Merger Party’s Fate On Brink As African People’s Congress Unveils Manifesto, Constitution

The fate of the much publicized proposed merger, All Progressive Congress (APC) has been called to question following the official unveiling of the logo, slogan, manifesto and constitution of a new party, African People’s Congress with the same acronym.

The African People’s Congress (APC), has celebrated the public unveiling of the political party, and the official opening of the National headquarters of the party in Abuja.

Officials, members and supporters of the party, gathered at plot 983 Garki, opposite the main gate of Apo legislative quarters, where the national head offices of the party is located.

The party official red colored flags and emblem could be seen on the building as party members also wore red face caps and red mufflers.

In a prepared speech, the acting chairman of the party, Onyinye Michael Ikeagwuonu described the merger of major opposition political parties, ACN, CPC, ANPP and others as “simply an amalgam of people that must rule.”
He added that “they are largely part of the same over-recycled crop of power mongers that have plagued Nigeria with their abysmal misrule and maladministration.”

“The corruption in these parties often rubs off on their legislators in the National Assembly, with clear reflection on the quality of legislation churned out from our hallowed chambers,” he added.

Later in an interview with journalists, the legal adviser of the party, Kingsley Nnadi, said the fulfilment of the African People’s Congress in submitting its intention to register the party after passing other requirement of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), put to rest any controversy over the acronym (APC), of the Party.

According to him, “I believe the unveiling of the party has finally put to rest the contention of over the acronym APC. We are waiting for their response within thirty days, because we have fulfilled every stipulated requirement in the electoral act.”

He refused to answer question on the fake office address submitted to INEC in their application to register the party, responding that, “are we not here now at the head office of the party?”

He claimed that the party has offices in 26 states of the federation, and more offices were being opened and also said they were not in any way affiliated to the ruling PDP

Questions are rife on the minds of many over the sudden appearance of this party, complete with a constitution and manifesto as to whether this is an orchestrated attempt to cripple the success of the proposed merger and who are the real powers behind this new party. But with 2015 still ahead, this is seen to be just the beginning of interesting events to unfold

PDP To Snub APC As It Regroups For 2015

After reproaching the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the purported gaffe involving the party’s registration on Tuesday, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said it is totally unconcerned about the affairs of the opposition, especially the new merger party and that it is ready and able to withstand any activities presented by them.

The national publicity secretary of the party, Chief Olisah Metuh who was reacting to questions on the registration of the APC said the ruling party’s main objective now is to regain focus and unity and regroup for the forthcoming 2015 elections.

He said the ruling party is commencing a zonal reconciliation tour to give all estranged members of the party the opportunity to return to the fold ahead of 2015, irrespective of their reasons for defecting.

Chief Metuh added that the doors are open for any former member to reconcile without conditions so far as they meet all constitutional requirements and are prepared to work for the unity of the party.

APC Will Drive Nigeria To Socio-Political And Economic Brink – PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the purported inability of the leaders of All Progressive Congress (APC) to dully reserve or register the proposed name of the party as the hallmark of political naivety, painlessness.

The ruling party in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, on Monday claimed that the planned merger party has shown that it will “drive Nigeria to sociopolitical and economic brink should it be entrusted with power” as typified by the party’s failure to duly register the party before embarking on bleeping jamboree and propaganda.

According to the statement “the reality on the ground has shown that the leaders of the APC were all the while grandstanding; writing footnotes and glossary even when the first chapter of their history was yet to be successfully written.”

“Nigerians are here confronted with an irony!  It is an irony of a political party who without adequate planning, without a  solid working rhythm,  yet wishes to be entrusted to its effete, shaky shoulders, the fate of over One Hundred and Sixty Million Nigerians.”

“Fortunately, Nigerians are witnessing first hand, the thoughtlessness and carelessness of the self-acclaimed political Messiahs, a fore warning that the nation, her people and our democracy are all in jeopardy should they be entrusted with power” the statement adds.

