The United Progressive Party, UPP, on Friday, said it had merged with the All Progressives Congress, APC, adding that it would not take the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to court over its deregistration alongside 73 others.
Dr Chekwas Okorie, a former National Chairman of UPP, in a statement in Abuja, said that the decision was reached by all stakeholders in the party.
“The National Executive Committee, NEC, of the Board of Trustees (BOT) and other stakeholders of UPP met on Feb. 20 at the party’s national secretariat, Abuja.
“We reviewed the action of INEC in deregistering UPP along with 73 other political parties and we resolved not to challenge INEC in the court of law.
“We, however, commend the parties that have headed for the court, knowing that it is within their constitutional right to approach the courts for judicial intervention,’’ Mr Okorie said.
He hinted that the party reviewed a number of options available to it, including the hands of fellowship extended to our party by some of the political parties that survived the INEC deregistration.
Mr Okorie said that on Aug. 17, 2018, the party’s NEC opted to support President Muhammadu Buhari for his second term, during which its members were directed to campaign for APC.
He said that the directive was carried out without any dissenting voice from 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 those where they are resident.
“Before arriving at this final decision, we consulted widely, not only among ourselves but with the leaders and stakeholders of APC where we have been assured of a warm welcome and equal opportunities for all bona fide members of the ruling party,’’ he said.
Mr Okorie, who recalled that UPP was registered on Oct. 22, 2012 and existed for almost eight years, noted that the party exhibited the highest level of internal party democracy, discipline and cohesion within the period of its existence.
He also said that within the period, UPP never experienced any division at any level of the party’s administration and structure.
He, therefore, urged UPP members to exhibit this commendable character in the APC so that they would stand out as disciplined members of the APC and contribute their own quota to the growth of the party.