Onikan Stadium, Lagos, came alive on Thursday, as chieftains and faithful of parties in proposed merger into the All Progressive Congress (APC), including former head of state, General Mohammadu Buhari; national leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Senator Bola Tinubu, chairman of the ACN, Chief Bisi Akande, governors, lawmakers, among others, gathered at a special national convention to formally wind down ACN as a party in the country.
Consequently, with the outcome of the convention, which took a number of resolutions, the ACN had ceased to exist on the list of registered party in the country and thus transformed into APC, through a process stipulated by the country’s Electoral Law.
The parties seeking to merge into APC are ACN, All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) and the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).
Others prominent party chieftains that attended the event were Governors Babatunde Raji Fashola (Lagos), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Adams Oshiomhole (Edo), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Chief Rochas Okorocha (Imo); former governor, Achike Udenwa, Senator Tony Adefuye, Senator Ganiyu Solomon, Senator George Akume, Chief Audu Ogbe, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, Senator Chris Ngige, while deputy governor of Oyo State, Chief Moses Adeyemo, represented Governor Abiola Ajimobi.
The leaders, who spoke in turn, charged the gathering that the occasion should be regarded as historic, as it marked the commencement of a journey to the Presidential Villa by the newly formed APC.
Aregbesola, while urging the crowd to see the coming of APC as an opportunity to put an end to joblessness and misery, tasked the new party to mobilise and be ready to win Anambra State this year, in order to serve as a test case of the capacity of the party to dislodge the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015.
“APC must be ready to take over Anambra State this year; that is to tell them that we are not joking. All of us must mobilise,” the governor said, adding that the APC was resolved to put an end to what he termed the mis-governance of the ruling PDP in 2015.
Lagos State governor, Fashola, also said the APC platform would serve a real test for the so-called mythical power of PDP in Anambra in the next election.
According to him, the boast by the PDP that it would win 32 states in 2015 could only mean that there was “an understanding between the team and the referee before the commencement of a match,” adding that all would come to naught by the will of people, using APC as a vehicle to dislodge the party.
National chairman of CPC, Prince Tony Momoh, said “we are into merger not to do what the PDP has been doing; we are coming to bring change, a change that will stop corruption and indiscipline and install accountability.”
Earlier, Senator Tinubu had tasked the leaders and delegates in attendance to use the opportunity to cause a change in the way Nigeria was being governed, by rallying support for APC through offering more sacrifice, determination and vision.
In his speech, Buhari, who said the event was a continuation of the foundation that had earlier been laid between the ACN and CPC, assured that the APC was a political solution to anarchy in the country.