Bola Ahmed Tinubu
By Gboyega Akinsanmi
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Wednesday nsisted that there was no going on the registration of All Progressives Congress (APC), pointing out that its decision to team with other opposition parties was first to put an end the country’s economic and political doldrums.
The party also unveiled the plan to hold its national convention on April 18 at the Onikan Stadium, Lagos where it said all the chieftains and delegates from all the states of the federation would gather with a central purpose of taking common position on the merger arrangement.
The party’s National Leader and architect of the proposed coalition party, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, disclosed the plan at the inauguration of the Apapa-Iganmu Local Council Development Area ultra-modern secretariat located at Gaskiya College Road in Ijora Badia, Lagos.
Tinubu, who was represented by ACN’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Lai Mohammed, urged the party’s members across the country to dismiss all the reports on the controversial registration of certain parties, which had the same acronym with the APC.
He allayed the fear about APC’s registration, stating that all coalition parties including the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and ACN had concluded plans to go ahead with the merger party’s registration.
On the present status of APGA, Tinubu explained that there were two factions, which he said, included APGA-PDP and APGA-APGA, saying the latter, which is part of the merger arrangement, was the authentic APGA and to which Imo State Governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha belonged.
He added that the only original APC in Nigeria today “is the one we established. We are following due process in our attempt to register a formidable opposition party that will cure Nigeria’s socio-economic and political cure. So, nothing can stop registration of the coalition party.”
He said the final stage of the registration “is the convocation of national convention. ACN will hold its own national convention in Onikan Stadium, Lagos on April 18 and other parties too will follow the same process, which is meant to get the consent of their members.”
After the national convention, the former governor of Lagos State said the party would formally write to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) “to make known its decision and resolution to part of the merger party christened All Progressives Congress.
“We are behind the APC. The APC will cure our economic and political problems. Since we unveiled the party, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been in crisis. The ruling party thought we could not forge ahead. But there is no going back. The merger has come to stay.”
Tinubu also condemned alleged plan of the ruling party “to cause confusion over the APC’s registration by sponsoring All Patriotic Congress, African Peoples’ Congress and All Progressive Congress (without letter S), all of which have the same acronym of the authentic APC”.
Also speaking on the occasion, the Chairman of Apapa-Iganmu LCDA, Dr. Adesola Adebayo, commended the ACN leadership for playing strategic roles, which he said, would end the country’s nightmare soon.
The chairman explained that the feat, which the council had attained today, could not have been possible without the doggedness and perseverance of Tinubu who defied the federal government and insisted on the birth and sustenance of the 37 LCDAs in the state.
Adebayo lamented that it was indeed worrisome that in spite of the state’s proximity “to the economic nerve centre of the country, substantial number of our people are still living in slums. There is so much prosperity around us, yet our people continue to wallow in abject poverty.”
With the merger arrangement being perfected, the chairman said the time for change “is now and it begins with re-orientation. A fresh attitude of believe and can do. There is no going back. We must work together to effect meaningful change on the political landscape of Nigeria.”
Other dignitaries in attendance included: First Lady of Lagos State, Mrs. Abimbola Fashola; Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Ademorin Kuye; his predecessor, Mr. Rotimi Agunsoye; Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Mr. Gbolahan Lawal; and former Chief Whip of the House Representatives, Hon. Olawale Oshun, among others.