By Izunna Okafor, Awka
The leadership of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) has alleged that some of their members have been infected by members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) who recently joined the party
The National Chairman of ADC, Chief Ralphs Okey Nwosu made the claim in his address at a function recently held by the party faithfuls, during which he also advocated for a refined construct of what he described as “new-breedism” for the party’s development and continuous progress.
Chief Nwosu, during the address, said members of “parties that control government for the last 20 years infiltrated and infected a few of our members with their viruses”, adding that “some people came in the guise that they were “capacity” contestants to attempt to hijack and derail our party.”
According to him, “the narcissists, unfortunately, robbed on elements of our DNA as a transformation-driven organization.”
The ADC Chairman further alleged that Nigeria governors had the greatest threat to the country’s democracy, adding that they have become emperors, basking in pool of corruption and lawlessness.
“As imperial majesties they have taken controll of the local government, for the last 20 years the everything above LGA finances are in their pockets, elections at LGA level are manipulated by the governors,” he said.
Riding on what he described as the failures of the governors to give local governments full autonomy, the ADC Chairman called on its members to work hard to deliver the governorship candidates of the party in the forthcoming gubernatorial elections in Kogi, Bayelsa and Imo states.
His address read in full:
“You will all agree with me, I hope, that it has been a hell of a time in our polity during the campaigns and since after the general elections. Our politics and democracy seem to be causing chaos and creating division amongst us. It has become a source of bitter rivalry, hate, enmity, destructions, division and in many cases brutalization, heinous criminal activities and senseless killings.
“This happens within the entire ecosystem of our democracy and nation. The climate within all organizations that are supposed to herald any aspect of the process is corrupted, highly toxic and nefarious. In the end it is recrimination and blame games which add no value but retrogression and poverty for the nation and the citizenry. You know why?
“These ills blur our vision, poison our minds and calcify our brain and make the people unable to reason. The political parties, its members and those who come into the parties during election periods for their egos, showmanship or jobbery. The Labor unions, lawyers/professional bodies and associations of all sorts, the media, students, religious organization and their pastors and Imams, native doctors and cults of all shades.
“The security agencies, regulatory authorities and then the judiciary. We are all in the cesspit of corruption with the executive and legislative arms of government as the infamous champions.
“I will like to particularly point out that the Governors have the greatest threat to our democracy. They have become emperors, basking in pool of corruption and lawlessness. As imperial majesties they have taken controll of the local government, for the last 20 years the everything above LGA finances are in their pockets, elections at LGA level are manipulated by the governors. I am afraid as without local government there is no grassroots development.
“Developmental is bottom — up, and not up — bottom; it cannot work. Systematically, Governors are taking over other tiers and arm by fiat. They decide their successors, members of legislative are. They advancing to impose who becomes president of the country. In their smallness, they have murdered democracy.
“Despite all odds, our party ADC has recorded scintillating accomplishments within these period. Our NWC showed character and ensued that party unity is maintained. Our National youth leader, Miss Hauwa Yussuf was one of those who represented Nigeria and Africa in the Poverty Alleviation and Wealth Creation Summit in China; her performance on the global stage brought commendation to our party, nation and Africa.
“Also Miss Ifenla Oligbinde due to her great works as ADC National Coordinator of Communication and Programs was nominated and sponsored for three outstanding global fellowships; including the Nelson Mandela Leadership and Senator McCain Intern. For the next one year she will transverse Africa, the US and other continents as fellow, intern and researcher. I commend these persons and all other NWC and NEC members who have represented our party dutifully in various assignments.
“ADC is not completely isolated from the ills in the political space. The parties that control government for the last 20 years infiltrated and infected a few of our members with their viruses. Some people came in the guise that they were “capacity” contestants to attempt to hijack and derail our party. The narcissists, unfortunately, robbed on elements of our DNA as a transformation-driven organization.
“They tried in very poignant and most inelegant manner to libel our party and particularly my person just to achieve their selfish agenda. They were strong in the media, they used them to unleash the fiercest attack on my person. They tried to use some members and the court to demean the founders of the party who have sacrificed personal funds in billions of naira and many thankless years working to build a public thrust that is our legacy party.
“To God be the glory, they failed. The judgement of the Court of Appeal on the 5th of September stopped their evil plots; the judgment will forever remain a delight.
“It is not in the ADC DNA to harbor grudges or plot evils. Some of our state officials were compromised and the ecosystem of corruption subsumed a few. With genuine repentance and willingness to embrace our values in full dose, our culture of handshake has already prepared us for reconciliation.
“We are in the process because Nigeria needs a party that is grounded in the values of our handshake; trust, equity, collaboration, love and oneness that signals respect for one another and means welcome; that we are together for each other and for serious nation building enterprise. In our errors and failings we learn.
