ANPP’s National Publicity Secretary, Chief Emma Eneukwu
By Onyebuchi Ezigbo
The All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) has challenged the sponsors of the group opposed to its participation in the ongoing opposition parties' merger talks to come forward and defend their position rather than hide under a faceless stakeholders’ forum.
The party described the action of the group as the handiwork of some 'ghost political mischief-makers' yet on another round trip to scuttle the progress the All Progressives Congress (APC) was making as the emerging platform for the nation's progressives.
ANPP said in a statement issued Monday by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Emma Eneukwu, that the party's attention was drawn to media reports last Friday whereby a so-called ANPP Stakeholders' Forum in Usuman ward of Bwari Area Council in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), by the name Mallam Isah Bala, in a letter addressed to the National Chairman of the party, alleged that the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) was trying to hijack the merger of opposition parties.
In the report, the group which also raised fears of a possible collapse of the opposition merger, had advised ANPP to withdraw from the ongoing merger talks.
However, the ANPP said by rushing to the media to state their dislike for the merger, Bala had shown that he was not a genuine party member.
"This is for the obvious reason that if the author were a true member of our great party, he would surely know the right channels to air his opinions and grievances to the party, and also the processes to deploy in advising the party leadership.
"We wish to state categorically that if not for the lone signature and particulars of Mallam Bala fully delineated in the advert, we would have ignored the initial media reports as the handiwork of some ghost political mischief-makers yet on another round trip to scuttle the progress the APC is making as the emerging platform for the nation's progressives.
"We are confident to assert that concerning party politics and ancillary best practices, the ANPP can hold its head high as an icon of internal democracy in our nation today. This is an intrinsic particular in all our membership and leadership from top to bottom; and this calls to question Mallam Isah’s motive in his present antics.
"For sure, he is sponsored, tele-guided and used by the same forces that have been doing all things possible to foil the merger of the opposition in Nigeria. Therefore, we dare these shadow puppet masters to show their face if they are not shamelessly imploding with blatant failure in their unpatriotic enterprise."
The party stated that it was aware of the capacity and abilities of Bala and that he did not have the intellectual fibre or material resource to research and pen the said letter, or to fund the publication of a full page colour advert in a national daily.
"Moreover, the fact that he signed the document alone simply means that there are no stakeholders anywhere; he just manufactured a fictitious platform (so-called Concerned ANPP Stakeholders' Forum) to claim the paltry pittance from his dumb patrons. We challenge his funders to name other members of the phantom forum.
"As a responsible party, and a believer in democratic best practices, the ANPP shall treat this case via the appropriate constitutional mechanisms of our great party with all diligence. We also wish to use this opportunity to call on all our teeming members and supporters not to concede an inch of space to these desperate agitators from outside bent on casting a spanner in the patriotic and historic task we have willingly and diligently embarked on with other progressives in our great nation.
"As a party, we believe that history will not forgive us if we fail to act now to save our great nation from the decade-and-half old strangle-hold of the ruling party on our blessed and greatly endowed country," it said.