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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Confusion As APC Number 3 Emerges



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A third group sharing the acronym APC has filed a letter of intent to be registered as a political party with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The name it seeks is All Patriotic Citizens (APC).  On Monday, the African Peoples Congress (APC) filed a letter of intent INEC.

The development has further worsened the troubles of the merging opposition political parties to be known as the All Progressives Congress (APC). The opposition parties are yet to file any letters of intent for its new party to be registered with the INEC.

But the opposition parties are crying blue murder, vowing never to let go their name and acronym, since they were the first to announce to Nigerians and the whole world the name of their new party-to-be. They said the name and acronym remain their intellectual property.

The parties alleged that they have it on good authority that the establishment has set up a high-powered team headed by a ranking officer of government and furnished with unlimited resources from public funds with a clear mandate to corrupt the democratic institutions and destabilise the opposition.

The opposition further warned that over and above the collective correspondence the merging parties sent to INEC, each of them has communicated to INEC the assurance that the processes stipulated in the Electoral Act are accordingly ongoing towards the consummation of the merger.

INEC will not register political parties with the same acronym going by the Electoral Act. Against this backdrop, it is viewed by observers that the scheming is geared towards scuttling the opposition parties.

The African Peoples Congress went ahead to unveil their logo, flags and party headquarters in Abuja yesterday.

‘APC is our intellectual property’

The merging opposition political parties yesterday in Abuja declared that the acronym of their platform, All Progressives Congress (APC), is and remains their intellectual property.

They vowed to pursue the process of its registration to its logical conclusion in the interest of “dear fatherland”.

Addressing a press conference, chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Chief Tom Ikimi, flanked by Alhaji Ibrahim Shekarau, Senator Annie Okonkwo and Alhaji Garba Gadi representing other parties in the merger, said the name and acronym “APC” have become the intellectual property of the merging parties since February 6, 2013, as they have received wide publicity in the print and electronic media.

Ikimi warned that the feeble attempt by any other entity to pretend to use the same acronym is an exercise in futility, because it amounts to what, in law, is called “passing off”.

He said the group had, for several weeks now, put the country and indeed the whole world on notice about the decision of three registered political parties, namely, the ACN, All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), and Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) to merge into one formidable party for the purpose, among others, of accentuating political competitiveness, providing a viable alternative political platform and promoting the much-desired political change in the governance of the country.

According to Ikimi, all legal and constitutional processes required to formalise the merger and register the new party with INEC in the name of All Progressive Congress (APC) are already in progress, in top gear and includes its earlier announcement on February 6, 2013, of the decision of the three parties to merge.

He said: “Prior to the adoption of the name, we had carried out a careful search of the existing names of all parties with extant registration in Nigeria and, finding out that none had the name All Progressive Congress nor the acronym, we chose the name and unveiled it. Thus, by that public announcement, the name All Progressive Congress and the acronym APC became our intellectual property which we shall guard jealously.

“It has therefore come to us as a rude shock that the INEC would announce receipt of a letter from what is known to be a faceless and unknown political group ostensibly driven by sheer mischief purporting to request for registration with the name African Peoples Congress.

The obvious motive of this letter is to attempt, albeit in futility, to scuttle the registration of the All Progressives Congress, which has been so widely publicised and well received to the discomfort of the establishment.”

Continuing, Ikimi stated: “Unfortunately, we have it on good authority that the establishment, gravely troubled by the emergence of a united opposition, has set up a high-powered team headed by a very high ranking officer of government and furnished with unlimited resources from public funds with a clear mandate to corrupt the democratic institutions and destabilise the opposition.

“We have taken the pains to furnish the foregoing facts because we will not accept any attempt by INEC, relying on a dubious application clearly not in compliance with the conditions set out in the constitution or the Electoral Act, to scuttle our plans to formalise our merger under our adopted name and acronym.


Source: Leadership

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