- Last Updated on 11 February 2013
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The All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) was included as a member of the newly formed alliance for opposition parties, the All Progressive Congress (APC), as an act of good faith based on available information and prevailing circumstances and not a deliberate act to mislead Nigerians or railroad APGA into the merger, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has clarified.
Reacting to APGA's disclaimer of the APC, ACN's National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, issued a statement in Abuja on Sunday, saying the new party has absolute respect for the rights of individuals or groups to choice/freedom of association within a democracy.
Explaining how APGA made it to the list of parties that consummated the merger, the ACN said the person and statuses of Rochas Okorocha, who as Imo governor has been a great player and figure in Nigerian political landscape, as well as Senator Annie Okonkwo, a seasoned politician and respectable lawmaker, were considered.
“We believe in their representation that APGA is interested in the merger, hence we worked with them in good faith,” he said.
“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 communique released by all the governors endorsing the merger and the one by the merger committees announcing the formation of
But ACN observed that the statement signed on behalf of some APGA members by Dr. Tim Menakaya, clearly signposts to the APC dissent in the rank and file of APGA.
“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.
“We also assure APGA that we are willing to work with the party whenever it normalises its internal process and is ready to join the platform. We all remain brethren within the Nigerian family and our doors remain open, in the spirit of the new party.”
ACN further encouraged progressive-minded individuals and groups to join APC, saying membership is not restricted to political parties alone.
“On this basis, therefore, individuals such as the Imo State Governor and others of like mind are still considered members of the APC,” the statement added, reiterating commitment to the merger of the ACN, CPC and ANPP in a final push to “rescue” the country.
“We proudly inform Nigerians that APC is large enough to accommodate all those who are tired of the sorry state of our nation today and are ready to join in the quest for a positive change that will benefit all Nigerians.
“We do not intend to shut our doors at anyone who wants to be part of the APC, a platform for all progressives, irrespective of party affiliation, to help steer our nation's ship of state, which is currently being battered by turbulent waves, to safety, since the captain and the rest of the crew have either escaped below the deck or are busy fighting themselves, having lost all initiatives to save the ship.”