December 23, 2010

2011: ACN parleys with ANPP today

By Leke Adeseri, South-West Regional Editor
LAGOS—THE Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, will be having talks with the All Nigerian Peoples’ Party, ANPP, in Lagos, today.

A top official of the party who spoke with Vanguard last night also confirmed that the party was having alliance talks with the retired Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari-led Congress of Progressive Change, CPC.

The official said: “Although these talks are ongoing, final agreements particularly with the CPC may not be reached until the weekend.”

On reports that the ACN may provide a vice presidential candidate for CPC’s Gen Buhari, the official said the level of optimism might be too high for the level of discussions, adding that if an agreement materialised, both parties would present common candidates for presidential, governorship and other positions during the 2011 general elections.

The party’s Chairman, Convention and Congress Committee, Dr. Chris Ngige, also spoke in the same vein in Benin, Edo State, last weekend.

Ngige, who is also a former governor of Anambra State, had said  the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA and a faction of Democratic Peoples Party, DPP, led by an ex-governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa, had contacted the ACN for talks.

Although Ngige confirmed that nothing concrete was yet to come out of the talks, he explained that the primary reason for the parties seeking to work together was to dislodge the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, from power.

He said: “Buhari of late has met to have an alliance with us to present common candidates for election for the office of president, governorship and others in the election but nothing is concrete yet. Chief Ogbonna Onu of the ANPP recently was in a meeting with us, and Chekwas Okorie and Victor Umeh, both factional leaders of APGA came too.

“There is no way progressives will not join hands to drive the PDP out of power because the party is peopled by tyrannical individuals. If people don’t come to us through the door, they will come through the window.”

ACN denies tipping Fashola for second term
Meantime, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN,  may be the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, governorship candidate for Lagos in the 2011 general election, according to an online report.
Quoting sources close to the ACN National Secretariat , the report says  all the issues, which pitch Fashola against some powerful interests in the rank of the party have been totally resolved.

The report added: “The  Deputy Governor, Princess Sarah Adebisi Sosan may not run as Mr. Fashola’s deputy as the current Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefilure is being seriously considered for the position.

“Mr. Fashola  is still making a case for Sosan on the ground that both have had a robust relationship short of conflict since 2007 when the Fashola administration came on board.”

The online report also said that “the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed confirmed to another source that Fashola has been given the governorship ticket as the ACN flagbearer for the 2011 Lagos guber race, adding that the ACN primaries for the governorship ticket would just be a formality.”

However Alhaji Mohammed last night denied talking to anyone about the matter. He said:  “The position of the party is that primaries will be conducted and it is only the newly elected officials of the party that can formulate guidelines for the primaries and fix dates. So how can anyone say someone has emerged as candidate.”