Seven opposition political parties on Wednesday formed a new coalition to improve democracy in the country.
The Coalition of Concerned Political Parties was established in Abuja during a meeting of political party leaders at the National Secretariat of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), African Democratic Congress (ADC), Social Democratic Party (SDP), Peoples Allied Movement (PAM), New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Young Progressives Party (YPP), and Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) constituted the coalition.
According to reports, Atiku Abubakar, the PDP presidential candidate, expressed concerns about the country becoming a one-state party while entertaining a delegation of the Inter-party Advisory Council (IPAC) in November, asking the opposition to realise the need for unity.
While expressing concern about the country’s degree of insecurity, the coalition encouraged the judicial system to defend Nigeria’s democracy and cleanse itself of political and governmental influence.
Shehu Gabam, national chairman of SDP, said of the coalition’s substance: “We looked into the issue of the judiciary. If the judiciary still exists, it is the common man’s last hope.
“We are worried about the level of instability the country is going through. If you look at recent developments in Zamfara, Nasarawa, Kano, and Plateau states, it is very clear that the judiciary must exercise extreme caution with some of its decisions.
“The judiciary should strengthen their conviction towards delivering judgements that can stand the test of time. They should not allow us politicians to infiltrate their rank, sanity, and capacity to deliver judgements that are internationally sound and can be recognised.”
The SDP chairman, on the other hand, stated that the coalition is not in favour of a merger and is opposed to IPAC.
Speaking during the meeting, the PDP’s acting national secretary, Setonji Koshoedo, who spoke on behalf of the party’s acting national chairman, Umar Damagum, emphasised that the coalition will provide a strong opposition.
Chief Ralph Nwosu, national chairman of ADC, stated that the coalition’s goal is to “strengthen our democracy,” stressing that government officials have been seen attempting to stiffen viable opposition.