ANPP National Chairman, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu
By Onyebuchi Ezigbo
The National Chairman of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu Friday said the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will witness mass exodus of its members as soon the All Progress Congress (APC) is registered.
Onu, who spoke in an interview with selected journalists in Abuja, said already some members of the PDP have shown interest in joining APC as soon as the party is registered with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“Some people in the PDP have already contacted some of us that they will be willing to come and work with us. So we are going to have many people leaving the ruling party to work with us. Some may even be there and still work with us even though we won’t encourage that, we prefer their coming out. So we are very optimistic that we will win," he said.
On whether the opposition merger would not again fail to materialize, Onu said although there have been many hurdles on its way but because Nigerians want it, APC will succeed.
He said APC is in a hurry to sort all technical issues required of the merger before the election period gets too close so as to avoid the mistakes of the past.
"Because, the voice of people is voice of God we are very optimistic that we would succeed even though other efforts in the past failed," he said.
Speaking on the time frame given to the sub-committees to draft a constitution and manifesto for the party, Onu said due to the sheer determination to succeed the members of the committee will not disappoint.
“I believe that two weeks given to them and with the commitment and enthusiasm they have exhibited as they continue to meet, they will do very well. Don’t forget that if they don’t continue their work they can ask for extension of time. Don’t forget we are in a hurry to sort out all these matters before it’s getting close to the election because that is why in the past all these efforts failed.
“If you allow matters get close to election many things come on board but if you can sort them out now and then move into managing the success. Because the victory must be managed efficiently otherwise you will have problem.
"It is even a daunting task to manage the success that is coming out of this merger. Because there will be some people who begin to think that because things didn’t go this way we begin to have change of heart. So there must be fairness and justices to enable us manage the success. We will do very well," he said.
Onu also ruled out any controversy over the issue of candidates to led the opposition merger, saying the parties made a commitment not to bring any precondition to the negotiating table.
He said contrary to insinuations that the APC merger was made up of strange bedfellows who have no ideological base, the constituents of the merger party have clear ideological inclination as progressives.
"I must say we made it very clear from the beginning that what we want as a party is merger. Then the second thing is we also said we are going into the negotiations without any preconditions. Luckily for us all the other constituting political parties are coming with no pre-conditions so how can we fail? If there is no pre-condition it means anything can be discusses.
"If you look at how we came up with this name, you will know that it was possible because there were no preconditions that people were not holding to anything like it must be this or nothing.
“So we don’t have any fears. Many of those who are behind this exercise know that it would succeed. Don’t forget that when people like something that by its self builds its own momentum. But one other reasons why we are not thinking of failure but success is because we have enough time to correct mistakes we make.
“But if these have come close to election time, yes your fears can be given some level of credibility. But we have enough time now to make any corrections to move in a different direction now if we had thought if that is the best way to go. And the people are determined because what is before us is the interest of Nigeria, the time has come to put the interest of Nigeria and African first. For you to do so whatever it takes, you will be willing so I don’t have any fears at all.”