Leadership (Abuja)

7 February 2013

Nigeria: Party Chieftains Support Opposition Merger

Political party chieftains on Thursday in Ibadan described the merger of four major opposition parties in the country as a welcome development aimed at strengthening the nation's democracy.

A cross section of them told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the fusion was a good development if it would offer better alternative for good governance.

Four political parties, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Congress of Progressive Change (CPC), All Nigeria People's Party (ANPP) and All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) on Wednesday announced their merger.

The meeting, which was attended by prominent political leaders drawn from the parties, announced the formation of a new coalition, All Progressives Congress (APC).

Reacting to the merger, Dr Olapade Agoro, former presidential candidate and founder, National Action Council (NAC), said it was good for the polity.

Agoro said it would be better if a hand of fellowship was extended to other opposition parties for quality service delivery.

"I pray that the coming together of Tinubu's ACN, Buhari's CPC, ANPP and APGA works. It is a coming together of strange bed fellows," he said.

Mr Bashiru Lawal, Chairman, Accord Party, Oyo State chapter, said it was good for the nation's democracy, if the merger was real as most Nigerian politicians were selfish.

" The merger is okay, if it is meant for the entrenchment of good governance, devoid of sectional interest.

"We in Accord Party are not part of the merger because I don't see the merger wrestling power from PDP," he said.

Alhaji Rasaq Folorunso, ANPP Chairman in Oyo state, described the merger as long overdue, adding that it was a right decision taken towards a better Nigeria.

He said the new name, APC, was a proposal that would be ratified by all concerned members.

"The four parties involved now are just the leading parties in the merger. We have reached out to other parties like the Labour Party and Accord Party and we are optimistic that they would soon join," Folorunso said.

Mr Wasiu Dauda, the Publicity Secretary, ACN, Oyo State chapter, said the merger was a decision taken to offer the good governance demanded by Nigerians.

"We have to provide a visible alternative.

"The collective ideology of the merging parties is not to gang up against any party but to offer selfless services to the people," he said.

He urged the people to give the merger "the much desired support", assuring that it was an alternative to salvage the nation.

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