APC Nigeria : History and Founding Fathers of All Progressives Congress

Written by Aeroberry

Introduction

In Nigeria today, we have two major political parties APC and PDP. In this work, we will be focusing on APC as one of the major parties in Nigeria. We will consider its origin, how it came about. We will also look at its guiding principles and manifesto. Also, we will mention those who are the founding fathers of the party, the states under the control of this party and the number of lawmakers the party has . We will at the end highlight what is termed APC news or APC latest news today in the news media because of the huge population of its members spread all over the nation and the world and because it is the ruling party.

Origin of APC Nigeria

New PDP (nPDP)

Getting close to the 2015 elections, PDP had internal crisis. Some of its members were not happy the way they were treated. These group splinter within the party and called themselves the new PDP or nPDP. When their grievances were not attended to satisfactorily, they defected to APC. Among them were some members in the National Assembly and some seating state governors like Amaechi of Rivers State. In 27 November, 2013, Amaechi and  4 other PDP governors who were part of the nPDP was reported to join APC. Later, in 19 December 2013, it was reported that 37 nPDP House of Reps members defected and joined the new party APC.

PDP dominance in politics

Prior to the emergence of APC, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had been the dominant and ruling party for 16 years in the nascent democracy. PDP dominated the political space and bullied other opposition parties in different ways. Before PDP crashed in the March 28, 2015 elections, it was in control of 23 states and the National Assembly.  It was very difficult for the opposition parties to formidably kick them out of office. One of the reasons was because the opposition parties were very many and not united. Election rigging was part of it also but we want to focus on the aforementioned. There were more than 40 opposition parties in Nigeria and all these normally field their candidates for elections. The consequence was that opposition votes were split and not enough to stand against the votes for PDP that was the biggest party in Nigeria.  Moreover, previous opposition initiatives to unite failed, as rival leaders fought to be the presidential candidate and bickered over policy.

Buhari Prior Unsuccessful Elections

Before the formation of the APC and its victory in the 2015 elections, Muhammadu Buhari had previously contested unsuccessfully the Nigerian presidential elections of 2003 and 2007 as the presidential nominee of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and the 2011 Nigerian presidential election as the presidential nominee of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).

Merger of Nigeria 3 biggest opposition parties

In other to match the political dominance of the ruling PDP and unseat them in the 2015 elections, there was a merger of Nigeria’s three biggest opposition parties – the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and a faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). The resolution to establish the party was signed by Tom Ikimi, who represented the ACN; Senator Annie Okonkwo on behalf of the APGA; Ibrahim Shekarau, the Chairman of ANPP’s merger committee; and Garba Shehu, the chairman of CPC’s merger committee.

INEC approval

INEC which is Independent National Electoral Commission gave its approval of the party on 31 July 2013 though the party started on 6 February, 2013. This means that it became officially a political party on this date. As a result, the operating licenses of the three predecessor parties (ACN, CPC and ANPP) were withdrawn.

Guiding Philosophy of APC

Every political party have their guiding philosophy. Hence, the party listed the following as its guiding  principles:

  1. Belief in and the fear of God
  2. Upholding the rule of law
  3. Preserving national unity
  4. Pursuit of a joint egalitarian society
  5. Building of strong institutions
  6. Commitment to social justice and economic progress
  7. Promoting representing and functional participatory democracy.

APC Manifesto

A manifesto is defined as, “a public declaration of policy and aims, especially one issued before an election by a political party or candidate.” APC has its manifesto. Some of the salient points in his manifesto are:

  1. Power will be used in the interest of the people rather than in the interest of the public office holder.
  2. Welfare and security of the citizens of Nigeria is paramount.
  3. They are agent of change for committed, transparent and focused leadership.
  4. Halt the dangerous drift of Nigeria to a failed state with a conscious plan for post-oil-economy in Nigeria.
  5. They will restructure the country by devolving power to the units. Adopt the best practices of federalism and eliminate unintended paralysis of the center.
  6. Offer 7 cardinal programmes to guarantee the corporate welfare and security of Nigerians such as:
  • War against corruption
  • Food security
  • Accelerated power supply
  • Integrated transport network
  • Free education
  • Devolution of power
  • Accelerated economic growth
  • Affordable health care

The full elaborate statement of the manifesto can be found at the party’s website.

