Still wallowing in the euphoria its registration by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the All Progressives Congress, APC, Tuesday, challenged the rejected African People’s Congress to seek a new name and apply for registration if it was keen on being a party.
Chairman of the APC Merger Committee, Chief Tom Ikimi, who threw the challenge at the phantom APC while speaking to Vanguard in Abuja, noted that the rejected group was being propelled by forces within the Peoples Democratic Party to seek to thwart the registration of APC for selfish reasons.
Ikimi, a former Foreign Affairs Minister, said that with the formal registration of APC by the INEC, the issue of who is real or fake had been laid to rest and that it was left for the rejected group to seek a new name if it was genuinely interested in being registered as a political party in Nigeria.
He said, “With the registration of APC, it is very clear who is fake and not. The fake APC should seek a new name and go for registration if indeed it wants to be registered as a party in the country.”
Ikimi, who took a swipe at the profiling of the new party by the PDP as a convergence of expired politicians, argued that it was not the place of Doyin Okupe, the Presidential spokesman on Public Affairs to judge the APC but the Nigerian people, who have been under the heavy yoke imposed on the nation by the misrule of the PDP in the last 14 years.
Ikimi, who is also the South-South National Vice Chairman of the APC, noted that the PDP was a harbinger of people who were good at making promises just to win the votes of exasperated Nigerians but good at delivering poverty and hardship to the populace since it came to power.
The former minister announced that APC would contest the Anambra governorship election in November and expressed optimism that it would win if the forces allowed a free and fair election.
While commending INEC for its courage in registering the APC, Ikimi however called on the commission to provide a conducive atmosphere for a free and fair election to thrive in 2015.
“We look forward to interesting times ahead, of a healthy political engagement between two national political parties that present alternative choices to our people,’’ Ikimi said.
“Peaceful change of power is a wind that is blowing across the globe and all over Africa now. Apart from France and Italy in the advanced democracies we have here in West Africa-ECOWAS region, examples in Ghana, Sierra Leone and Senegal where the opposition has successfully replaced sitting governments though peaceful elections. It seems to me that Nigeria is yearning now for a peaceful democratic change,” Ikimi stated.