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APC: ACN clears air on APGA’s membership

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Action Congress of Nigeria(ACN) has clarified the situation under which All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) was included in the membership of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

It said APGA's inclusion was an act of good faith, based on available information and prevailing circumstances, rather than a deliberate act to mislead Nigerians or railroad APGA into the merger.

Reacting to APGA's published disclaimer of APC, ACN's National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, said in a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday that the new party has absolute respect for the rights of individuals or groups on whether or not to associate 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 Gov. 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 meetings 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, ACN said going by the statement signed on behalf of some APGA members by Tim Menakaya, APC had come to the full realisation that there is dissent in the rank and file of the party (APGA).

''In spite of this, and since democracy is about choice, alignments and re-alignments hinged on the fundamentals of individual freedom of association, we respect their position, and will like to describe as unfortunate whatever misconception the purported full involvement of APGA in the merger may have generated.

''We also assure APGA that we are willing to work with the party whenever it normalises its internal process and is ready to join the platform.

“We all remain brethren within the Nigerian family and our doors remain open, in the spirit of the new party,'' it said.

ACN explained, however, that it is not only parties that can join APC, saying that progressive individuals and groups are welcomed to the fold of the new party.

''On this basis, therefore, individuals such as the Imo State governor and others of like minds are still considered members of the APC,'' the party said, while reiterating its resolve and commitment to the merger of the ACN, CPC and ANPP in a final push to rescue Nigeria.

''We proudly inform Nigerians that APC is large enough to accommodate all those who are tired of the sorry state of our nation today and are ready to join in the quest for a positive change that will benefit all Nigerians.

''We do not intend to shut our doors to anyone who wants to be part of the APC, a platform for all progressives, irrespective of party affiliation, to help steer our nation's ship of state, which is currently being battered by turbulent waves, to safety since the captain and the rest of the crew have either escaped below the deck or are busy fighting themselves, having lost all initiatives to save the ship,'' the party said.