“How can a group who could not conclude the basic as in due registration of its name be able to manage the affairs of Nigeria at this moment of critical challenge,” the statement asked.

“At the basics the APC and its conjugants -the ACN, CPC, ANPP and others have once more advertised their boastful and deceitful predilection. Who could imagine that their coalition was yet to be registered before its leaders started throwing red rag to the bull?”

Governors Decamp

The PDP further denied a reported claim by some officials of the APC that PDP governors and members of the National Assembly are going to decamp to the party.

PDP stated that “Nigerians have clearly seen the lies in the repeated claims by the coalition that some PDP governors and National Assembly members were planning to join them.”

“How can a politician worth its onions leave a known, formidable and nationwide political party for a disparate and unregistered amalgam?”

“This false claim is also a window into the minds of the leaders of the coalition. The summary is that they are waiting for decampees from the PDP to build their party, perhaps, register it for them. What an illusion! What a self-delusion!”

INEC Is Misleading Nigerians On African Peoples Congress Application – ACN

The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of misleading Nigerians and engaging in bare-faced lies with the manipulation of facts by claiming that a ‘phantom African Peoples Congress has applied to the commission for registration.

The ACN in a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated that claim by the spokesperson of INEC Chairman, Mr. Kayode Idowu, on the application of the African Peoples Congress as a political party is false and not supported by the relevant sections of the Electoral Act because the party has “only written a letter of intent, which has not even been discussed by INEC, not to talk of the commission taking any decision on it.”

The INEC official had stated on Monday that the African Peoples Congress has applied to the electoral body to be registered as a political party with the acronym APC which clashes with the planned political merger of a number of opposition parties. The merger; All Progressive’s Congress also bares the same APC acronym.

The opposition further adds that the phantom party is being sponsored by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party in connivance with the electoral body to thwart the merger plans of the merging political parties.

According to the ACN, which is one of the merging parties, “no party today with the acronym APC has applied to INEC to be registered, adding that even the phantom African Peoples Congress – which is being sponsored by the PDP to lay claim to the acronym – has only written a letter of intent, which has not even been discussed by INEC, not to talk of the commission taking any decision on it.

”The statement credited to Mr Idowu is therefore reckless and provocative” ACN laments as it further alleges that it “clearly betrays INEC as truly having merged with the PDP to frustrate the merger of the progressives under the banner of the All Progressives’ Congress (APC).”

“One wonders who the spokesman is speaking for and what interest he represents. He should therefore be called to order before he sets the country ablaze” the statement warned.

In order to debunk INEC’s claim that the phantom African Peoples Congress has applied for registration, ACN quoted Section 78 (1) and Section 78 (2) of the Electoral Act that are relevant to party registration.

-Part V Political Parties of the Electoral Act, Section 78 (1) says: “A political association that complies with the provision of the Constitution and this Act for the purposes of registration shall be registered as a political party, provided that such application shall be duly submitted to the Commission not later than 6 months before a general election.”

-Section 78 (2) which says: “The Commission shall on receipt of the documents in fulfilment of the conditions stipulated by the Constitution immediately issue the applicant with a letter of acknowledgement stating that all necessary documents have been submitted to the Commission”

”In this case the applicants on behalf of the phantom African Peoples Congress, the clients of Legal World Chambers, have not submitted any of the documents stipulated by the Constitution to the Commission. They have only written a letter of intent and therefore INEC could not have issued them any letter of acknowledgment, not to talk of starting the process of verifying the documents.”

”At this point they cannot even be regarded as applicants. Why then did INEC through its spokesperson gleefully go to the media to proclaim that another political association has applied to be registered as African Peoples Congress using the same acronym APC?” ACN asked.

The party further called attention to Section 78 (6) of the Electoral Act, which says “an application for registration as a political party shall not be processed unless there is evidence of payment of administrative fee as may be fixed from time to time by the Commission”

ACN said it is aware that the applicants in question have not even paid any administrative fees and therefore INEC could not have commenced processing their application, because there is no application before INEC as they have only written a letter of intent.

