In this interview with ALLWELL OKPI, the National Publicity Secretary of the All Nigeria Peoples Party, Emma Eneukwu, speaks of how the planned merger will defeat Peoples Democratic Party in 2015
A recent report said the merger talk is having hitches because one of the three parties is insisting on retaining its name and logo. Is that the true picture?
I’m not aware of that. There is a committee handling the merger, at the end of the day it will report to the leadership of the party, but they have not brought their report to us yet. And you must know that in the initial negotiations, people will bring out all forms of terms and positions; that is the essence of the discussion. But at the end of the day, I’m sure we will agree on something. The three parties know that it is basic that they will lose some aspects of their identity when going into merger. Merger is not alliance. Merger is a situation where you agree to lose parts of your identity. You may even lose all of your identity. What you have just said is alien to us. We have not heard it.
Does it mean the committee set up by ANPP is yet to meet with the committees of the Action Congress of Nigeria and the Congress for Progressive Change?
No. There is a committee handling the merger and they have been meeting and discussing with the other parties involved. Their responsibility is to make all the necessary arrangement for the establishment of the merger. And we gave them a six-month time frame to fully consolidate on the merger. They have not reported back to the leadership of the party. Meanwhile, in their preliminary report to the chairman of our party, there was no report of any of the three parties insisting on retaining its name and logo. If that was so, then why is it a merger? In a merger, you lose part of your identity or you lose it completely. When you come together with another person, you cannot expect to retain what you have. I have not heard such a thing, but if such a situation is rearing up its head, I’m sure it would be resolved.
There are fears that the fact that PDP will defeat the merger because of its presence in virtually all wards in the country, do you think your merger would be a match for the ruling party?
That PDP is in every part of the country is immaterial. The fact is that PDP has failed the country. Everybody has seen that PDP for 13 years has not been able to govern the country properly and everybody is dejected with PDP. In every part of the country, people no longer have confidence in PDP and people want a change of leadership in this country. So, the issue of PDP having presence in every part of the country doesn’t even arise.
What about funding? How does your merger intend to raise funds to match PDP?
On the issue of funding, when we get to the bridge, we will cross it. I don’t think funding will be a problem for us. Funding will be sorted out.
President Goodluck Jonathan promised that in 2014, he would make his decision on whether or not to run for the presidency in 2015 known to Nigerians, but his re-election campaign posters surfaced last week. Is it not a signal for your merger to start fishing for its candidate?
We are not afraid of Jonathan contesting. In fact, if PDP fields Jonathan, it will make it easy us. Jonathan has failed Nigerians. He has not shown that he has a vision or a programme or agenda for Nigeria. He said his agenda is transformation. The question is- what is he transforming? In the power sector, he has failed; in security, he has failed; in infrastructure generally he has failed. So, what has he transformed? If they want, let them flood the whole country with Jonathan’s posters. One thing we know is that if PDP fields Jonathan, it makes it easier for the opposition.
Does the merger have an idea of who its presidential candidate would be in 2015?
This is a democracy; a person you never thought of can come from anywhere and become the candidate. We don’t have any candidate now. For now all attention is on making sure the merger succeeds. There is no candidate in view at all.
Apart from your party, ACN and CPC are there other parties that are directly involved in the merger talks?
As I told you, there is a committee handling the merger. It is when they submit their report that I will be able to answer some of these questions accurately. Without that, anything I tell you will be speculative. The merger is among ANPP, CPC and ACN. If there are other parties involved, I might not be able to say now until I have a clearer picture.