The opposition party said it is still consulting on choice of its interim executives.
After weeks of discussions, which culminated in concessions and sacrifices among its members, the All Progressives Congress, APC, has finally submitted application to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, seeking its registration as a political party.
After a four-hour meeting in Abuja with other members, a member of the Joint Inter-Party Merger Committee, JIMC, of the association, Tom Ikimi, who briefed journalists on its outcome, said the application signed by the national chairmen, national secretary, and the national treasurer of the three parties, was submitted to the Commission last Friday.
He, however, said consultations on the membership of the interim executive of the association are still on, an indication that the parties are yet to reach a common position on the issue.
APC is the merger of five opposition political parties, namely the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN; Congress for Progressive Parties, CPC; All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP: the Democratic Peoples Party, DPP; and a section of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA.
Mr. Ikimi explained that only the officials of ACN, CPC and ANPP signed the document sent to INEC because they are the only ones that have done their national conventions where the plan to merge into APC was endorsed by their members in line with the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
“The document sent to INEC was signed statutorily by the national chairman, the national secretary and national treasurers of each of the merging parties and for now only three parties have done conventions – ACN, ANPP and CPC and these are the ones authorised to have those documents signed. That is they are nine people who have signed those documents.
“The request was submitted, I understand, last Friday. The request for the approval of the merging parties has been submitted and signed by the three signatories that are authorised to sign,” Mr. Ikimi, who heads ACN Merger Committee, said.
Mr. Ikimi, who was flanked by the chairman of the CPC Merger Committee, Abubakar Gadi; and that of ANPP, Ibrahim Shekarau; said the JIMC could not conclude discussion on the membership of the interim management committee of APC, because of the need to make further consultations on the issue.
“That is being discussed, that is being worked out,” he said. And we need to consult further with our various parties in order to agree to those names.”
The former foreign affairs minister denied claim that there was disagreement among the parties on the sharing of positions.
He said, “There is no disagreement. We as merging committee, we are through and we had a hitch-free meeting this afternoon and have made some very fundamental decisions and one of the decisions is that we should consult further with our various parties.”
He explained that the JIMC has worked assiduously for more than four months and has achieved remarkable progress towards the merger of the parties to form the APC.
According to him, the committee was able to conclude work amicably on the choice of name, logo, slogan, symbol, a constitution and a manifesto, adding that this permitted the merging parties to hold hitch-free conventions in Lagos, Abuja and Gusau, respectively.
He added, “I am aware that millions of Nigerians await the final registration of our new party the APC so that they can avail themselves the opportunity to take up its membership.
“The plan, hope and commitment of the Merger Committee are that the new party will be broad-based, open and truly belong to all its members equally.
“To this end we have all subscribed to our new constitution and it defines, quite clearly, the leadership structure of the party. This principle underscores equality and fair play among party members without prejudice.”
Mr. Ikimi said APC would strive to guarantee transparency and internal party democracy particularly at this stage of registration, stressing “We expect all of us involved in the process to also subscribe to and respect these fundamental principles.”