Building A More Inclusive System And An Egaliterean Nigeria Society
(Being Address by the National Chairman African Democratic Congress ADC on the Occasion of the World Press Conference on President Goodluck Jonathan’s Endorsement on Monday 23rd March 2015)
We chose to address this world press conference to play the intermediatory role as a responsible political party committed to the interest of our country, and well being of the people and our democracy.
However, we first will like to clear the propaganda being orchestrated by agents of a political party who featured in the front page of THISDAY newspaper of Thursday March 19, 2015 the Heading “12 of 26 parties pledge allegiance to APC”. I want to say that ADC was not part of any such thing; therefore, the caption and the content are completely untrue; we consider it a deliberate misinformation and absolute falsehood. Our nature of politics and what we represent are very different from that of APC and most of their candidates.
Our party ADC nominated Dr Mani Ibrahim Ahmad as our Presidential Candidate, and Dr Obianuju Murphy Uzohue as the Vice Presidential candidate. The two are very accomplished persons; they have impeccable pedigree, and a well grounded service culture. That is our tradition. In 2007 and 2011, our party presented Professors Pat Utomi and Nwangwu respectively as Presidential candidates. This year, Dr Mani and Obianuju have impacted our party and country most outstandingly; within the last three months they have embraced issue based campaign, and have been able to bring new and deep perspectives to our nation building challenges. I am convinced that what they brought to the debates will help in advancing the transformation journey of the present administration. We congratulate them.
As you are aware ADC is committed to nation building and is the number one party in the country in matters concerning national transformation, deepening democratic culture, and egalitarianism. To us it is not always about winning elections; rather it is more about patriotism and national service. In the tradition of abiding with what is best for the country, the national executive committee of our great party has decided and requested that our candidates step down as our party endorses the candidature of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and Architect Namadi Sambo this very day.
Why Jonathan; Goodluck is an authentic leader struggling with the challenges of nation building. Paraphrasing the sage saying of late General Yar Adua, we believe in reality and not magic as regards dealing with the challenges our nation building journey. Propaganda and brigandage is not the cure, and that is exactly the alternative that the so called main opposition party offers. To buttress this an erstwhile member of APC, Dr Tele Ikuru, Deputy Governor of Rivers State recently said, “After carefully studying, interacting and analyzing the leadership of the party, I have come to the sad conclusion that the APC is a party of rebels, insurgents and anarchists, clothed in robes of pretence and deceit. APC is a party founded on deception and it thrives on unholy propaganda and falsehood”.
Nigeria needs a President who does not have high need for power, an authentic personality who like all of us is struggling to make good with all the vulnerabilities and vagaries of our clime. We need a man at the centre who can stay out of the way and allow the full architecture of governance come alive and take root across the country. Making our local government councils play their roles as vibrant, functional and productive entities in this country will help our nation achieve greatness. We are convinced that President Jonathan has the humanity to ensure this.
ADC remains a stabilizing force for the country’s unity, national transformation, and Nigeria’s Democratic enterprise. Building an egalitarian Nigeria society is a collective exercise; we must not shirk this responsibility. We believe we are beginning to get nation building right by encouraging inclusivity especially at the top of government; for the first time in the history of the country we elected a very ordinary young man, a minority from the Niger Delta to be our President. He does not have a military background and like most Nigerians he does not have any privileged upbringing; like most of us, he struggled through school and through life. He is just like the guy next door. We employ all Nigerians to continue to support the positive change that Jonathan’s presidency represents.
Finally, our party ADC recognizes that building an egalitarian Nigeria society is not without challenges. As a result, we resolved in our last NEC meeting to send a bill to the National Assembly that will make any Nigerian, military or civilian, who participates in a coup or engages in acts capable of truncating democratic government in Nigeria, ineligible to stand for election or hold any public office. This we hope will act as a deterrent to overzealous, self-aggrandized, and dictatorial persons with messianic-syndrome from attempting to scuttle our democratic struggle. This we believe makes the choice easier for all Nigerians on this crucial election. Democracy is the best path for our nation. Democracy has helped to stabilize the leading nations of the world. If Nigeria’s first republic was not thwarted in 1965, our democracy would have gotten 55years stronger. If General Buhari did not stage a coup against President Shehu Aliyu Shagari and the second republic in 1983, our democracy will still be enjoying 36years of health. Nation building has its challenges; it requires patience, and special nourishment. No coup against any struggling democracy is justified; a coup plotter does not deserve a democratic crown. We must sound this loud and clear with our votes.
For President Goodluck Jonathan, we assure you that we shall mobilize all our members and sensitize all stakeholders across the country to trust you with their votes. We are certain therefore of your victory in the polls. The people of Nigeria will require you to redouble your effort, and to build a large coalition that is all inclusive to drive the transformational journey that you have started in your first tenure. Genuine transformation requires pulling together different shades and perspectives as there are within the Nigerian political and larger space.
We congratulate Dr Mani and Obianuju again for a very impressive campaign. We congratulate President Jonathan for getting our endorsement, and for his assured victory at the poll.
Let’s go to work.
God bless ADC. God bless Nigeria.
I thank every one of you for your esteemed presence and for listening to me.
Chief Ralphs Okey Nwosu. National Chairman ADC
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