Fred Ezeh, Abuja
As fallout of the onslaught of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on some political parties that failed to meet certain criteria, the United Progressive Party (UPP), has officially collapsed its structures at all levels into the All Progressive Congress (APC).
The party former leaders said the decision to join the ruling APC was taken by the National Executive Committee (NEC) including the Board of Trustees (BOT) and other stakeholders of the party at meeting that ended in Abuja, on Thursday.
Former national chairman of the Party, Chekwas Okorie, in a statement released in Abuja, on Thursday, said their action was a result of the decision of INEC to de-register 73 political parties that UPP was among.
He said: “We reviewed the action of INEC in de-registering UPP along with 73 other political parties and resolved not to challenge them in the court of law. We, however, commend political parties that opted for the court option, knowing that it’s within their constitutional right to approach the court for judicial intervention.
“We reviewed a number of options available to us including the hand of fellowship extended to our former party by some political parties that survived the INEC onslaught. After considering the fact that on the 17th August 2018, our party’s NEC opted to support President Muhammadu Buhari in his bid for re-election, unconditionally, during which time, our members across the country were directed to campaign for APC presidential candidate and president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The directive was carried out without a single dissenting voice from any segment of the party nationwide.
“In view of our present circumstances, our party resolved unanimously that the most logical follow-up to our earlier chosen political trajectory would be to collapse all our structures from the ward to the national level into APC. We have, therefore, directed our members at all levels to proceed to register as members of APC at their various wards of origin or the wards where they are resident.
“Before arriving at this final decision, we consulted widely, not only among ourselves but with the leaders and stakeholders of the APC where we have been assured of a warm welcome and equal opportunities available to all bonafide members of the ruling party.
“UPP was registered on 2nd October 2012, and for nearly eight years of existence, we exhibited the highest level of internal party democracy, discipline and cohesion. In this number of years, UPP never experienced any factionalisation at any of the levels of the party’s administration and structure.”
He urged members of the party to exhibit commendable character disposition in the APC so that collectively, they would stand out as disciplined members of the APC who would be known for contributing to the growth of the party.
“In the next few weeks, we shall present ourselves formally to the leadership of APC along with other political parties who are similarly inclined,” said Okorie.