Senator Ali Modu Sheriff
Onyebuchi Ezigbo â€¨in Abujaâ€¨
There are indications that a clash of interests is beginning to manifest within ranks of members of the opposition coalition as the leaders of the merging parties thursday failed to resolve a disagreement over the modalities for establishing an interim leadership for the new platform, All Progressives Congress (APC).
Another fallout from the ongoing merger process is the brewing crisis of confidence which has apparently pitted the merger committees of the parties against their party leadership.
THISDAY gathered that top leadership of the parties made up of presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, national leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Senator Bola Tinubu and national chairmen of the three parties met behind closed doors on Wednesday night at Lagos House in Abuja.
A source told THISDAY that the meeting, which was meant to push a proposed leadership structure that will have the ACN produce the APC interim chairman while the CPC and the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) fill the national secretary and deputy national chairmanship slots respectively, became contentious with the ANPP protesting the arrangement.
Just as the discussion began on the composition of APC structure, ANPP delegation raised objection on the draft proposal for sharing of interim offices.
Leading the ANPP's opposition was the Chairman of the ANPP Board of Trustees, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, who argued that with the status of the party with three states under its control, it would be improper to allocate to it an inconsequential position.
He argued that ANPP should be allowed to produce the interim national chairman of APC until elections are conducted. Although the meeting agreed in principle to consider the ANPP's complaint, the leaders could not reach any agreement on option to adopt.
"What they did yesterday was full of intrigues. They invited Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu as the only representative of ANPP to met with others, including Buhari and Tinubu so that they can convince him to accept the plan to cede the interim leadership of APC to ACN and CPC, " the source said.
Another issue that arose during the meeting is the issue of the choice of the national secretariat for APC.
There were divergent views over the offer to use the present office of one the parties as a temporary secretariat but in the end majority supported the search for a neutral place.
After the stalemated meeting Wednesday night, the leaders of the merging parting reconvened for another talks yesterday afternoon at the same venue in Abuja. However, the meeting again failed to reach any final agreement on the composition of interim party structure.
But it agreed to step the issue down for the meantime and urged all chairmen and secretaries of the three parties to ensure that they sign all the documents that will be submitted to INEC in furtherance of the application for registration of APC.