – Daniel Bwala (Financial Secretary); Jigawa State – Abba Malami Taura (Deputy National Auditor); Kwara State – Hon. Kayode Omotosho (National Treasurer); Anambra State – Barr. Nicholas Asuzu (National Youth Leader); Rivers State – Barr. Baride A. Gwezia (Legal Adviser); Katsina State – Haj Aisha Kaita (National Woman Leader); Bauchi State – Mrs. Fatima Adamu (National Welfare Secretary); Ogun State – Alhaji Isiak Akinwumi (Deputy Financial Secretary), Zamfara State – Alhaji Bashir Mai Mashi (Deputy National Treasurer); Abuja – Hauwa Adam Mamuda (Deputy Welfare Secretary); Sokoto State – Hon. Shuaibu Gwanda Gobir (Deputy National Publicity Secretary); Katsina State – M. T. Liman (National Organising Secretary), and Niger State – Dr Theo Sheshi ( Deputy National Organising Secretary).
The National Chairman of the defunct nPDP, Abubakar Kawu Baraje, who declared the support of his group to the R-APC, debunked claims that one of its leaders, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, has urged his supporters to rejoin the PDP.
He insisted that Kwankwaso is solidly behind the R-APC and was present at the meeting where the R-APC decision was taken.