Following the dust that arose from the presidential primaries of the Alliance for a New Nigeria political party, where many of the aspirants withdrew from the race and or party, the spokesman of the party has revealed what really transpired before and during the primaries.
Below is the report.
“In a time such as this, where there is clamour for power and political unrest, where surprises are springing up daily and the underdogs awakening to be giants and the people’s Hero, it is no surprise that facts and truths can be misrepresented and lost amidst the foray. One of such is the real story behind the just concluded presidential primaries for the Alliance for a New Nigeria political party.
Newly registered with a vision to make a difference and birth the new Nigeria of our dreams. Like a plant about to grow something new, re-adjustments within the party to weed off those whose underlying intentions and whose values are not aligned with the values of this party. Little wonder why people who haven’t been able to sway the party for their personal gains will cry wolf and try to discredit the work and integrity of the party especially just after the just concluded successful Presidential Primaries.
It is reported that sometime in February 2018, Fela Durotoye now ANN Presidential Flag bearer joined the party and declared his intentions to run for office with the party. Around May 2018, the Nigeria Intervention Movement joined ANN with their representatives, Dr. Thomas-Wilson Ikubese and Mrs. Elishama Ideh.
ANN continued to grow and its first National Convention was billed to take place in August 2018. About three weeks to this, a certain Aspirant shows up who had not been on the scene before but in respect to its values, ANN opened its arms to welcome him, this aspirant was Gbenga Olawepo Hashim.
Not too long after his joining, reports of parallel congresses in several states of the ANN especially northern region reached the National Executive committee, certain groups not prior recognized or documented with the party held congresses parallel to the existing structure. Some states ended up with dual persons for its ward, local and state government chairmen. This led to a boycott of the National Convention by 3 aspirants unless the irregularities were addressed.
The National Executive Committee met on the 3RD of September, 2018 and set the date of the primaries for the following dates;
- States House of Assembly – 5TH October, 2018
- House of Representatives – 3RD October, 2018
- Senate – 2ND October, 2018
- Gubernatorial – 4TH October, 2018
- Presidential – 29TH September, 2018
- Collection and Submission of Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms – 9TH to 19TH September, 2018
Decisions such as this can only be taken by NEC presided over by the National Chairman and in quorum. September 29, 2018 was communicated to all. Presidential aspirants purchased their forms and the party kicked off arrangements and printed materials to be used. Just before the day, aspirants, Dr. Thomas-Wilson Ikubese and Mrs. Elishama Ideh, withdrew from the presidential race yielding their manifestos to Fela Durotoye and trusting that he will execute its content for the betterment of Nigerians at large reinforcing their earlier decision to support Fela Durotoye when he emerged from amongst them as the consensus candidate of Presidential Aspirants Coming Together(PACT).
Perhaps this and the general news of Fela Durotoye’s message of value driven leadership which already gained popularity nationally got the late entrant presidential aspirant, Gbenga Olawepo Hashim rattled and unsure. Just one day to the presidential elections, he penned a notification of his intentions to boycott the primaries after several attempts to make the NWC postpone the primaries amid several sabotage efforts by his cohorts that accompanied him to the party. One begins to question his decision making ability when he seems to make personal decisions at the last minute having been fully aware of all the details of the primaries prior to that day.
The primaries took place as scheduled, using the indirect election process. At the end of the day, Fela Durotoye emerged party presidential candidate with 240 votes to 7 for Gbenga Olawepo Hashim who is now calling for a parallel presidential primaries with schedule conflicting with House of Representatives primaries on grounds that he has not been able to substantiate so far.
The question then is, is this someone who must get power at all costs? Is this person really here to serve Nigeria with his heart or here to serve the selfish interests of a few? ANN as a party has refused to do things the old way as this fellow may be used to in the PDP where he came from. He has however often times said his structure is a mixture of PDP, APC and ANN.
It was reported that on the morning of the primaries, Gbenga Olawepo Hashim invited a number of State Chairmen loyal to him, inclusive of individuals in his following whom he had tried to install as parallel state chairmen and a couple of state chairmen who were oblivious of the real intent of a meeting turned press conference.
He however ended up offering inducement to some state chairmen to not participate in the legally organised presidential primaries duly observed by INEC in which 21 states went through proper accreditation and 3 states arrived after accreditation had closed. We can infer who they voted for from the results. ANN remains a party with a strong value system and those with little or none of that will get uncomfortable when they cannot sway things materially in their own favour.”
Source: Public relations officer, Alliance for New Nigeria political party (ANN)