Several Nigerian political parties, including the All Nigeria Peoples Party, Action Congress of Nigeria, Congress for Progressive Change, and the All Progressive Grand Alliance have merged to form one party. The new coalition party adopted the name of All Progressive Congress.
The coalition’s new name was unveiled to journalists at a press briefing organized by earlier today by the leadership of the four political parties in Abuja.
Tom Ikimi, the chairman of ACN’s merger committee, spoke on behalf of other members of the collaborative parties.
“At no time in our national life has radical change become more urgent,” said Mr. Ikimi, a controversial former Foreign Affairs Minister during the dreadful regime of deceased General Sani Abacha. He added: “And to meet the challenge, we, the following political parties, namely ACN, ANPP, APGA and CPC have resolved to merge forthwith and become All Progressive Congress and offer to our beleaguered people a recipe for peace and prosperity.
“We resolve to form a political party committed to the principles of internal democracy, focused on serious issues of concern to our people, determined to bring corruption and insecurity to an end, determined to grow our economy and create jobs in their millions through education, housing, agriculture, industrial growth etc, and stop the increasing mood of despair and hopelessness among our people.”
Mr. Ikimi further remarked: “The resolution of these issues, the restoration of hope, the enthronement of true democratic values for peace, democracy and justice are those concerns which propel us.
“We believe that by these measures only shall we restore our dignity and position of pre-eminence in the comity of nations. This is our pledge.”
The other parties were represented by Annie Okonkwo (APGA), Garba Sadi (CPC), and Ibrahim Shekarau (ANPP).
Responding to the merger, the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Bamanga Tukur, vowed that his party would dribble and dominate the new party with the wizardry of international football sensation, Lionel Messi. Mr. Tukur declared that the PDP remains the Messi of Nigerian politics.
“If you go for a contest, you have the striker – you know Lionel Messi?” said Mr. Tukur. He added: “PDP is Messi in that contest. We will dribble them like Messi. Tell them [the] chairman said PDP is the Messi (of Nigerian football).”