2019 and coalitions: How far can they go?

Ahead of the 2019 general elections, no fewer than 39 political parties including the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Reformed All Progressives Congress (RAPC), on July 9, 2018, collapsed into the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) in a grand alliance against President Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressives Congress (APC).
In this piece, ABDULRAHMAN ZAKARIYAU wonders how far the Coalition can go in achieving this onerous task.]

Galadima bells the cat, talks tough The Reformed All Progressives Congress (RAPC) notably made the first move that threw up what lie ahead as the 2019 general elections beckon.
Though, serving Senators like Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Dino Malaye, Kawu Barraje and even Bukola Saraki amongst were fingered as the backbone of the R-APC.
Interestingly, President Muhammadu Buhari loyalist, Buba Galadima, was made the poster boy for the group.
The group broke away from the ruling party on July 4, 2018, on the allegation that the APC “has run a ruthless and incompetent government that has failed to deliver good governance to the people.” It would, however, be recalled that the R-APC Chairman, Buba Galadima, who hails from Gashua in Yobe state, was one those northern politicians that had been with President Buhari throughout the four times he ran for President.
Significantly, at the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP), Galadima was a chieftain, at Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), he was also the National Secretary.
Until his appointment as the R-APC chairman, he was a core Buharist.
He recently disclosed that: “I don’t have problem with Buhari.
I assisted him since 2002 January.
I made contributions more than even him in becoming the president.
I should tell the world that because of him, I have suffered intimidation, arrests, questioning, locked up 38 times.
Not only that.
I was detained and tried for treason, put underground dungeon, chained in the hands and legs because of him.” On the Coalition, Galadima said: “This is not going to be a tea party; the man we will be facing is a retired military general.
But he knows me and he knows that I know him.
If I were his advisers I will advise him not to attempt to contest.
From what I know, I assure you that President Buhari will not only lose the election, but he will also lose his deposit.
We must together fight to put things in order, for some people that will be looking for money we have provided an avenue for them to make money, because they are planning to set aside public money to fund the 2019 elections.
This government is desperate and they can do anything, but we are prepared to lay down our lives to salvage this country.
Obviously, Galadima knows and has been through a lot because of Buhari, from what has revealed.
He is probably disappointed that President Buhari had forgotten him as one of those who helped him to power.
R-APC’s impact But the question is, to what extent can the splinter group affect the chances of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its Presidential hopeful, President Muhammad Buhari? Many political pundits have observed that though Galadima was no doubt one of the ardent Buharists, his new political move does not in any way pose a threat to Buhari’s ambition as he is considered to be an unpopular politician that can guarantee significant number of votes even from his state.
Others, however, argue that it is not all about Galadima, but the forces behind him and in one way or the other any withdrawn support from the President’s men will certainly effect his ambition.
CUPP, another forceful marriage? Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) was the platform on which no fewer than 39 political parties came together to sign a memorandum of understanding towards wrestling power from the government of President Muhammad Buhari and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The parties include the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Reformed All Progressives Congress (R-APC), Social Democratic Party (SDP), Action Alliance (AA), Alliance for Democracy (AD), Africa Democratic Party (ADC), Action Democratic Party (ADP), All Grand Alliance Party (AGAP), Action Peoples Party (APP), Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD), Better Nigeria Progressive Party, Democratic Alternative (DA), Democratic Peoples Party (DPC), Grand Democratic Party of Nigeria (GDPN), Green Party of Nigeria (GPN), KOWA Party, Labour Party (LP), Mass Action Joint Alliance (MAJA) and Masses Movement of Nigeria (MMN).
Notably, the memorandum was signed at almost the same time, but the same venue, Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre where the New Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) announced its defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Chieftains speak Meanwhile, elder statesman, High Chief Tom Ikim, disclosed that the MoU “shall seek to promote acceptable core values for the country’s restructuring.’ “All the parties have agreed to secure lives and property, rebuild and redirect our nation’s economy for meaningful development.
The parties shall promote and constitute a well-articulated blueprint manifesto which positive impact will be felt immediately, the manifesto shall be in covenant with the Nigerian people to promote national unity.
“The parties shall promote the merger that will bring about a unity government that will usher in abundant peace, unity and prosperity and ensure safety of lives and properties, and bring about a well- structured Nigeria federation,” he said.
