13 parties abandon election boycott plan
About two weeks after their threat to boycott the presidential election if the Central Bank of Nigeria further extends the deadline of its policies on the Naira, 13 parties on Saturday made a volte-face and jettisoned the idea.
The members of the organisation were drawn from governorship, senatorial and House of Representatives as well as House of Assembly candidates.
The Spokesperson of the Forum of Chairmen of Nigerian Political Parties and Candidates of the 2023 General Election and chairman of Action Alliance, Kenneth Udeze, had at a press briefing, said both the February 10 deadline for the currency swap and February 25 date for the presidential election remained sacrosanct.
“We hereby announce our resolution that at least 13 of the 18 political parties in Nigeria will not be interested in the 2023 general election and indeed we shall withdraw all our participation from the electoral process if these currency policies are suspended or cancelled or if the deadline is further shifted”, Udeze said.
But when asked on Saturday to give an update, the Spokesperson of FCNPPC, said the parties have drooped the threat.
Udeze said, “Some parties threw their weights behind Atiku Abubakar (presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party), of which my party is one of them.
“We’re just coming out from the final rally of the PDP because among all the presidential candidates, it’s only Atiku that approached us to form a Government of National Unity. He wants everyone to be united so that we can wrestle power from the All Progressives Congress and form a Government of National Unity.
“Instead of withdrawing completely from the race, where we’ll not make a headway, we decided to use our platforms to support a candidate who has a headway.
“Everyone matters, and by the time these four parties come together, with the support of the agents, it’ll go a long way. We waited for someone like Peter Obi (presidential candidate of the Labour Party) to make a request of forming a Government of National Unity. But he never did that, despite the fact that we sent a lot of body language by way of inviting them for discussion, but it didn’t happen.
“In politics, you can’t beg someone to come to work with them. So, the person who knows the benefits of inviting other parties to form a government is who we’re working with because, in politics, you have to always defend your interest and that of the party. So, we met as a party and agreed by looking at the chances. From day one, we said it can be anybody except the APC, and that is it.
“The best thing is for us to encourage our supporters to support him, and we need to bring something to the table so that when he wins we won’t be left out. The whole thing still boils down to what the parties demanded, because at the end of the day, despite the fact that our injunction we got from the high court in Abuja was later taken over by another ruling from the Supreme Court, yet if you look at the decision of the President, at the end of the day, it still boils down to what we’re demanding. At least, it still goes a long way to stop vote-buying.”