”The INEC spokesperson who announced to the world that another political association has applied to be registered as APC is therefore definitely being paid by the PDP to mislead Nigerians, subvert extant regulations and scuttle the proposed merger of the ACN, ANPP, APGA and CPC. He should immediately be called to order before he sets the country ablaze,” the party said.

He said what has emerged over the registration issue is that INEC is in cahoots with the PDP to stampede the merging parties to commit errors and also intimidate them to drop the acronym APC.

It however stated that ”as of today in accordance with the provisions of S. 78 (2) and S. 78 (6) of the Electoral Act as explained above, there is no applicant on record for the acronym APC, contrary to the deceit being spread by the INEC spokesman.”

INEC’s Knowledge of Merger Plans

ACN also alerted Nigerians to the fact that INEC has had a constructive knowledge of the merger plan and the existence of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for a long time, going by statements credited to the INEC spokesman both in the print and the electronic media.

On Feb. 17th 2013, Mr. Idowu was quoted and reported to have said that the All Progressives’ Congress (APC) remained a political association, even though it is yet to be recognized by the commission.

“By law, we do not expect APC to come to INEC. The political parties that are fusing into another party will individually and respectively come back to INEC, notifying us that they are fusing into a party with a new identity,” ACN quoted Mr. Idowu to have said told a newspaper.

”The same Idowu also told TVC news on Feb. 8th 2013 that INEC was expecting the leadership of the All Progressives’ Congress to apply for formal documentation. With these statements, it is clear that INEC has always had a constructive knowledge of the All Progressives’ Congress (APC) since the merger plan started, and that the emerging party did not have to do anything until all the component parties have held their conventions and ratified the constitution, manifesto and logo of the APC.”

”We are therefore using this medium to assure the millions of our supporters within and outside Nigeria that there is no cause for alarm. The merger process is on course. The All Progressives’ Congress that is the legitimate people’s APC will berth safely and deliver Nigerians from the oppressive yoke of the PDP.”

It however called for vigilance on the part of all progressive forces across the country, ”especially because we have it on good authority that a top official of INEC has boasted that the emergence of the All Progressives’ Congress (APC) will be frustrated at all costs”.

Yerima Arrested Over Inciting Comments On Radio

Former governor of Zamfara State and serving Senator, Ahmed Yerima has been speaking on his arrest on Saturday by the police for allegedly making inciting statement on a live Hausa programme on the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) station in Kaduna.

The Senate deputy minority whip said shortly after his release that his statements during the programme were not incisive and did not contravene the law of the country.

The Kaduna state police commissioner,Olufemi Adenaike had led a team of policemen in six hilux vans to arrest the former governor at the FRCN premises shortly after the programme.

Mr. Yerima was alleged to have said that if the independent national electoral commission failed to register the newly formed all progressive congress ahead of the 2015 elections, the party members would stage a peaceful protest at the eagle square in Abuja.

But the police commissioner said Senator Yerima was only invited for interrogation over the statement, adding that the statement credited to the senator was capable of causing crisis in the state.

The Senator was detained at the headquarters of the Kaduna police command. Shortly after his supporters were seen trooping to the gate of the command to demand for his immediate release.

Stop Blaming Jonathan For Police Commissioner’s Murder – Okupe

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Doyin Okupe has criticised the comments by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) that the inability of the Federal Government to guarantee the security of the country is an indication of a failing state.

Addressing a news conference in Abuja on Tuesday, Mr. Okupe stated that criminality exists everywhere in the world but he admitted that the Federal Government has an over-riding duty to ensure the safety of lives and properties.

Disagreeing with the stance by the ACN’s spokesperson that the killing of the Kwara State Commissioner of Police is an indication that Nigeria is fast becoming a failed state, Mr. Okupe stated that the killing of the Police boss cannot be taking as an index of a failed state because in advanced countries, such killings do occur and nobody lays such deaths on their Presidents or denigrate their countries.

