Rumble in Accord Party
Some members of the Accord Party want to know why the party’s chairman, Mohammed Lawal Nalado went to court to challenge the power of the National Assembly to re-order the election sequence, writes Shola Oyeyipo
In Nigeria, not even smaller political parties are insulated from internal crisis. It is no longer news that both the ruling All Progressives Congress and the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party are plagued with internal wrangling. Surprisingly, small parties that are expected to be better run, are equally having their own fair share of crises. Therefore
virtually all the political parties in the countries are faced with internal wrangling.
That of Accord Party (AP) is particularly interesting.
Somehow, the crisis rocking the APC appears to have crept into Accord Party. The South-west zone of the party has issued a seven- day ultimatum to the national chairman of the party, Alhaji Mohammed Lawal Nalado to resign. He was alleged to have committed gross misconduct and and to have contravened the party’s constitution.
Apart from the ultimatum, the southwest zone has also resolved to dissociate themselves from the court proceeding instituted by the national chairman of the party against the National Assembly challenging the power of the National Assembly to amend the Electoral Act to alter election sequence. These were part of the resolutions arrived at after the zonal meeting held in Ibadan , Oyo State capital.
Although the Oyo State chapter was not on the same page with the zone on the resolution but other states, including Ogun, Ekiti, Ondo and Osun, were fully in support of the move.
The Osun State Chairman of the party, Chief Olusegun Fanibe, who spoke with newsmen on behalf of other states, said the chairman contravened the party’s law by engaging in acts that brought disrepute and public embarrassment to the party by unilaterally taking the National Assembly to court without any consultation or approval from the National Working Committee (NWC).
He said: “Secondly, he engaged in antparty activities by collecting money from the ( APC) to pay the rent of the national secretariat and he confirmed that himself because we knew we haven’t pay for the party secretariat for some time.
“Also, the National Chairman of this party posted the poster of himself as an aspirant for a vacant senatorial seat in Kastina State without putting the party logo, giving the impression that he intends to contest the election as the candidate of another party.
“We have been on this issue for three weeks. We invited him but for some reasons he has been avoiding us. He has been giving one excuse or the other. Even that is against the constitution of the party because as a chairman he is supposed to be in control but our chairman has been in disarray and that is why we resolved to this step, hopefully he will respond to this and do the needful.
”Our chairman is from Daura, very close to Mr President, and also, an in-law to the president, so I don’t think he would want to work against his kinsman. Every effort by stakeholders to move the party forward is being blocked and we think this is the time the South- west takes a step’’
Members of the party also threatened to quit the party if the chairman of failed to call an emergency meeting to review the allegations levelled against him with the view to setting up a committee and recommending sanctions according to the dictates of the party constitution.
“The national chairman must resign. We want him to resign within seven days or in the alternative, call for a National Working Committee meeting during which we shall set up a seven-man disciplinary committee to investigate the allegation and recommend appropriate sanctions in accordance to the constitution of the party,” he said.
They also congratulated former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola on their choice of All Democratic Congress (ADC) as the political party platform to use for the coalition movement and they are also optimistic that Accord Party may in the nearest future, be able to form a common ground with ADC in the interest of the nation.
He urged party members across the region to remain steadfast and committed to improving the quality of lives of Nigerians.
But in an indication that the crisis gradually brewing in the party is not about to end soon, another group of the party in the South-west zone last Tuesday, disagreed with the call for Nalado’s resignation and also rejected the purported vote-of-no-confidence passed on him on Sunday.
The leader of the South West chairmen, Chief Muda Ogunsola, said in Ibadan on Tuesday while addressing newsmen on the matter that Nalado and other national executives did not deserve the treatment purportedly meted to them.
He stated that: “All state chairmen of Accord Party across the six zones, including the South-west states, support of Nalado,” adding that “the few persons that called themselves South West leaders are unknown to us.”
He stated that none of the state chairmen and leaders of the party in the South-west, including the zonal leader, Adebukola Ajaja, participated in the purported vote- of- noconfidence, except Olusegun Fanibe of Osun State and a few other persons.
He said: ” All the allegations levelled against the national chairman were false and cannot hold water. Therefore, we warn such individuals to look elsewhere for actualisation of their personal ambitions because Accord Party is a well organised party and no individual can impose his or her personal interest on us.”
To many of his supporters, contrary to the insinuation that he is covertly working for his kinsman, President Buhari, Nalado, has repeatedly told anyone who cares to listen that the party will not adopt the presidential candidate of any political party in the 2019 general elections, so there should be no basis for the allegations.
But in the 2015 presidential election, AP was one of the parties that adopted the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP), Dr Goodluck Jonathan to contest the election.
However, as regards the 2019 election, Nalado has maintained that “Accord Party will not adopt the presidential candidate of any political party in the 2019 general elections. This is because with the influx of people coming to seek political position in our platform, we believe we have the capacity, strength and the spread to win the presidential election in 2019.
“We are meeting to strategise on how to go about our party activities that will translate to positive and better options for Nigerians.”
It is unclear whether the aggrieved South- west members of the party, who are already spoiling for showdown are swayed by Nalado’s recent disclosure and the firm support he is getting from the party chairmen. Because to them, he has already sold out to the ruling party and must simply go.
Withe each group sticking to its position, there is no end in sight yet to the party’s crisis. Not even small parties are immune from crisis. Unlike the ruling APC however, members of Accord Party have yet to start killing themselves.