Thirteen political parties have pledged to work with the main opposition party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), to ensure that the general election is conducted in a free and fair manner.
The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM), Dr. Bashir Ibrahim, who led representatives of the parties on a solidarity visit to the APC presidential candidate, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), Wednesday [Mar. 18] in Abuja, said they would stand with the APC by insisting that the right thing is done to ensure a credible election.
“We are here to collaborate with the APC. It is unfortunate that some political parties have decided to serve their masters rather than the country. We are here to inform you that we will stand by you and on the side of the truth,” he said. While receiving the parties Buhari expressed gratitude to those who had agreed to enter into a working relationship with him and the APC.
“I honestly appreciate how you arrived at this decision to cooperate with us in this election. This decision is very patriotic. We have to appreciate the stage we are in. We have to realise that we can save the system and our country if we come together,” he said.
He also accused the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of sentencing Nigeria to economic and political underdevelopment since it assumed power 16 years ago, adding that the country had made more money between 1999 and 2015 than it made between 1914, when amalgamation took place, and 1999.
He challenged the ruling party to tell Nigerians how it had utilised the resources it made in the last 16 years it has been in power. “We challenge the PDP, let them account for their stay in power for 16 years in terms of the fundamental objectives we have been talking about in the areas of security, the economy and corruption.
“We have been very consistent about these issues but people who are sitting on the periphery have kept on making noise and wasting our time. Let them come and defend themselves on what they have done in the last 16 years with the incredible resources they made within this period, the incredible resources this country realised within this period, which is much more than what the country made since amalgamation in 1914. If you like, go and get this record from the central bank.
“The type of money we made in the last 16 years, we have never made it before. We used to have Nigerian Airways, the Nigerian Shipping Line, Nigerian Railways, etc. But what do we have now, nothing.
“Look at the state of our naira. Now you have to get N220-something for a dollar. How can we develop under this system?” he asked.
Some of the parties present during the visit included PDM, African Peoples Alliance (APA), KOWA Party, Social Democratic Party (SDP), African Democratic Congress (ADC), Hope Democratic Party (HDP), Democratic Peoples Party (DPP), United Peoples Party (UPP), Accord Party (AP), Independent Democratic Party (IDP), Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) and Action Alliance (AC).