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By NBF News

Friday, September 24, 2010
Ahead of the 2011 general elections, the national convention of the Alliance For Democracy (AD) yesterday in Lagos passed a resolution for the party to dissolve into the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) amidst protests from the northern members.

It also passed another resolution asking the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to delete its name from the ballot papers for the 2011 general elections.

The fusion of the party was sequel to a motion by the Deputy National Chairman of the party, who was also the Chairman of the convention committee, Alhaji Musa Umar. The motion was supported by Mr Owie Togo from Akwa Ibom State. Moving the motion, which enjoyed overwhelming support, Umar said the fusion of AD into ACN was to kick start the coming together of all progressive parties for the betterment of the nation.

However, there was a mild drama at the convention when shorly after the motion was passed that a northern deleagate and Secreatary of the party in Kano State, Abdullah Ibrahim, stood to oppose the fusion. Ibrahim, who said he was speaking on behalf of the 19 northern chairmen of the party, said the northern members of the party were against anything that would make the AD lose its identity. He said the party had structures from the ward to the state level in the 19 states of the North. He wondered what would become of the party members if the fusion was allowed to scale throw.

Through the intervention of the INEC officials, who monitored the convention, he was allowed to articlute his view into a counter motion. However, when he moved the counter motion against the fusion, there was no seconder, thereby giving rise to the passage of the earlier motion for the fusion. In another motion, the National Secretary of the party, Alhaji Mogaji Kwaranga, moved that INEC should delete AD from all the ballot papers in next year's election. The motion which was also passed with a voice vote was seconded by the Chairman of the party in Lagos State, Lateef Raji.

The Borno State Chairman of the AD, Muktar Abdalla, told Daily Sun in an interview that both the motion for the fusion of the party into ACN and for the delisting of party's name in the ballot papers for next year's election came as a surprise to the northern members of the party. He said it was not part of the resolution at the NEC meeting of the party on September 1. When he was asked what the northern menbers plan to do, Abdalla retorted: 'Just watch out. The game is about to start now. We have been in the struggle since 1999 now, and I think we will start it again.'

Daily Sun gathered that the natioanl convention, which lasted for barely 65 minutes, was convened purposely to ratify an earlier decision of the national executive of the party held in Abuja on September 1. It was gathered that the NEC of the party at the Abuja meeting had resolved to fuse with the ACN as part of it strategic plan for the 2011 general elections.

Earlier, in a keynote address, the Natioanl Chairman of the party, Chief Micheal Kolesho, said the decision of the party to fuse into the ACN was based on its belief that all progressive political parties need to come together to serve the country.

Kolesho said: 'It is our strong conviction that the fusion of the AD into the ACN will open up new vistas for the freedom and liberation of our people from the long tunnel of darkness. By so doing, the AD is going into the fusion as a strong partner, as one of the oldest political parties.

'We are not dissolving into ACN, rather it is the fusion of soulmates of two great political parties that are rich in ideology and philosophy,' he added.