By Mike Odiakose
Presidential ambition of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar got a boost on Monday as ten additional political parties joined the Coalition of United Political Parties, CUPP, to adopt him as their candidate.
The 10 political parties signed a Memorandum Of Understanding with the CUPP at Yar’Adua centre, Abuja to join forces with other opposition political parties to oust President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Polls next year.
This brings to 50 the number of political parties that have adopted Atiku as their presidential candidate.
Some 40 political parties under the aegis of the CUPP had two weeks ago adopted Atiku.
At a brief ceremony to sign the MOU, chairman of the steering committee of CUPP, and former Osun State governor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, announced that another set of six political parties had already submitted applications to be part of the coalition.
He asked President Buhari and the APC to immediately throw in the towel before they are disgraced at the poll.
According to him, developments in the country were clear indications that Buhari and the APC were not prepared for leadership.
Some of the ten new entrants in the opposition grand alliance are Save Nigeria Congress, SNC; United Patriots, UP; Reformed and Advancement Party, RAP; Alliance for Social Democrats, ASD and We the People Nigeria, WPP.
Oyinlola declared that the exit of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, from the CUPP was basically because it was not able to realize its political agenda within the CUPP fold.
On how the CUPP would withdraw candidates of its members parties from participating in the election, Oyinlola said: “We are working against a General and we need to be strategic, so I will not go beyond that”
Barely two weeks ago, opposition parties numbering over 40 adopted Atiku Abubakar, as their consensus candidate for the 2019 presidential election.
In doing that, the CUPP disclosed that the decision was arrived at few hours after a closed door deliberation among members of the coalition.
The statement issued by CUPP spokesman, Ugochinyere Ikenga, said “Over 41 political parties in attendance endorsed the decision which enjoyed majority support.
The coalition said it arrived at the choice of Abubakar after he towered high on the criteria used by the opposition in arriving at the decision.
“The criteria include: national acceptability; financial capacity; spread of his political party; leadership capacity; international acceptability; experience ; capacity to rebuild the economy; secure the country and unite all Nigerians.’’