“Our country is in great turmoil. The whole gamut of the democratic ecosystem is corrupted. The human and institutional structures are grossly compromised. The consequences are rife. We lack shame and have lost relevance in the global arena. Poverty level is on a cruise, so are the exchange rates, crime, and morbidity.
“Our system of governance is called to question. What we are practicing is not democracy; some call ours kleptocracy, democrazy and all sorts of negativism. We risk doom and cannot go any further on this track.
“Democracy is supposed to empower the people to create their future and unleash the immense potentials within their space to create wealth, wellness, egalitarianism and prosperity of the mind and spirit. After 25years, we seem lost, the democratic ecosystem stinks. We have to tell ourselves the bitter truth.
“General Ibrahim Babangida worried about the bizarre tendencies of our politicians despite many years of failed civil rule came up with the idea of new-breed into our political and democracy lexicon in the late nineteen eighties. This was meant typically to placate the old, cantankerous and factionalized political players from national leadership to give way for new blood and generational shift.
“Newbreedism was further orchestrated by Gen. Sani Abacha. Within the last twenty-four years the singsong has continued. We now have parties ostensibly registered for the young people and the “Not-too-young-to-run” bill in place. In 2023, ADC equally fielded 75% of persons under the age of forty. The outcome so far shows that old age or what many refer as gerontocracy is not our problem. This has proved to be an illusion.
“The stench in the shithole does not discriminate on age, gender or religion. The culture of leadership and our politics without values are responsible for the nation’s predicaments. Leadership anchored on Newbreedism of age without characters of integrity, without a change of the current mindset will further devastate our situation. It is time for us to rethink and reframe the current status.
“New breed framed on newness, new ways of thinking, new ways of doing and being that reflects discipline, learning, ownership and accountability. Rather than age being the parameter, a newness that emphasizes ethical orientation and patriotism. To get free from the shackles holding us down, we must embrace Change, enlarge our hearts and enlighten our minds. Our newbreedism must anchor on characters of integrity and leverage on development paradigm that integrates indigenous knowledge and modern learning.
“Time waits for no one. As a party, we are on a redemptive journey and no matter the obstacles on our way, we are not looking back. To help deepen democracy and make better meaning of Nigeria’s political leadership and nation building enterprise, the Global Campus of the African Democratic Congress will be commissioned in October and completed within 24 months.
“This will serve as center of values and transformation. It will house the ADC headquarter, ADC Global Leadership Institute, skills acquisition center, Women, youth and Diaspora study halls, digital library, Souvenir shop, ADC Handshake Across Nigeria and Friendship center and a Convention Hall.
“To signpost our deep belief in women leadership, seventy percent of the Special Purpose Committee membership are women. The committee is to be chaired by our most amiable Queen of hearts Princess Jumoke Lawoyin, supported by other amiable Queens and Princesses in the persons of Barr Datta Amachree as Secretary, Hauwa Lawal Jibrin financial secretary, Ebere Ijere Gomwalk, Ier Jonathan-Ichaba, Tonto Dike, Neka Nebo, Hawwah Lawal Gambo, Adenike Oguns, Seseke Amupitan and a Aisha Umar Sidi; and Dr Aminu Abdurrahman Anas, Otunba Yomi Idowu, Dr Kenneth Gbandi and Chief Barrister Godson Ngbodile Okoye are to play advisory role as members.
“By the special grace of the Almighty God this Legacy Project will be delivered on time. As usual, NWC and all NEC members are required to generate enough interest in their states and spheres of influence to make the committee’s work a smooth sail in addition to our challenging roles of building party structures.
“To conclude I want to send a clear message to the power centers of the moment. The octopus stranglehold by state governors did not just start, but the tide would lead to a tsunami if not checked. I therefore call on the National Security Adviser, IGP, DG, SS and INEC to look into the carnage happening in Kogi and Imo state and call the governors to order.
“I believe that Mr. President His Excellency Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the Commander-in-Chief of the country and leader of APC would not tolerate the impunity and lawlessness of these APC poster Governors as they impact the country and its political space negatively.
“For us ADC, I charge us, Go and win the 3 states elections. We need to teach others what we teach by example. I call all ADC members to duty to ensure that ADC wins the Governorship election in Kogi, Bayelsa and Imo states. Our campaigns are going very well in Kogi and Imo states. I charge Hon Leke Abejide and Prof. James Okoroma to remain focused; victory beckons ADC.
“As a party, we have come together to give credence to our nation and be the flagship for transformational leadership that epitomizes values. In this responsibility, we must not fail. With a warm handshake and a fraternal heart, I welcome you all to a new beginning.”