Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his party, the African Democratic Congress (ADC), have said that they would unveil their plans to rescue Nigeria at a public event next month. Obasanjo had led prominent members of his political movement, Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM), including former governors, Olagunsoye Oyinlola (Lagos and Osun states), and Donald Duke (Cross River State), to address a press conference in Abuja last week, saying that they had collapsed their structures into ADC.
The National Chairman of ADC, Okey Nwosu, who spoke in a telephone interview with THISDAY yesterday, said the party was adopting a three-pronged approach of merger, alliance, and fusion with like-minded political parties and organisations to ensure that it secures victory at the 2019 polls. He said ADC was pursuing another alliance with about 30 other registered political parties operating under the auspices of the Coalition for a New Nigeria (CNN).
Nwosu said, “We have started the reorganisation of the party, and by June, we are going to address the nation on the way forward and the promise ADC has for Nigerians.
“By June, we are going to address the nation on the way forward and what ADC has in stock for Nigeria and Africa.â€
He said CNM had fully integrated into the structures of ADC and that both were now one entity.
According to him, “We are just working on a document to create a continental brand from the ADC, a model political party like no one before.â€
On what would be the fate of the present leadership of ADC since the entrants would be interested in playing key leadership roles, Nwosu said he would not mind giving a chance for a party structure to emerge if that would help the party succeed in its mission to rescue the country from its present bad situation.
He said, “Our party had its last national convention in 2015 and at that time, we said the founding national executives could continue in their offices until such a time that the party will start to take a real life. With this fusion we are undergoing now and the membership we have, I feel we are taking a new life. So any moment from now we are going to fix our convention.
“The most important thing for people like me is that I have founded a party that eminent Nigerians approve as a proper vehicle to address the inadequacies that brought about the political situation in our country.
“So I am fulfilled and I am like a missionary on a mission of nation-building. Position doesn’t matter to me and most members of the party. My preoccupation from now on is how to move this party to the Villa and state government houses in Nigeria.”
On whether more political bigwigs are expected to toe the line of Obasanjo to join the ADC, Nwosu said though the party had a good number of top politicians, both serving and former government functionaries that had shown readiness to join ADC, the emphasis of the new movement was the grassroots.
Equally reacting to speculations that many governors and legislators were eager to join forces with ADC, Nwosu said, “Those are strategic matters, they would unfold at the appropriate time. We are planning and I think what makes us different is that we have sent letters to governors, senators, members of the House of Representatives, and if they can adapt to ADC ways, we will receive them
“We are a grassroots party and that is where our strength lies. We have always had a challenge of not having enough resources to show what we are capable of doing. Even in some places where we have won elections, the people in government tend to take the powerful influence of state structures to take the victories away. But I think with the influx of influential personalities that situation will end.
“The biggest assets of the party are the young people and women, not the kind big men Nigerians were used to. Almost everybody in Nigeria is not happy with the way the country is going. And if Obasanjo, Babangida, Danjuma, the bishops, and the religious leaders, both Christian and Moslem, have said that enough is enough, and have come to identify with a party that can properly package the polity and address issues of nation-building, we must be taken seriously.â€