The All Progressives’ Congress (APC) is serious about being a party open to everyone to the extent that it has extended an invitation to even President Goodluck Jonathan to join, if he is tired of the internal crisis within his Peoples’ Democratic Party.
This was part of the statements given by the interim national chairman of the APC, Chief Bisi Akande in Abuja yesterday in the party’s maiden press conference.
Akande said that the party is not foreclosing the chances of anybody joining the party, adding: “We listen to some people talking about presidency; no, we have not reached that stage at all. Our major preoccupation is to set up the structure of our party — the All Progressives Congress. It is after that, maybe in November or December when we hold our national convention, where our national executive will be elected; there is no idea about who becomes president, governor or anything. But the only exception is Anambra State and a committee is already working on that. And we are going to register our members in Anambra State. We are going to conduct congresses and elect a candidate that will contest on the platform of the APC.”
“In Nigeria today we don’t know any other APC apart from this All Progressives Congress, and we don’t contemplate anything and nothing will happen to move this APC out of place. We remain a party and we shall remain a party forever to rule this country Nigeria,” Akande added.
He also added that the party’s presidential candidate of the party for the 2015 general election will emerge after the party’s convention in December next year, and it wasn’t pre-occupied with it.
Rather, the main priority of the party now is to set up its structures and lay a solid foundation from the wards to the national level.
The protem national chairman further said that a committee headed by the national deputy chairman, Hon. Aminu Masari, has been set up to advise the party on how to establish structures and activities below the level of the national interim executive.
He warned those arrogating authority to themselves to desist from such act, saying that Alhaji Lai Mohammed is the authentic spokesman of the APC.
He said: “People are anxious to be part of the APC, but because the party has not given the directive some people are just talking on behalf of the party. We are putting a stop to that. Any statement about APC should emanate from the national publicity secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
“And whatever he tells you, you should know, is the mind and the decision of APC. We are warning: all people arrogating positions to themselves are all unauthorised. All those who are printing papers, printing forms, calling rallies in the state in the name of APC, they are not yet authorised. The authority will soon begin to flow down from the national level to the state level and to the local government. And when it is going to be done, the national publicity secretary will keep you informed. We want to be very careful and we want to do our thing in a very orderly way. We are building a structure from the foundation up and not from the top down.
“The parties that held convention to merge are the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). Those three parties went to convention to certify that they wanted to merge into APC. But a chunk of APGA had indicated in their membership that they are going to join APC and almost the entire DPP had indicated that they are coming to join APC. And we don’t even close our door to PDP; if Jonathan is tired of the crisis in the PDP he is welcome in the APC.”
Expectedly, the PDP has reacted to the invitation to Jonathan, with the national publicity secretary of the PDP, Mr Tony Caesar Okeke, saying the demand of the APC for Jonathan to join it smacks of hypocrisy.
He said, “This is just very funny. This is the hypocrisy in the APC that we are talking about. One moment they falsely shout that the president is incompetent; the next moment they are begging him to come and join them. Well, like one of our former leaders would say, we are just laughing.”