The leaders of the All Progressives Congress, APC, will on Tuesday in Abuja formally proclaim the nine-member interim executive committee headed by the National Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Bisi Akande, to steer the association’s affairs for the next six months.
The other members of the committee, apart from Mr. Akande are Tony Momoh who is also the national chairman of the Congress for Progressives Change, CPC; and Ogbonnaya Onu, his counterpart in the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP.
Others are the National Secretaries of the three parties, namely Lawal Shuaibu of ACN; Buba Galadima, CPC; and Tijani Tunusa of ANPP.
Kenneth Kobani, Fadiya Farouk and Shuaibu Musa, all national treasurers of ACN, CPC and ANPP, respectively, are also members.
The nine members were picked at the meeting of the leaders of the association held last Thursday at Lagos Lodge, Abuja.
The meeting was attended by ACN national leader, Bola Tinubu; former CPC presidential candidate and Chairman Board of Trustees, BoT, Muhammadu Buhari; Chairman of ANPP BoT and former Borno State Governor, Ali Modu Sheriff and; other senior members of the parties.
The three parties and a faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, had announced their plan to merge into APC last February. The national conventions of the parties have since passed special resolutions approving the merger.
A leader of the association and former Kano State Governor, Ibrahim Shekarau told BBC Hausa Service on Monday that the leaders of the party adopted the proposal to constitute a nine-member committee whose membership would be the national chairmen, national secretaries and national treasurers of ACN, CPC and ANPP.
He was silent on why the faction of APGA to which the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha belong, was not represented in the interim executive. The faction dissolved into APC last month.
It was gathered that the decision to appoint the nine-member interim executive followed a serious disagreement which broke out among the leaders of the parties over who should occupy the position of the national secretary.
As earlier agreed ACN, which has the largest number of governors and federal legislators and therefore the senior partner in the merger, would produce the national chairman while CPC and ANPP would produce the national secretary and national treasurer, respectively for the interim executive committee.
The thinking of the leaders also was that after six months, the substantive national chairman of the party, if registered, will be zoned to the South East with Mr. Onu picking the slot while the presidential and vice presidential candidate will go to the North and South West, respectively.
It was on the basis of this original agreement that ACN nominated Mr. Akande for the position of interim chairman while CPC proposed a former Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Nasir el-Rufai as the interim national secretary, which PREMIUM TIMES reported last week.
However, according to a source, at the meeting, while Mr. Akande was accepted by all the leaders as the interim national chairman, Mr. Sheriff rejected the proposal that CPC should present the interim secretary and instead preferred his party to take the slot.
Mr. Sheriff’s rejection developed into a major disagreement with the ACN leader, Mr. Tinubu taking sides with the CPC, which, according to him, has more members in the National Assembly while its candidate in the last presidential election, Mr. Buhari garnered more votes than ANPP’s Mr. Shekarau.
Mr. Tinubu was said to have reminded Mr. Sheriff that apart from the CPC strength in the last presidential contest, Mr. Buhari, as a former head of state should be given the option of picking a party position.
According to the source, when the efforts to persuade the former Borno governor failed, the decision to appoint the national chairmen, secretaries and treasurers was broached and adopted as a measure to hasten the request to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for registration.
Section 84 (3) of the Electoral Act 2010 (Amended) requires merging parties to send a written request for merger “to the Chairman of the Commission and shall be signed by the National Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer for the time being of the different political parties proposing the merger […]”
It was learnt that after the formal announcement of its interim executive members on Tuesday, the Joint Inter-Party Merger Committee, JIMC, will be formally disbanded while the association’s leaders might proceed to the Commission’s national headquarters to file application for its registration as a party.
Some of the major documents, the source said, have been prepared and fine-tuned by the INEC-Legal and Constitution Compliance Sub-Committee headed by James Ocholi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, waiting for the appointment of the interim executive.
Rotimi Fashakin, who speaks for CPC confirmed in a telephone interview on Monday that the association will formally announce the nine-member interim executive on Tuesday, but denied that there was any rift among the merging parties at last Thursday’s meeting.
PREMIUM TIMES exclusively reported last week that the association had already acquired a national secretariat which is located at 6, Bissau Street, Zone 6, Wuse District.
Source: Premium Times