Opposition party says the composition of the interim leadership of the merger is balanced between Christians and Muslims.
The Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, has strongly condemned what it calls a persistent campaign of calumny against the All Progressives Congress (APC), describing the attempt to use “ethno-religious sentiments” to destroy the budding party as a cheap shot that has fallen flat on the faces of the purveyors of falsehood.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the party however thanked Nigerians for rejecting the attempt, going by their reactions on the social media where the latest campaign, it claimed, is being waged by those who are hell bent on perpetuating mediocre leadership in Nigeria.
The composition of the national leadership of the yet to be registered APC has been alleged to be lopsided in favour of the Islamic faithful with the offices of the interim Chairman, Deputy Chairman, National Secretary, Deputy National Secretary, National Treasurer, National Publicity Secretary and other key positions occupied by Muslims drawn from the parties merging.
The parties are the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, Democratic Peoples Party, DPP, a section of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, and ACN.
”These purveyors of falsehood do not want good governance. That’s why they are peddling the lies that the interim leadership of the APC is controlled by Muslims, and that it did not reflect the country’s plural value,” the party said.
”The truth is that while ethno-religious sentiments did not form the criteria used in selecting the interim leadership, we were conscious that Nigeria is a country of plural values. That is why we have 17 Christians and 18 Muslims (the best balance possible in the odd number of 35 posts that were shared). That is why the 35 occupiers of the positions are from 29 different states, four more than the 25 stipulated by INEC. It was equal opportunity across all zones!”
ACN challenged anyone who doubts the authenticity of the facts and figures quoted above to verify them at INEC, instead of taking to the social media to spread rumours.
The party described the latest attempt to abort the APC baby as the last-ditch effort by those who have mounted similar campaigns against the party in the past, to no avail.
It stressed, “First, they ambushed us by duplicating our acronym, sponsored of course by those who are well known to Nigerians and, when that failed to slow down our momentum, they said the sharing of posts will divide us and ultimately sound our death knell.
“With these moves having failed woefully, they have now played what they considered their most potent joker: the ethno-religious card. Thankfully, this too has failed. Nigerians are so desirous of good governance that they will not allow any play on sentiments to shake their resolve,” it said.
The opposition party said the promoters of the APC are so determined to give Nigeria the good leadership that has eluded the country for so long that they have decided to shelve their differences and make whatever sacrifices that are necessary to achieve their objective.
ACN appealed to all Nigerians who want an end to the rapacious and incompetent leadership currently plaguing their country to continue to disregard the attempts by enemies of progress to sabotage the birth of the APC, in addition to being vigilant in the days ahead, saying: ”After all, it is said that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”