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Published On: Fri, Jun 7th, 2013

Merger: APC to Unveil Chairman, Secretary on Monday

Barring unforeseen circumstances, the interim committee of the opposition All Progressive Congress (APC) will emerge next week. Its chairman and secretary will also be named on Monday as the battle to wrest Nigeria from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) begins.
The leading opposition parties — the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) — have joined forces under the platform of the yet-to-be-registered APC.

LEADERSHIP gathered that when some prominent leaders of the opposition met at Lagos Lodge, Asokoro, in the wee hours of yesterday, the meeting resolved that the national chairman, national secretary and the treasurer of each of the three parties should constitute the national interim officers. Those officers would meet on Monday to pick the national chairman, the secretary and the treasurer that would be the link between the APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“We have not named anybody as chairman for the interim committee. What happened at the Lagos Lodge was to ask the national chairman, national secretary and the treasurer of each of the three parties to constitute a committee. This committee would be our link with the INEC. The fact of the matter is the Electoral Act does not recognise interim officers, but since we need three people to sign our letter seeking INEC’s approval, we asked the nine-man committee to pick three among them as the signatories,” an insider told LEADERSHIP.
According to him, the committee would be in charge until 30 days after the letter to the INEC, and if the INEC did not reply, it means the merger has been duly approved. It is then that the interim national officers would be named, he said.
“This committee would write a letter to the INEC seeking the approval and, if after 30 days, the INEC did not raise any objection by not writing to us, it will be assumed the merger has been approved. This is when the interim officers that would organise the convention would be named. What really happened was that when we had the merger committee on ground, each of the three parties had chairman of the merger committee; so we had three co-chairmen but we had to ask them to give their report to their parties when we noticed that some members of this merger committee had been trying to entrench themselves with a view to positioning themselves for the coming convention.”
Former minister of foreign affairs Chief Tom Ikimi was the ACN chairman, merger committee; former presidential candidate for the ANPP in the 2011 general election, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, stood in for the party; and Alhaji Garba Gali, former deputy governor of Bauchi State, was the chairman merger committee for the CPC.
Our source disclosed that, with this new development, “those who constitute the committee would not be allowed to seek any election at the convention since they are the ones to organise it. That is democracy for you”.
When asked to confirm the story doing the round that former FCT minister Mallam Nasir el-Rufai had been named interim National Secretary of APC, the source, a national officer of one of the parties, faulted the claim. “Nobody has been named as a national officer. Reporting that el-Rufai is the interim national secretary is misleading. When the offices are zoned, and the CPC is given the national secretary, then, el-Rufai may be if his party gave him,” he satated.
Those that were said to be at the Lagos Lodge meeting included Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, General Muhammadu Buhari, Chief Bisi Akande, Lai Mohammed, and Chief Tomi Ikimi.

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