1st August, 2013
There has been excitement over the registration of the All Progressives Congress, APC, by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, since Wednesday, with many politicians describing it as the best thing to have happened to the Nigerian democracy.
Many of the promoters of the APC applauded the registration, saying it is a major challenge that has been surmounted.
Leaders of the disbanded Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, and Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Muhammadu Buhari respectively, congratulated Nigerians for their support, promising that the new party would not disappoint the people.
Buhari also congratulated all the leaders of the defunct ACN, CPC and ANPP including their governors and legislators on their tenacity, understanding and perseverance during all the merger process.
Asiwaju Tinubu, in a statement, said: “the confirmation of the registration of the APC by INEC signals the commencement of a new phase in the struggle to bring true democratic change to Nigeria.
“This is not just a merger. This is the first ever merger in the history of Nigeria and represents a paradigm shift in the politics of our country. Together we must own it. As Nigerians we see history unfold before our very eyes and we must rise up to answer the call of history to liberate our people.”
Congratulating the APC governors and all members from the North-East, North-West, South-South, South-East, South-West and the North-Central as well as all would-be members and well-wishers of the party, Tinubu said: “let me single out for congratulations the leadership of the merging parties, particularly the executives and the entire membership of APC, for their perseverance, doggedness and the sacrifices they made in the interest of our country.
“They resolutely stood behind the merger and had trust in the leadership and the process. Their faith in the message of change that APC represents has been aptly demonstrated.
“Selfish interest and ego were shelved. Personal sacrifices were made particularly by those who hitherto occupied higher positions in the merging parties in the interest of moving Nigeria forward.”
Continuing, he said: “our commitment to achieving One Man, One Vote remains resolute. We therefore must demand from INEC the full adoption of the biometric system. Prof. Jega and the institution he leads will not achieve much and their efforts at free and fair elections will not be fruitful until they adopt a modern technologically driven biometric system that will ensure the integrity of our elections and earn the confidence of Nigeria.
“If this is done, we can then say our democracy has advanced several miles forward to join other civilized democracies in Africa.”
Ex-governor of Kano State, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, said: “the INEC has proved to Nigerians that it is an impartial body out to serve the interest of Nigerians and protect the constitution of Nigeria. The APC will be the desired alternative Nigerians have been looking for to bring a positive change to the development of the country.”
The 11 opposition governors under the aegis of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) thanked Nigerians and the INEC for being courageous enough to uphold the Electoral Act.
A statement jointly signed by governors Babatunde Fashola of Lagos, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, Adams Oshiomhole of Edo, Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun, Rauf Aregbesola of Osun, Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo, Kashim Shettima of Borno, Ibrahim Geidam of Yobe, Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara, Rochas Okorocha of Imo and Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa, said: “it is a day that signals the beginning of a new era in our national life when the collective aspirations of well-meaning Nigerians found expression in a legal entity that will be the rallying platform in our quest to rescue Nigeria.
“We therefore urge all Nigerians to take advantage of this opportunity to be part of this movement for change which has come to stay by becoming members of our great party, the All Progressives Congress, APC.”
Lai Mohammed, the party’s interim National Publicity Secretary, said; “we will be unveiling our plans to turn today’s hopelessness into a time of great opportunities, to reverse the downward slide in our socio-economic development, and to ensure that every Nigerian benefits from the common wealth, instead of the present situation in which a few fat cats are milking the system dry at the expense of the citizenry.”
Nuhu Ribadu, a former presidential candidate, said in a statement, issued by his media aide, Abdulaziz Abdulaziz, said: “like millions of Nigerians from all over the country, I am immensely delighted over the successful registration of our party by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). It is the beginning of the end of misrule and cluelessness.”
Majority Leader of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Dr. Ajibayo Adeyeye, said he received the news with excitement, expressing optimism that the party would win the centre and major political seats in the forthcoming elections.
A representative of Apapa Constituency 2 at the House, Muyiwa Jimoh, said to have beaten several moves by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to thwart efforts to register the APC, the newly registered party is sure to become the party to beat in 2015.
“This victory of the APC shows that the value of democracy in the sub-Saharan Africa is increasing,” he said recalling how the current democracy evolved in 1999.
Jimoh described leaders of the various merged parties as courageous politicians who knew what they wanted and as a result, “collectively fought against all odds to get the APC registered.
“They remained adamant because they are committed to the genuine development of the country. Initially, the ruling party at the centre didn’t want it registered because it feared opposition, but it is the opposition that makes democracy thick.
“We are happy we faced the challenges because the challenges have made the APC stronger. The human society is full of challenges.”
The member representing Lagos Island Constituency 2 at the House, Wahab Alawiye-King, said the news calls for celebration.
To him, the registration of the party is victory for Nigerians.
“We greatly desire a change for the best that this country can become.
“The complaint by Nigerians about governance and the PDP is increasing on a daily basis. Frustration has become the order of the day.
“Now that the APC has been registered, it is an easy sail in the 2015 general elections,” he said, expressing happiness that against what the PDP wanted Nigerians to believe, leaders of the party that merged have shown that they are more committed to the country than self.
Chairman, Yaba Local Council Development Area, LCDA, Jide Jimoh, described as long expected the registration of APC.
In his reaction after INEC made the public announcement, Jimoh, a former lawmaker in the state, said he was not surprised at the registration as the leaders of the APC had met all the requirements of INEC.
“I’m not surprised at the registration of the new party because our leaders are people with requisite political experience , astuteness and proficiency and are well-grounded in the fields of politics and law.
“Even the assessment team of INEC gave the party kudos during their assessment tour. So, INEC registration was given,” he said, adding that “the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is in for a big problem come 2015.
“The PDP should just pack their bags and be ready to leave Aso Rock after the general elections in 2015.
“Surely, the APC is taking over the Federal Government in 2015. The people will ensure that.”
Chairman of Apapa-Iganmu LCDA, Dr. Samuel Adedayo, said with the registration, Nigeria had won a major battle against tyranny.
He said the registration is a proof that God loves Nigeria and wants the country to remain united.
“If you look at the situation in the country, you will realise that God loves us and this is why He assisted us with the registration of the party.
“I want to thank the leaders of the parties that came together to ensure that the merger worked and the party was registered.
“If not for them, we saw how the powers that be made frantic efforts to frustrate the registration but our leaders remained resolute. With what our leaders have done, they have been able to ward off tyranny.
“Nigerians must continue to look up to us. We have come out stronger than ever and our strength will make this country proud,” he said.