APC Registration: Why INEC Must Tread Carefully


The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, stirred the hornet’s nest when it claimed that it has received a notice of registration from an omnibus party, African Peoples Congress, which has the acronym, APC. This acronym has for some months now been associated with the All Progressives Congress and INEC cannot pretend not to be aware of this. This makes it curious that the electoral umpire, through its spokesman, Kayode Idowu, could claim that the All Progressives Congress should come up with another name with a different acronym to avoid confusing its ‘APC’ with that of African Peoples Congress.

This is a laughable proposition INEC has come up with and the debate and anger it has generated clearly shows that INEC could be dancing to a wanton tune played behind the scene by some interest groups which are not comfortable with the formidable weight the new All Progressives Congress is pulling across the country.

As the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, one of the leading parties in the alliance, has alleged, INEC may have started doing the bidding of its paymasters, the Peoples Democratic Party-led Federal Government by trying to scuttle the registration of the All Progressives Congress and take the wind out of its sail before the 2015 general elections.

INEC has been aware of the efforts made by the leading opposition parties, Action Congress of Nigeria,  All Progressives Grand Alliance, Congress for Progressive Change, All Nigeria Peoples Party, and others to form an alliance with the name All Progressives Congress, APC. So it is curious that INEC has chosen to accord recognition to the acronym of African Peoples Congress which has merely written a letter of intent which has not yet been discussed by INEC. Besides, All Progressives Congress came into everyone’s consciousness long before the formation of African Peoples Congress. INEC must not frustrate the merger of the opposition parties by throwing up this red herring that will only heat up the polity and create unnecessary tension.

Related News

INEC boss, Professor Attahiru Jega, must move swiftly to douse this tension if not the suspicion that INEC is now an appendage of the PDP whose intention is to scuttle the merger of the parties, would continue wax strong. This would ultimately rub off on his image and that of INEC as an institution.

Whither the independence of INEC if it allows itself to be teleguided by its pay masters as being alleged by ACN?

Before the controversy surrounding the acronym, ACN and  some leaders of the Congress for Progressive Change, Muhammadu Buhari, had alleged that there were some clandestine moves to undermine the opposition parties’ merger that produced  All Progressives Congress. Could this be one of the manifestations of that sinister plot? Is it true that a top official of INEC has boasted that the emergence of All Progressives Congress would be frustrated at all costs, and is this part of the frustration?

INEC’s credibility is at stake if it cannot come clean on this burning issue in order not to upset the opposition parties’ apple cart. It will be an ill wind that won’t blow anyone any good if INEC goes ahead to register African Peoples Congress at the expense of All Progressives Congress which had been in the news long before the former.

Load more