Buhari, Tinubu, Others Hails APC Registration
The yesterday’s registration of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as a political party by the The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has continued to elicite spontaneous applause from the party’s promoters and other Nigerians.
Former head of state General Muhammadu Buhari and former governor of Lagos State Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu hailed the development, saying it signals a new dawn for the country.
“General Buhari congratulated all the leaders of the defunct ACN, CPC and ANPP including their governors and legislators on their tenacity, understanding and perseverance during all the merger process.
“It is a new dawn in the Nigerian political engineering and a new baby is born,” says Buhari.
In his part, National leader of the now defunct ACN Asiwaju Tinubu expressed satisfaction over the registration of the new political party.
Tinubu, in a statement released on his behalf by his media office, said history had been made with the registration of the APC by INEC: “The confirmation of the registration of the All Progressives Congress, APC, by INEC signals the commencement of a new phase in the struggle to bring true democratic change to Nigeria.
“This is not just a merger. This is the first ever merger in the history of Nigeria and represents a paradigm shift in the politics of our country. Together we must own it.
“As Nigerians we see history unfold before our very eyes and we must rise up to answer the call of history to liberate our people.”
The former Lagos governor congratulated the APC governors and the leadership of the new party.
“I congratulate all our governors, all our members from the North-East, North-West, South-South, South-East, South-West and the North-Central and all would-be members and well-wishers of our great party, APC.
“Let me single out for congratulations the leadership of the merging parties, particularly the executives and the entire membership of APC, for their perseverance, doggedness and the sacrifices they made in the interest of our country. They resolutely stood behind the merger and had trust in the leadership and the process. Their faith in the message of change that APC represents has been aptly demonstrated.
“It is to them that the greatest credit goes. Because we fulfilled the laws for registration as prescribed, we all along were confident that our party would be registered. We worked hard to ensure that our party was in good stead and in good standing with the law.
“Selfish interest and ego were shelved. Personal sacrifices were made particularly by those who hitherto occupied higher positions in the merging parties in the interest of moving Nigeria forward.”
Tinubu also appreciated Nigerians who stood by the merger as well as the chairman of INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega.
“I congratulate millions of Nigerians who stood by us during the long process to form the APC party and actualize its objective.
“This registration is a culmination of concerted and diverse efforts and commitment by our people to work for a new Nigeria. With APC, a new Nigeria is necessary and is possible.
“I also want to congratulate Jega and the leadership of INEC headed by him and the entire institution for this positive pronouncement.
“Nigerians must give INEC a pat on the back for complying with the law of the land. What INEC has done is to follow the constitution and the Electoral Act to the letter. We hope INEC will continue in this spirit of independence and respect for the rule of law in all its future operations,” he said.
The defunct ACN leader however called on INEC to allow for the full adoption of the biometric system.
“Our commitment to achieving One Man, One Vote remains resolute. We therefore must demand from INEC the full adoption of the biometric system. Prof. Jega and the institution he leads will not achieve much and their efforts at free and fair elections will not be fruitful until they adopt a modern technologically driven biometric system that will ensure the integrity of our elections and earn the confidence of Nigeria.
“If this is done, we can then say our democracy has advanced several miles forward to join other civilized democracies in Africa.”
Also speaking over the registration of the APC, Lagos State governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) said, “This is not just a merger. It is history. The first merger in Nigeria. I am proud to have been a part of it.”
On its part, the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) said the registration of APC has signified the death of one-party state in Nigeria and taken the nation’s democracy to the next level.
According to the spokesman of the CNPP, Osita Okechukwu, in a statement, “Nigerians now have a golden opportunity to make choice between two dominant political parties: one anchored on social democracy, pro-people; and one anchored on conservative and anti-people programmes as is the case in all liberal democracies.”
It congratulated INEC on its forthrightness, steadfastness and obedience to the rule of law.
“It is heart-warming that INEC captured the intendment of the 1999 constitution not to register phony groups or mischief makers as political parties,” CNPP said.
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