The chairman of the reformed- All Progressives Congress (R-APC), Alhaji Buba Galadima has warned that the task of unseating President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 would not be an easy task.
Galadima spoke in Abuja on Thursday during the unveiling of the secretariat of the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) and the inauguration of the steering committee for the coalition.
Addressing a coalition of the 39 parties, Galadima urged the group to brace up for tough times ahead, saying that taking over power from a retired army general isn’t not a small task.
The rAPC chairman told the coalition group, being led by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to be prepared for harassment, intimidation and name calling as well as several other divisive tendencies.
Galadima said, “Trying to take over power from a retired military general is not a small task. It is a herculean task. But we will try. Over 200 million Nigerians out there are waiting for us. The masses of this country have since shifted their support from the ruling All Progress Congress (APC)
“They will attempt to intimidate, harass as well as bribe and divide us. They have called our people all sorts of names. They will still call several people more names.
“But we are not afraid of being arrested, intimidated or harassed by the EFCC and the ICPC. General Buhari will not be the president to be sworn in come May 29th, 2019”.
He charged those currently sitting on the fence to quickly join the coalition and urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure a free, fair, credible and transparent election in 2019.
According to him, Nigerians will not accept the repeat of what happened during the Ekiti State governorship election, which he said was rigged by the APC.
Also speaking at the event, the national chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, decried what he described as the harassment of the leadership of the Senate.
Secondus said it was time for the coalition to rescue Nigeria from the “misgovernance”, which h said is typified by senseless killing of innocent Nigerians and harassment of opposition elements.
This National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Chief Olu Falae advised the coalition members to be wary of those who might want to do everything possible to split their ranks.
“We must be wary of those who will come to scatter us by trying to sow seeds of discord, spread fake news and adopt divisible measures to achieve their sinister motive”, Falae added.
He enjoined members to always cross check any information they get before believing or acting on it, saying such information might be fake, as the stakes are very high.
A former Foreign Affairs Minister, Chief Tom Ikimi, who also spoke at the event, said the coalition was borne out of the peculiar circumstances the nation finds itself at this time
Ikimi said, “The coalition is in the quest for a return to a virile and durable democratic process that will assure respect for civil liberties and human rights and to maintain a culture of sustained adherence to the rule of law.
“I confirm that there has not been a single crack in the alliance since its formation, despite unsavory attempts by our main opponents, who have deliberately or mischievously attempted to initiate or present nonexistent cracks in the alliance to the public.
“We have never claimed that all the 68 registered political parties in the country are members of the alliance. There are 39 parties who indicated interest in the alliance and 35 of them were available to endorse the document on the Inauguration.
“Since then the Democratic People’s Party (DPP) has joined the alliance and has also signed the document. None of the parties that signed the MOU has departed from the grand alliance”.
Besides the PDP, other parties in the coalition include the Action Alliance (AA); Alliance for Democracy (AD); Africa Democratic Party (ADC); Action Democratic Party (ADP); All Grand Alliance Party (AGAP); Action People’s Party (APP); Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD); and Better Nigeria Progressive Party (BNPP).
Others are the Democratic Alternative (DA); Democratic People’s 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).
Also in the group are the National Conscience Party (NCP); New Generation Party (NGP); National Unity Party (NUP); Nigeria Intervention Movement (NIM); People’s Alliance for National Development and Liberty (PANDEL); Peoples Progressive Party (PPP); People for Democratic Change (PDC); Providence People’s Congress (PPC); and the Reformed All Progressive Congress (RAPC).
Others are the Restoration Party of Nigeria (RPN); Social Democratic Party (SDP); Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN); All Grassroots Alliance (AGA); National Interest Party (NIP); Nigeria Democratic Congress Party (NDCP); Progressive People’s Alliance (PPA); and Young Democratic Party (YDP) among others.