Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, yesterday, insisted that his party, All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) was involved in the merger deal by the main opposition parties, which was consummated with the formation of All Progressives Congress (APC) last Tuesday in Abuja. The national leadership of the party had last week denied that it was a party to the process, which led to the formation of APC and declared that the Imo State governor was relating with the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and the All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP), whose merger committees facilitated the formation of APC in his individual capacity, as chieftain of APGA.
But speaking with journalists in Abuja at the second meeting of the Progressive Governors Alliance (PGA), held at Lagos House in Abuja, Okorocha dismissed the national officers of APGA who were denouncing APGA involvement in APC as PDP agents. “Let me say emphatically that APGA is in the merger and we are in the merger talks. We have our various challenges and we are just trying to sort out who are the APGA-APGA, and APGA-PDP! The APGA-APGA are already in the merger talk and I also want to say empathically that if CPC, which ought to have been a regional party, ANPP and ACN have agreed to come together, for a bigger mega party, APGA cannot be an exception.
“So, you must see this as a collective responsibility of all parties to form a formidable party that can face the pace of time, come 2015. So, at the end of the merger meetings you will see that APGA is in the merger. So, we are fully in the merger.” In the communiqué read to newsmen by Nasarawa State Governor, Tanko Al-Makura on behalf of his colleagues, the PGA disclosed that they were “pleased with the name, APC, adopted by the merger committee because it captures the spirit of cooperation and compromise that we espouse and it underscores the imperative of rescuing Nigeria from decay.”
The governors also announced the establishment of Zonal Contact and Mobilisation Committees across the six geo-political zones. Ibrahim Geidam, Tanko Al-Makura and Abdulaziz, governors of Yobe, Nasarawa and Zamfara states, would head the committees for North-east, North-central and North-west, respectively. Imo State Governor, Okorocha, his Edo State counterpart, Adams Oshiomhole and the Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, would preside over the Mobilisation Commitees in South-east, South-south and South-west, respectively.
The committees, according to Governor Al-Makura, would “mobilise support for the party across political, social, religious, ethnic and professional interest groups in the country.” The governors also unveiled the manifesto of the party, which they noted would facilitate the radical social, economic and political reformation of the country. “Our programme priorities,” the PGA assured Nigerians, “shall be agricultural development, jobs creation, free education, affordable healthcare, infrastructural development, adequate power supply, eradication of poverty and corruption and rapid technological advancement and industrialisation.” No fewer than 10 states governors on the platform of CACN, CPC, APGA and ANPP were present at the meeting.