OPPOSITION MERGER: Can this APC cure headache?

Published:11 Feb, 2013

APCThose of us who doubted the seriousness of the merger bid by some opposition political parties may now have a rethink: they have announced a merger. In fact, they have pronounced a name for their new unified platform: All Progressives Congress (APC). If you are thirty years and above you may be tempted to think the new platform is named after a famous headaches and pains relieving pill which was popular, along with Cafenol, Phensic and Aspro in those days.

Have they formed this party to, figuratively speaking, relieve Nigeria of its chronic aches and pains inflicted upon it by thirteen years of unbroken rule by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP); a party that is growing bigger and bigger in spite of its poor performance reputation? Will it succeed in its avowed mission to stop the emergence of Nigeria as a “one party state”? What can it do towards achieving this? We will address these later. Let us deal with first things first.

APC is obviously the synthesis of names of the four political parties – Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Nigerian People’s Party (ANPP), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).


Sign of  seriousness

Though we were promised that a new party would emerge around June 2013, it was a sign of the seriousness of the promoters that a merger and a name for the proposed party were unveiled four months earlier. Ten governors of the constituent parties met in Lagos on Tuesday, February 5th 2013 and took a group photograph that adorned the national dailies’ front pages the following day. This is not the first time the various failed merger talks came this far, and then collapsed. In 1963/64 the first attempt to unseat a dominant party in power, the Northern People’s Congress (NPC), was attempted by the National Council for Nigerian Citizens (NCNC) and the Obafemi Awolowo faction of the Action Group (AG) among others. It was called the United Progressives Grand Alliance (UPGA). In response, the ruling NPC went into a counter-alliance with the Samuel Akintola faction of the AG and other smaller parties and formed the Nigerian National Alliance (NNA).

But by the time the 1964 federal parliamentary elections and the 1965 regional parliamentary polls took place, the UPGA had collapsed. Each of the parties went into the polls with their original identities.

Once upon a merger: The same thing happened in 1982 when the so-called twelve progressive governors of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), Nigerian People’s Party (NPP), People’s Redemption Party (PRP) and the Great Nigerian People’s Party (GNPP) met in Lagos and announced their intention to contest the 1983 general elections as People’s Progressive Alliance (PPA). That effort not only failed due to the unwillingness of the leaders of the parties to bury their respective ambitions (not to talk of the predatory antics of the ruling National Party of Nigeria) all the parties to the botched merger came out of the 1983 elections shrinking from twelve to six states! If the military had not intervened their worst fear of a one party state would probably have come true in 1987.

With this stigmatising history of failed alliances in mind, supporters of the new platform must realise that they The APC will need someone with the neutral, non-dominant ethnic attributes of an Adams Oshiomhole to stand as its presidential candidate. He can speak forcefully and with a telling impact across the nation’s ethno-religious fault lines.e Rubicon. Crossing it is the onerous challenge. The only way we will know that they have crossed it into the Promised Land of a unified “mega party” is if they stay together and contest the 2015 elections as APC, and not ACN, ANPP, APGA and CPC. They have three major hurdles to scale in order to get there.

The first one is overcoming their provincial attributes. ACN is dominant in the West. ANPP has never won any state outside the core Muslim North. APGA was specifically formed as an Igbo Party, and Governor Okorocha is only leading the Imo faction into this merger. The CPC is not only a northern Muslim Party favoured by the downtrodden, especially the al majiri, it is a party tied specifically to retired Major General Muhammadu Buhari. Apart from the ACN, the other three parties did not field credible candidates or make much effort to campaign outside their respective regions in the 2011 general polls. We wait to see what their followers will do if their respective leaders did not “capture” the strategic leadership positions in the new party.

Clear ideology: Secondly, they must come out with a clear ideological direction and programmes of action that made the Second Republic political parties easy to choose from. Their processes of nomination of candidates must do away with the oga so pe (the master said) syndrome, which threatens to ruin the ACN and CPC, and which Okorocha intends to adopt in his avowed ambition to capture all the states of the South East. Their leaders, particularly the CPC and ANPP elements, must begin to adjust to the demands of nationalism, rather than seeing the Muslim north as all there is to Nigeria.

They must be willing to share power equitably, taking all Nigerians along. That is what PDP has had from day one, which has helped sustain it as a strong national political party.

Finally, the new party must sit down and begin the search for credible candidates not only to run the party but more importantly to stand for the presidency and vice presidency. This is where they face their greatest challenge. Muhammadu Buhari and Ahmed Tinubu may ruin the party irretrievably if they insist on running for president or as a presidential pair. The APC will need someone with the neutral, non-dominant ethnic attributes of an Adams Oshiomhole to stand as its presidential candidate. He can speak forcefully and with a telling impact across the nation’s ethno-religious fault lines.

