AC National Convention & The State Of The Party

By Odimegwu Onwumere
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On Thursday, 10th of December 2009, All Seasons Multi-purpose Hall, Agidingbi, Lagos State, was agog and aghast for the National Convention of the Action Congress (AC), a convention which was billed for Saturday, was christened a none-election convention. On that Thursday, Saturday 12th December being the D-day, Barr Babatunde Fashola, the Lagos State Governor, emboldened the faithful of the party with his speech to recharge themselves with factors that the party was known for, which was Progressivism. While Fashola calls for progressivism, it is backwardness to many members, with many henchmen of the AC romancing with the PDP-led government. Yours truly was a very fanatic of the Turaki Adamawa, ex-VC Atiku Abubakar.

Atiku's stand in the party is not today well known again to this writer. While the national body of the AC is talking a different thing, Atiku is talking a different thing. He is talking about Mega Party, while other leaders and most members of the party disagree with his idea to remain AC and promote its ideas of progressivism. The later has been attracted much acceptance and brought so much pride to the AC.

The newly formed National Democratic Movement, NDM, of Atiku, Muhammadu Buhari, and Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, in many quarters is designed to work with the Mega Summit Movement to launch a formidable pro-people political party, a highpoint of the consultative meeting hosted by the Northern trio of General Muhammadu Buhari, Alhaji Atiku Abubarkar and Alhaji Attahiru Bafawa in Abuja: Political ideologies being fused together in a marriage that is certainly un-holy. Will the followers of these leaders not be thrown into an endless and confused contraption? AC needs to identify their true leaders as they approach the coming elections.

Vividly, this writer can remember Atiku, addressing stakeholders at the parley, charged the two movements to, within a reasonable time frame, put in place the much expected mega alternative political platform, in the interest of the country? Atiku, what about the interest of the AC? While Atiku's position was well supported by both General Muhammadu Buhari, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa and other eminent political actors at the historic meeting, where the trio and their supporters openly demonstrated resolve to work together, did the entire AC agree to work with Mega Party?

However, yours truly will never rule out that Atiku is a role model to democrats but his role in the AC is fading with a stream line left. Even that uncertainty still lingers over President Umaru Yar'Adua's health, Atiku Abubakar lashes at the ruling People's Democratic Party, PDP, accusing it of blackmailing the opposition with the President's illness, irrelevant.

Nigerians can't rule the truth of Atiku that the country was near absence of leadership. But was this not Atiku who has been romancing with some states where the AC is in alliance with the PDP-led government in that state? For example, Rivers State. There is no ruling out that the PDP had kidnapped the country, but Atiku has kidnapped trust of many of his supporters like yours truly.

This writer's joy was to note that Fashola and Tinubu rumour-rift was led to a final rest. Governor Fashola, while delivering his address referred to Tinubu as the “Asiwaju of the World, my leader and mentor”. Governor Fashola, said: 'Former governors, especially my leader, my mentor, the Asiwaju of the world. As Asiwaju has said, we are no more a minority party, we are the party at the heart of the issue everybody will be looking to our party to provide leadership, to provide governance. All members of Action Congress must be at the vanguard of democracy to ensure that every vote counts. I call on every Nigerian to give their support. Commit your resources and time to support the great work that is started by CODER so that every vote will count.”

But that seems to be a different case in Delta AC, Imo AC but most especially in the Rivers AC. It could be recalled that since September 11, 2008, Mr. Suage Badey was inaugurated as the Rivers State Action Congress (RSAC) chairman among many other RSAC office holders, his detractors have always made the RSAC members see him from a bad light.

This year, the alleged detractors went as far as publishing paid advertorials on the newspapers and write-ups that a hundred million naira was given to him, and this was also circulated through text messages. According to newspapers account, the said text messages allegedly emanated from (yours truly boss) Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, which led to his suspension on the 20th Nov. after an enlarged exco-meeting of the RSAC.

The said text of one hundred million naira, according to a communiqué issued in that meeting was later, after many investigations by many sniffers in the party, was found to be the creation of the accuser. Badey, after the investigations were carried, went on air and in the newspapers and refuted the allegation. This was done after the 20th November, 2009, meeting of the enlarged exco of the RSAC.

Many people in and out of the party today had always wondered since the trend of text messages, what this clique of people in the party that are selling disinformation against the chairman were bent to achieve and want the national body to make of the RSAC, a chapter of the AC that is intact under the leadership of the astitute Badey.

The RSAC was a tug-of-war before the emergence of Badey, which had led to the March, 2008 intervention of the national office of the Action Congress. A delegation led by the party's national organizing secretary, Goddie Ikechi, led to the restoration of peace which had come to stay in the party till the recent resurgence of some ill-minded people that in their own thought are pursuing Badey over a course best known to them. And one thinks what is the opinion of the Prince of Niger Delta Politics, Prince Tonye Princewill, over the unprintable comments that have been circulating in the RSAC he contested the gubernatorial election in the 2007 elections.

The recommendation of that delegation, guided by the national office of the party through the South-south zonal office in Benin, led to dissolving the elected state executive council of AC in Rivers State in August, 2008 and caretaker committee, CTC was inaugurated with immediate effect. The inauguration ceremony held at the Prince Golf Hotel, Abana Street, Old GRA, Port Harcourt, and was attended by the party's national and zonal chiefs. Goddie Ikechi- national organizing secretary, Festus Effiong, national assistant secretary, Austin Eweka, National Vice Chairman South-South, Joseph Omorochuma, zonal organizing secretary, Obi Aham, chairman, Abia State, Tony Omoeghe, chairman, (Edo State) Oburu Cletus, chairman, Cross Rivers, Sam Egweruma, chairman Delta State Chief Ndubuisi, chairman (Anambra State) David Ekenem, chairman (Akwa Ibom) and Hon. Dede, chairman, (Bayelsa State), were present.

One Mmuen Kpagane, reportedly ones held the RSAC chairmanship before the August dissolving of the leadership of the party which was predicated on his alleged anti-party activities, came to the national convention with over twenty thugs for reasons best known to him and was whisked away by the security operatives at the national convention. This led to a lot of in-genuine persons at the convention from various states and precisely Rivers State leaving the venue instantly to avert possible arrest.

This writer's advise is that anybody who is trying to disintegrate the party in any state of the federation should not and should imbibe the good instructions by Fashola: The people rest more on the leadership which the Action Congress provides for them and has resultantly placed enormous burden of expectation on the party, adding that “each time history has beckoned on us, we have turned our backs. This time around under the leadership of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and our other leaders, we will confront history. We will demonstrate that black men can take responsibility for their affairs and liberate themselves from the shackles of poverty. We should all be vigilant. There are no contests. We know our leaders and we respect them. Those who think we are fighting are dreaming. If they don't wake up, the development of Lagos will pass them. An idea of a pre-convention lecture clearly signals out a difference in what characterizes a new march for party politics in Nigeria which represents the style of the Action Congress. A pre-convention lecture to debate serious issues of national development clearly reinforces that Action Congress is a party of ideas and the party to beat. The founding fathers of this party will not seek political office for aggrandizement but for improving the lots of Nigerians who look up to them for guidance, direction and for expectation. The content of our manifesto very much underscore the seriousness of leadership that our party offers.

Odimegwu Onwumere is the Founder of Poet Against Child Abuse (PACA), Rivers State. +2348032552855. [email protected]

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