This Day (Lagos)

1 February 2013

Nigeria: ACN, CPC Bilateral Talks Kick-Off Next Week

In a bid to further concretise their merger plan, the contact committees of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) have agreed to meet on Tuesday next week in Abuja.

Among the issues on the agenda of the talks are proposals to float a new party with the name as, Action Congress for Progressive Change (ACPC) as well as to consider modalities for arriving at the party structure.

THISDAY gathered that CPC merger committee met yesterday in Abuja to fine-tune its positions preparatory for the negotiations with ACN.

A source within the merging opposition parties told THISDAY Thursday that the choice of the proposed name of the coalition party was informed by a consideration that the new party should be remarkable semblance with the old ones.

It said the coinage, ACPC was formed out the names of both ACN and CPC in order to make it less difficult for electorates to remember and also to identify with some of the notable values the two parties stood for.

Another proposal billed for discussion during the Tuesday's meeting is the issue of how to evolve the leadership structures of the new party.

It was learnt that both ACN and CPC have accepted in principle that apart from the national leadership, positions in the new party at the state and local government levels will be filled by the parties based on areas of strength.

According to the source, the implication is that while ACN will be expected to provide officials in the area believed to be their strongholds, CPC will automatically constitute the party executives where it has formidable structure.

A remarkable fall-out of fears and suspicion that are fast griping members of the opposition parties over the possible interference by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is that the merger committees have elected to imbibe secrecy in their activities.

As such, most of the its officers would not want to be quoted or attributed with any information on the progress of talks.

The bilateral negotiations between the two opposition parties is coming just as ACN is making a move to consult with the national leadership of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) to see how they can join the merger discussion.

The consultation, it was learnt, is at the behest of the top leadership of both parties which is intended to encourage ANPP to try to deal with the internal problems of the party to put it in good stead for the merger.

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