New Coalition Plans Mass Protests on Buhari’s Infractions

New Coalition Plans Mass Protests on Buhari’s Infractions

…Tasks Soyinka, Agbakoba, Ezekwesili, others to vet Consensus Presidential Candidate Newly floated coalition, Alliance for Defence of Democracy (ADD), has slated a mass protest for next week to mobilise the citizenry across the country against the series of constitutional infractions by President Muhammadu Buhari. Rising from a well attended stakeholders meeting convened in Lagos by

Tasks Soyinka, Agbakoba, Ezekwesili, others to vet Consensus Presidential Candidate

Newly floated coalition, Alliance for Defence of Democracy (ADD), has slated a mass protest for next week to mobilise the citizenry across the country against the series of constitutional infractions by President Muhammadu Buhari. Rising from a well attended stakeholders meeting convened in Lagos by the 3rd Force, which gave birth to the ADD, the coalition also resolved to back a consensus presidential candidate in the February 16th election.

A communiqué signed by its Spokesperson, Prof Anthony Killa, says, “stakeholders at the historic meeting decided to come together once and for all under the umbrella of a rainbow coalition named Alliance for Defence of Democracy, ADD to mobilise all allies and sympathisers of the new third force agenda in launching a major mass resistance against government’s impunity and infraction on the Nigeria’s constitution and to ensure future deterrence.”

 

“Concerned by the current threats to Nigeria’s nascent democracy, national stability and credibility of the 2019 elections, especially as occasioned by the constitutional crisis foisted by President Muhammadu Buhari on the Judiciary, Leaders of Thought, Presidential Candidates, Leaders of Political Parties, Civil Society and Labour Movements, Stakeholder and Allies of the third force movement in Nigeria converged on Thursday 31st January 2019 at the Banquet hall of the Sheraton Hotels Lagos to find political solutions to the lingering constitutional crisis between the Nigerian Presidency and Judiciary,” Killa, a professor of Strategy and Development explains.

 

President Buhari, who’s running for second term on the platform of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) and the presidential candidate of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and former Vice President, Mr Atiku Abubakar are generally perceived as the leading candidates in a two horse race.

 

The ADD says, “After a thorough and painstaking analysis of issues involved in this heightening constitutional crisis and its impending implications and backlash on the credibility of the forthcoming 2019 elections,” the historic gathering took the following positions:

 

“That President’s Muhammadu Buhari acted precipitately and in breach of the Nigerian Constitution to have suspended Justice Walter Onnoghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria without following due process of the law governing the suspension/removal of the CJN and therefore should in similar stroke ensure the effective reinstatement of the CJN to allow him face judicial investigation as provided by the constitution.”

 

“That the 2019 elections tribunals constituted by Justice Tanko Mohammed purportedly acting as Chief Justice of Nigeria is null, illegal and of no effect to the extent of the foundational constitutional harakiri committed in his appointment as well as the erroneous rush to constitute the electoral panels. So the meeting demands their immediate disbandment for a lawful set of tribunals to be inaugurated to neutralise the suspicion that the Presidency is desperate to manipulate electoral justice ahead of the 2019 polls.”

 

“Furthermore, to ensure effective political force for the 3rd force to be able to stem the brewing constitutional crisis threatening the base of Nigeria’s democracy and nationhood and to checkmate contrived antics of the ruling class to rigg the 2019 elections, stakeholders at the historic meeting decided to come together once and for all under the umbrella of a rainbow coalition named Alliance for Defence of Democracy, ADD to mobilise all allies and sympathisers of the new third force agenda in launching a major mass resistance against government’s impunity and infraction on the Nigeria’s constitution and to ensure future deterrence.”

 

The new Coalition also set up two major committees to facilitate the activities of ADD in the interim and to declare a nationwide mass protest for a date to be announced next Wednesday after a conveners’ tactical meeting in Abuja. The planned mass action is aimed at compelling the President to apologise to Nigerians and reverse his illegal action against the Judiciary and the rule of law

 

Killa, also executive director, Center for Advance and international Professional Studies, says the group has proposed a “Conveners Council of Eminent Leaders and Political Icons committed to producing a Credible Alternative Force in the 2019 elections.”

