by Stanley Azuakola
There are reports that the leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have made plans to storm the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday over the electoral body’s delay in confirming their merger and over rumours that INEC is on the verge of writing them to ask that they choose another name for their party.
Meanwhile the INEC chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, while denying the rumours, said that the commission is under no pressure to register the APC.
Speaking through his media aide, Mr. Kayode Idowu, the INEC boss said “That allegation is not new, is it? It is as old as daylight. The process is on; we have always said that the process is on.”
Idowu said that he was not aware about any plan by INEC to direct the APC leaders to change the party’s name. But he said that the party has not been registered: “The fact is that there was a request for registration and INEC has been in touch with them. So, the process is ongoing. The party can’t be deemed to have been registered. The process is on.”
APC chieftains however insist that going by the electoral law, the party is registered. They cite Section 4 of the Electoral Act that states: “On receipt of the request for merger of the political parties, the Commission shall consider the request and if the parties have fulfilled the requirements of the Commission and this Act, approve the proposed merger and communicate its decision to the parties concerned before the expiration of 30 days from the date of the receipt of the formal request…”
Going by that section, the APC which first requested for merger on June 5th, after which INEC asked that it furnished more documents on June 12 which it complied with a few days later, can be said to have been registered.
A CPC chieftain, Alhaji Farouk Adamu, Aliyu, said he was privy to information urging promoters to consider a change of acronym. He however disclosed that some leaders of the proposed APC have been mobilised to storm the premises of INEC on Monday to ascertain the veracity of suggestion that the acronym should be changed.
There are allegations that some staff of INEC believed to be card-carrying members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) have come under pressure to stop the registration of APC.