The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has strongly condemned the call made by a group called the Emerging Leaders Forum (ELF) for the arrest and prosecution of its spokesperson, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, for allegedly making inciting statements with plans to topple the Mohammadu Buhari- led All Progressives Congress (APC) government.
CUPP, while denouncing the call and describing it as one made by hungry and faceless hoodlums, said it had become aware of the clandestine campaign of calumny being perfected to take out of circulation its spokesman, Ugochinyere “as was seen by the amateurish and poorly attended press conference by a faceless group that called itself Emerging Leaders Forum.”
The Emerging Leaders Forum (ELF) led by Godstime Samuel had addressed a press conference on Friday, August 14, 2020, in Abuja where it called for the immediate arrest of Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere by the security agencies within seven days failing which they threatened to effect his arrest by themselves.
CUPP said this on Saturday in a press release issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Mark Adebayo, declaring that no genuine Nigerian youth organisation could have descended into such an “abysmal abnormality,” calling for the head of its spokesperson, Ikenga.
According to CUPP, its spokesperson, Ikenga remains a foremost youth activist “who until recently led the Nigerian Youth Council with unequalled sterling performances and unprecedented capacity and remains active within various Youth groups across the country.”
“We make bold to say that there is no patriotic Nigerian youth who can be proud of the currently aggravated incompetence and retrogressive governance which has produced devastating insecurity, economic meltdown, massive youth unemployment, and generalised crises of unprecedented proportions in sub-Saharan Africa.
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“No responsible young person could endorse such unmitigated disaster that the current government has unleashed on this country that is threatening the very existence of a great country like Nigeria except an irresponsible and hungry group of hoodlums hurriedly assembled to carry out such a disgraceful hatchet’s job for the sake of a day’s meal ticket,” the group said.
CUPP said it had now become clearer who to trace and hold responsible for any attacks on Ikenga, vowing that it was not taking lightly the threat to the life of its spokesperson by ELF which it noted issued what amounted to a death threat.
CUPP said it would approach the matter with all the seriousness it demanded through all legal means as the Conference was not a clandestine lawless opposition coalition.
“We are a coalition of responsible, patriotic and credible Nigerians with the singular objective of rescuing Nigeria from bad governance through constitutional and democratic means and put Nigeria on the path of rapid development to rival the most advanced nations on earth. This cannot be a crime,” CUPP said.
“For the last two years of its existence, the CUPP has conducted its affairs within the purview of international best practices of opposition activism and has employed strictly legal means, including court actions, to seek redresses to its concerns.
“Never has the opposition coalition carried out any of its activities outside the confines of the law and never will. This ridiculous attempt to call a dog a bad name to hang it is dead on arrival,” it asserted.
“For the avoidance of doubt, these latest threats will never dampen our spirit to speak the minds of millions of Nigerians for whom we represent hope and the voice of the voiceless.
“We shall not succumb to the cheap blackmail and threats by a government that has totally failed on all indices of the basic performance of governance and the opprobrious activities of its shameless attack dogs, internal collaborators and fifth columnists.
“We shall not be silenced by a motley crowd of discombobulated invalids who have chosen the destructive path of ignominy and despicable perversion. They will be consumed by the corrosive slimes of their treacherous vocation,” it further asserted.
CUPP said it was resolved as a foremost opposition coalition to wax stronger and be more active than ever in the coming days, vowing: “No retreat and no surrender in our steady march towards achieving greatness for our beloved Nigeria.”
The coalition said it was fully aware that all the threats and consistent attacks on it by the “enemies of the country are for the purpose of weakening the opposition before the 2023 elections which we are positioned to win.”
According to it, “We are not unmindful of the recent concerted efforts to infiltrate and compromise the coalition from within in order to deplete its ranks and weaken it, but that has also failed woefully.”
“For the avoidance of doubt, we shall continue to be stronger and more united and focused on the historic assignments that have been thrust on us. Rather than persecuting the opposition, the government should do the country a favour by concentrating whatever energy it has left on fighting escalating insecurity, economic meltdown and the massive corruption scandals bedevilling its administration.
“The opposition is not your problem, it is your incompetence. Modern nations are run by perfectly envisioned, creative and proactive leaders with a sophisticated mindset and creative foresight, not by intellectually incapacitated and parochial leadership,” the group stated.
The coalition called on Nigerians to remain hopeful, assuring that their trauma would soon become history when the opposition takes control of the government in 2023 by their collective mandate to be freely given through the elections.
This was just as it also assured its spokesperson, Ikenga and opposition leaders, who had remained steadfast and committed to achieving the greatness that Nigeria was destined to reach, of its full support.
CUPP, therefore, called on the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohamed Adamu, to order the immediate arrest of the spokesperson of ELF, Godstime Samuel before he carried out his threats on the life of its spokesman, Ikenga.
The coalition, while saying that it was the constitutional responsibility of the Nigeria Police to ensure the safety of all Nigerians irrespective of political affiliations, argued that the police cannot allow such an open threat to the life of a Nigerian citizen go unchallenged unless it had itself been compromised to look the other way.
“Having made such open threats of violence against our spokesman, we call on the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohamed Adamu, to order the immediate arrest of Godstime Samuel before he carries out his threats on the life of our spokesman as it is the constitutional responsibility of the Nigerian Police to ensure the safety of all Nigerians irrespective of political affiliations. The police cannot allow such an open threat to the life of a Nigerian citizen go unchallenged unless it has itself been compromised to look the other way,” CUPP demanded.