• To test might in Anambra, Ekiti elections
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
About 15 opposition political parties have made a bid to float a coalition as part of strategies to defeat others in upcoming elections in the country.
The coalition said it would test its might in the Anambra, Ekiti and Osun States elections before the 2019 general election.

Operating the platform known as Coalition of Political Parties (COPP), the alliance of 15 registered political parties, includes, the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Better Nigeria Progressive Party (BNPP), Democratic Alternative (DA), Democratic Peoples Congress (DPC), and Democratic Peoples Party (DPP), among others.

One of the leaders of the coalition, the National Chairman of ACPN, Alhaji Ganiyu Galadima, who confirmed the alliance, clarified that “the arrangement did not include presidential election but governorship elections where some of the parties involved do not have strong presence.”
Talks on the coalition which was launched in Abuja proposed to adopt and field candidates at governorship and presidential elections.

According to Galadima, the alliance, codenamed “Mega Coalition” is not a merger but an electoral alliance for participating registered political parties who have agreed to field separate candidates for other elections except the governorship and presidential polls.
A statement signed by one of its promoters, Chief Perry Opara, said the coalition is in response to the high divisiveness in Nigeria and lack of credible opposition party in Nigeria since after 2015 general election.

Opara who is the National Chairman of National Unity Party, condemned the level of division in Nigeria and urged politicians and members of the non-governmental, faith based and socio-cultural organisations to be careful with their utterance and to preach peace, instead of hate and division.

He asked Nigerian politicians who have something to hide to desist from parading themselves for elective offices, while credible men and women who are courageous are encouraged to start now to educate the masses on their blueprint for elections.

Opara said no party shall be excluded from participating in the coalition, adding that only good candidates who have programmes that can provide dividends of democracy would be presented to Nigerians.
He further said the coalition is ready to collaborate with any like-minded registered political party irrespective of its previous electoral fortune.

He predicted that in 2019 general election no one simple party can win at first ballot.
“It will be difficult to meet the constitutional two third states equipments. The only way to success in 2019 is for like-minded political parties to come together to select credible, capable and popular candidates who can win elections,” he said.

While explaining the modalities for the collaboration, Opara said: “At the governorship elections, the winning party shall form a government of state unity (GSU) while at the presidential election the winning party shall for a government of national unity (NUG) with a view of accommodating participating parties in the coalition thereby reducing winner takes all syndrome which does not allow smaller political parties to grow in Nigeria.

“We shall not exclude any party that agrees with our article of faith. 2019 election shall have emphasis on candidates and personalities rather than parties. Nigerians are now aware that most politicians promise “heaven on earth when they are seeking public office only to renege on their campaign promises when they are elected. Nigerians are now aware and know better.

“We shall test the might of the coalition in the Anambra, Ekiti and Osun States elections before the 2019 general election. Future elections in Nigeria will no longer be about political parties or Godfatherism. It will be about the personality of the candidates and the issues being canvassed.