He, however, gave the assurance that the Federal Government is doing everything to ensure that the perpetrators of the crime are made to face the full weight of the law.

The Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Mr Chinwe Asadu, was murdered over the weekend by unknown gunmen in Enugu State.

Cheap Political Points

Mr. Okupe also took a swipe at the recent visit to Borno State by some governors under the aegis of the All Progressives Congress (APC) saying the visit was borne out of the governors’ ambition to score cheap political points.

Meanwhile, President Jonathan is also expected to visit Borno State later this week.

Single Term Agreement Not Binding On Jonathan – Isuwa Dogo

A political scientist, Isuwa Dogo on Monday said President Goodluck Jonathan is not bound by any single term agreement he purportedly signed with a group of people.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Dogo said as a politician, President Jonathan can sign any agreement in order to wrest political power and once that is achieved, he can decide not to honour the deal.

“In the first place for anybody to come out and say there was such agreement, it means the person is a political illiterate,” he said.

Watch the video below for the full interview with Mr Dogo:

PDP Is Run Like A Cult – Junaid Mohammed

A Second Republic lawmaker and public affairs analyst, Junaid Mohammed on Monday said that the members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are running the party as if it were a secret cult.

Mr. Mohammed, who was speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily, said the affairs of the PDP has never been transparent since the inception of the party.

“The PDP from the time it was formed by Generals to date has never been run as a transparent organisation. It has always been run like a cult,” he said.

The analyst, who claimed he was privy to a communique where President Goodluck Jonathan agreed to a single term in office, said though the document existed, members of the PDP who are in possession of it will be reluctant to disclose it to the public.

“A member of a cult lacks the courage to come out to spill the beans or blow whistle and say this is what we agreed,” Mr Mohammed said.

Speaking on the court judgement that last Friday cleared President Jonathan to seek re-election, Mr. Mohammed said he strongly disagreed with the position of the judge and his ruling.

He said: “After reading bits and pieces of the judgement, I was under the impression that the judge does not live in this country. He may be living somewhere in a parallel planet. Anybody who has been living in Nigeria knows that from the time President Goodluck Jonathan was elected till today, he has taken a lot less time minding the mandate he was allegedly handed over by people of this country and the legal system. He has rather wasted a lot more time, he and his surrogates, in planning how they can stage a comeback come 2015.

“So if the judge doesn’t know that or decided not to take judicial notice of what Nigerians have been witnessing and everybody have been commenting about, then I suspect the judge must be living in a different planet.”

Explosions Rock Maiduguri as APC Governors Meet

There were multiple blasts in three areas of  Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, with one targeting a military patrol vehicle.

Spokesman of the Joint Task Force (JTF) Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa said he could not confirm if there were any casualties, although reports claim that some soldiers may have been killed.

The explosions occurred simultaneously on Baga road, Customs and Gamboru areas at about 3pm, while a fourth exploded at London Ciki at about 6pm.

The Commissioner of Police, Mr Yuguda Abdullahi, however, claimed knowledge of only one blast, saying he personally visited that site. He declined comment on the number of casualties.

This comes as nine governors in the All Progressive Congress, APC, gathered in Maiduguri to push the merger plans of the country’s leading opposition political parties.

The governors in a communiqué vowed that they would rescue Nigeria from what they described as visionless leadership.

The governors jointly donated N200 million to Borno and Yobe states, the two opposition party held states that are at the centre of the Boko haram insurgency.

Progressive Governors Forum Meet In Troubled Borno State

The Progressives Governors Forum on Thursday rose from its third meeting in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital with a strong determination on the emergence of a new political Party, the All Progressive Congress (APC).

The Progressive Governors Forum is a new coalition of governors from all the political parties that are merging to birth the APC as Nigeria’s foremost opposition party, ahead of the 2015 general elections.

The meeting was attended by governors of Borno, Edo, Ekiti, Imo, Lagos, Nasarawa, Ogun, Osun, and Yobe state.