The task ahead is enormous, and it takes true pioneers and nationalists to reach the destination the APC is eyeing. Many have failed before. But if this experiment succeeds and we have two dominant, clearly different national parties to choose from, then our democracy will succeed.


– by Ochereome Nnanna

Read original article via Vanguard

Related Posts

Recent Posts

After 42 Days In Kidnappers’ Den: Corps Member, Teachers, Guard Freed

Exactly 42 days after being in the kidnappers den, a National Youth Corps member, three teachers and a security guard at the State Secondary School in Agban-Ndele in Ndele community in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State, have regained their freedom.   It was not clear at press time if ransom was paid and how much.   The Paramount ruler of Ndele community, Eze Godwin Iraowusi, confirmed the report Wednesday morning but gave no further details.   The corps member, three teachers and the...

President Buhari To Have Final Say On Decision For MTN N1.4 trillion Fine

It appears the onus if on President Muhammadu Buhari, to take a decision on the issue of the N1.4 trillion fine imposed on MTN Nigeria bu the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC). Adebayo Shittu, the Minister of Communications, made this disclosure on Tuesday, at the Alliance 4 Affordable Internet Nigeria Coalition conference in Lagos. He said the fine imposed on MTN was in the interest of Nigerians, adding that the telecommunications company had already apologised, and...

N1tn fine: Buhari’ll Decide MTN’s Fate, Says Minister

The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, said on Tuesday that President Muhammadu Buhari would decide MTN Nigeria’s fate regarding the N1.04tn fine imposed on it by the Nigerian Communications Commission.   He stated that the President would take the final decision on the matter at the appropriate time and “in the public interest.” The minister also said that Buhari’s decision would be on the basis that the “government and MTN are on the same page that rules had been...

Cocu: I Hope Man Utd Fans Don’t Boo Moreno

The Mexican defender is expected to be targeted by the home fans after he injured Luke Shaw in their last encounter but the PSV coach hopes that is not the case PSV coach Philip Cocu is hopeful Manchester United supporters will be forgiving of Hector Moreno, who inflicted a broken leg on

“I’ve No Doubt HID Awolowo Is In Heaven” – Pastor Adeboye

The General Overseer of The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, yesterday declared that he is confident that the matriarch of the Awolowo family, Chief (Mrs) Hannah Idowu Dideolu Awolowo, is resting with the Lord. Adeboye, who spoke while holding a private prayer session with the family inside their Ikenne country home, said: “By the special grace of God and because of my interaction with Mama, I have no doubt at all that she...

Wale Bakare: Why The 8th Senate Is Not Opposed To The Implementation Of Treasury Single Account

The announcement by President Buhari at a public function to adopt a single treasury accounts for all revenues due to the government and its agencies has continued to elicit controversies from different quarters. The Treasury Single Account (TSA) is an initiative that should be welcomed by all and economic pundits have argued that these steps are necessary to improve appropriation control and enable efficient cash management. The impunity that permeated the previous administration affected...

Russia Suspends Military Cooperation With Turkey

Russia’s defence ministry has announced suspension of military cooperation with Turkey and Sergey Lavrov, foreign minister, has cancelled a planned trip to Turkey following the downing of a Russian warplane near the Turkey-Syria border on Tuesday.   The Russian Sukhoi Su-24 warplane was shot down for violating Turkish airspace, angering Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, who compared the incident to being “stabbed in the back”. Russia also warned its citizens not to travel to Turkey, saying it was unsafe, and...

Nnamdi Kanu: British Consular Officials To Visit Detained Biafran Leader In Abuja

A Conservative minister has said that British consular officials will visit controversial Radio Biafra director Nnamdi Kanu, whose arrest in October has led to protests in London and Nigeria, after a question from the joint Nigerian-British activist's constituency MP, Harriet Harman.   James Duddridge, Minister for Africa and the Caribbean, confirmed that Kanu, who is the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob) had been visited in Nigeria by members of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office but that he did...

“Have Faith In President Buhari’s Govt”, Group Urges Igbos

The Buhari Media Support Group (BMSG), has commended Igbo leaders and Governors of the south-east states for seeking dialogue between the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and the Federal Government. This is contained in a statement jointly released in Abuja on Tuesday by Malam Mohammed Labbo and Cassidy Madueke, the Coordinator and Secretary of BMSG respectively. The statement said the option of dialogue would be explored between the Federal...

