APC leaders disagree over sharing of party positions

All Progressives Congress

Complexities arise in the merger of the four Nigerian opposition parties into the APC.

There are strong indications that some of the four political parties that merged into the All Progressives Congress, APC, have differed sharply on the proposed modalities for sharing positions in the new association.

The parties in the merger are the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN; Congress for Progressive Change, CPC; All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP; and a faction of All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA.

The association postponed its meeting earlier slated for Thursday April 4 to Monday April 8, owing to the inability of some key members to return from their trips abroad.

The meeting was to take a final look at all documents relating to the merger in readiness for its application for registration to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

The documents are to be presented to members of the four parties at their respective convention for approval in line with Section 84 (3) (a) of the Electoral Act 2011.

The section states that “a special resolution passed by each of the political parties proposing to merge, approving the merger.”

Section 84 (3) of the Electoral Act 2011 requires the National Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer of each of the merging political parties to sign the request for merger to INEC.

The disagreement

Ahead of the meeting, some of the parties are said to have expressed discomfort at the recommendations of a subcommittee of the Joint Inter-Party Merger Committee, JIMC, which states that positions in the association should be based either on the strength of each of the four parties in the National Assembly or the result of the 2011 general elections, both at the federal and state levels.

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PREMIUM TIMES had exclusively reported on the suggested modalities of sharing of party positions.

But the two modalities, some party leaders who spoke off the record said, may favour one political party, the ACN against the others.

The ACN currently has the highest number of legislators. In the Senate, the party has 26 members with 71 of its members in the House of Representatives, bringing the total to 97.

ANPP has seven senators and 27 of its members in the House of Representatives bringing the total to 34.

On its parts, CPC has a total of 47 members in the National Assembly with seven in the Senate and 40 in the lower legislative chamber.

APGA has only one senator and seven representatives.

The national leaderships of ANPP and CPC are reportedly not comfortable with the proposals, which it believes will short-change it, if eventually adopted.

It was learnt that the two parties are already putting together the position they will present before the meeting. It could not be confirmed immediately what their positions are as it is still under wraps.

The National Publicity Secretary of ANPP, Emma Eneukwu, says it is not appropriate to say the party is not comfortable with the recommendations.

He explained that modalities were merely recommendations of subcommittee of the Merger Committee, which has to be debated upon before a final decision is taken.

“What you are saying is just the recommendation of a subcommittee which will be subjected to discussion. It is not the final decision and so it is not for anybody to be angry or to be comfortable with,” Mr. Eneukwu told PREMIUM TIMES in a telephone interview.

The CPC Spokesman, Rotimi Fashakin, confirmed the disagreement but expressed optimism that the matter would be resolved.

“We disagree to agree,” Mr. Fashakin told PREMIUM TIMES. “Even the issue of logo, we disagreed on it but finally agreed. This one too, we will agree at a point.”

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