Registration: APC leaders fill fresh INEC form

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has asked leaders of the yet to be registered All Progressives Congress (APC) to submit 35 copies each of its proposed constitution and manifesto and also fill and return form PA (1) as precondition for the new party’s registration, Sunday Independent has learnt.

In a letter signed by Abdullahi Kaugama, INEC Secretary and addressed to leaders of the merging parties, INEC also demanded an affidavit in support of the claim in form PA (1)

The merging parties – Congress for Progressives Change (CPC), All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), had on June 6, 2013 jointly applied to INEC for the registration of APC.

The electoral body on its part replied the merging parties on June 12, giving them list of demands, one of which is the completion of form PA (1) which requires them to state the names and addresses of its executive officers and trustees of the new party.

Who then constitute the interim executive and trustees of APC? This has been the vulnerable point of the merger talks. Sunday Independent gathered that the initial thinking among leaders of the merging party was that they could sort that problem out after securing the registration of the party.

They had thought that since they were merging and not floating a new party, form PA (1) would not apply to them. Properly filling form PA (1) is a condition for any political association that wishes to evolve into a political party.

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Now that an interim executive committee and trustees of APC has been required by INEC, the next few days would be very critical for the merging parties as they did not see it coming. Again, time appears to be running out for the new party if it must make impression in the Anambra governorship contest coming up in November this year, except the INEC shifts the poll.

But National Chairman of the Congress for Progressives Change (CPC), Prince Tony Momoh, said there would be no confusion on that.

“There is no confusion. I told you we wrote a letter. The letter was signed by the chairman, treasurer and secretary of each of the parties. On June 12, INEC replied acknowledging receipt of the letter and asking us to fill form PA (1)…. it is the form that political associations fill before they are registered as political parties.

“In the form, you will fill the name of the association, which is All Progressives Congress, the acronym which is APC, the logo, symbol, flag and then list of the executive committee of the party. You list them. They are the people to run the party before convention after registration,” Momoh told Sunday Independent during the week.

Momoh also said it was not true that the merging parties could not agree on sharing formula of party positions.

His words: “All those are guesses. INEC has told us what they want. We will meet and fill the form. That has not been decided (interim officers). It is a normal requirement. All these things that are internal to party issues, if you guess you will guess wrongly. All the leaders will take decision.”

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Also, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said it was not true that leaders of APC were in disarray over the demand of INEC for interim executives and trustees of APC. “All I can tell you is that the merger is on course,” Mohammed told this newspaper.

An official of the INEC told Sunday Independent on Saturday that “APC leaders know the right thing to do and should go ahead and do it.”

He regretted that politicians were in the habit of cutting corners, noting that the provisions of Form PA (1) is an aspect of the Electoral Act they cannot afford to be too smart about.

“It is window that shows whether the party can be registered or not. We have done our own work so let the APC leaders do theirs if they desire to register the party.

“Ours is to regulate the process. Therefore, if they are having problems with who they want to present as their party leaders or trustees as being speculated, I do not think that should be the headache of INEC,” the official told Sunday Independent.   

Source: Daily Independent

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