Alhaji Ibrahim Shekarau
Kwankwaso assures of crisis-free merger
By Onyebuchi Ezigbo and Ibrahim Shuaibu
There are indications that the emergence of the All Progressives Congress (APC) may have saved the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) from a crushing financial crisis that would have rendered it comatose.
According to a report by the party’s National Rebuilding and Inter-party Contact Committee, which recently undertook a fact-finding tour of party formations nationwide, noted that there was chronic lack of funding at the local, state and zonal levels of the party, which had led to a paralysing effect on the ability of the party to carry out its basic activities.
The committee, which was set up in the wake of the clamour for an opposition merger, however, reported an overwhelming support from party members for the on-going merger negotiations.
It also said most of the ANPP members had expressed the view that it will be better to rebuild the party structure as a prelude to the eventual merger with other parties.
THISDAY gathered that based on the far-reaching consequences the report may have on the outcome of the opposition merger, the leadership is convening an emergency meeting of the National Working Committee (NWC) to deliberate on the committee’s report tomorrow.
The report, which captured the views of members in the six geo-political zones, said: “In as much as there is support for the merger plan, the rank and file of the party as well as the leaders in the zone have recommended that a successful merger will only happen if the operations and structures of the ANPP across the country are rebuilt from the ground to the top in the advancement of any such negotiations.”
“In addition, the committee has identified amongst others that a chronic lack of funding at the local, state and zonal levels of the party has had a paralysing effect on the ability of the party to operate, to recruit and to canvass. This too has been negative effects on the party's electoral prospects across the country.”
The states in the zone visited by the committee include: Nassarawa State (North-central zone); Enugu State (South-east); Oyo State (South-west); Bauchi State (North-east); Kaduna State (North-west); and Edo State (South-south).
The report said in all the committee’s meetings with state and zonal delegations, there was an obvious and remarkable groundswell of support in favour of the proposed merger of opposition political parties in the country.
“Most of these who have communicated with the Secretariat in one form or another have expressed their desire to see the project come to fruition and are committed to assisting in the project in any way they can,” the report stated.
On the logo of APC, the report suggested that the logo of the new party should be brand new logo to reflect the rebirth that the new party promises.
And in allaying the fears of some members that the issue of power sharing would cause sharp division within the emerging political party, the ANPP presidential candidate in 2011 election, Alhaji Ibrahim Shekarau, has said the issue of power sharing among political parties merged to form APC will not tear the parties apart, saying this was because all the political parties in APC have resolved that the new party is the only panacea to liberate Nigerians from the 14 years of oppressive rule of the People Democratic Party (PDP).
“The merger parties, the ANPP, Action Congress (ACN) , Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) are equal and none is stronger in any form that the others,” Shekarau said.
Buttressing his point, Shekarau said in the representation of the merger talk, each of the four political parties has 21 members each which formed the 84 members of the entire APC.
Speaking shortly after a vote of confidence were passed on the ANPP on the on-going merger talk with other parties during the stakeholders meeting held at his residence yesterday, Shekarau said the merger of progressive parties in view of bad governance of the ruling party has became highly imperative.
He noted that members of the APC have also realised that none of them can go it alone if they were serious to wrestle power from the ruling party comes 2015 hence the earlier preparation to pull all the like minded progressive parties to form a formidable party ahead of 2015 general election.
“Nigerians need not to fear what will be outcome of this merger plan, we will not disappoint the electorate because we have realised that enough of the PDP oppressive and mismanagement of nation’s resources.
“What we needed from the teeming masses is their collective and concerted prayers and efforts to put all through and save our lives, we will all push out this enemy of progress party called the PDP, it is just a matter of patience,” he said.
Speaking also, Honourable Suleiman Abdurrahman (Kawu Sumaila), said the formation of a united party of progressively-minded people was long overdue, if the opposition was serious to wrest power from the PDP.
He added that the 14 years of ruling of PDP was not only a wasted, but a collective insult on Nigerians, which had to be stopped.