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AD may lose recognition as crisis deepens

Posted by By Tolu Olarewaju,Lekan Sanni (Lagos)and Sola Shittu (Ibadan) on 2004/08/23 | Views: 298 |

AD may lose recognition as crisis deepens


The Alliance for Democracy (AD) may lose its status as a recognised political party if it fails to resolve its leadership crisis by October, it was learnt at the weekend.

The Alliance for Democracy (AD) may lose its status as a recognised political party if it fails to resolve its leadership crisis by October, it was learnt at the weekend.

The unending feud got to a head last week when Afenifere, the Pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, declared that it had recognised Senator Mojisoluwa Akinfenwa as the leader of the party, against rival factional leader Chief Bisi Akande.

Rather than resolve the dispute, the declaration has introduced another dimension to it, with the Akande faction describing it as an attempt to kill the party due to the perceived loss of influence on the party by Afenifere.

It was learnt that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) may have been fed up with the troubles and is thinking of wielding the big stick against the party as a lesson to others.

Sources said Lagos State Governor Bola Tinubu may be the target of such a proscription for his “confrontational stance” against the federal authorities.

Last year, the party held two parallel national conventions in Lagos and Abuja at which former Osun State Governor Bisi Akande and former AD Senate Leader Mojisoluwa Akinfenwa emerged as factional leaders.

Each refused to step down for the other.

A source at the INEC would neither confirm nor deny the mode the proscription would take but said the party had been given four options to resolve the crisis: Ratify one of the conventions; seek arbitration through the courts; hold another convention or allow the INEC to intervene.

The electoral body gave the party up to October 2004 to resolve the problem or be de-registered.

However, AD members have ruled out the possibility of it being proscribed even if the impasse continues beyond October.

They agreed, though, that the party may collapse if a lasting solution to the leadership problem remains elusive.

Some of them who spoke in interviews at the weekend expressed fears of danger as the crisis has become an albatross around the party’s neck.

According to AD National Director of Publicity, Research and Statistics, Dayo Adeyeye, the INEC has no power to proscribe a party once registered.

“INEC cannot proscribe AD after the expiration of the October 2004 deadline because it has no power to do so. What INEC said was that it would not deal with the party if it failed to resolve the crisis”, he said.

In his own view, AD Lagos State Chairman Abiodun Ogunleye said reactionary forces would want the party to die because it has always been a thorn in their flesh.

Said he: “That is their natural wish because AD is the most progressive party in the country. Even right now, despite the fact that we control only one state, AD is a party that is firmly committed to the principles of democracy and federalism.

“At this point in time, the only solution is to organise a new convention that would be open to all party members to seek whatever post they want. Anybody who is genuinely interested in the survival of the party will support the move for a new convention because that is the only way out for the party.

“It appears that some people are out to bring the party down at all costs. What are we going to gain by having a divided house? After all, Akande and Akinfenwa are free to contest in the new convention. We have tried all reconciliation moves to no avail. Except we want AD to die, we have to hold a new convention”.

Meanwhile, state chairmen of the party in the South West rose from a meeting on Sunday describing the recognition of Akinfenwa by Afenifere as a nullity.

Addressing newsmen in Lagos after the meeting, they said the declaration was uncalled for as it is unhelpful to the resolution of the crisis.

Nonetheless, both Akande and Akinfenwa have spoken of brighter prospects ahead. They barred their minds at a church service in Ibadan to mark the 40th birthday of Mrs. Boyede Akintola, Deputy Registrar of the Oyo State High Court.

Akande denied the existence of a crisis in the AD, but Akinfenwa acknowledged it, saying it would be over soon.

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Comments (3)

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Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

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Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.