Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN)
By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday refuted claims that the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), one of the four parties that formed the All Progressives Congress (APC), is being railroaded into the coalition of opposition parties.
ACN, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, while clarifying the situation under which APGA was included in the membership of the APC, said it was an act of good faith based on available information and prevailing circumstances, rather than a deliberate act to mislead Nigerians or force APGA into the merger.
APGA, in a statement by its Board of Trustees member, Dr. Tim Menakaya, had said the party was never consulted before its name was mentioned as one of the parties that formed the APC.
He said the leadership of APGA had also frowned on the action of two top members of the party, Imo State Governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha and Senator Annie Okonkwo, for attempting to drag the party into a merger without proper authorisation.
However, ACN said the new party has absolute respect for the rights of individuals or groups on whether or not to associate within a democracy.
Explaining how APGA was included on the list of parties that consummated the merger, it said it acted based on the representation of Okorocha and Okonkwo that APGA was interested in the merger.
“They participated effectively and positively in the meeting of all governors of the parties concerned and in the meetings of the merger committees of the parties, leading to the communiqué released by all the governors endorsing the merger and the one by the merger committees announcing the formation of the APC,’’ it said.
However, the ACN said going by Menakaya’s statement , the APC had been made to realise that there was division in APGA over its involvement in the merger.
The ACN explained that since it is not only parties that can join APC, individuals and groups interested in being members of the party would be welcomed.
‘’In spite of this, and since democracy is about choice, alignments and re-alignments hinged on the fundamentals of individual freedom of association, we respect their position, and will like to describe as unfortunate whatever misconception the purported full involvement of APGA in the merger may have generated,” the party added.