By Enyichukwu Enemanna
Nigeria’s former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar calls for the merger of the country’s opposition parties in order to form a stronger alliance against the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) that has been in power since 2015.
Playing host to the national executive committee of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) on Tuesday in Abuja, the nation’s capital, Atiku who was the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the 2023 presidential election that produced APC’s Bola Tinubu as the President, accused the governing party of attempts to make the country a one-party democracy.
The internal wrangling between the PDP led to the exit of the party’s top leaders months to the 2023 election.
Among them are, the running mate of Atiku in the 2019 presidential election, Peter Obi who emerged the candidate of Labour Party in the 2023 presidential election.
He came third in the poll according to result announced by the electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Musa Kwankwaso who was a former Governor of Kano State also left the PDP and emerged the presidential candidate of New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP). He came fourth in the election after winning only his Kano State.
According to Atiku, “Today (Tuesday) during a meeting with the National Executive Committee of the Inter-Party Advisory Council Nigeria (IPAC), I emphasised the importance of protecting our democracy. I expressed concern over the APC’s actions, leading Nigeria towards a one-party dictatorship. I urged IPAC, led by Yabagi Sani, to rally opposition parties to form a stronger front against this threat.
“I criticised INEC for conducting poor elections, including discrepancies in voter numbers. I called for the National Assembly to prioritise constitutional and electoral reforms, in particular electronic voting reforms, to ensure transparent elections and protect our democracy. I believe democracy, despite its flaws, is the best form of government, and I am committed to working with others in providing its preservation in Nigeria.”
Both Atiku and Obi who claimed to have won the 2023 presidential election, have lost their legal battle at the Supreme Court after the affirmation of Tinubu as the duly elected President.