WE DID NOT RAILROAD APGA INTO MERGER - ACN
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has clarified the situation under which the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) was included in the membership of the All Progressive Congress (APC). It said that it was an act of good faith based on available information and prevailing circumstances and not a deliberate act to mislead Nigerians or railroad the party into the merger.
Reacting to APGA's published disclaimer of the APC, ACN's National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said in a statement issued in Abuja, yesterday, that the new party has absolute respect for the rights of individuals or groups within a democracy.
Explaining how APGA was included in the list of parties that consummated the merger, it said: ''We recognise the person and status of Governor Rochas Okorocha, who as Imo Governor has been a great player and figure in Nigerian political landscape, as well as Senator Annie Okonkwo, a seasoned politician and respectable lawmaker.
''We believe in their representation that APGA is interested in the merger; hence we worked with them in good faith. They participated effectively and positively in the meeting of all governors of the parties concerned and in the meetings of the merger committees of the parties, leading to the communique released by all the governors endorsing the merger and the one by the merger committees announcing the formation of the APC.
''However, going by the statement signed on behalf of some APGA members by Dr. Tim Menakaya, the APC had come to the full realisation that there is dissent in the rank and file of the party (APGA).
In a related development, former presidential candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, he has said that stakeholders in planned merger are not unaware of plot by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to thwart the common front and said that they were fully ready for the moles.
The two term Governor of Kano State and chairman of the ANPP Contact and Inter party Committee disclosed this in an interactive session with newsmen while in Benin City for the party's south- south zonal meeting
Shekarau noted that this was the first time in the history of the country that progressive parties would form a merger, and added that the parties involved had passed resolutions to merge at the highest level of their structures.
''To even think that the PDP will not react in whatever form will be self deception. Will you go to sleep when somebody is coming to dislodge you from your home? They won't go to sleep but we are equal to the task. So we are waiting for whatever moles, we are waiting for the unexpected and we are planning for it''
'The failure of the central government of the PDP in the last 15 years is so obvious, it is so clear that you don't have to be in the political arena to know there is failure, there is loss of confidence. So, all of these factors put together will help to strengthen the faith in this merger, to strengthen the commitment , to generate the required confidence and support not only within the parties involve but within the general public who are the main decision making voters''