New opposition party emerges in Nigeria - Four of Nigeria's opposition parties have agreed to merge to form a strong opposition party able to confront the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the 2015 general elections.
The parties - Action Congress of Nigeria, All Nigeria Peoples Party, All Progressive Grand Alliance and Congress for Progressive Change - will all come together under a new opposition party, to be called All Progressive Congress (APC).
The merger was announced a day after 10 of the nation's 36 state governors endorsed the merger, at a meeting in the commercial city of Lagos.
The Chairman of the Merger Committee of the ACN, Chief Tom Ikimi, told journalists in the capital city of Abuja Wednesday that the new name was arrived at by all the parties involved.
“At no time in our national life has radical change become more urgent. 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.
“The resolution of these issues, the restoration of hope, and 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,” he said.
Reacting to the development, PDP Chairman of the Bamanga Tukur said his party was not worried by the development and that the merger of the opposition did not constitute any threat to the PDP.
“It does not mean that we want to be a party without opposition, in fact opposition is a charge to action. People tend to believe that when they see people coming together they will do well. If they have the strength why do they come together?
“If you go for a contest you have the striker, you know Lionel Messi? PDP is Messi in that contest. They (opposition) are not a threat at all; it is better, it will inspire the PDP to action. In that contest (merger) tell them Chairman said PDP is the Messi,” he told the private Punch newspaper.
Since Nigeria's return to democratic rule in 1999, Nigeria has been ruled by the PDP, even though the country currently has over 50 political parties.
Some of the parties were recently de-registered by the electoral body because they have made little or no impact on the political landscape.
Political analysts said unless the opposition forges a common front, it cannot wrest power from the PDP, which controls most of the 36 states as well as the bicameral legislature.