Ayo Afolabi, spokesman of the Action Congress of Nigeria in the South-West, dismisses media reports that there are in-fighting for positions in the yet-to-be registered All Progressives Congress
| By Olu Ojewale | Jul. 1, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT
IF everything works according to the plan, the All Progressives Congress, APC, will be formally registered as a political party in the next one or two months. According to an inside source, senior members of the merging three parties that formed the mega party were already in Abuja to handle any issue that may come from the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on the registration. The APC is made up of three main registered political parties and a faction of another one, namely the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN; All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP; Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, and faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA.
But ahead of its registration, there have been reports of in-fighting among some members of the merging parties regarding the sharing of portfolios. Reports said that the party was already being torn apart because of allocation of leadership positions in the party.
According to the story making the rounds, the ACN is expected to produce the chairman of the party. Hence, Tom Ikimi, who is currently the head of the merger committee, is said to be doing everything within his power to get the position. But Ikimi is believed to have brought in a baggage, which makes him an outsider in the new party. His opponents said it would to be unwise for the new party to make him chairman because of his closeness to former President Olusegun Obasanjo. They pointed out that Ikimi played a significant role in getting the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP’s ticket for Obasanjo to run for a second term in 2003. Besides, the leadership of the ACN, appears to favour Bisi Akande, the current ACN chairman and former governor of Osun State, for the position. He is believed to be a trusted hand because of the way he has been guiding the ACN since it was founded.
The ANPP is not immune either. The party is supposed to produce the national secretary of the APC. Ibrahim Shekarau, the party’s presidential candidate in the 2011 election and former governor of Kano State, is said to be largely favoured by the party to clinch the post. But two CPC members are also said to have signified their interest in the position. They are, Nasir el-Rufai, former minister of Federal Capital Territory, and one Buba Galadima. But el-Rufai is said to be facing very stiff opposition from the leadership and loyalists of the CPC, who seemed to suspect that his ideological standpoint does not correlate with that of the party.
Besides, el-Rufai was a minister under the ruling party. Thus, critics have complained that it would be wrong to bring in those who were not with the party at inception to be entrusted with the position that would determine the fate and future of the party when fully registered. What may also work against the former PDP chieftain and Galadima is that the CPC is supposed to produce the national treasurer.
But speaking with Realnews on phone, Ayo Afolabi, spokesman of the ACN in the South-West, said all the reports about sharing of APC portfolios were mere conjectures of the media. “Electing national officers of the party is still a long way off. We are not yet a registered party. When INEC has registered us and then asks us to bring names of protem officers, then we will look for those who can hold the posts in trust until we can hold a national convention,” Afolabi said. He said even before the national convention could hold, ward, local government and state congresses of the party must have elected their officers. He said the local and state officers would now be the delegates to elect the national officers.
Afolabi also denied that positions were being zoned to parties. “There is no zoning in the new party. What we are interested in is allowing competent people to hold office of their interest in a democratic fashion,” he said.