Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance, APDA, and the New African Democratic Congress, N-ADC, a factional group of African Democratic Congress (ADC), have merged to become the Advanced Republicans, AR, party. According to the News Agency of Nigeria, both parties announced the merger on Saturday morning after a marathon meeting which began on Friday evening. Shittu Mohammed, APDA National Chairman, and Precious Elekima, N-ADC Interim National Chairman, signed the merger agreement on behalf of both parties. The merger agreement, it was learnt, stipulates that the APDA National Chairman becomes the Chairman of the new Advanced Republicans party, while the N-ADC chairman serves as Deputy chairman. In addition, the constitution of ADPA has been unilaterally adopted as the constitution of AR. Speaking after the signing ceremony, Mohammed said the merger was imperative as it brought together “like-minds” who are committed to ensuring the entrenchment of democracy and overall development of Nigeria. He said, “For us in APDA, we believe that in order to take Nigerians out of wood, forces of like minds must come together. “Ours is like minds, which have the same nationalistic ideology where Nigeria comes first – national interest before personal interest. “Our interest is to see that Nigeria’s movement from nascent democracy to development democracy - democracy where we do not just talk about elections but about economic development, advancement in technology and welfare of Nigerians. “This is why today, you have the `marriage’ of N-ADC and APDA, both dissolving and fusing to work for the development of Nigeria. On his own part, Elekima said the merger is reminiscent of the 1914 amalgamation as one party from the south and another from the north had joined forces to work together. He assured that the party will do its utmost best for the benefit of Nigerians. “This will transform into capacity to win elections. This is what happened in 1914 when the North and the South came together to form one Nigeria. “Today a northern-based party and a southern-based party have come together to make a national party and that party will win elections. “We are happy to say that N-ADC and APDA have agreed and our name will be Advanced Republicans. We have been able to fuse as one body and we will work together,” Ekelima said. He also disclosed that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, approved of the merger and that the congresses and National Convention would be held to elect officers of the new party all levels.