The founding fathers of APC

These were some of the founding fathers of the party :

  1. Chief Tom Ikimi
  2. Alhaji Buba Galadima
  3. Alhaji Atiku Abubakar
  4. Bola Ahmed Tinubu
  5. Muhammadu Buhari
  6. Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora
  7. Attahiru Bafarawa
  8. Ali Modu Sheriff
  9. Murtala Nyako
  10. Chief Bisi Akande
  11. Yahaya Kwande
  12. Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau
  13. Kawu Baraje

APC Logo, Slogan and Motto

APC News || All Progressives Congress

On 6 March, 2013, Premium Times reported that on behalf of the party which was on the verge of being founded, 9 out of 11 governors of the proposed party adopted the party’s logo, slogan and motto. According to this online news media, the governors arrived at their choice after meeting with the technical committees set up to fashion out identity symbols for the group at the residence of Mr Tom Ikimi, chairman of the merger committee, in the Maitama District of the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja. Mr Bola Tinubu joined the nine governors in reaching the decision.

The APC logo adopted by these governors and officially used today is the green-white-blue background with a broom on the white background. The APC logo has a red base. This was influenced by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) logo which was one of the merger parties. Rather than have  horizontal bars as in ACN, the colors were rendered in vertical bars. The black horizontal base of ACN was then replaced with the color red. The broom on the white background, was a concession to the view that the broom is generally more acceptable and impactful than ANPP’s maize and CPC’s pen.

The APC slogan adopted was “Change”. The choice of “change” as the slogan was based on the believe that it will resonate widely and help galvanise citizens who are dissatisfied with the lack of progress in all facets of the nation’s life under President Jonathan.

The APC motto chosen was, “Justice, Peace and Unity.” This also was influenced by the ACN party motto. However, the “Prosperity” in the ACN party motto was substituted with the word “unity” in the APC motto.

APC Convention and APC National Chairman

 On 14 June, 2014, the party had its first national convention. At the convention, Chief John Odigie Oyegun was elected the first substantive APC National Chairman. Oyegun emerged by consensus, despite initial stiff opposition from his kinsman, Tom Ikimi who was not seen at the venue of the convention. This was after two other aspirants for the APC Chairmanship position, Chief Sam Jaja and Timipre Sylva agreed to back down, thus leaving Oyegun and Ikimi to do the contest.

Other officers elected at the convention were the APC Deputy Chairman, South, Segun Adebayo Oni; Deputy Chairman, North, Lawal Shuaibu; National Secretary, Alhaji Mai Mala Goni and National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Muhammed.

The National Working Executives of the party that were elected in 2014 stayed in office for about 4 years. On 23 June, 2018, another APC convention was held in Abuja. At the convention, the former governor of Edo state, Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole was elected  the APC national chairman of the party. The labour unionist turned politician emerged along with 23 others as the unopposed members of the new National Working Committee of the ruling party.

The other unopposed officers included, former Ekiti State Gov. Niyi Adebayo (Deputy National Chairman); Babatunde Ogala (National Legal Adviser); Pastor Bankole Olajuwon (National Vice Chairman, South- West); Ibrahim Masari (National Welfare Secretary); Hon. Jack Alumba (Deputy National Welfare Secretary); Tunde Bello (National Financial Secretary and others.

About 6,800 delegates were believed to have attended the convention for the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

APC Presidential Candidate

Since the party is a new party in Nigeria, it has only lasted about 4 years, which means it has only taken part in one general election. As a result, it has only fielded one APC presidential Candidate. Muhammadu Buhari is the only APC presidential candidate so far the party has ever put forward for presidential election. He chose  Vice president Yemi Osibanjo as his running mate. They won the presidential election clean and clear in 2015.

APC governors

We have 24 states in Nigeria ruled by APC governors since after the 2015 general elections. The 24 APC governors are listed below.

