8 February 2013

Nigeria: Opposition Senators Support Merger

Senators of five opposition political parties yesterday described the merger that resulted in the emergence of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as a national redemption project.

The senators are of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).

Senate Minority Leader George Akume, who led 23 other senators, including Ahmed Sani Yerima and Chris Anyanwu, to a press conference at the National Assembly Complex yesterday, said with the merger, a new baby had been born in the nation's political arena.

Akume said all the opposition senators had met on Wednesday to support the merger, asking Nigerians to see the newly formed APC as a serious group that would do things differently in the country.

Akume, who said from 2015, the nation's politics would not be business as usual, also assured that under the current merger arrangement, Nigerians would see a very vibrant opposition in the National Assembly.

"We observed that the merger talks are aimed at salvaging the political, social and economic situation in Nigeria with a view to rescuing our nation from the rot and corruption bedevilling her and from the fangs of the Peoples Democratic Party's (PDP's) maladministration. We support our leaders and applaud their wisdom and patriotism in their epochal drive to stem this declining tide. We also appreciate the courage of our governors. We call on all members of our parties in our senatorial districts, our political associates and followers to work assiduously towards the realisation of this national redemption project", he said.

Calling on all progressive-mind Nigerians, regardless of political platform, to join the new political terrain, Akume added: "It is our faith that this collective worthwhile and noble endeavour will lead all Nigerians to realise the dreams of our founding fathers to have a country that works for all and sundry."

Akume, who said the Labour Party would "come on board if it is truly progressive".

He said the statements credited to Anambra State Governor Peter Obi that APGA was not part of the merger should not be seen as implying cracks in the merger, saying "Imo State Governor Okorocha and Senator Chris Anyanwu are part of the merger which people of like minds have formed. If an individual decided to be left out, he/she is free."

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