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THE TROUBLE WITH ANPP, BY MOGHALU

By NBF News

Edge over other contestants. I have only one thing which they don't have and that's experience in party administration.

I will like to take you back to what happened when I was the national secretary between 1999 and 2003. That period could be described as the glorious days of ANPP. I gave the party a face and created opportunities for victory. If I am elected the next National Chairman, I will again give the party a new face.

ANPP in the South-East
That is what I am assuring ANPP this time around. If I believe in something, I work towards it. I am a dedicated, committed and courageous person in politics. People love ANPP, but we have always had problems with leadership. If we enthrone a vibrant and focused leadership, Nigerians will follow us and we will achieve victory.

I have always said it that in a vibrant democracy, the ruling party is government and the party in opposition is also in government. One is in government to keep the electoral promises made while the other is in government to ensure that all promises made are kept and when these two parties are vibrant, the tendency is that democracy will thrive, and the promises made kept for the benefits of the people. So, I am in the race with exposure, experience, knowledge and determination to move the party forward.

ANPP and GNU
Everybody in ANPP today agrees that if there was any mistake that was made, that is blowing hot and cold, it is the Government of National Unity. The obvious truth is that you cannot be in opposition and at the same time in government. Both cannot fly. The GNU was a kind of a hindrance and it incapacitated the party from being a vibrant opposition. Under that situation, there is no way ANPP can actualize its determined ambition because under that agreement , the party is a partner and cannot query the policies of the government in power.

I will endorse it in my capacity as the chairman if eventually I emerge. But if it becomes an issue that will be discussed by the party's hierarchy before taking a position vis-à-vis the information available to me today, I can guarantee that majority of our members, leaders and stakeholders will vote for final withdrawal of ANPP from GNU so that we can effectively compete in the forth-coming elections.

This is an election year, and we cannot afford to blow hot and cold at the same time. We must follow the right way and the dividing line must be visibly drawn. I see political parties as vehicles for the actualization of political power. They are all platforms. The truth is that you must use the platform you are standing on to seek for political power, for the service of the people.

Leaving the party
Let me clarify this issue of leaving the party and coming back to vie for the chairmanship. I have always assured of thrashing out this matter at the appropriate time. Let me warm and advise at the same time that we cannot afford to sacrifice competence, experience, courage, knowledge on the alter of 'you left and came back.'

The constitution of the party stated that one must be in the party for 12 months so as to be eligible to contest. It didn't say it must be the last 12 months. That propaganda is a desperate plot by a few persons to shut the door against people they know are vibrant and popular. I am a founding member of All Peoples Party (APP) that metamorphosed to ANPP after UNPP collapsed into our fold. It is not a matter of there is a vacancy for me to fill and that's why I returned.

No, I am back to ANPP, because of my love for the party, and the need to reposition the party. Party politics is like a church where you don't lock the door against people. Everybody has the right to walk in and out of a church at his/her own time, and so is a political party. The issue at stake is on how to elect a leadership that should be committed, dedicated and focused. I strongly believe that time is up to rescue ANPP and that must start by enthroning a credible leadership. Above all, I am not desperate.