Nov. 12 (PREMIUM TIMES) — The Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), has ratified the long-expected merger with the opposition Action Congress of Nigeria and the All Nigeria Peoples Party.
A highly placed official of the party told PREMIUM TIMES that the decision to merge with other parties was approved at the party’s BOT meeting on Thursday.
He said at the end of the charged meeting, the hardliners within the CPC, who had opposed the merger all along, soft-pedalled and gave their blessing to the proposal.
The national leaders of the party such as General Muhammadu Buhari, Nasir El-Rufai and Tony Momoh were at the meeting.
With the ratification, our source said, the party will now proceed to consumate the merger talks it began with the ACN after the 2011 general election.
Efforts by the two parties to work together before that election fell through following disagreement over the choice of running mate for General Muhammadu Buhari.
The CPC National Publicity Secretary, Rotimi Fashakin, confirmed that the national executive committee of the party had received the BOT’s nod to proceed on the merger process.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, Mr. Fashakin said the BOT gave the approval because none of the existing opposition party alone could defeat the ruling party.
“It is now clear that opposition parties must merge to be able to improve the educational system, health sector, security and infrastructure, among others for Nigerians,’’ he said.
He said that the party was ready to set up merger committee that would do the negotiation on its behalf.
The national publicity secretary said that CPC would soon commence membership registration to ascertain its strength nationwide as the exercise would help during the process of merger.
“When we put this in place in a couple of months, then we are set to discuss with our partners as regards the merger talks,’’ Fashakin said.
According to him, the party is definitely going to do a bio-metric process for its registration that will capture the bio metric data for its members.
He maintained that bio metric data would help the party to have an authentic data of the members to discover any forms of rigging in its primary and other electoral processes.
Mr. Fashakin urged Nigerians to use lessons learnt from the recent U.S. election to improve the standard of democracy in Nigeria.