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

THISDAY - - POLITICS -

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.

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