All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, has rejected the inclusion of its logo in the advertorial placed in some national dailies, yesterday, by Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State hailing the registration of APC.
The party said it was shocked by the development and consequently demanded a retraction by way of advertorial and a fee of N20 billion as damages done to it within seven days.
The party also demanded for a formal apology.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja yesterday, the National Chairman of the party, Chief Victor Umeh, said: “We are shocked to see in a national daily of today (yesterday) an advertorial placed by Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, congratulating APC for scaling the registration hurdle of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and in the publication, four party logos were lifted, ACN, CPC, ANPP and APGA.
“We are shocked that Governor Fashola, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, can so mischievously place this advertorial which included the logo of All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA.
“Of course, the clear intention of this advertorial was to give the impression that APGA is now part of APC, that APGA is no longer a political party.
“Coming from a SAN, we know that Fashola knows the implication for these adverts. It is a mischief to deceive all our teeming supporters in Nigeria and abroad that APGA has now become part of APC.
“While we congratulate them of realising their dream of coming together to form a mega party called APC, fraudulently using APGA logo cannot be accepted by our party.
“The obvious damage this would do our party are well known to Nigerians. We are also passing this to our lawyers to make a demand of N20 billion damages.
“Fashola must pay this money to APGA. Politics of confusion must be avoided in Nigeria. Anybody can meet to do anything as he wished but within the law.”
He said his party never held any convention along side the three parties as part of the processes for merger, adding that INEC, while announcing withdrawal of Certificates of Registration of ACN, ANPP and CPC, did not include APGA.
Fashola hoists APC flag
Following the registration of APC, Governor Fashola of Lagos State, yesterday, hoisted APC flag at a symbolic event at the state secretariat of Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Ikeja.
The governor said all Nigerians must commend the progressive party leaders, for shifting grounds to provide alternative platform that would enable good citizens achieve the desired change.
Speaking earlier before hoisting the new party flag, he commended INEC for taking the bold step by registering the party against all odds.
He said: “I salute their sacrifice. We all must learn enduring lesson from their sacrifice to get this party.
“We must remember their effort and sacrifice anytime we do anything with APC. We must always remember that for us to have a bigger merger party, it would require many more sacrifices.
“This is not about the individual it is about the nation. Individuals will come and go, but the nation will remain. For me, this is not just a merger, but a history.
“In Nigeria political history, this has never happened before.
“For every Goliath, there is a stone. The new party is the stone that will make the Goliath fall.
“There is now a choice to articulate the better change. The most I can say is congratulations for the job well done so far. As you know the only reward that you can get for job well done is more work.”
Basis for meaningful choice — Oshiomhole
Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has also said that the registration of APC as a political party was good for democracy, saying that it will keep politicians on their toes to deliver on campaign promises.
Speaking with State House correspondents after briefing President Jonathan on circumstances leading to the closure of Benin Airport, Oshiomhole said politicians will now act more responsibly.
Oshiomhole said: “It means that I am now a member of APC and I will take my registration card. I will register in accordance with the constitution.
“For me, it’s all about democracy and I believe that the media and myself in my former calling and even now, are now activists struggling to entrench and deepen democracy for the good of the country.
“It’s all about battle of ideas, battle of programmes and the welfare of our people. And if you have two viable parties that are capable of engaging, then the people will have the basis for genuine and meaningful choice.
“If you ask me, I think it enhances the credibility of INEC in the eyes of the Nigerian public. It’s nice for the country.”
Emergence of stronger parties—Ikokwu
Second Republic chairman of the defunct Nigeria Peoples Party, NPP, in Anambra State and one of the founders of PDP, said APC’s registration would “definitely enhance democracy and our nation because we shall be moving towards a smaller number of political parties capable of mobilising its followers and winning seats at both the states and national assemblies.
“The parties will become less ethnic and more national. They will dwell more on issues and not on personalities as many are doing right now.
“However, APC will need to be properly managed rather than depend on the antics of its Alhaji Lai Mohammed of ACN as if ACN has no national chairman or secretary or leaders.
“Time will tell if our democracy is strengthened and made more articulate.”
Speaking on the development, a chieftain of the new party, Ms Temi Harriman a former member of the House of Representatives, said: “The registration of APC is a milestone in Nigeria’s democratic journey.
“It is an opportunity and a formidable choice for the Nigerian people in the political space.
“I urge all people of goodwill to support the new party in it’s progressive drive to lead Nigeria in the future path of equity, development and nationhood.”
Junaid Mohammed, too
Second Republic lawmaker, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, said: “The registration ought not to have raised dusts in the polity because any group of Nigerians has a fundamental human right to register a political party.
He said: “All this noise over APC registration was because INEC and the Presidency were playing politics with the registration of the party.
“PDP and INEC were trying to manipulate the registration exercise and I hope in the nearest future, no party will be subjected to this kind of humiliation APC went through before the eventual registration.
“There is nothing spectacular about the registration, but I wish them the best.”
Okunniyi salutes INEC
The leader and governorship candidate of Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, in Ogun State, Mr. Olawale Okunniyi applauded INEC for registering APC.
In a statement by his Media Office, Okunniyi congratulated the INEC Chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega, for taking the bold step to register APC in spite of all obstacles