The ACE expressed worry over INEC’s poor preparations for 2015 polls.
The emerging All Progressives Congress, APC, has been challenged to provide Nigerians with viable alternative programmes with a view to engendering competition in the nation’s democratic project.
APC is the proposed merger of four parties, namely Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, and the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA.
While endorsing the proposed merger, a group, Alliance for Credible Elections, ACE, warned at the weekend that, the coalition should not just come to the political scene with the impression that it is coming to grab power from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, but should think of viable programmes that could transform the lives of Nigerians.
ACE General Secretary, Emma Ezeazu, told journalists in Abuja, that building strong opposition has become critical in the country so as to engender competition and development.
“Many of us in civil society welcome the idea of merger of opposition political parties given our conviction that strengthened opposition politics is not only fundamental to a virile democratic space but will also lead to improvement in the quality of governance,” Mr. Ezeazu said.
“It is important that the APC demonstrates convincingly to Nigerians that it is not just interested in grabbing power from the PDP but in effecting real transformation in the quality of lives of ordinary Nigerians. Nigerians are not interested in replacing one behemoth with another hydra headed monster.
“The APC must therefore show that it is not only offering superior value but that its idea of progressive politics unambiguously cuts an image distance from the current dysfunction in Nigeria’s political arena,” he said.
Mr. Ezeazu asked APC to allow its constitution provide a clear departure from the exclusive, discriminatory, mundane, non-issue based, non-ideological and clientele politics which it (APC) accuses the PDP of.
“This can only happen when the APC party instruments; Constitution and manifesto, sufficiently accommodate the concerns of the vulnerable; women, youths and persons living with disabilities.
Mr. Ezeazu said that, “If the Constitution, manifesto and leadership of the APC fail to connect to the expectations of long suffering Nigerians, the proposed merger party would leave even its chief competitor; the PDP, with the euphoric feeling- what is the difference between the pot and the kettle”.
He also complained about the inability of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to begin preparations for the 2015 general elections.
He appealed to the commission to make concrete arrangement on logistic, as lack of preparation could diminish the credibility of the polls.