Former Minister of Information and 2019 presidential hopeful under the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Prof Jerry Gana, Wednesday said the 39 political parties decided to form the coalition in order to stop the All Progressives Congress (APC) from returning to power by default in 2019.
Gana, who stated this during a retreat for SDP state chairmen in Abuja, also decried the level of killings in the country, maintaining that devolution of powers and creation of state police remains the solution to the crisis.
Thirty-nine opposition political parties, including the SDP, on Monday, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to produce a single candidate for the presidential election in 2019.
The former minister explained that opposition political parties decided to work as a unit because they are mindful of the tendency of this administration to intimidate opponents.
He said “this APC government is not like the previous one that we participated in which was people oriented. We are seeing indications that they don’t care, that they just want to retain power. And so we said Nigerians must come together and we don’t want to be divided and allow this government to win by default. We were strong individually but we decided to come together and become stronger.”
He said the coalition will make sure that the will of the people prevails in 2019 which is to show this government out democratically through free and fair election.
On level of insecurity, said this administration has failed woefully, stressing that devolution of powers and creation of state police is the solution.
He decried a situation where state governors have to cry out in frustration over their inability to protect their states.
He said “In this kind of restructuring, we believe that there should be a devolution of power to federating units so that state governors and those in charge of security would have the means of making sure that the people are protected.”
Gana however explained that the party’s retreat was necessary to enable it’s state chairmen and the national leadership familiarise themselves with the party’s manifesto and programmes.
Speaking also the national secretary of the party, Shehu Gabam, decried the poverty in the land saying it demands eradication. He also lambasted the APC for getting into power without being ready for governance.
He decried the dehumanizing Nigerians in the guise of fight against corruption, just as he stressed that all Nigerians must be given a sense of belonging.
Gabam noted that the democratic space is shrinking and it will bring the nation down, said there is need to return to civilised politics where Nigerians are recognised as human beings.
He said “effectiveness of judicary must be enhanced. We must do all that is necessary to protect the three arms of government. The nation is highly insecure. People are being maimed daily. We have lost our conscience.”
He charged the party members to comply with dictates of their constitution to ensure effective party administration.
He urged SDP leadership to ensure the a robust reward system, stressing that it was one of the reasons PDP ran into problems.