The National Executive Committee, NEC, of the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, on Thursday, resolved that the party would to go ahead with the plan to merge with three other opposition parties despite opposition by some members.
NEC accepted the report presented to it by the leader of the ANPP committee on merger and former Kano State Governor, Ibrahim Shekarau, according to a communiqué signed by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Emma Eneukwu and made available to journalists.
The parties in the merger deal with ANPP are the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, and a faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA.
NEC, therefore, approved the expulsion of a member of the party in Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Isah Bala, for leading a group of members under the aegis of Stakeholders Forum, to oppose the merger, last week
Mr Bala had, at a press conference in Bwari, a suburb of Abuja, given the party a seven-day ultimatum to withdraw from the proposed merger, alleging that the ACN had hijacked it.
The communiqué said, “The All Nigeria Peoples Party has expelled Mallam Isah Bala, the Bwari Area Council ANPP member who alleged that ACN is hijacking the merger of oppositions while advising the party to pull out of the APC, for contravening party rules and regulations as stipulated in Article 24:1, Sub-section 1 and 2 of the 2006 Constitution, reviewed edition.
“This was one of the resolutions of the National Executive Committee of the ANPP which met today at the party’s national secretariat; the NEC adopted the recommendation of the National Working Committee to suspend and expel the errant member, Mallam Bala.”
NEC also constituted a 23-member National Convention Committee, NCC, to organize the party’s convention, where the merger would be ratified by the party members.
The NCC is headed by the Zamfara State Governor, Abdulazeez Yari, with Mr Eneukwu as Secretary.
Other resolutions adopted are the establishment of the ANPP Special/Diaspora branches in the United States, Togo, Benin Republic and Ghana as well as the appointment of a new Deputy National Chairman (South) of the party, Solomon Edevbiri on the recommendation of the National Working Committee, NWC.
Mr Edevbiri replaced the party’s vice presidential candidate in the 2011 election, John Odigie-Oyegun, who resigned from the party.
Declaring the meeting open earlier, the National Chairman of ANPP, Ogbonnaya Onu, apparently referring to the merger with three other parties, said the decision reached by the NEC members would determine their place in history and earn it the trust of Nigerians.
“Most distinguished leaders of our great Party, the decision we take today, will determine our place in history tomorrow. We must resolve to think more of a better future for our children and think less of what will profit us today,” he said.
According to Mr Onu, apart from going into the merger to save the country, ANPP would benefit from it in a number of ways.
He said, “The merger we seek with other opposition political parties is for the sake of our country. The point is simple; the more, the merrier; the bigger the number, the better for us. I believe the ANPP should be part of efforts made by committed democrats and resolute patriots to provide Nigerians with a broad, strong and a united alternative political Party that can return power to our people and redefine the role of politics in our development process.
“Our Party will benefit in such an arrangement because it will expand our horizon. This will make Nigerians love us even more, because they will see us as a body of honourable men and women who sacrificed self gain in the pursuit of the happiness of their fellow citizens and the greatness of our beloved country.
“What achievement can be greater for us as leaders, when history will record us as soldiers of honour and champions of justice, who fought for freedom and liberty and placed others above self so that good governance will thrive in a more prosperous, more peaceful, more secure and a more united Nigeria.”
Mr Onu reminded NEC members that Nigerians were waiting for them because they were tired of misrule, poverty, joblessness, hunger, misery and insecurity, adding, “We must remember that they desire change and a new political order where no one political party can take them for granted, act with impunity, disregard the laws of the nation and boast to remain in power for ever.
He said, “Above all, we must remember that as things stand in our dear nation, only the All Progressives Congress, APC, has the ability to cure our dear nation of its headache and secure the happiness of our fellow country men and women, guarantee a better future for our beloved country as well as strengthen our great Party as an equal partner in the marriage of like minds that will chart a better future for our beloved country.”