“CUPP has a committee that is handling the manifestoes and whoever emerges will use CUPP’s manifesto.”
The opposition against former President Goodluck Jonathan in the build up to the 2015 general election and his eventual ouster by the All Progressives Congress (APC) have been attributed to the work of a cabal within his party other than lack of performance by the former president. Dr Japheth Ayanwu, a chieftain of the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) and national chairman of Rebuild Nigeria Party (RBNP), one of the parties that formed the coalition, disclosed this to Sunday Sun in an interview. Anyawu who is also a member, Media and Publicity Committee of CUPP also revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC are currently facing more overwhelming opposition compared to Jonathan and PDP’s experience in 2015. He also gave more insight on major developments within the coalition.
Now that parties have concluded their conventions, how is the CUPP going about its plan to get a single presidential candidate from the 39 candidates that have won the tickets of their respective parties?
We are now 45 political parties under the Coalition of United Political Party, CUPP. We decided to come together to ensure that we present a single presidential candidate. All the parties can field candidate for other political offices other than the office of the president. But come 2019, we will present one presidential candidate. We have agreed, even before the MoU, that all the parties that come together to form CUPP would in turn vote among the presidential candidates of each of these political parties to pick the CUPP flag bearer for 2019.
As it stands now, CUPP may end up presenting the most powerful candidate, who may not necessarily have the best programmes. What plans do you have to ensure that the best candidate emerges?
CUPP has a committee that is handling the manifestoes and whoever emerges will use CUPP’s manifesto. CUPP is not a political party, but an amalgamation of political parties that come together to say that we must put an end to the sufferings of Nigerians: a lot of killings, widespread hunger. We decided that in order to put an end to the suffering of our people we must form a unity government before the election and immediately somebody emerges under the platform of the CUPP, you will see the manifesto of the coalition and the slogan and the campaign that we will present to Nigerians. I don’t have any doubt on my mind that Nigerians will agree with us.
There are feelers that the emergence of Atiku Abubakar as PDP presidential candidate is generating fear among other candidates who feel that the former vice president might get preferential treatment without due consideration about what they also have to offer. What’s your reaction to this?
The issue of fear shouldn’t arise, because as I said, even Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party did not know that he was going to emerge his party’s candidate. But people who signed the MoU knew that one of the aspirants then would emerge as the presidential candidate, likewise every other party. Like in my own party, Rebuild Nigeria Party, (RBNP) two people contested the ticket and one of them won. We all consulted widely before signing the MoU. We did that before the primaries so if any one comes out now to say Atiku will overshadow him, it means that the person wants to surrender before the CUPP’s primary. In coalition, every party is equal; there is no party that is bigger than the other. Even the PDP is as big as my party that was registered about two years ago likewise other political parties that were registered few years ago are also as strong as the PDP. What is important to us is the mission to rescue Nigeria. Atiku Abubakar is not bigger than his party; likewise the candidate of my party is not bigger than the party. So, the parties, by their national chairmen have agreed to the MoU. The MoU is to save Nigeria; it is not for any political party.
It is generally believed that the CUPP is made of 39 political parties, when did it become 45 as you mentioned?
When we called a meeting other parties that could not follow us ab initio decided to team up with the coalition when they discovered that the coalition is waxing stronger as result of the dream we have for Nigeria. We want to rescue Nigeria from APC and that is why every party is coming together.
What mechanism does CUPP have in place to resolve any crisis that may arise from the CUPP primary?
I believe there is not going to be any controversy because all hands are on deck. Since we have agreed that our mission is to rebuild Nigeria, all hands must be on deck. So, I don’t think there will be any problem. We must all work toward realizing our dream to ensure that Nigeria is not scattered.
Going by the trend in the history of elections in Nigeria, the electorate tend to lean toward notable and established political parties. How do you intend to change this in favour of CUPP?
