By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ALL Progressive Congress, APC, has vowed to occupy all public places including the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in Abuja, the Federal Capital, and the National Assembly if after July 31, the electoral umpire refuses to register it as a political party.
A source in INEC allegedly hinted that as a result of pressure from ‘the powers-that-be’, APC may not be registered as the Commission use the court case brought against INEC by the rival African Peoples Congress, which is also laying claim to the APC acronym, as the reason.
Reacting to the alleged plan, a member of the disbanded Joint Merger Committee and National Deputy Secretary of Congress for Progressive Change, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, dismissed it saying the INEC committee that inspected the APC office and the documents presented to it gave the merger of political parties a pass mark.
Obono-Obla told Sunday Vanguard: “There is no iota of truth in that story. It is speculative because my information from INEC is that APC scored 98 per cent when the INEC team went to inspect our secretariat and look into our documentation. They gave us 98 per cent and the committee recommended strongly that we have met all the requirements and we should be registered.
“INEC met on Thursday to confirm that report and indeed all the reports were approved, so this one you are saying is strange because that case by the phantom APC (African Peoples Congress) has nothing to do with us and it cannot be used as a guise to deny us registration. If that is done, we will know that truly INEC is an appendage of the PDP (Peoples Democratic Party).
“I do not believe that INEC is an appendage of PDP but if they try to deny us registration, then, I will know that there is no hope for Nigeria again. The only option for the country will be what is happening in Egypt, what is happening in Turkey what is happening in Brazil.
“We must mobilize all our supporters all over the country to come to Abuja and embark on hunger strike until it is registered because there is nothing we have done that will deny us registration”.
The CPC chieftain and a former governorship candidate on the platform of National Conscience Party, NCP, in Cross Rivers State, said that APC had applied to INEC to be registered as a political party on June 8th, after fulfilling all the requirements and was deemed to have been registered going by the law after 30 days of the application.
He however said that INEC claimed that the 30 days started counting from July 1st when the names of the interim national officers were submitted to the Commission and that after July 31st, APC by law would be deemed as being registered.
Also reacting to the alleged plan not to register APC, the National Publicity Secretary of CPC, Rotimi Fashakin said that it was unethical and out of place to react to rumour but added that the law governing political parties in merger arrangement was clear likewise the law for a new party registration.