***The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) yesterday threw its weight behind presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar.
Rising from a closed down meeting at the Yar’Adua Centre Abuja, CUPP announced him as its consensus candidate.
Chairman of the Steering Committee and former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, who briefed journalists said various factors ranging from local and international, experience in administration, management of economy and politics were considered before adopting Atiku.
Oyinlola further said the CUPP is currently made up of 46 political parties, with other applications being considered.
But there was a twist, as the Grassroots Development Party of Nigeria (GDPN), distanced itself from the arrangement a few hours after it was announced.
A statement released by the presidential candidate of GDPN, Dr. Davidson Isibor Akhimien in Lagos, said the party was neither aware nor in support of the decision to endorse Atiku.
Akhimien said his party was not part of the negotiation by CUPP and would, therefore, not abandon his mission to bring solution to the nation’s myriads of problem.
Meanwhile, Oyinlola has dismissed the recent report by The Economist, which touted President Buhari as the likely winner of the forthcoming election.
He said the prediction that the coalition will collapse had no basis.
The Economist, in its latest edition, reportedly said opposition coalition in the country might collapse before the 2019 general election and give way for the re-emergence of President Buhari.
But Oyinlola asked: “What is happening today, do you see any sign of collapsing? Tell me, is there any sign of collapsing on the part of the coalition? Economist will be surprised.”