PDP, NNPP, five other parties form coalition against APC

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ATIKU

  • It’s not a merger, but united front against ruling party, says SDP
  • Warns judiciary against manipulations by politicians

Seven political parties in the country have formed a coalition to offer strong opposition to the ruling All Progressives Congress.

The parties are the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), African Democratic Congress (ADC) and Allied Peoples Movement (APM).

The others are the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Young Progressives Party (YPP) and Zenith Labour Party (ZLP).

The new coalition is tagged: ‘Coalition of Concerned Political Parties (CCPP).’

The leaders of the seven parties met on Wednesday night at the national secretariat of the SDP in Abuja to commence talks on the coalition.

The former Vice President and presidential candidate of the PDP in the 2023 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, last month, called for a united opposition against the ruling party.

However, the Labour Party appears not to have heeded Atiku’s call as it did not participate in Thursday’s meeting.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, the National Chairman of the SDP, Shehu Gabam, said the coalition is not a merger, but rather a united front against the ruling party.

Gabam also expressed worries over some of the ongoing governorship election litigations in the country.

He stated that the judiciary should not allow politicians to infiltrate their ranks.

“We looked into the issue of the judiciary. The judiciary is the last hope of the common man if it still stands.

“The judiciary should strengthen their conviction towards delivering judgments that can stand the test of time. They should not allow us politicians to infiltrate their rank, sanity, and capacity to deliver judgments that are internationally sound and can be recognised.

“We are worried about the level of instability the country is going through. If you look at recent developments in Zamfara, Nasarawa, Kano, and Plateau States, it is very clear that the judiciary must exercise extreme caution with some of its decisions,” he said.

In his remarks, the acting National Secretary of the PDP, Setonji Koshoedo, who represented the acting party’s national chairman, Umar Damagum, said the coalition will offer a strong opposition for the good of the country.

“This coalition wants to offer strong opposition for the good of Nigeria. Our duty is to offer alternative solutions to government policies,” he said.

Also speaking on the coalition, the National Chairman of the ADC, Ralph Nwosu, said the idea behind the coalition “is to strengthen our democracy. We have seen that people in government are trying to stiffen viable opposition.”

Most of the leaders of the parties that spoke to journalists reiterated that the coming together of the opposition parties is not yet a merger.

Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president and candidate of the PDP in the 2023 presidential election, recently called on opposition parties to unite to remove the ruling All Progressives Congress from power.

November 14, when he welcomed the National Executive Committee of the Inter-Party Advisory Council Nigeria in his home, Atiku warned against Nigeria becoming a one-party state and urged the opposition to unite.

The Labour Party and the NNPP both stated that the call should be given careful attention.

In October, Atiku called on his co-contestants on the platforms of the Labour Party, Peter Obi; and the New Nigeria Peoples Party, Rabiu Kwankwaso, to join his judicial adventure in making President Bola Tinubu account for his allegedly forged documents submitted to the electoral commission.

Atiku said this at a world press conference in Abuja, two days after his lawyers through a United States’ court obtained the academic records of Tinubu from the Chicago State University which showed alleged discrepancies with what the sitting Nigerian president submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission before the February election.

Both Atiku and Obi challenged Tinubu’s election at the Presidential Election Tribunal Court, for months before the tribunal and the Court of Appeal overturned the cases and affirmed the president’s victory.