The governors in a communiqué read by the Osun state governor, Rauf Aregbesola, applauded efforts of the central merger committee of the APC on the progress made so far in the establishment of the new party particularly the inauguration of committee on constitution, manifesto and legal/INEC compliance

They called on Nigerians to support the party’s effort to rescue the nation from what from the described as the “visionless leadership” of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

They also assured to embarked on outreach and sensitization activities ahead of the party’s launch.

N200 milion for Boko Haram victims

The Progressive Governors Forum also commended the considerable calmness in Yobe and Borno states contrary to the image of rampant violence as always portrayed.

The two states have being the fulcrum of Boko Haram’s insurgency attacks since it started in 2008.

The governors in solidarity donated the sum of N200million to the two state governments as a relief and support to families of those who lost their lives or property in the crisis.

The statement commended the governors and security agencies for their effort towards the restoration of peace in the states.

This is the third meeting of the Progressive Governors with the first and second held in Lagos and Abuja.

The governors of Zamfara and Oyo states sent in the apologies for not attending the meeting.

PDP Is Headache For Nigeria’s Opposition Parties – Bamanga Tukur

The National Chairman of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamangar Tukur has described the All Progressives Congress (APC) merger as a tablet for those seeking for cure from the PDP’s headache which according to him, is plaguing Nigeria’s opposition parties.

Alhaji Tukur gave this description while addressing warring factions of the PDP in the six states of the south-west in Abuja, urging the leaders to resolve internal differences through dialogue.

Saying the ruling party remains the headache of the opposition in the country and that is why members of the opposition were looking for drugs to cure their sickness.

“PDP is the headache of the opposition in the country. That is why they are looking for APC drug to cure their sickness.

Tukur’s side-splitting reference to the APC as a drug was meant to deride the name of the opposition party, born from the merging of four major opposition political parties.

Tukur, who came to the meeting with members of the party’s National Working Committee, appealed to PDP members in the zone to remain united.

“You people in the South-West must remain united to be relevant. Use your energy in coming together and stop fighting. That is the only way to get power.”

Other members of the Board of Trustees including Zonal chairman, Chief Segun Oni noted that the way forward to end years of acrimony in the South West is through the spirit of inclusiveness and reformation without revenge.

Meanwhile, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on public affairs, Dr Doyin Okupe alleged that the leadership of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) is responsible for the marginalization of the Yoruba’s and not President Jonathan.

According to him, “the issue of marginalisation of the South-West was a political misadventure and political accident, brought about by the Yoruba themselves. If you would recollect, the Yoruba were supposed to produce the Speaker of the House of Representatives, which is the number four position in Nigeria.”

“But due to the political mishandling of the leadership of the Yoruba and also the sabotage of the Yoruba people by the Yoruba leadership. I am talking about the people in the ACN now. The Yoruba people in the ACN conspired against the Yoruba people and allowed the position to be taken away. That is the beginning of marginalisation.”

“You see, when people sit down to share what is not enough and you don’t have anybody to speak for you, there is a problem” he explained.

Analysts Debate Rational Of APC Formation

Two political analysts Olumide Fusika and Femi Segun on Saturday debated the rational and prospects for the formation of the All Progress Congress (APC) party.

Speaking as guests on Channels Television’s weekend breakfast programme, Sunrise, both Messrs Fusika and Segun expressed diverging views of the merger of three political parties – the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN); the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP); and the Congress for Progressive Change.

Mr Segun insisted that the formation of the new party is an indication that in Nigeria, politicians are not interested in concrete political ideologies but on their aim to win elections.

“Parties come together because they want to wrest people. It is not about delivering democracy anymore; it is about winning elections,” he said.
He however said the formation of a merger party is a good thing as it will help to save Nigeria from becoming a one party state.

“This means that we are going to have credible political opposition in this nation,” Mr Segun said.

Mr Fusika, however did not agree that the formation of APC would lead to credible opposition.

Watch the video below for the complete debate on the formation of the APC: