Category: The Struggle

2019 ELECTIONS: WE MUST ALL DEMAND FOR A NEW PROCESS

The just concluded 2019 elections were fraught with baggage familiar with Nigerian elections. First of the issues was the postponement of the elections over logistics, consequently deflating the interest of anticipating Nigerians.  Another was the President’s order to the military tasking them to shoot at sight any ballot-snatcher without any form of questioning or arraignment, and Nigeria, which once was grinded beneath military jackboot, did not hesitate to associate such plaguing of civilian communities with armed military personnel with terror. Also very troubling were the unimaginable terrors perpetuated by APC and PDP thugs across the nation. All these, amplified by social media among other factors, culminate into voters’ apathy.

The Advancement of Our Democracy and the Electioneering Process

But we associate our democracy with some seemly useful qualifiers. The most popular is its description as fledging. This qualifier forms the basis for some of our thinkers advocating for moderated expectations and mild interpretations of events. But one’s worry should be to answer the pertinent question of how the fledging would become mature and resilient to the vices of dangerous politicians and ploys. Ranges of lofty recommendations for the advancement of our democracy abound.  One is the abolition of one of the legislatives arm as proposed by the AAC presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore, arguing that the bicameral legislation is wasteful and slow. But while different recommendations abound, harrowing to attentive minds is the gory of the last Saturday elections – the violence – the electoral process that puts helpless citizens in harmful and precarious situation should be condemned and considered a crime.

But beyond the violence, social media pictures and videos show how different players hacked the current electoral process, perhaps the most telling is the clip of Aisha Buhari showing her husband, the current sitting president, who she voted for. The worst of the setbacks is the Polling Unit officers manually counting the votes and how manually the votes are aggregated, from LGA to FCT, shamefully taking over 48 hours to determine the winners of the elections. Yet, to advance our democracy, the urgency for all of us must be to re-imagine our electoral process for the emergence of a peaceful process that will not only be transparent but disallow all forms of intimidation while encouraging more participation of the Nigerian people and inclusion. But without deliberate and well organised mass based action such desired process will remain a mirage.

The Question of Electronic Voting (EV)

If electronic voting (EV) is adopted some, if not all, of the challenges will be overcome. With electronic voting, there will be no need of physical moving of ‘sensitive’ electoral materials to about 120, 000 polling units. This will therefore mean that elections won’t be postponed over logistics issues. EV will also come with the advantage of comfort and inclusion: since PVC already carries Polling Unit codes which is a derivates of State, Local Government, Ward and Polling Unit, votes can be easily aggregated by Polling Units without the voters having to travel to their polling units. But on the contrary, as at last elections, some people have to travel as far as 17 hours by flight in order to exercise their franchise. The possibility of EV also speaks to another advantage which is reduction of cost; the reduction of cost on the side of INEC and on the side of the voters. There could be online facility accessible by any computer or mobile device, or one may consider a possible reliance on already existing infrastructure i.e. the ATM machines. To further make a case for cost reduction, EV process will have no need of heavy deployment of security and the shutdown of socio-cultural and socio-economic process, therefore, people can still go ahead and have their business meetings while elections are going on and also people can have their marriage ceremonies without hitch while elections are going on. In addition, all the elections can be held in one day and collation of result could be done in less than 24 hours. And most importantly, EV will completely remove all forms of violence and voters intimidation since voters will not be required to converge to a particular location in order to exercise their civic right.

Why Not Electronic Voting

The demand for EV is not a new demand. What it lacks over time is the ability to garner critical mass support. Staring at the campaigners are huddles like constitutional reforms, adoption of voters and accessibility of such platform to uneducated Nigerian. The way to think about this is around useful statistics that may inform the possibility for its adoption. For example, as at January 2018, the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) reported that mobile phone users are about 146 million. This figure when merged with over 92 million internet users reported by Statista (2019) provides rare and interesting opportunities for more voters inclusion. This span of individuals included in the aforementioned data exceeds the number of voters we’ve recorded for elections since 1999. They can be educated on how to use the EV platform and how it works. They are also large number of Nigerians that can be expanded through voters education to be more representative of the Nigerian diversity. One lesson staring at us is that, giving the death toll of about 250 individuals, the maiming and stabbing, the last weekend elections struggle to garner only about 27 million voters, a figure that bares a shameful mark of decline. But for our nation to reach the utopia of election success, all actions must start right now to surmount the challenges and demand adoption of a better process such as EV. 

SOWORE CAMPAIGN RESPONDS TO INEC’S POSTPONEMENT OF THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS

Nigerians awoke to a familiar nightmare – the sudden cancellation of elections that both the government and its electoral agencies had four years to prepare for. The failure to successfully hold elections whose dates were known four years in advance, speaks to the complete ineptitude and lack of transparency of the Buhari regime.

We have seen this script before. In 2011 and 2015, our electoral process was similarly thrown into chaos by last-minute shifts in the election dates under the Jonathan-led PDP government. By repeating the same failures, Buhari’s APC government has now demonstrated to Nigerians that there is no difference in values between itself and the former PDP administration. This is yet another example of the fact that the two establishment parties, APC and PDP, are both two sides of the same bad coin.

Nigerians must not become numb to this travesty. No one would tolerate such ineptitude in their own personal affairs. Millions of Nigerians travelled to ensure that they were in place to participate in the elections. Businesses and commercial activities have been disrupted, and the sacrifices of tens of millions of Nigerians who had readied themselves to go to the polls and effect a positive change in the trajectory of the nation has been dashed – albeit temporarily.

The complicity of Buhari’s APC government in this last minute shift in the electoral process is clear for all to see. If this administration had no hand in this callous postponement, their condemnation would have been swift and their denunciation of INEC’s actions would have been screamed from every mountain top. The APC was quick to denounce similar actions taken by the Jonathan-led PDP administration in 2015. Their silence on this occasion is deafening.

The African Action Congress, our presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore, and the Nigerian people are not deterred. Positive change and true transformation is coming to Nigeria, and whether it happens on the 16th or the 23rd of February, it will happen. We ask all of our supporters and party members to stay the course, reenergise their engagements in their communities, and help to ensure an even bigger turnout for freedom next week.

Dr. Malcolm Fabiyi
DG, Sowore 2019 Campaign.

Sowore Challenges Social Media Users; ‘You have to drop your devices and get on your feet.’

By Sename Kojah

The call was made by Presidential Candidate of the African Action Congress, AAC, Omoyele Sowore while speaking on the “Holding Government Accountable” panel at the Social Media Week which held at The Landmark Event Center, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Young Nigerians have been asked to move from holding people in positions of authority to account on social media alone and drop their devices, get on their feet and save the country.

Sowore who is also founder of Sahara Reporters, a citizen journalism outfit, said ” I can tell you that nothing has worked as much as social media in Nigeria in terms of holding government accountable because it is beyond their reach; it is accountability beyond borders but I have to say that it has its own downside to the extent that if you think social media has all the power and you don’t do what is necessary next, government starts to adjust to social media, and so you must move from just revealing everything and holding them accountable. For you to have the best result, you have to drop your devices and get on your feet, and that was why social media was powerful in Egypt but until the Egyptians dropped their devices, they couldn’t have the Arab Spring”.

Sowore called on young people to work hard by ensuring that they get their PVC’s, vote and monitor the process around the election to ensure that there is an “Equatorial Spring” in Nigeria that will usher in a new era of politics in Sub-Saharan Africa.

He encouraged, “a new generation of Nigerians who are children of democracy. They are the secret to defeating the old brigands. The thing that happened with voters is a planned thing; they knew there are 22 million students who are voters, they had to keep you out of your school because they know that you are the angriest Nigerians and you are about to punish them with your vote regardless of what they have done to you. Please find your way to your polling unit and vote these guys out”.

SOWORE’S AAC URGES NIGERIANS TO STAND IN SOLIDARITY AS 6 UNLAWFULLY ARRESTED FOR PASTING POSTERS REAPPEAR IN COURT

On Sunday, 9th December, 2018, six members of the African Action Congress party were unlawfully arrested during the early hours for pasting posters in Lagos State. The arresting officers went through several charges before settling on the charge of defacing public property, accusing them of vandalising posters belonging to Jimi Agbaje, the PDP Lagos state gubernatorial candidate.

Our supporters have been steadfast in their defence that they did no such thing; maintaining that they were arrested only with Sowore’s posters, brushes and adhesive paste.

