Few hours after the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) announced the endorsement of the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, as its consensus candidate, the Grassroots Development Party of Nigeria (GDPN), has distanced itself from such an arrangement.
A statement signed by the Presidential Candidate of GDPN, Dr. Davidson Isibor Akhimien, said the party was not aware nor in support of the CUPP decision to endorse Atiku.
CUPP, is the umbrella body of about 45 major opposition parties in the country.
A statement signed by Akhimien said he was shocked by the CUPP pronouncement, saying at as the time the meeting to endorse Atiku was ongoing in Abuja, he was in Lagos, adding the party’s hierarchy was equally not in any way part of the arrangement.
Akhimien said his party was not part of the negotiation by CUPP and would therefore not abandon his mission to bring solution the nation’s myriads of problem.
According to the GDPN presidential candidate, his party from outset was determined to pursue an agenda that would enthrone a new and better Nigeria where there will be equity and justice for all, adding that, jettisoning the vision, would amount to a betrayal of trust of his followership.
‘ ‘For him and GDPN to abandon the mission of salvaging the country from the hands of old and recycled politicians responsible for the country’s total retrogression and stagnation will be a huge setback for the party”
We can’t take Nigerians back to the dark ages. I want to state that the time to move Nigerian forward is now. We are a new party on a rescue mission. We can’t mortgage the future of our great Nation.
We defer to the CUPP endorsement of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. We are on ground in the whole 36 states of the federation, and the FCT,’’.
He maintained that, the CUPP arrangement is a major setback to democracy, saying the party remains focused and is concentrating on its campaign across the nook and crannies of the country, stating that the news making the rounds would not in anyway deter it.
CUPP, had few hours after a closed door deliberation at the Yar’ Adua Centre Abuja yesterday announced Atiku as the consensus candidate of the opposition in the 2019 election.
The Convener of CUPP, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, who made the disclosure while addressing a world press conference held at Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja, said the former Vice President met the criteria used in the choice of a presidential candidate for the coalition. Oyinlola said the CUPP; an umbrella body of 45 registered political parties in the alliance arrived at the decision based on the candidate’s (Atiku) experience in administration, management of economy and politics.