If Nigerians voted for you and within your first term you failed to perform they will vote you out. They started it with Jonathan. Jonathan, despite all the sophisticated campaigns he did, upon all the promises he gave to Nigerians, they still insisted that they didn’t want him for another four years because Nigeria is bigger than Jonathan. And the current president cannot claim he is bigger than Nigeria. Nigerians have decided they don’t want him, no matter what he wants to tell them now, since he has failed to satisfy the yearnings and aspirations of the people for three and half years. Look at the killings in the country. Just yesterday look at what happened in Kaduna. Look at Plateau; look at Benue where Nigerians are being killed like fowls. God in heaven has said if you punish Nigeria, Nigeria will punish in return. So, whether he likes it or not, Nigerians have decided that another person should take over irrespective of the platform or party. If that person that is coming also fails to deliver and do what God brings him to do for Nigeria, Nigerians will vote him out. No Nigerian president will be reelected without performing during his first term, not again. So, the issue of second term should be a day dream for any president who failed the people during his first term. Nigerians won’t listen to you again. No, that won’t happen again. Look at Awolowo. Awolowo said give me the position of president of this country for one day. He knew why he needed one day. Some people would say 100 days, some say four years. So, if a country allows you to rule for four years and there are problems here and there, you now decide to ask for another four years. If you failed to deliver within the first four years what miracle are you going to perform when you are given another four years?
Many people still believe that Buhari stands a better chance of getting reelected because they are of the opinion that by way of comparison, the opposition against Jonathan’s re-election was more massive and overwhelming than what we are witnessing against Buhari now. What is your view on this?
The Jonathan’s problem was the cabal. What killed Jonathan (second term ambition) was the cabal. It was the cabal within the party, who decided to shut out other presidential aspirants. I was a member of the PDP then, but I left the party because of their style – imposition, wuruwuru and mago mago. You will agree with me that that was the reason Atiku, Saraki, Kwankwaso and co broke away from the PDP to join the APC. The same treatment they meted out to Jonathan and PDP is what is playing out now. So, what APC is suffering today is even more than what PDP suffered during Jonathan’s era. What they did to Jonathan is being done to Buhari now. Look at all the promises they made how many of them have they fulfilled? Boko Haram is still striking, fuel is N145 yet nobody has said anything. The labour has not gone on strike because of this. During Obasanjo and Jonathan’s regimes you saw a number of strikes and protests embarked upon by the labour, especially under Adams Oshiomhole. You can see how God is paying him back. After two successful tenures as governor of Edo State, he is today APC chairman and thinking that it would be business as usual. But look at problem here and there under him after their national convention and primaries. Jonathan did not perform as bad as the current administration is performing. The problem was caused by the same cabal who believes that the party was theirs and went ahead to print just one presidential nomination form, just only one. They just went to that convention, shared and ate the man’s money. But today you see how God is paying them one after the other. In a nutshell, judging by the political temper today, almost 101 percent of Nigerians want Buhari to go.
The post CUPP’ll choose one out of 45 presidential candidates of coalition for 2019 poll appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.
Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s revelation of his conversation with United States President, Donald Trump, on the massacre of Christians in Nigeria, saying President Buhari was economical with the truth.
President Buhari had on Tuesday, revealed that at the heat of the bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria, the United States President, Donald Trump, unequivocally accused him of killing Christians.
Buhari said these in his closing remarks at the two-day ministerial performance review retreat held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.
At a point, the President digressed from his prepared speech and narrated his encounter with Trump on the bloody clashes.
He said he managed to explain to the American leader that the clashes were not about ethnicity or religion.
He said, “I believe I was about the only African among the less developed countries the President of United States invited.
“When I was in his office, only myself and himself, only God is my witness, he looked at me in the face, and asked, ‘Why are you killing Christians?’
“I wonder, if you were the person, how you will react. I hope what I was feeling inside did not betray my emotion, so I told him that the problem between the cattle rearers and farmers, I know is older than me not to talk of him. I think I am a couple of years older than him.
“With climate change and population growth and the culture of the cattle rearers, if you have 50 cows and they eat grass, any root, to your water point, then they will follow it. It doesn’t matter whose farm it is.
“The First Republic set of leadership was the most responsible leadership we ever had. I asked the Minister of Agriculture to get a gazette of the early 60s which delineated the cattle route where they used meager resources then to put earth dams, wind mills even sanitary department.