At the time, the arrest, which led to a three-day detention including two days in Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison for pasting posters, was the latest in a long line of persistent attacks on the AAC. The party would later deal with exclusion from the national debate and a poorly orchestrated smear campaign.

We have fought every semblance of injustice and oppression that has come our way since the beginning of this campaign, and will continue to do so, this court case included.

It is unconscionable that the APC and PDP would rather sink to these depths than spend their time proving to Nigerians that they are worthy candidates to govern the land. That they would rather squander the freedom of six innocent young men than do the right thing – make plans for this nation and then keep their promises.

We urge Nigerians not to fall for these cheap tactics and to instead focus on the prize: a Nigeria that works for us all, regardless of tribe, religion, income level or political alliance.

On Monday, 4th February, 2019, the AAC will go to court and once again stare injustice in the face in the case of six young men arrested for pasting posters in Lagos state. Regardless of their political affiliations, it is our hope that every Nigerian will be rightfully outraged by this case.

We specifically ask that ALL of our supporters use the picture of the AAC 6 as their profile picture in a united, worldwide show of solidarity. We must support our own and let the old cabals know that we are not for bowing or breaking. This is the only way that Nigeria can progress – calling out injustice wherever one finds it – and Nigeria MUST progress.

Rachel Onamusi-Kpiasi
Director, PR, Media and Communications
Sowore 2019 Campaign/African Action Congress

NIGERIANS HAVE BEEN DISAPPOINTED, BUT NOT FOR MUCH LONGER

Dear ever-enduring Nigerians

I do not need to ask if you are fine for it won’t be surprising if you are not fine at this moment, especially after watching this most distasteful of engagement any leader could have with his/her citizens. We understand how you all felt after watching Buhari and Osinbajo speak at the just-concluded town hall meeting organized by NTA/DariaTV and sponsored by MacArthur Foundation.

We understand that many of us burnt fuel to watch the ‘talking down’ because of the unrivaled darkness they keep expending our collective resources on without any tangible results.  Many had to stream live on their gadgets with very costly data rates – such expensive rates can only be found in a country with no solid economic leadership. This is not adding the fact that you probably had to pray to God for the reception of a man-made network to work fine.

We are not oblivious to the fact that the President could not answer your questions correctly. He lied about a lot of issues, about questions bordering on corruption and security. And for those he did answer, the questions had to be repeated, an average of three times each. The anchor had to continually stretch forward while asking her questions and, at a point I consider to be her threshold, she had to ask if the President was okay to run for office again. This situation of extreme lethargy is completely unacceptable from anyone who wants to lead an energetic country, a country with 70% young people, whose energies have been refocused to less productive things by unproductive leaders with disastrous results.

Can we crave your indulgence to bear with NTA for the time wasted as you have always been known as the most enduring people in the world?

On the 23rd January, 2019, Omoyele Sowore and Dr Rabiu Rufai of the AAC will be having the most  honest and brilliant engagement with you all on how to take the country back and place it on a revolutionary path in order to take it to the highest level.

Stay tuned!

Adeyeye Olorunfemi

President, Association of Citizens Who Deserve Better. (ACWDB)

The Village of Dreams

Beyond the fact that the video below shows how an ordinary life is transformed into the extraordinary, and the power of dreams in spite of the odds, it also offers optics into the  visceral part of Omoyele Sowore’s humanity. 

The video connects all of us to the human side of the enigma that is behind those years of fight against corruption, fight for democracy and fight for social justice. The video is a call to that rare place of extra-ordinariness that we all can identify with. It says you, right there, at the state that you are, can aspire to your dreams, that the stars belong to you too and nothing hegemonic or nepotistic can truncate the trajectory of your will.  

What the video says, most importantly, although not directly, is that a vote for Omoyele Sowore is a vote for yourself. It validates your place in your country as an equal and a possible story. It helps strengthen the story, take it to a higher place where Nigerians everywhere can look at themselves or their dreaming children and say, ‘You too can be the president’. Let’s make this happen together. Let’s say yes to this story.

SOWORE FIGHTS ON – THE REAL DEBATE FOR NIGERIA’S FUTURE WILL TAKE PLACE ON FEBRUARY 16, 2019

Today, the NEDG/BON 2019 Presidential debate will take place. The APC (Buhari), PDP (Atiku), ANN (Durotoye), ACPN (Ezekwesili) and YPP (Moghalu) are all scheduled to be on stage. However, Sowore Omoyele, the Presidential Candidate of the African Action Congress, and Nigeria’s most authentic voice for positive change and national transformation will be conspicuously absent from that stage.

