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'Registration of APC good for democracy'

02 August 2013, 10:05

Lagos - Political analysts have hailed the registration of the All Progressives Congress (APC) by INEC, describing the development as good for the political emancipation of the country.

Speaking in a telephone interview in Lagos on Friday, a political scientist, Prof. Sat Obiyan, said that the registration of the APC would strengthen the political process.

Obiyan, who is Head of the Political Science Department, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile- Ife, argued however, that it was premature to estimate the strength the APC would have against the ruling PDP in an election contest.

He said that although the APC was expected to give strong opposition to the PDP, the success of the APC in the 2015 polls would depend on how the parties that merged worked together.

On Juy 31,  INEC approved the application of three opposition political parties to merge as the APC.

The three parties that merged are the Action Congress of Nigeria, All Nigeria Peoples Party and Congress for Progressive Change.

Records of the 2011 presidential elections, showed that the three parties collectively polled about 40 per cent of the votes cast, while the PDP had 58.89 per cent.

Obiyan said: "When you have two strong political parties, it is good for our democracy.

"It will offer the electorate the opportunity to choose right and any candidate who emerges as a winner is the strongest and the choice of all.

"It will be premature to think of the APC to be as strong as the ruling party; it will take time for the new party to have firm root.

"It will be premature to say that the APC will dislodge the ruling party, their bond depends on how they work together."

The lecturer said that although the parties in the merger seemed to be working together, for now there was no ideology binding them together.

Obiyan urged the new group to work together and be firm, to increase their electoral chances.

Another don,  Prof. Remi Anifowose, a former Head of the Political Science Department, University of Lagos, also told NAN that the registration of the new party offered an opportunity for change.

He said that the registration of the APC was a good step in the nation’s democratic experience.

“People have been worried over the growing strength of the ruling party,’’ he said, noting that Nigeria had become a single-party dominated nation.

Anifowose said that with the merger of the three opposition parties, they now had high prospect of intimidating the ruling party.

The adjunct professor advised the new party to avoid being thrown apart because of the distribution of offices and positions.

“The new party should be committed and know they are one, standing as an opposition to the ruling party,” he said.

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