Welcome address by Chief Ralphs Okey Nwosu, National Chairman ADC, on the Occasion of ADC National Convention 2022. Venue: Conference Hotel, Zaria, Kaduna State.
This day must stand as a defining moment for our party. This is the second time we are holding a National Convention this year, just within an interval of 4months. Recall that the National Convention/Presidential Primary was held on the 8th of June, 2022 in Abeokuta. The presidential primary lasted from 10am of that day till 2am of the 9th. The presidential primary took all the time, and it became impossible to carry out the 18th item on the agenda which was election of the National officers. As not to create any chaos, the National Executive Committee NEC meeting was called September 25th and extension of one year was approved to enable the party focus on the general election for a more successful outcome. We are all aware of what followed.
As a way forward, we took counsel from INEC to conduct this convention. Not to jeopardize the chances of our candidates in the various elections, and to enable the party and our candidates kick start campaigns without rancor, we had to adjust our earlier timing for this convention from June 2023 to 12th October, 2022. We chose Kaduna State to host the convention in memory of Mallam Balarabe Musa of blessed memory, who was one of the founders of the People Redemption Party, PRP, the party that he led till his passing recently. He was a mentor to most of us, principled politicians. We chose Zaria because we wanted our party to remain grounded in tradition and rich values; this Conference Center because ADC like ABU, is knowledge driven with transformation leadership philosophy.
Dear delegates, party leaders and compatriots, INEC officials, security and media officers, I welcome you to the National Convention of the African Democratic Congress ADC in the Ancient City of Zaria. I was privileged to be one of the founders of this party in 2006, Alhaji Said Abdulahi, Dr. Mani Ibrahim, Elder Calvin Alagoa and High Chief Anayo Arinze, I salute you all for remaining committed to this party and doing your very best to grow the party. Since the founding, it has been a big challenge but today with over two million members and 1400 candidates contesting in the 2023 general elections, no one can begrudge us of worthy respect that founders deserve.
Some people may never understand the daunting tasks involved in building a political party anew. Many at times after elections there is mass exodus. Founders can never abandon a vision driven mission even when all others desert. We have witnessed over 120 political parties deregistered within these years. The faith of leaders is constantly under trial; in June 2020, our rent was due and we needed to relocate. We had BOT Members and Members in the National and States Assemblies whom we reached out to, but no one showed up. Again, as one of the founders and National Chairman, I had to sell a property I had bought in 1993 to again rescue the party. All my colleagues have sacrificed their time, resources and good efforts to fully establish the ADC vision as a rock-solid institution. To God the Glory.
The resiliency of our party ADC is supported by great men and ladies whose efforts, consistency and values have been instrumental to creating ADC as the third force in Nigeria irrespective of the current state; Dr Dele Ajadi, Chief Barr. Godson Okoye, Barr Peters Oyewole, Mallam Ibrahim Suleiman, Barr. Emeka Igwe, Hon. Mabel Oboh, Dr Peter Ede, Mrs. Kyauta Yakubu, Barr. Ifenla Oligbinde, Hon. Hauwa Yusuf, Elder Festus Igbinoba, Amb Sabiu Ibrahim Musa, Professor Nnaji and Hon. Nkem Ukandu and many others. The 25 State Chairmen, our Governorship candidates and all other candidates present today, I must say you remain shining example of leaders that Nigeria needs to make progress. By the special grace of God, we shall celebrate all the ladies and men that make our party thick by May 29th 2023 when we hope to record resounding victories across the states in the country.
To grow the party two years ago, we decided to appoint a few persons as BOT members and made Mrs. Patricia Akwashiki, who joined our party in 2019 after losing out in PDP primaries as Chairman BOT in 2020. What she made of the BOT is another lesson that will shape our history and learning curve. The most significant assignments were, one, to grow the BOT membership to quality Nigerians who could truly help the party in all aspects. The second was the assignment to conduct due diligence on all 2023 Presidential and Governorship Aspirants of the party. Today, we live with the outcome of the Presidential screening; Mrs. Akwashiki and Mr. Dumebi Kachikwu have colluded in their attempt to steal our party. We leave them both and few of their ill-omened cohorts to their conscience and God’s judgment.
As faithful party leaders and delegates, this convention presents all of us a pathway to save our party and build it to an institution that will redefine the course of development of Nigeria and Africa. Alhaji AbdulAzeez Suleiman, the Chairman of the Convention Planning Committee and ADC Global Campaign DG and his team, are already creating the new vista for our party. Saddled with organizing a National Convention at this time, they assured us that stakeholders, members and delegates will be tested on loyalty and spirit of ownership and not the entitlement culture that has pervaded the polity. They raised the budget and 24 hours to the occasion had assured me that the hall will be packed full with over 2000 ADC party delegates from across all the country and assured safety of all attendees and monitors.
Our gratitude goes to all the members of the convention organizing committee, delegates and party chieftains here today; you are the true leaders of the party. Our God is faithful, we should trust him in all our positive and sacrificial endeavors. He will see us through with assured successes.
May God bless us all.
ADC; Arise! ADC: Arise!! AD&C: Arise and Shine Nigeria.
Ralphs Okey Nwosu.