List of 24 APC State Governors in Nigeria

  1. Adamawa State, Jibrilla Jindow.
  2. Bauchi State, Barrister Mohammed Abubakar.
  3. Benue State, Samuel Ortom.
  4. Borno State, Kashim Shettima.
  5. Edo State, Godwin Obaseki.
  6. Ekiti State, John OluKayode Fayemi.
  7. Imo State, Owelle Rochas.
  8. Jigawa State, Alhaji Badaru Abubakar.
  9. Kaduna State, Nasirel Rufai.
  10. Kano State, Umar Ganduje.
  11. Katsina State, Aminu Masari.
  12. Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu.
  13. Kwara State, Abdulfatah Ahmed.
  14. Lagos State, Akinwumi Ambode.
  15. Nasarawa State, Umaru Al-Makura.
  16. Niger State, Abubakar Sanu-Lulu Bello.
  17. Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu.
  18. Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun.
  19. Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola.
  20. Oyo State, Abiora Ajimobi.
  21. Plateau State, Rt Hon Simon Lalong.
  22. Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal.
  23. Yobe State, Ibrahim Geidam.
  24. Zamfara State, Abdul Azeez Abubakar.

On Saturday 14 July, 2018, the governorship election for Ekiti state was conducted, and the APC candidate for the election Kayode Fayemi, was declared the winner by INEC. Consequently, we now have 25 states in Nigeria captured and in the stronghold of APC and ruled by APC governors. It is necessary to highlight here that with the victory at Ekiti state, all the south western state are now under APC government.

APC Senators and APC House of Reps

In March 28, 2015 elections, APC won 214 out of 360 seats in the House of Reps. Consequently, APC has the majority in the House of Reps. Similarly, APC senators are the majority in the Senate with 64 seats.

Nevertheless, with 2018 elections close at hand, there are some defections from APC to PDP. A good example is Senator Dino Melaye of Kogi state who has made his defection known.

APC News And Reformed  All Progressives Congress (rAPC)

Since APC merged and became the ruling party in Nigeria, the Nigerian media are very much interested in what happens in the party and among its members and government. Journalists all over the country are very much interested in APC news or APC latest news.  Being the biggest party now in Nigeria, APC news has a vast audience that makes it very attractive to any journalist and media house.

One of the most recent interesting APC news is one regarding the breaking away of a faction of APC now called Reformed All Progressives Congress (rAPC). On 4 July 2018, the simmering crisis in APC worsened with the splitting away of the rAPC. The leader of the rAPC is Alhaji Buba Galadima, an estranged ally of President Muhammadu Buhari. The break away was announced at a press conference in Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Abuja. The reason he gave for the split was that many of the party members were alienated at the last party national convention in June 2018. Also, that there had been widespread disenchantment with the manner the party had been run, and the conduct and performance of President Buhari led government.

Some of the national officers of the rAPC include: Buba Galadima, National Chairman (Yobe State); Bala Muhd Gwagwarwa, National Deputy Chairman, North (Kano State); Chief Theo Nkire, National Deputy Chairman, South East (Abia State); Hon. Eko Olakunle, National Vice Chairman South West (Osun State); and Hon. Hussaini Dambo, National Vice Chairman North West (Kaduna State).

Others include: Mahmud Mohammed Abubakar – National Vice Chairman, North Central (Kogi State); Hon. Godwin Akaan, Deputy National Secretary (Benue State); Dr Fatai Atanda, National Secretary (Oyo State); Kazeem Afegbua, National Publicity Secretary (Edo State) and others.

Conclusion

Today, APC is the biggest party in Nigeria. It is also the ruling party  since it has more governors and lawmakers compared to PDP its major opposition party. However, it has its own internal party headache. Some of it members are not happy the way things are today in the party. Consequently, we now have today the splinter group from the party called the Reformed All Progressives Congress (rAPC). Some of its members have defected to PDP like Senator Dino Melaye. The governor of Benue state, Ortom recently announced that he is leaving the party officially. All these are happening close to the 2019 general elections. What will be the fate of the party after the elections in 2019 ? What will the APC news be ? As things are going now, it appears APC is going the way of PDP before the 2015 elections. Nevertheless, it is too early to say. Things could still turn around, you never can tell.

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