 

Expected to be chaired by Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, who will be assisted by a collegiate comprising of former Military Governor of Kaduna State, Col Abubakar dangiwa Umar, former President, Nigerian Bar Association, Dr Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), former Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt Hon Ghali Umar Na’abba, general Overseer of Lattaer Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, former Education Minister, Dr Oby Ezekwesili, Dr Abduljalil Tafawa Balewa, Dr Tokunbo Dosumu Awolowo, and Human Rights Lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN).

 

They are expected to serve as a panel of eminent jury that will endorse a consensus presidential candidate from among “fourteen credible presidential hopeful,” shortlisted by the forum, to be adopted at a 3rd Force summit scheduled to hold in Abuja on February 12th.

 

The candidates to be vetted include: Mr Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, People’s Trust, (PT), Mr Omoyele Sowore, African Action Congress (AAC), Dr Kingsley Moghalu, Young Progressive Party (YPP), Mr Ali Soyode, Yes Electorate Solidarity, (YES), Dr Adesina Fagbenro Byron, Kowa Party (KP), Mr Chike Ukaegbu, Advance Allied Party (AAP), Mr Shipi Moses Godiya, All Blending Party (ABP) and Mr Olufela Durotoye, Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN).

 

Others include: Prof. Peter Nwangwu, We the People of Nigeria Party (WPNP), Mr Ahmed Buhari, Sustainable National Party (SNP), Mr Tope Fashua, Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP), Mr David Ize-Iyamu, Better Nigeria Progressive Party (BNPP), Mr Donald Duke, Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Mr John Dara, Alliance of Social Democrats (ASD).

 

Earlier in his contribution, Mr Olawepo-Hashim called for the voting of any candidate except President Muhammadu Buhari whom he fingered in the “tell tale descent into dictatorship” in Nigeria. “It’s a sad day for the country that after 20 years of the return to democracy, issues that we thought had been settled are now recurring in Nigeria,” he says. “APC leadership has disunited Nigeria. We are here for a government that will unite Nigeria, end poverty in the land and end insecurity.”

 

Continuing, he quips: “Just in case we cannot find a consensus candidate, we should mobilise Nigerians to vote any candidate of their choice except Buhari. If we do, we probably may have another election to decide on the candidate. We need to exclude Buhari. He has shown extreme disregard to the heterogeneous nature and plurality of Nigeria. It is provocative and dangerous. The vote on February 16th should be anybody but Buhari.”

 

Counselling the South West to be wary of being recruited in the raging wave of “fascism” in the country, he reminded the people that one of the country’s most respected avowed and most respected democrat, Chief Obafemi Awolowo was a product of the South West and they had a responsibility to abide by the principles he lived for.

 

“The people of the South West have a lot to do. This region which used to be the bastion of democracy is now having the greatest entrants into support for fascism. This is the region that produced Chief Obafemi Awolowo, one of the greatest defenders of democracy. It therefore cannot be pushed into support for dictatorship,” Olawepo Hashim says.

 

The meeting was moderated by Prof Anthony Kila who was elected as ADD spokesperson and Dr Olu Agunloye, who became chair, Contact and Mobilisation at National Consultative Meeting. Present at the meeting were two presidential candidates, Olawepo-Hashim and Fagbenro Byron.

 

Others include Mr Promise Adewusi, former deputy president, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Director General, Nigeria Intervention Movement (NIM), Mr Wale Okuniyi, Dr Fola Rogers, Pastor Funke Awolowo, Mrs Toyin Ogunbanbi, Rev Ike Ezechukwu, members of the Political Committee, NIM, Mr Abayomi Rotimi Mighty, national youth leader, NIM, Dr Peter Omoijiade, secretary, Strategic and Planning Committee NIM, Chief Marcel Okeke, member, Strategic and Planning committee, NIM, and Mr Shina Loremikan, a journalist and civil rights activist among many others..

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