The Bola Ahmed Tinubu led All Progressives Congress has rubbished the widespread allegation and insinuation that they have launched a customised champagne with the logo of the party.
The story which had gone viral and very trending online depicted the chairman of Oshodi-Isolo local government, Hon. Bolaji Ariyoh proudly displaying the alleged champagne bottle. And it has generated heated controversy as many condemned the act saying they should have customised other meaningful things that would uplift the electorate. Amidst the widespread condemnation, the spokesperson for the Chairman, Mr. Gbenga Fatodu (Chief Press Secretary, Oshodi/Isolo LG), in an exclusive chat with ENCOMIUM Weekly on Friday, February 7, 2014, labelled the story and pictures work of enemies of progress who were hell bent on propagating falsehood. “The chairman is too preoccupied with progressive projects in his constituency to have had time for such frivolities. The story is untrue and the pictures a clear case of photoshop aimed at tarnishing the good image of his excellency. Instead of them spreading such unfounded rumour, they should spread the truth about the excellent work going on in his local government. We know nothing about the customised champagne. It’s a lie and the party has no hand in it.”
APC was formed in February 2013. The party is the result of an alliance of Nigeria’s four biggest opposition parties – the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) – to take on the People’s Democratic Party. The resolution was signed by Tom Ikimi, the current spokesman for the party, who represented the ACN; Senator Annie
Okonkwo on behalf of the APGA; former governor of Kano State, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, the Chairman of ANPP’s Merger Committee; and Garba Sadi, the chairman of CPC’s merger committee.
The party received approval from the nation’s electoral umpire, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on July 31, 2013, to become a political party and subsequently withdrew the operating licenses of the three previous merging parties (the ACN, CPC and ANPP).
In March 2013, it was reported that two other associations – African Peoples’ Congress and All Patriotic Citizens – also applied for INEC registration, adopting APC as an acronym as well, reportedly “a development interpreted to be a move to thwart the successful coalition of the opposition parties, ahead of the 2015 general elections.” It was reported in April 2013, that the party was considering changing its name to the All Progressives Congress of Nigeria (APCN) to avoid further complications.
The Nigerian middle class see the emerging APC has the alternative to the ruling PDP and it is yet to be seen the effects on the political calculations towards the 2015 elections. The ruling PDP has congratulated the APC for her registration as a political party but was quick to note that the APC is no threat to its electoral chances.
On November 25, 2013, five governors in the existing ruling party announced their decision to join APC, as well as 49 legislators, who will now join the rank of 137 legislators in the APC upon prior merger of the smaller opposition parties; giving it a slim majority of 186 legislators in the Lower House. With defection of 11 Senators on January 29, 2014, it has gained the majority in the Upper House with 58 lawmakers. However, only 37 legislators have formally made the switch as at December 18, 2013 giving APC a nominal majority of 172 of 360 legislators, as against PDP’s 171 as some smaller parties hold some other seats.