Continuing, he said: “The parties shall work together to ensure the emergence of a joint presidential candidate of which modalities for the emergence shall be under a separate agreement.
The parties shall ensure that the coalition is committed to working together to support a single Presidential candidate to dethrone and enthrone a true unity government that will salvage the country.” On his part, the Director, Strategic Communications of President Buhari Campaign Organisation, famous human rights lawyer, Festus Keyamo, lambasted the group and described the attempt as having failed on arrival.
He said through his Twitter handle, that: “Nobody is deceived; in 2013, four major political parties with elected governors and parliamentarian fused into one whole.
The comedy we are seeing now is that PDP has sucked into those ‘briefcase’ parties who are going to drop their identities and support a PDP candidate.
It is a laughable depression.
He further said: “Some political parties made up of just husband and wife have signed an MoU with PDP to ‘grand alliance’ against PMB 2019.
This is pure deceit.
PDP has only succeeded in registering a few more members into its folds.
It is not a grand coalition, it is a membership drive.” However, political observers are of the view that the Coalition seems to be another forceful marriage which will not last long as, according to them, it seems all the parties involved couldn’t reach meaningful agreement before the unveiling.
Others are also of the view that most of the political parties, except four, are not relevant in the political arithmetic of this country.
Surprisingly, many of these parties are faced with leadership crisis as the Coalition was thrown into crisis just a few days after MoU was signed.
CPPP in whose interest? Few hours after the PDP led coalition was unveiled, another group of 20 political parties on 10th July allegedly joined forces with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to form the Coalition of Progressives Political Parties (CPPP).
This was a counter move to discredit and week the power of the PDP-led Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP).
Chairman of the Coalition, who is also the National chairman of PDM, Alhaji Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim, explained that “Yesterday (Monday) we woke up to a new development where PDP outside power has now managed to create another Coalition.” “As facts continue to emerge, they listed 36 political parties.
Our analysis of that is that the Coalition reveals that a number of political parties were included in that Coalition fraudulently.
Part of the 42 political parties they listed is Accord Party and the chairman of the party is here with us.
If you are creating a Coalition, you need to be honest about it as to who and who are members.
As of today, the membership of that Coalition is in doubt.
Two members also listed at that Coalition are here.
We are not part of that Coalition because we represent a political type of politics which is in total contradiction of what they are doing,” he said.
The question then is that what was the motive behind its formation and in whose interest was it formed? As it seems like a fire brigade approach towards countering the move of the CUPP.
Pundits are of the view that no positive results will come out this.
More defections loom It is no longer news that many persons, especially serving Senators, will in no distant future dump the All Progressives Congress (APC) for other political parties.
Analysts said contrary to what people might think or reasons the politicians might give, they are defecting because most of them have no option than to do that so as to return.
In Kaduna, Senator Shehu Sani and others are certainly going to leave the APC, because of the rift between them and the Governor.
In Kogi, it is the same with Senator Dino Malaye who has already defected, while in Kano state, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso is also on his way out due to his face-off with the incumbent Governor, Abdulahi Umar Ganduje.
As for the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, it is obvious that he will also dump the APC in a matter of days considering the legal disgrace he had been through, since he maneuvered his way to emerge as the President of the Senate.
Most of the governors that are likely going to leave the APC include Kwara state Governor, Abdulfatai Ahmed, Benue state Governor, Samuel Ortom and his Sokoto state counterpart, Aminu Tambuwal.
Interestingly, the defection poses a double-edge sword.
Aside from the fact that the defection is a threat to President Muhammadu Buhari re-election bid, it is also a threat to the defectors.
If all these politicians leave the APC, it will certainly be a setback for the party.
But for President Muhammdu Buhari, analysts have predicted that it will be an easy ride for him in Kano, Sokoto and even at Kaduna, because the majority of the people in the North-west are core Buharists.
However, in the North-central states like Benue, Kogi and Kwara, their defections will greatly affect the chances of the President.
Despite all theses, some pundits also believed that in some states like Kano, Kaduna and Kogi, the incumbent governors are the ones that will largely feel the impact of these defections.
In all, defection or no defection, the electorate will have to decide who will lead them at various levels of governance.
It will longer be a case of one party all through, as many analysts have predicted that in 2019 electorate are likely to go for personalities and not parties.

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