S’East Traders Disown Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu

Traders from the South-East geo-political zone have disowned the Director of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu and his cohorts in the pro-Biafran agitation.   The traders under the auspices of ‘South East Markets Amalgamated Traders Association, in a statement made available to journalists in Awka on Tuesday, said traders in the area had nothing to do with the Movement for the Actualisation of Biafra and the Indigenous People of Biafra, headed by Kanu. The IPOB is a splinter group from...

Anthony Ademiluyi: The Tragic End Of Prince Audu Abubakar

The nation was jolted on November 22nd, 2015 with the death of former two time governor of Kogi State and APC candidate for the 2015 gubernatorial elections, Prince Abubakar Audu. In a string of coincidence, that day marked the 52nd anniversary of the death of the charismatic former United States President, John Fitzgerald Kennedy. The only difference between the two deaths was that one was violent and the other was by natural causes. Three possible reasons...

Biafra: Clergy Women Caution MASSOB, IPOB

Nigerian Women in Clergy has cautioned pro-Biafran groups, Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, and the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, to suspend their street protests in the interest of peace.  The clergy women under the leadership of Prophetess Nonnie Robberson had in their message to the group emphasised on the importance of dialogue against violent protest that will further lead to deaths and destruction of property in the South...

President Buhari Returns From Iran

President Mohammadu Buhari yesterday returned from his state visit to Iran where he attended the 3rd Gas Exporting Countries Forum.   The President was welcomed by the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, the Inspector General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase and others.

Tuface Idibia Rocks Royal Regalia Following Chieftaincy Title

2face Idibia and wife Annie after he was honoured with chieftaincy title, Tafindan Kudenda  ‘Ambassador for Peace’ by HRH Bagudu Galadima of Kudenda Kingdom at Kudenda Palace Palace,in Kaduna State.

Granddad Describes How He Drowned Grandson In Bath Tub

A man accused of murdering his own grandson today told how he drowned the youngster in a bath - but he continues to plead not guilty to murder. Stewart Greene, 65, killed Alex Robinson, nine, while his mum was out shopping for a Christmas turkey. Giving evidence in court he apologised to his daughter Joanne, ex-wife Andrea and Alex's dad John. Greene said: "I'm so sorry to Joanne and Andrea and to John Robinson. "The...

Samson Siasia Releases List Of 21 Players For Under 23 Nations Cup

Nigeria's under - 23 team coach Samson Siasia, has announced a 21-player list for the upcoming Africa U - 23 Cup of Nations to take place in Senegal. Golden Boot winner at the 2015 Fifa Under 17 World Cup, Victor Osimhen, and Liverpool loanee Taiwo Awoniyi are the big names on the list. In the Nigeria Under 23s latest friendly, they were held to a 1...

Singapore Megachurch Leader Sentenced To Jail For Pumping Church Money Into Wife’s Pop Singing Career

The co-founder of a Singapore church and five other leaders were sentenced to jail terms of up to eight years on Friday, for fraudulently diverting millions of dollars to support his wife's pop singing career. The mix of faith and fraud has fascinated tightly-regulated Singapore, where such cases are rare in an affluent city-state with little tolerance for corruption. Senior pastor Kong Hee heads City Harvest Church, one of a growing number of Singapore's megachurches preaching a "prosperity gospel" that blends...

How Ambode Saved My Life – Alfred Ilenre

…Says I Am Back on My Feet Renowned activist and Chairman of the June 12 Coalition of Democratic Formations, Mr Alfred Ilenre on Tuesday lauded the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode for his timely intervention to save his health condition. Ilenre who was at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre in Alausa Secretariat, said he deemed it fit to come and pay gratitude to...

TuFace Idibia Turbaned, Given Chieftancy Title In Kaduna

"From Kaduna with Love...", African Queen crooner, Tu Face Idibia has been honoured with a chieftaincy title as an ambassador of peace in Kaduna State. He was turbaned as the "Tafidan Kudendan" of Kudendan. See pic below:

Woman Makes Bread Using Yeast From Her Vagina

Feminist blogger Zoe Stavri, who writes at Another Angry Woman, woke up on Saturday with the typical signs of a yeast infection, she wrote in a blog post. But due to her self-described "slightly perverse sense of humor," she decided to try baking bread with her yeast. So she retrieved some yeast using a dildo, combined it with flour and water, and covered it up so the yeast could do its job. She started making the...

Jay Z Introduces His Wife To Holly Holm & She Asked Her What Her Name Was

In an interview, Holm talks about her encounter with Jay-Z and Beyonce. Apparently, a courteous habit of hers kicked in and made things a little awkward between her and Beyonce: "I meet Jay-Z and he says "This is my wife," and I'm like, "Oh, hi, what's your name?" 'Cos that's what I do when I meet someone's wife. And as I'm shaking her hand, I'm thinking, "Why did I just say that?...