We are disappointed, but not deterred. We recognize that those who have raped and plundered Nigeria for much of the last 58 years will not yield power without a fight. While the debate would have offered us a platform to engage with the Nigerian people, we are encouraged by the fact that although our candidate will not be on the debate stage, his message of hope continues to be passed on to Nigerians on the streets, in market squares, in places of worship and on social media.

The conspiracy to keep the most authentic voice of positive change and transformation away from that debate stage was deep. It began with the fraudulent selection of participants by Channels TV, NEDG and BON, and ended with the refusal of the Chief Judge of the High Court of the FCT, Justice Ishaq Bello, to assign the case to a trial judge.

Along the way, the first trial judge, Justice D. Z. Senchi recused himself from the case, and the UPN, a member party of the APC led Coalition of Progressive Political Parties (CPPP), sought to introduce further delays by filing to join our case.

All these extreme actions were taken because they are afraid. Again we ask question what we have asked before: why is there such an obvious fear of allowing the participation of Omoyele Sowore in the presidential debate? What does the ruling establishment have to hide? We know they do not want us to reveal to Nigerians that the “Next Level” that they are seeking, is a worse level of depravity, ineptitude, nepotism and corruption. They are afraid that what they tell themselves behind closed doors, as Nigerians learned from the revealing confessions that Amaechi made about Buhari and the APC’s views about Nigeria, will be openly exposed to the Nigerian people, on prime time TV.

They are correct to be afraid. Sowore would have spoken truth to power tonight. He would have called out Buhari for his callous indifference and challenged Atiku on his crass corruption. He would have revealed Buhari’s ineptitude in the areas of corruption, security and the economy; and exposed Atiku’s complicity in the systemic degradation of Nigeria and its institutions. But most importantly, he would have shared his clear vision for placing Nigeria on the path to prosperity and growth.

If those who conspired to keep Sowore from that debate tonight believe that by doing so, they would have silenced him – they are making a grave error. Truth can never be crushed. A hurricane cannot be tamed. The Nigerian people have seen a glimpse of a brighter future that Sowore and the AAC will provide to them.

On January 23rd, Nigerians will hear from Sowore at The Candidates, a Town Hall series organized by the MacArthur Foundation. President Buhari and VP Osinbajo were at the forum on the 16th, and Nigerians got to watch a two hour horror movie of the inept set of leaders at the helm of our nation. We will present our case to the Nigerian people at this Town Hall. We ask our supporters and those who seek genuine progress for Nigeria, to tune in to that event.

We knew it wouldn’t be easy. We knew the roads would be rough. We knew the establishment would fight back. We are still here. We are still strong. We will not retreat. We will not surrender. Nigeria’s future is too important. We will continue the fight, and we are confident that on February 16, 2019 the Nigerian people will give their verdict on the debate for Nigeria’s future by voting Omoyele Sowore as the next President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Nigeria MUST progress!!!

Dr Malcolm Fabiyi
Director General Sowore 2019 Campaign
Deputy National Chairman (Admin), AAC

Glints of Hope as Hurricane Sowore Storms Adamawa.

Nigerians are tired of the present crop of political leaders – party faithful.

With fervor and strong faith in the Nigeria project, Omoyele Sowore continue to travel to all the nooks and crannies of Nigeria. He storms Yola yesterday, 16th of January, 2019, with the AAC and Take It Back campaign team.

At Burunji, Jimeta, Sowore submits, it is the people who are working that are suffering in this country and that must change. Sensitizing the people, Sowore speaking further says, I know that every time politicians come here to get your votes and after that they run away … but we will never forget you.

At one of the events, a party faithful speaks passionately about the political inspiration Omoyele Sowore has become and how it has compelled rare devotions, including the donation of a car for campaign by Mr Robert. Speaking passionately, he says;

This is engineer Robert, when he watched omoyele sowore video clip, he joined us in the struggle and he donated his car. He gave his car for use for the campaign. We have branded it. We are taking it out of town. We are taking it round the city of Yola, we taking it to LG to do campaign.

