The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has responded to media reports of a leaked presidential directive asking that the proposed merger between it and three other major opposition parties to form the All Progressives’ Congress (APC) by saying that no threat could stop the merger from happening.
The ACN said that such a move was expected and that the leadership of the party would not be intimidated by an executive order to jettison its mission to save Nigeria democratically, even as it insisted that it would oust the PDP from the centre in 2015.
A statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said: “ACN recalled that in a statement it issued on January 8, 2013, it alerted the nation to the desperate measures being taken by the PDP-led Federal Government to discredit and silence key opposition leaders, especially Tinubu and his CPC counterpart, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, as well as their political associates.
“The report confirmed what we already knew, including the sinister plan to stop Tinubu ahead of the 2015 elections.
“But there is also another plan, which is to ensure that elections either do not hold in 2015 or that they will hold under curfew.
“To achieve this, those who have now succumbed to a mortal fear of the APC are stoking the fire of violence across the country, either through incompetent handling of existing crisis or by instigating fresh ones.
“With the Northeast and the Northwest in the throes of violence, the Southwest is their next target in this regard, and we will reveal the full details of their shenanigans in due course.”
The statement by the ACN National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, had claimed that there was a plot to cripple the businesses of its
National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as well as silence and discredit outspoken opposition leaders such as the National Leader of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Gen Muhammadu Buhari, one of their merger partners.
“We will like to add that part of this plan is to hurt his (Tinubu) business interests, scare off most of his business partners and political associates, try to pin some activities of Boko Haram on him and generally go after the leading figures, including governors in the APC initiative,” Mohammed claimed in the statement.
He said any clampdown on the APC leadership would be of no consequence on the APC rescue mission, especially when Nigerians are clamouring for a change.
The statement said: “Nigerians are yearning for change. Therefore, targeting our leaders won’t help the disappearing behemoth, whose so-called reconciliation efforts have even worsened its plight.
“Needless to say that every attempt or attack on perceived political opponents by the government and its apparatchiks will be revealed, contested and resisted.
‘’The leaders of APC know what they are up against and are mindful that the battle ahead may be rough and difficult, yet they are irrevocably committed to establishing a party that will sound the death knell of the bumbling PDP and bring development to Nigeria.”
The ACN also said that all the attempts being made to frustrate the registration of the APC by some suspicious moneybags were parts of the scripts from the seat of power and the highest echelon of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).
It accused the leadership of the ruling party of abandoning governance for dirty politics, midway into the next general elections.
The party warned: “The do-or-die politics or violence for whatever reason will not spare anyone, including the instigators, just as constricting the democratic space will eventually stifle democracy.”
Media reports yesterday published the news that a March 26 presidential directive had been issued, instructing that everything be done to frustrate the merger of the opposition parties.
The Presidency has since denied the existence of such a directive.