General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd)
•APGA Faults Okorocha, Okonkwo
By Onwuka Nzeshi and Onyebuchi Ezeigbo
Deputy National Chairman, All Progressive Grand Alliance(APGA), Chief. Uche Ejike has described the merger of the Action Congress of Nigeria(ACN), All Nigeria Peoples Party and Congress for Progressive Change(CPC) as a marriage of strange bed fellows, predicting that the coalition will collapse within the next six months.
This is as former Health Minister and only surviving member of APGA Board of Trustees, Dr. Tim Menakaya, also faulted the presence of Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and Senator Anie Okonkwo at the formation of the mega party in Lagos, insisting that at no time did the party leadership delegate them to the function.
The prediction came barely forty eight hours after some opposition political parties announced that they had merged to form a new party, All Progressive Congress (APC) to wrestle power from the Peoples Democratic Party in 2015.
“You see that mega party, I wish those behind it luck. But I tell you that the mega party is made up of strange bed fellows. Yes, there are strong personalities there but I give the party six months. It will fall apart soon, it can only be together between now and the next six months,” Ejike said.
On Thursday, members of the opposition in both chambers of the National Assembly met and endorsed the merger, claiming that APGA was one of the parties in the political marriage.
But Ejike who spoke on behalf of the National Chairman of APGA, Chief Victor Umeh, said that APGA was not one of the parties in the merger. APGA, Ejike said already had an alliance with the ruling party and was not in a hurry to terminate the accord.
“As the Deputy National Chairman of the party, I have to say unequivocally that APGA is not part of the so called merger. I need to let all Nigerians know; I need to let our followers and all the people who are interested in our party to know that APGA is not part of the group called mega party.
“There was no point in time when the National Working Committee(NWC) deliberated on it as to drag APGA into it. There was no meeting whatsoever on that and I know that by virtue of the constitution of APGA, the only competent body that can decide where the party will go is the National Working Committee(NWC) of our party. Like in 2011 , the NWC agreed to work with President Jonathan and that agreement is still subsisting today.
“By the way, 2015 is still very far. What we are seeing now is that some people are trying to come in by proxy and pull a wool over our eyes. I have to warn, as a deputy national chairman of the party, that anybody thinking that he can drag APGA into the merger by proxy is wasting his time,” Ejike said.
Menakaya who also addressed the press in Abuja and flanked by Ifedi Okenwa described the presence of Rochas and Okonkwo as ridiculous, pointing out that before such an action would only be taken at a National Executive Committee level which did not take place and therefore invalid.
“We wish to make it clear that we have nothing against the formation of any mega opposition party, but we categorically state that APGA has never participated in any merger talk with any political party and is therefore not in the merger. We were never consulted by anybody before such statement of our involvement was issued."