Cracks have emerged in the fold of opposition political parties as seven of them formed a coalition named Concerned Political Parties (CCPP)against the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Their goal is to resist the APC’s alleged plot to turn Nigeria into a one-party state.
The parties are Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), the Social Democratic Party (SDP), the African Democratic Congress (ADC), the Young Progressive Party (YPP), Allied Peoples Movement (APM), and the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP).
After a meeting at the SDP national secretariat, the parties addressed journalists on the formation of the coalition.
In its reaction to the development, the Labour Party said it is the Third Force in the Nigeria political circle.
The LP said the seven political parties that formed the coalition out of 16 are likeminds, adding that it was not approached.
The national chairman of the SDP, Shehu Musa Gabam, who spoke to journalists after their meeting in Abuja said the federal government’s budget of theories can’t solve Nigeria’s economic problems.
Also, the acting national secretary of the PDP, Setinji Koshoedo, who represented the party’s national chairman, Umar Damagum, said the coalition is to offer strong opposition to the APC.
“This coalition wants to offer strong opposition for the good of Nigeria. Our duty is to offer alternative solutions to government policies.
“The government has not shown strategic moves to solve Nigeria’s problems. I think this government should review its policies,” he said.
The national chairman of ADC) Ralf Nwosu said, “The idea is to strengthen our democracy, we have seen that people in government are trying to stiffen viable opposition. Therefore, we are crying out, with what is happening in states like Kano, Plateau and others is an indication that the government wants a one -party state. One political party state is not healthy for our country; let’s save our democracy,” he said.
Also, the acting national chairman of the NNPP Abba Kawu Ali said they still believe in the judiciary and the power of the Supreme Court to correct the wrongs.
“There is no way millions of people will go out and vote for the person they want only for a few people to be in a room and decide otherwise. This is not healthy. But we believe in the judiciary that the wrong of the past will be corrected. We were cheated in 2019 and in 2023, we are still faced with a similar challenge. The judiciary must be seen to be the last hope of the common man,” Ali added.
Speaking to LEADERSHIP last night, the national publicity secretary of the LP, Obiora Iffoh said they are the third largest political party and should be driving the opposition.
“The coalition of the seven political parties is just a group of likeminds. Even though we were not invited, as the third largest political party in Nigeria, we should be driving the opposition.
“But as I said, we have about 16 political parties in Nigeria and these seven that formed the coalition are just a group of likeminds,” Iffoh added.
In his assessment of the Bola Tinubu administration, Gabam said, “We have also looked at the issue of the Renewed Hope Budget. We have analysed that budget and in our own humble analysis and opinion, we believe strongly that the National Assembly (NASS) needs to step in and review the budget.
“Our population is over 200 million, and by now, it must have doubled that number. We don’t want a budget that is theory based, the budget must be operational. It is in the interest of the country for the leadership to develop an operational budget, not a budget based on projections and theories that cannot be realised.
“What we have also is a borrowing budget, the country is over indebted and then there is more borrowing. So, we feel that the budget is not balanced, it is not in tandem with our national interest, the National Assembly must look into it passionately for the overall interest of Nigerians,” Gabam said.
According to Gabam, “We have also looked into the issue of the judiciary, the judiciary is the last hope of the common man, if it still stands. 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.
“The judiciary should strengthen their conviction towards delivering judgments that can stand the test of time. They should not allow politicians to infiltrate their rank, sanity and capacity to deliver judgements that are sound and can be recognised internationally. We believe the Nigerian judiciary is well entrenched but must be devoid of Executive and political influence, so that they know they are serving Nigeria and not any institution of government or political party.”
He also alluded to the insecurity in the country when he said, “We have looked at the security situation in the country with a lot of concern. When the president came in, he promised to do everything humanly possible to secure the lives and properties of Nigerians. We want to urge him to do more than he is doing, the security situation is not improving. For him to have a conducive environment where people can invest domestically and internationally, the nation must be secured.”