… Vows Not to Allow ANN to be Used As Proxy Platform by APC
…Says Osun Election Shows Nigeria’s Democracy Faces Existential Threat
…Alleges that Jonathan Handed Over Power to Defeated Set of People Who Have no Commitment to the Values of Democracy
By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – The Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN) has said its convention will hold on Wednesday, 3rd October after its earlier convention slated to hold on Saturday (today) failed. The convention failed to hold following the withdrawal of nineteen out of the twenty- six state chapters of the political party,
This is coming at a time when the frontline presidential aspirant, Olowepo-Hashim debunked rumour making rounds that he has withdrawn from the Presidential race.
Mr. Olawepo-Hashim who made the clarification in a statement with newsmen in Abuja on Saturday, reminded that he is very much in the presidential race under the platform of the ANN and vowed to resist any attempt by the All Progressives Congress to use the party as proxy.
Worried with the unreadiness of the party for the Saturday’s convention, he siad that the consensus of the party is that we should have a primary that is consistent with the constitution where delegates list are approved by the National Executive Committee (NEC); where guidelines are established by NEC, where proper notices are given as we did when we had even a non-elective presidential convention which we had some weeks before. Where all contestants will know the rules of the game approved by NEC not just the presidential contestants but also senatorial and governorship contestants.
On the issue of constitution, he informed that all the guidelines that will guide the conduct of such primary are expected to be approved by National Executive Committee, which by popular consensus, will be convened this evening to approve such guidelines as prerequisite for the presidential primaries for Wednesday and other subsequent processes and congresses of the party.
According to him:
“The media has been awash with news surrounding my own participation. But first, let‘s just make some important points on party primaries. That the national convention of the party will require a quorum of 2/3 of the party and currently, the party is constituted in about 26 states. So, we only need just five (5) states to walk out of the convention for that convention not to have fulfilled the mandatory requirement of our constitution. Here this evening, we have about 19 states with their Chairmen and delegates that are not part of any illegal convention. Therefore, in case you come across any story of kangaroo convention under the tree or wherever, you should please disregard them.
“The ANN intends to have a good primary on Wednesday that is clean and open that everybody can participate. There have been some stories in the media that I have pulled out of the presidential race. I did not pull out of the presidential race; I am still contesting for President on the platform of Alliance for New Nigeria. It’s a party I have put a lot of resources , energy with a lot of people here who have equally put their strength , energy and resources – founding Chairman, Board of Trustee members and pioneer builders of this party – we will not abandon this party. We will not abandon this party to for All Progressives Congress (APC) to use as a proxy platform.
He continued; “Let me say again, that with what we have seen in Osun State where voters and agents of opposition parties were tied to trees in a show of shame which has been roundly condemned by members of international community, with what we are seeing with infiltration of ANN which has become the fastest growing political party among the newly registered parties, Nigeria’s democracy is currently facing an existential threat.
According to him, “The Forces of darkness that pro-democracy activists and democrats of this country and patriots have roundly defeated in 1999, have found hibernation in a party called APC which is being co-ordinated by the relics of our partial dictatorship which this country has put behind us. But because of the incompetence of the former president Jonathan, he has handed over power on a platter of gold, to a defeated set of people who have no commitment to the values of democracy.
Narrating the price he paid for the democracy some people are toying with today, he has this to say:
“Let me put on record that as one who was in detention, under military detention in the struggle for democracy and as one who put his live on the line in that process, we will not abandon our hard-won democracy for military dictators who have come back to power to do as they wish with the platform of the ANN. This platform will not be yielded to them to do as they please. We will not surrender ANN to the forces of dictatorship, we will not surrender ANN to the forces of oppression who wants to clinch to power by all means and at all cost.
“That is why you have seen all these gentlemen come out today to say that by the grace of God, on Wednesday, the ANN will have its presidential primary in accordance with the constitution of the party. And as I have said, NEC of ANN are convening this evening –the letter has already been written to the National Chairman signed by the all these Chairmen, members of NEC and National Working Committee (NWC) members, he added.