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A move to present a united front against Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, has thrown major opposition parties into disarray, checks by NAIJA247NEWS have revealed.
On Thursday, 7th December, 2023, reports emerged that seven opposition political parties have come together to form what is known as Coalition of Concerned Political Parties, CCPP.
The seven parties are – Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, African Democratic Congress, ADC, Social Democratic Party, SDP, Peoples Allied Movement, PAM, New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP, Young Progressives Party, YPP, and Zenith Labour Party, ZLP.
The Coalition, intended to strengthen democracy in the country by presenting effective opposition to the ruling APC, was reportedly formed at a meeting attended by leaders of the seven political parties at the headquarters of the SDP in Abuja.
National Chairman of the SDP, Shehu Gabam, said the parties were worried about the level of instability in the country, especially against a backdrop of controversial court rulings on elections in Zamfara, Nasarawa, Kano and Plateau states.
Opposition parties suffered major judicial losses in legal battles concerning elections in those states.
Nigeria’s leading opposition party, the PDP, was reportedly represented at the meeting by the acting National Secretary Setonji Koshoedo, who stood in for the acting National Chairman, Umar Damagum.
The main objective of the Coalition is to strengthen Nigeria’s democracy by offering a strong opposition, according to the party leaders who were at the meeting.
It was also stated that the coalition will not lead to a merger, meaning that the political parties will remain independent entities even as they work together towards dislodging the APC.
But checks by NAIJA247NEWS revealed that the Coalition took off on a shaky note, and appeared dead on arrival, due to several factors, especially internal squabbles in the concerned political parties.
It was learnt that some of the party leaders who attended the meeting which birthed the CCPP did not have the full authorization of their parties to go into the Coalition.
Although the PDP acting National Secretary, Koshoedo, was reported to be at the meeting, and endorsed the Coalition, the party has distanced itself from the alliance.
Debo Ologunagba, PDP spokesman, told NAIJA247NEWS that the party is not aware of the Coalition and has no part in it.
“We are not in any merger talks with anybody. Every other party in this country came from the PDP so how will we be merging?
“Every other party in this country today is a part of PDP, so how can we be merging with them? We are not aware of the merger,” he said in a telephone interview with Naija247News on Sunday, 10th December.
The NNPP, one of the political parties that reportedly formed the Coalition, had in a statement by its factional National Working Committee, NWC, on Friday, 8th December, said it has not discussed the issue of forming a coalition now or in the near future with any other party.
The statement was signed by the acting National Chairman of the Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso faction of the party, Abba Kawu Ali.
However, speaking with NAIJA247NEWS on Sunday, 10th December, Agbo Major, the acting National Chairman of the camp that comprises the original members of the NNPP, said Ali was actually the one that attended the meeting to endorse the Coalition on behalf of the party.
Major also distanced the NNPP from the Coalition, and insisted that Ali and the NWC he leads have been expelled from the party.
“We are not part of the Coalition. It is those misguided elements – the expelled Abba Kawu and Oladipupo Olayokun that went to attend the meeting.(www.naija247news.com)