APC Convention: I Did not Step Down, I Boycotted the Election – Tom Ikimi
A founding member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Tom Ikimi, has denied reports that he conceded the chairmanship position of the party to the eventual winner, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, thus throwing up feelers that concerns that the new leaders of the party did not emerge through hitch-free consensus.
Ikimi in an interview with a Punch correspondent said: “I did not willingly step down for Chief Odigie-Oyegun. I was not there. I did not step down for anybody because I was not there. Whoever said I stepped down is telling a lie because I was not at the convention. I didn’t participate. I boycotted the convention,” Ikimi responded, angrily.
Ikimi, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, was credited as being instrumental in the merger process of the Action Congress of Nigeria, All Nigeria Peoples Party, All Progressives Grand Alliance and Congress for Progressive Change.
It was he who announced the merger of the four political parties to form the All Progressives Congress.
Ikimi, who was the chairman of the ACN Merger Committee, had said during the official announcement of the merger and the new name of the party, that the APC was “a recipe for prosperity”
He said, “At no time in our national life has radical change become more urgent. And to meet the challenge of that change, we, the following progressive political parties, namely ACN, ANPP, APGA and CPC, have resolved to merge forthwith and become the All Progressives Congress and offer to our beleaguered people a recipe for prosperity”.
He also explained that the new party came about in view of the need to promote principles of internal democracy and bring about national development.
On what his next line of action will be, following his discontentment with the convention, he said, “I am preparing a statement which I shall release in the next few days.”