ACN, ANPP, CPC Merger Faces Fresh Obstacles

ACN, ANPP, CPC Merger Faces Fresh Obstacles

ACN, ANPP, CPC Merger Faces Fresh Obstacles

The three major opposition political parties  planning  to  merge  in 2013  are having problems agreeing on a name, symbol and other identities for the proposed mega opposition party.

Findings  by The PUNCH show that the three parties–the Action Congress of Nigeria, the All Nigeria Peoples Party and the Congress for Progressive Change–set up separate committees to ensure that the  merger plan materialised.

The committees were mandated  to prepare the position of their parties for an enlarged meeting of all the three committees.

The committees, whose members are working in secrecy, are also to suggest a name, logo, symbol and slogan for the proposed party.

However, our correspondent learnt that one of the parties is insisting that any new party resulting from the merger must bear its name and have its symbol.

A source privy to the goings on in one of the committees spoke to our correspondent in Abuja on Sunday. However, he refused to disclose the  name of the party that wanted the mega party to assume its identity.

The source said, “We may have problems choosing a name and a symbol, because one of the parties is insisting on dictating the name and the symbol.

“This is, however, expected, but I believe  that as time goes on, we will get over this. It is one of the teething problems we expected.”

Our correspondent, however, learnt  that unlike in 2011 when merger moves failed, the three parties were  ready to reach a compromise.

But when contacted, spokesmen for the  political parties, however, allayed fears over the problem.

 They said in different interviews with our correspondent in Abuja that the merger would work.

But National Publicity Secretary of the ACN, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, debunked the rumour of problems in the merger talks. He alleged that  the PDP  was behind the rumour.

He said, “If PDP wants to know what is happening in our merger talks, they should come out openly to say so.

“The real matter is that the PDP is worried about this merger and wants to erect artificial obstacle against it. It will not work.”

Mohammed said the ACN and its leaders would not renege on their promises concerning the merger plan, adding that talks aimed at achieving this were ongoing.

 He said, “The merger talks are  going on well and I can tell you that we are committed to this. The three parties are committed to this, and the Peoples Democratic Party  is aware that we are coming up stronger, which may not be good for it.”

Also, the National Chairman of the ANPP, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, said  that the merger talks between opposition political parties were at a critical stage now, and would definitely solve Nigeria’s political problems when concluded.

Onu, who  added that the PDP was not comfortable with the talks,  said  the leadership of the opposition political parties were united in their resolve to merge.

He said, “The merger talks are ongoing right now. By the grace of God,  the merger will be successful. We want to give Nigeria effective competition in the political arena.

“We believe that competition, which is good in the social and economic arena, is also good in the political arena.

 ‘‘We are convinced that when we have this in the country, we will be better off. Many of the problems that have confronted this  nation over the years shall be solved. We are hopeful that once we come together and form a government, everything will be solved for the good of everybody.”

 National Publicity Secretary of the CPC, Mr. Rotimi Fashakin, told our correspondent that the three political parties had realised that it would be difficult to unseat the PDP if they failed  to team up.

Fashakin said, “We will work hard to merge  and that will be achieved. Before now, the three political parties had tried individually to dislodge the PDP from power, which did not materialise.

 “The reality that they would not be able to do it alone dawned on them during the last general elections with the sophistry with which the PDP rigged the polls.

“Now, we have agreed that we do not even need collaboration or alliance. What we need now is merger or nothing else. I can confirm to you that a merger is a foregone conclusion among us.”

The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, however,  said that the PDP was not threatened by such a merger  since it remained the only truly national political party that was deeply committed to the continued existence of Nigeria  and  its transformation.

 Metuh said Nigerians were capable of separating the wheat from the chaff, and that they would choose “between a merger  where vaulting personal interests will ceaselessly riot and yield no support to national stability.”


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