by Stanley Azuakola
The rumour has been one of the most persistent in 2013 – that several PDP governors are willing and eager to switch parties to the alternative All Progressives Congress. Again and again, APC chieftains make that assertion, and with the registration of the party by INEC last week, it’s time to see how factual their claims are.
The progressive governors – that is governors currently in the APC – have scheduled a meeting for August 13 in Lafia, Nasarawa state. In that meeting they will discuss how to open talks with some of their colleagues in the PDP as well as design plans for the Anambra governorship election and mass registration of new members and mobilisation of Nigerians for what the party stands for.
But, preparatory to the session of the governors, the Interim National Executive Committee of APC will meet on Tuesday on the registration of the party by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the challenges ahead.
The party has, however, sought INEC’s nod to retain its Interim Committee for six months to enable it stabilise.
Here’s how The Nation reported the story:
According to sources, some PDP governors and members of the National Assembly have approached the APC for some partnership and political collaboration, including joining the new party.
It was gathered that the governors and National Assembly members believe that APC can offer more to Nigerians.
It was learnt that the potential members of APC have tabled some terms which the Progressive Governors Forum will look into alongside the Interim National Executive Committee.
The terms were not immediately known last night.
A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “Having secured registration, the battle ahead has started in earnest. We have a job to unveil what APC means to the people and how Nigerians can buy into it.
“The Progressive Governors Forum or APC governors will meet after Sallah on August 13 in Lafia, Nasarawa State on mobilisation and registration of members.
“The Forum will also look at plans by some governors and National Assembly members from PDP and political leaders from other parties, who have opened talks on how to join APC.
“The Forum will later pass its recommendations to the party leadership for more input and implementation.
“We will certainly use the meeting to design a roadmap for the party because time is no longer on our side. We need mass registration of members. We have to mobilise Nigerians on our mission to salvage the nation’s democracy and economy.
“We are according the Anambra State governorship election a priority, the Forum will discuss it.”
APC leaders and governors are expected to come up with suggestions the constitution of a full-fledged National Executive Committee. APC has asked INEC to allow its Interim Committee to be in place for six months to stabilise the new party.
“But the party leaders are tinkering with the idea of having APC’s statutory NEC in place after three months,” the source said.
Meanwhile, there were indications that the Interim NEC will meet on Tuesday.
Another source said: “The officers of the party will meet on Tuesday in Abuja for a post-registration session and the way forward.
“The committee’s session will review the registration of the party by the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) and the challenges ahead.”