“So, any cattle rearers that allowed his cattle to go to somebody’s farm would be arrested, taken before the court. The farmer would be called to submit his bill and if he couldn’t pay, the cattle would be sold, but subsequent leaders, the VVIPs (very important persons) encroached on the cattle routes. They took over the cattle rearing areas.
“So, I tried and explained to him (Trump) that this has got nothing to do with ethnicity or religion. It is a cultural thing.”
However, CAN’s Vice President and Chairman of the association in Kaduna State, John Hayab, was not impressed with Buhari’s submission, saying “Buhari and his government will never stop from amusing us with their tales by moonlight because what is happening in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Birnin Gwari, Southern Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau and others cannot be described as a cultural thing.
He told Punch correspondent in an interview: “President Buhari’s weak story about his conversation with President Donald Trump further confirms why his government does not care about the killings in our country by calling them cultural things.
“Just this (Tuesday) evening, I received a report from the Kaduna Baptist Conference President about the number of their members that have been killed by bandits in Kaduna State from January 2020 to date to be 105 and our President will call it a cultural thing? All we can say is may God save our Nigeria.”
CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers
The Catholic Bishop of Nsukka, Most Rev. Godfrey Onah, has blamed Christians in the National Assembly (NASS), for the passage of the 2020 Companies and Allied Matters Bill (CAMA), signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.
Bishop Onah, said in a remark during the Sunday Mass that if Christians in NASS had opposed the bill, it would not have been passed into law.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Aug. 7, signed the CAMA bill into law, giving provision for religious bodies and charity organizations to be regulated by the registrar of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and a supervising minister.
“The question many Christians have been asking is, where were Christian legislators during the debate of this bill and its passage in the National Assembly?
“Because, if they had opposed this bill on the floor of the house, it would not have been passed and sent to the president for assent.
“I blame Christian legislators for doing nothing and allowing the passage of the 2020 CAMA Act,” he said.
“When I say that Christians are too divided and too selfish, don’t forget that the second in command in this country is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a professor of Law and a pastor.”
Onah, however, wondered what the Federal Government wanted to achieve in monitoring how the finances of churches in the country are managed when it contributed no dime to the church, NAN reports.
“Government should focus and monitor its ministries, agencies and other government institutions where it budgets billions of Naira annually and not church offerings.
“Had it been that the government gave allocations to churches and decided to monitor its usage, nobody will question the government,” he said.
Nigerians spit fire over fuel, electricity prices hike
Anger and condemnations, across the country, have continued to trail last week’s take off, of new increases in pump price of petroleum products and electricity tariffs, as directed by Federal Government.
Recall that the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) official, D.O. Abalaka announced on Wednesday September 3, on behalf of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that the new price of petroleum is now N151.56k per litre instead of N149 – N150 per litre which it was previously.
The new electricity tariff which the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) tagged “Service Reflective Tariff” has also come into effect. It requires consumers to pay N53.87 – N66.422 per kwh of electricity.
Outraged consumers of fuel and electricity have therefore warned government to get ready for collision with the masses if it fails to rescind these new prices.
Those who have expressed outrage over the new prices regimes include, the Organized Labour, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Nigerian main opposition political party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).
Others are: Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce (NACCIMA).
The NLC said, “The frequent fuel price increase will no longer be accepted. We will not allow Nigerians fall victim of government ineptitude and negligence to make the country self-sufficient in terms of refining petroleum products at home.”
On its part, the PDP has described the price hike as “callous, cruel and punishing” and demanded an immediate reversal to avert a national crisis.
The All Industrial Global sees the incessant increase as a confirmation that deregulation means just price increase.
“This is unacceptable! Under a pandemic, we should put money in the pockets of citizens to revive collapsed livelihoods and preserve lives.” In its reaction, NECA said it has always urged Federal Government to adopt deregulation policy in the oil and gas downstream sector.
The MOMAN in its statement insists that monthly price variation of fuel was no longer sustainable. It urged PPRA to adopt quarterly price mechanism which would save the market the hassles of price volatility. The statements by IPMAN and NACCIMA also followed along the same line that the hike “…serves only to increase the severity and duration of the looming economic recession.”
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