Less than 48 hours after its formation, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has started courting controversy.
On Wednesday, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tom Ikimi, told reporters in Abuja that the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), and Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) have merged into the APC.
His announcement was sequel to ratification of the merger by 10 state governors after a meeting at the residence of the Lagos State Governor, Bababtunde Fashola.
However, a faction of APGA, led by the Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, yesterday issued a statement dissociating the party from the merger.
“Our attention has been drawn to a press conference by a group of ten (10) Governors, including Owelle Rochas Okorocha of Imo State after meeting in Lagos endorsing a “merger of some opposition Parties in Nigeria”.
“While we are not against the establishment of a mega opposition party, we believe that the issue of merger of political parties is a very serious matter that needs adequate consultations before a Governor participates and makes public statement. We wish to state that we were never invited, consulted or informed about any political parties merger,” reads the statement signed by Tim Menakaya, a member of the party’s Board of Trustees.
“We categorically state that All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), has never participated in any merger talk with any political party and is therefore not in the merger. We were never consulted by anybody before such statement of our involvement was issued.”
The statement described Mr Okorocha’s involvement with the APC as “ridiculous and unfortunate” as the issue of merging with other parties was not discussed at the party’s last National Executive Committee meeting held last July and during other stakeholder’s meeting of the party.
The statement said the party’s “concern at the moment is to restructure, nurture and build a strong APGA capable of winning elections across the states of Nigeria” and does not intend to merge with any political party.
According to the statement, notable members of the party dissociating themselves from the merger are, Chris Ayanwu (Senator representing Imo Central); Bianca Ojukwu, Nigerian Ambassador to Spain; Eddie Mbadiwe (APGA Leader, House of Reps); Chris Azubogu (House of Reps, Anambra State); Emeke Nwogbo (House of Reps Member, Anambra State); and Victor Ogene (House of Reps Member, Anambra State).
Others are Chris Uche (APGA Deputy National Chairman, South- East); Odi Nwosu, (Nigerian Ambassador to Burundi); Frank Nchita Ogbuewu (former Minister of Culture and Tourism); Reagam Ufomba (2011 APGA Governorship Candidate, Abia State); Obiora Obiegue (2011 APGA Governorship Candidate, Enugu State); Dora Akunyili (Former Minister of Information and Communications); and Chuma Nzeribe (former House of Reps member).