Akande May Emerge APC Chairman Friday

By The Rainbow

Barring unforeseen circumstances, the incumbent national chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Bisi Akande, will emerge chairman of the interim executive committee of the merging All Progressive Congress (APC).

This comes as the occupants of the posts of national secretary and national treasurer of the interim executive committee would be unveiled before the end of this week.

However the merger committees of the various parties deferred their decision on some of the modalities for who occupies the other offices to their individual parties.

While the ACN has been allotted to produce the chairman, the ANPP has been given the slot to produce the national secretary, and the CPC has been offered the position of chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) in the interim arrangement, LEADERSHIP gathered.

A position that is largely believed to be reserved for CPC leader and former head of state, General Muhammadu Buhari.

The chairmanship position given the ACN has since become a two-horse race between Akande and Chief Tom Ikimi.

However, a source in the merger arrangement told LEADERSHIP that some members of the merger committees led by the ANPP are not comfortable with the seeming emergence of Akande and have rather opted for the chairman of the ACN merger contact committee, Ikimi, as the chairman.

The source said that those opposed to the candidature of Akande preferred that Ikimi should be allowed to ascend to the position of chairman because of the role he has played in steering the merger party to this stage.

But addressing newsmen after the meeting yesterday in Abuja, Ikimi said there would be caucuses' meetings of the merging parties this evening. 'We have worked out various options that we will take to the caucuses, so that we meet with the leadership of the caucuses and finalize on these matters,' he said.

On the interim officers, he said: 'We have looked into various structures that should ensure merging parties are taken along. This we will discuss tonight to see that every party is carried along. Well, there is much time left now. I am sure it is in a matter of days.'

But spokesman of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) Fashakin said the national chairman, national secretary, and national treasurer positions had been filed, stressing that the occupants of these positions were picked from the set of those who signed the application for the merger party registration that was submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

He however refused to reveal the names of the officers, promising that the names would be revealed before the end of the week.

On the interim officers' selection, Fashakin said: 'Yes, I told you clearly. You will recall that two weeks ago there was a submission to INEC on behalf of APC and a communication passed on to INEC and signed by all the three chairmen, secretaries and treasurers of the legacy parties. The sets of signatories made that submission to INEC. So among them a chairman was taken, a secretary was taken and a treasurer was taken.'

Pressed to state who the persons are he said: 'You will know in due course. Yes, the name is known, but we are still talking about expanding that committee so we can still have juggling. But we are talking about a matter of one or two days. You will know in due course. But know that one of them there is the chairman, one of them there is the national secretary and one of them there is the national treasurer.'

Speaking on when the names of the party executives will be revealed, Fashakin  said,  'Expect the final solution before the end of the week … Already the party's application for registration is with INEC, so it's only small that remains. The bulk of the submission is there. Those areas and positions that are known to law are already settled with INEC and with the Electoral Act; it's the chairman, national secretary and the treasurer –these positions are the ones the law requires to sign any application to INEC as regards merger. So those positions are already settled with INEC. We submitted constitutions that, yes, all these positions need to be filled so we get through that.

He however refuted claims that there was rancour over the emergence of the officials, saying: 'We are looking at APC, not ANPP or CPC anymore. Yes, indeed they still exist because APC has not been formally registered. But in the spirit of it, those parties have agreed to be subsumed in the APC; so among them you have the chairman, secretary and treasurer. There is no rancour. The rancour is only in the minds of PDP, because they are expecting rancour and exchange of fisticuffs. They are expecting us to disagree.'

Fashakin added that the allocation of offices to other parties would be sorted out amicably and that specific slots were not necessarily allotted since all parties have to be considered in the arrangement. 'We have looked at some of these positions like family members. So it is not just only the legacy parties that are involved. You have people from APGA, from DPP who are interested too and are now also put into consideration, so when we get the final list it will be one that reflects the heterogeneity of our nation.'

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