By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor and Dirisu Yakubu
Presidential aspirants under the banner of the newly registered Alliance for New Nigeria, ANN Saturday vowed to use the platform of the party to enthrone a new Nigeria where the malaise associated with professional politicians are not found.
Two of the presidential aspirants, Mr. Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim and Dr. Dan Musa spoke at the first national convention of the new party where erstwhile party spokesman, Mr. Emmanuel Dania emerged as the chairman of the party that prides itself as the party of technocrats.
Foundation chairman, Dr. Ojay Samuels retired to the Board of Trustees as chairman said he left his position after doing his best and finding in Dania as a worthy replacement who he said will take the party to the next level.
Delegates at the national convention were drawn from all the states of the federation with the notable exception of Lagos State whose delegates did not answer to the roll call of the states.
Speaking, Olawepo-Hashim, a former chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP said:
“APC government has played politics with national unity. ANN will restore that unity. We will give everyone a sense of belonging and we will produce a president that will be a president for all Nigerians and not for some Nigerians,” Olawepo-Hashim, who may have emerged as the leading aspirant in the party said yesterday.
He said that the party’s commitment to build a new Nigeria would not be in slogans.
Dr. Musa, who contested the presidential ticket of the National Republican Convention, NRC in 1993 spoke in the same vein saying his quest for a new Nigeria brought him to the party.
Dania in his acceptance speech yesterday said the party came to disrupt the existing system he claimed has held Nigeria back despite its abundance potentials.
“We did not come to this game like any other political party; we are here to disrupt the system and indeed, we will disrupt the system. We have different strategies one of which is the engagement of grassroots participants; identifying people whom we know are already doing a lot of reform work in different parts of the Nigeria. The strategy is to bring them into clusters and those clusters would enable us to see how they can integrate and exchange information to impact their immediate societies.
Dania emerged unopposed following the withdrawal of Jay Osi a few minutes to commencement of balloting by delegates from the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Other members of the National Working Committee (NWC) that were elected unopposed include Isa Tijanni (Deputy National Chairman), Thompson Isime (National Organizing Secretary), Ben Nwokoye (National Legal Adviser) and Victoria Ayo (National Woman Leader).