The leadership of the merging political parties under the auspices of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has agreed on the formula to be adopted in sharing key offices in the higher hierarchy of the party.
Going by the arrangement, each of the merging parties which includes the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and a group from the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) led by Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha will have representation of seven persons in the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) and the National Executive Committee (NEC). Already, the position of National Chairman has been zoned to the ACN, National Secretary CPC, National Treasurer ANPP and National Organising Secretary; Okorocha-led group in the APC. Out of the persons that will be nominated by the concerned parties, 11 members will control the APC National Working Committee. Because of the peculiar nature of APGA, its seven representatives are not coming on board under the toga of a party due to lingering leadership tussle between Chief Victor Umeh and Barr.Maxi Okwu. As part of procedure for registration, the APC had submitted the list that contained the names of the three National Chairmen, National Secretaries (3) and National Treasurers (3) of the merging parties because they are the signatories to the accounts of each of the parties. They are not only the authorized persons that can sign legal documents representing their parties, but are also going to be signatories to register the new party because they are legal signatories. Reliable sources said the Caretaker Leadership of the APC would be announced after the formal registration with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). At present, there has not been any concrete decision on which party will take the chairmanship position of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the APC as it is still under consultation. Last Tuesday, the leadership of the three merging political parties announced that they had finally approached INEC to merge into one, without announcing interim officers as speculated. Chief Tom Ikimi; spokesperson for the merger committee of the three political parties, who spoke after a meeting in Abuja, said the national chairmen, secretaries and treasurers of the three parties had submitted their letters of intent to merge to INEC penultimate Friday. Ikimi, was flanked at the briefing by both the former Governor of Kano State, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau ANPP and a former Deputy Governor of Bauchi State, Alhaji Mohammed Gadi CPC, said they were satisfied with the submission of letters of intent to merge and that the request was already pending before the electoral body. He said the final document for registration in accordance with INEC regulations has to be signed by the National Chairman, National Secretary and National Treasurer of each of the merging parties, dismissing the insinuations that the merging committee was unable to agree on who should lead the APC in the interim. He said the names of prospective interim leaders were being discussed and that representatives of each merging party and some sections of APGA and the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) had been mandated to report back to the leaders of their group on the matter. Ikimi said, “That is being discussed and it is being worked out and we need to consult further with our various parties in order to agree with those names. “There are no disagreements and we as merging parties are working and we had a fruitful meeting this afternoon and we have made fundamental decisions. “One of the decisions is that we should now consult further with our various parties (on the names of those to lead the newly formed party).” He voiced pleasure over the point that the Merging Committee had been able to conclude work on the choice of name, logo, slogan, symbol, constitution and a manifesto of the new party, saying this had made it possible for the merging parties to hold their conventions. Ikimi also expressed satisfaction that Nigerians were waiting for the final registration of the party so that they could avail themselves the opportunity of joining the APC, assuring them that the new party would be broad-based, open and truly belong to all its members equally. He said, “To this end, we have all subscribed to our new constitution (in the APC) and it defines, quite clearly, the leadership structure of the party. “This principle underscored equality and fair play among party members without prejudice. “We will therefore strive to guarantee transparency and internal party democracy, particularly at this stage of registration. “We expect all of us involved in the process to also subscribe to and respect the fundamental principles. “Everyone committed to providing our country this platform of change must be prepared to make the necessary sacrifice.” Spokespersons for the ACN and CPC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and Mr Rotimi Fashakin also assured Nigerians that there was no crisis within the ranks of the members of the merging political parties. Mohammed said the leaders of the new party were confident that INEC would soon issue them the letters of registration and that the non-submission of the interim leaders of the party to the electoral body would not have any negative effect on its registration. Asked if the leaders of the merging political parties had agreed on the sharing formula of those that would make the list of the interim committee, Mohammed said, “You will know in due course. “Let me tell you one thing, nobody would stampede us and no amount of pressure would make us do what we know is not proper.” He said the merger would be the first time such would happen in the country, adding that its promoters would not be distracted with criticisms because “we know we are on the right course.” The meeting was attended by Imo State Governor Okorocha; former Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa; and a former National Chairman of the PDP, Chief Audu Ogbeh.