As a matter of fact, something happened yesterday, we are all surprised; while this engineer drove this car around Mubi roundabout, Most of you may not which location is Mubi roundabout but Mr Omoyele Sowore knows that place quite okay because he did his  NYSC service here in Adamawa State… the youth gathered, they converged around him and they started shouting this is our party, this is our candidate, we are going to vote him, we are tired of PDP, we are tired of APC… this is the first time we are seeing a car like this and we like what is happening. I am telling you, Nigerians are tired. We are tired. Youths are tired. And we are out. We are coming out. In full force. In full measure. Resources is not going to hamper us. Determination is all we need to succeed.

The speaker speaks of the strategy employed for their local campaign;

we are sensitizing the people and we are getting attention of people to vote Omoyele Sowore. That is what we do. All of their emphasis is on rigging. Do we have the cabals around us that would help us rigged elections and grant us victory? I say see, rigging is not going to work in 2019 elections. Whoever rig election is out of the game because we will not tolerate that anymore. We will go every length to stop any illegal move as far as the elections is concern.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fmrH2KDSz4

#SIDEwithSowore and let your efforts be seen

#SIDEwithSowore – what a wonderful example of giving this is! When you want to help your country, you do whatever you can, whatever it takes. Nigerians, we see you all. All of you branding vehicles, printing posters, talking to your neighbours, educating the opposition online, burning data to watch Facebook Live events, we see every single one of you, and we say thank you. We will win this because Nigerians deserve this. #AAC #AfricanActionCongress #Sowore2019

Posted by Sowore2019 on Miðvikudagur, 16. janúar 2019

VETERAN ACTIVIST LAMBASTS BUHARI AND ATIKU [Video]

This video serves as a case study of current situation in Nigeria and the impending political volcanoes as part of the sessions of AAC party school ,a pilot project using the model proposed as an ACADEMY FOR GRASSROOTS EDUCATION,AGE/LABOUR-CIVIL SOCIETY COALITION INSTITUTE FOR DEMOCRATIC STUDIES,LASCOIDS by the President of the WORKING PEOPLE AND YOUTH ALLIANCE,WPYA ,a Platform of AAC on FRIENDS OF REVOLUTION,FOR, what’s app forum,KUNLE OLADEJO

It is part of session 1 of the political education for the next 4 weeks for the cadres of AAC at all levels on the MANIFESTO and in defence of FUNDAMENTAL OBJECTIVES AND DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY,CHAPTER TWO alluded to in the AIMS AND OBJECTIVES of the AAC party constitution entitled:TURNING POINT IN THE NIGERIAN POLITICAL SITUATION AND THE IDEOLOGICAL WAR AGAINST PARTIES OF THE RULING CLASS-APC,APGA,PDP E.T.C

AAC Party: Update on States’ Congress(es) and National Convention

Owing to rapidity of events and activities which has produced unintended outcomes in the last few days, it has become necessary that we make the following clarification, and urge members and aspirants to be guided going forward:

1. Advertised date for obtaining, and submission of Nomination Form thereafter are no longer tenable. Members and Aspirants please should take note that it is being extended till Sunday, September 16, 2018.

2. Date fixed for our party primaries, that is, States’ Congresses – Sept 22, 2018 and National Convention – Sept 26, 2018 respectively will still hold as planned, however, they will run through the Sept 22 to Sept 26, 2018.

This effectively means that the window dates between Sept 22 to Sept 26, 2018 will accommodate our States Congresses as well, if it is not completed in some states.

3. National Convention still holds on October 6th, as planned, venue to be disclosed

4. Details of the primaries will be announced before the end of this week, including the venues of the various Congresses across the country, the Congresses/Convention Committee(s) to undertake these assignment, and other information relating thereof.

5. Coordinators, without delay should reach across to aspirants contesting for various positions in their respective States, just as aspirants should do likewise (Abiodun Thorpe) should be reached immediately for this purpose.

6. Our Nomination Fees remain reasonable when compared to that of many political parties, however, owing to appeals and request to review our fees, aspirants with requisite qualification(s) are advised to get in touch with the undersigned without delay.

7. Finally, note that we are a new political party and these teething challenges are not uncommon. We are working to overcome them.

Yours-in-Service,
Leonard Nzenwa
National Secretary
African Action Congress