In a dramatic shift, 16 minor political parties on Tuesday threw their support behind some calls for the postponement of Nigeria’s general elections slated for February.
In addition, five of the 14 presidential candidates signed a joint statement urging the electoral commission to postpone the elections to a “more appropriate” date.
Although they do not have much to lose in the process, they threatened to boycott the elections if their wishes were not heeded.
The parties involved are: the United Democratic Party (UDP), Citizen Peoples Party (CPP), Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN), Action Alliance (AA), Peoples Democratic Congress (PDC) (ACPN), Labour Party (LP), (MPPP), United Party of Nigeria (UPN), Alliance for Democracy (AD), (ADC), (ACD) Democratic Peoples Party (DPP), New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP) Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN) and Independent Democrat (ID).
The parties aligned their argument on the same lines being presented by pro-Jonathan groups, who fear they are about to lose the presidency, citing insecurity and distribution of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).
Referencing “some dangerous trends, which if not checked may negatively and adversely affect our democracy,” the 16 parties called on the government to take necessary steps to provide adequate security for Nigerians to go out and collect their PVCs in order to be able to exercise their civic and constitutional duty.
The five minor-party presidential candidates who endorsed the postponement are Godson Okoye (UDP), Chief Sam Okoye (CPP), Prince C.O Allagoe (PPN), Tunde Anifowose (AA) and Ganiu Galadima (ACPN).
It is unclear why 14 parties said they endorsed the postponement, but nine presidential candidates did not.
Earlier in the day, the powerful All Progressives Congress, in two separate statements in Abuja and Lagos, warned against efforts and conspiracies to pre-empt the elections.