Former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s Third Force Movement, Coalition of Nigeria Movement (CNM) recently adopted the African Democratic Congress (ADC), a political party that has never won an election since its inception in 2006 and is renowned for stepping down for other party’s candidate.
Announcing the development to journalists in a press conference, the Co-Convener of CNM, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, said the integration is the first part of the coalition’s multi-layered action plan to give back the Country to its much-deprived people.
“As we stated in January during the launch of the CNM, we are taking on this task not minding the inconveniences and other expected and unexpected consequences of our efforts at reinventing the Country.
“While I on behalf of the leadership and the over three million members of the CNM congratulate ADC as the vehicle for national reinvention, I urge us to let us know(sic) that the task ahead is an arduous one that needs further strengthening of the forces of change.”
He added that the fusion is a vital step in re-building the Country, assuring Nigerians that it can rescue the Country from being destroyed.
Speaking with journalists in Abeokuta, Obasanjo said since the inception of the coalition, many of the sixty-eight registered political parties had contacted and consulted with the Movement on coming together and working together before its final decision to adopt ADC.
“The leadership of the Movement, after detailed examination, wide consultation and bearing in mind the orientation, policies and direction of the Movement; have agreed to adopt ADC as its platform to work with others for bringing about desirable change in the Nigerian polity and Governance.”
“The party, ADC, as I understand it, is neither based on the immediate past, condemnable records of PDP as a ruling party in Nigeria nor on the present disastrous and destabilising performance of APC. It is a new platform and a new page in our political history.”
He, however, reiterated his stance of not becoming a member of the party as he had quit partisan politics since 2014.
Profiling ADC – A history of Stepping down
In what seem like an irony, the African Democratic Congress was formerly formed as Alliance for Democratic Change in November 2005, during the Presidency of Former President Obasanjo on the premise that the Country was being governed inadequately.
According to the Chairman of the Party, Chief Ralphs Okey Nwosu,
“This was when it became very clear to us that our political systems, party politics, democracy and the governance of our Country were in disarray.
“As eminent leaders in the political process of our nation we could not just remain passive while these moral crises continue to hurt our nation and our people.”
The Chairman also said the party changed from Alliance for Democratic Change to African Democratic Congress “to effectively encompass and reflect the aspirations of our people.”
In 2007, the party contested for the Presidential Elections, fielding Professor Pat Utomi as its flag bearer.
The Election, which was won by late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua saw ADC and Utomi coming 9th with 50,849 votes (0.14%).
Utomi later joined the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), in 2012, after withdrawing from the Presidential race in 2011 with the party he formed, Social Democratic Mega Party.
In 2011, ADC’s Presidential candidate was Professor Peter Nwangwu, who later stepped down for the eventual winner of the race, Goodluck Jonathan.
Announcing the party’s decision, Nwosu declared that it was a collective deliberation and for the interest of the party.
“We are not a selfish party. We decided to step-down our presidential candidate Prof. Peter Nwangwu and asked our party members and supporters to vote President Goodluck Jonathan in the April 9 election and our flag bearer, being a true democrat willingly agreed to step down.”
Also in 2015, the Party Presidential flag bearer was Ambassador Mani Ahmed, but with less than four days to the General Elections, ADC endorsed Goodluck Jonathan for second term.
The Party said though it remains a stabilizing force in the Country’s unity, national transformation, and democratic enterprise, building an egalitarian Nigeria society is a collective exercise.
“Why Jonathan, Goodluck is an authentic leader struggling with challenges of nation building. Nigeria needs a president who does not have high need for power, an authentic personality who like all of us is struggling to make good with all the vulnerability and vagaries of our time. We need a man at the centre who can stay out of the way and allow the full architecture of governance come alive and take root across the Country.”
The Election was later won by the All Progressive Congress (APC) candidate, Muhammadu Buhari.
In the State level, ADC candidate in the Kogi State 2015 Elections, Zainab Usman, withdrew from the race and pitched tent with the late Prince Abubakar Audu, who eventually won, but died before he was sworn in.
In 2016, ADC Party Chairman accused APC of hijacking its initial party slogan “Change”, which led the Party to adopt a new slogan: “Arise; ADC- Arise; AD and C – Nigerians Arise and Shine.”
According to Nwosu, the ruling party did not understand the ADC change advocacy at inception 10 years ago.
“When our party was formed, we presented to the Nigerian people our platform, the change we advocate. The ruling party hijacked our change advocacy and slogan to win the 2015 general election. Unfortunately, since then, they have torpedoed.
“But, our party understands that leading change has a process: deliberate and strong stakeholders agenda, sense of urgency, clear vision, transparency, role modelling with integrity, and justice. Where is the effective leadership, coupled with efficient management that is required for this project?”
In 2017, ADC elected a man said to possess 13 degrees in America and Europe, Dr Paul Obianaso, as its candidate for 2017 gubernatorial election in Anambra State.
Obianaso was voted as the Party’s flag bearer in August 2017, but by November, the party announced that its candidate would step down for PDP’s Oseloka Obaze.
The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate, Willie Obiano later emerged victorious.