Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Saturday joined his colleague Governors from Ogun State and Imo State to attend the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) Convention held at the Eagle Square Abuja, charging the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) to write its name in history by ensuring that it is seen to have acted above board in delivering Nigeria’s first successful political merger.
Governor Fashola who spoke at the Eagle Square, Abuja before a large gathering of the supporters of the party which included the Chairman of its Board of Trustees, General Muhammadu Buhari said INEC must not only be above board but must be seen by all Nigerians to have done so.
“If it is true that our opponents have any plans or any hand in scuttling the merger, they must rethink and desist. If they believe that the merger offers no ideology, it is not for them to decide that. That is the decision the people of Nigeria, who own Nigeria’s sovereignty have to make and live with”, he added.
The Governor said the biggest message of the merger is that it will give the people of the country the real choice to determine whether they will continue with the dysfunctional arrangement that the opponents of the merger call a government.
He explained that for him that is instructive because a choice between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the PDP is not a choice, stressing that in the history of Nigeria, there have been many merger attempts but the present one has run the longest course.
Governor Fashola said he is aware that some of the tragic irony of the nation is that when good opportunities confront history some people turn their backs and stressed that for all those who were present at the Eagle Square, they are there to confront history and have shown that they will not turn their backs.
“Of course there is the possibility that some people see history in the making and turn their backs. In that case they can only be recorded amongst the list of people who did nothing. For our part, we will do everything to depart from a history of mergers that have failed”, Governor Fashola added.
He also commended the leadership of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) for rising up to be a platform for change in the country, adding: “This is why I feel privileged to be present today to witness this CPC convention being held to approve the merger”.
Governor Fashola said the event which is taking place in the fifth month of the year, no one can say categorically whether the nation is operating the 2012 or 2013 Budget just as the goal post for power has started to change and the goal post for security is also changing.
He said the reason for this is simple as it is known by every public officer that the budget is an article of faith because without a budget nothing can happen.
“A government without a budget is like an automobile workshop without basic tools. It cannot fund power projects. It cannot fund security agencies. It cannot fund anything”.
“When we create that choice and the people of Nigeria decide that they want to stay with the party that has brought us this far then they will have made their choice”, he explained.
Also speaking, the Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun said the All Progressives Congress (APC) is a party that has come to stay and bringing positive change to the government of Nigeria.
He also charged INEC to seize the moment to see that the merger comes into fruition because it is about the good people of Nigeria and not about any individual.
Also speaking, former Governor of Zamfara State, Senator Sanni Yerima who led a delegation of seven members of the All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) to the Convention said Nigerians have demonstrated their desire for a party of change through their show of support and commitment for the APC.
He said the All Progressives Congress (APC) is a party that will change the nation for the better through its emergence as a true political party.
Other prominent people who attended the Convention are National Chairman of the A.C.N, Chief Bisi Akande, former Governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba, a national leader of the A.C.N, Chief Tom Ikimi and General Muhammad Buba Marwa and several others.