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How APC Was Formed. The Road To Opposition Merger - Politics - NairaMan

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How APC Was Formed. The Road To Opposition Merger by chapatti(: 12:33 am On Feb 03

As at 1999, PDP was by far the biggest party in Nigeria and was also the biggest party in Africa. In fact, apart from winning the 1999 presidential election in Nigeria, it also won almost every elections that followed same year. Now lets take some statistics of the outcome of the 1999 elections.
Out of the 306 seats of the house of representatives, PDP won 241 seats then of the 109 senatorial seats, it won 71 seats that year, and won 21 governors seats of the 36 seats available. With, this stats, one could agree that there was no way on earth to unseat a party as big as this not even in a country where the centre controls the components.

But these stats would change as time went on. For example in 2011, the number of seats they won in the various houses have reduced both in the upper chamber of the house of assemblies and lower house including the gubernatorial seats.
For example in 2011 they won 208 seats in the house of representatives, 71 seats in the upper chamber and 23 gubernatorial seats. With this, they still had about 60 percent of the entire political offices in the country. It was at this point, everyone who wanted to via for any political position against this mammoth party either joins them or there must be a kind of formidable coalition to unsurp this party who has a grounded structure all over the country. But there was a question to be answered and it was looking at the stage the Nigeria political system was, will it be possible to make such an idea work?

This was not the first time we have seen mergers in this country right from the first republic till the last one was form3d which actually unseated PDP. For me, there was no serious attempts to merge parties during the 1999 elections, 2003 elections etc because many factors such as personal interests where playing cards. For example, when Buhari's CPC and Tinubu's AC had met to merge, it all ended in a fluid case because the both parties could not agree on some key issues. For example, Tinubu refused to step Ribadu down who wanted to be president and Buharis would never step down too. Another issue was the position of the VP. Buhari had Pastor Tunde Bakare who was a CPC party member but Tinubu wanted to either be the VP to Buhari as at that time or better still he would bring the VP from his own end.

So when the two party could not agree on these key issues, the merger could not work. According to Pat Utomi the reasons the merging parties could not come to a compromise was because some of the personalities involved did not want to let go off their own interest by placing it above national interest.
Anyways, it wont be a merger if CPC had brought in Buhari and also brought in His running mate Pastor Tunde Bakare if it was so, then what was the merger for? asked by Bisi Akande. This was in fact the very reason why the merger never worked but as time went on with El Rufai intervening with some sort of memo, there was now a level ground ground to play.

As at this time, it was just ACN and CPC that where involved in the merger. But as time went on, a faction of APGA led by Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and ANPP joined in the merger. Even though the marriage was going smoothly, there was also some important issues that was still lingering. And it was the issue of who will be the running mate to General Buhari. It was gathered that Dantoro the Emir Borgo sugessted that Tinubu be the running mate to Buhari. Yes it was to be but there was a problem. Nigeria was a circular Nation and fielding a muslim/muslim cannot work. Though General Buhari had wanted it that way same with Tinubu but some party faithfuls who knew what that will cause as they knew Nigerians will suspect a muslim takeover.

Now there was a situation, will Tinubu accept to step down or not? Tinubu a former Lagos State military governor and a civilian governor, was a force to be reckoned with as far as the entire South-Westv was concerned so care must be taken while going about this. Well, after a meeting between Buhari and Rinubu in Asokoro in Abuja the residence of the then military head of state, Tinubu decided to step down and allow for a christian to be the running mate of Buhari. Though theb meeting was never a gentle man's meeting because Tinubu had accused Buhari of bending to pressure from party faithfuls who had used religion as an excuse.

Well, if a muslim/muslim ticket was gonna go well with APC, that we didnt know but for sure, they would have lost that election because Nigeria as it where, is a sensitive country when it comes to religious matters.
As things working well fpr APC, PDP where on their having issues. Rotimi Amaechi have decamped to APC from PDP, some other 5 governors from the North had done same thing. As at this point, only rigging from PDP as been incumbent would have been the only way to make PDP win that election. Well, Nigerians needed change and trust me, they where ready to go with anyone who saw from their eyes. Buhari with the slogan CHANGE, was a all Nigerians needed.

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