The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday formed a new alliance with 39 other political parties in the country.
The parties announced when they met at the Musa Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja, the nation’s capital, that they would operate under the Coalition of United Political Party (CUPP).
The announcement followed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by the leaders of the parties, in their bid to defeat President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 elections.
Part of the agreement of the MoU was to mobilise support for consensus candidates at the centre, states, and the Legislative arm of government.
Leaders of political parties who attended the meeting include that of Former President Olusegun Obasanjo-backed African Democratic Congress (ADC), Social Democratic Party of Nigeria (SDP), National Conscience Party (NCP), Labour Party, and a host of other registered parties.
PDP National Chairman Uche Secondus, Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Former Senate President David Mark, and R-APC Chairman Buba Galadima, were present at the meeting.
Some aggrieved members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who broke out of the ruling party to form the Reformed APC, including the lawmaker representing Kogi West, Senator Dino Melaye, were also present.
With the new development, all parties involved will retain their identities but work together to wrest power from the APC in 2019.
Shortly before the MoU was signed, Mr Secondus gave a welcome speech.
Read the full speech below;
I welcome you all to this historic occasion that is going to be a watershed in the political evolution of our great country.
I liken what is happening here today to many landmark events in our political development as a nation starting from the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates that became Nigeria in 1914.
Other such landmark days in our country includes the day the colonial masters transited political power to Nigerians on October 1, 1960, after a tortuous struggle by our forefathers.
That historic day 14th January 1970 when the 30 months brutal civil war in Nigeria ended with the no victor, no vanquished understanding declared by the then Head of state General Yakubu Gowon.
Today is also like that day on October 1, 1979, when the military handed over power to a civilian administration
In a day like this, we cannot forget the struggle that led to the elimination of Abacha regime on June 8, 1998, the struggle and sacrifice that culminated in the May 29th, 1999 final return to democracy in our land.
Another landmark day in our polity that we must remember in a day like this is the first ever successful transfer of power from civilian to civilian administration that happened with the PDP surrendering power to APC on May 29th, 2015.
I have taken us this memory lane for us to properly appreciate the import of what we are gathered here to do today to help rescue our nation that is presently going through hardship with endless killings and blood flow in a country that is not at war with any nation.
We have all witnessed all forms of intimidation aimed at suffocating democracy in our land, frame-ups, arrests and total breakdown of law and order in some areas like Zamfara State where a governor had to relinquish his Chief Security Officer status.
Just last week the APC conquest regime came up with an Executive Order which all political watchers, including civil society groups, liken to Decree2 of the military era.
We know why they are doing this on the eve of a general election because they know the people have turned their back on them, but they want to retain power at all cost including cowing us down.
But we cannot be cowed, if our heroes past had been cowed down in these historic events I just highlighted above, we would not have democracy or a nation today.
We must stand up for the rule of law to prevail or posterity would judge us harshly.
Our leaders were fearless and united, and they rescued this country from draconian regimes in the past.
By what we are doing today, fear has taken flight and spirit of God has taken over, we must stand up to defend our people.
I, therefore, call on all of us to be strong, steadfast and courageous; let’s chase out APC in our lives and form a national government that will bring succour to our people.
Let us be firm in our decisions anticipating that our enemies will come up with all form of intrigues and strategies to rig election, but we call on the international community to watch happenings in our polity with an eagle eye to save democracy in our country.
In conclusion, my dear people, lovers of democracy, the report I got last night shows that Nigerians are still being killed in Plateau and some other states. I urge us to stand up for a minute silence for the souls of the innocent Nigerians who died in these senseless killings.
Let’s collectively say Buhari! Nigeria lives matter, stop the killings now.