The Presidential vote count is finally over. Although we fell short of our goal of placing a committed and courageous leader at the helm of affairs in Nigeria, there is much that we can be proud of.
Omoyele Sowore ran a long, hard campaign that captured the hearts and minds of Nigerians. We created a movement and established a political party within a year. We recruited candidates to run for over 150 positions from the Presidency through to gubernatorial, senate, House of Representatives, state house of assembly, local government chairmanship to local councillorship positions.
We introduced the concept of town halls to Nigerian politics – where candidates engage the electorate in intimate settings that allow for deeper interaction. Our disruptive and innovative approaches to campaigning helped to force the introduction of Town Hall sessions to the national stage – culminating with The Candidates forum featuring just four selected parties. With your help, we raised about N150 million – with donations that ranged from N50 to N1 million, demonstrating that a politics devoid of godfathers and special interests is possible in Nigeria.
If elections are won based on hard work, engagement with the electorate and passion – then we would have prevailed. In the end, we were unable to overcome the establishment this time around. To begin with, there was the outright vote buying and wholesale rigging that occurred. Furthermore, we had a President who openly advocated the shooting of “ballot box snatchers” on Election Day and, as we expected, that threat of violence at the polls depressed the votes and made this the election with the lowest turnout since 1999.
In the final analysis, we did not win this time because the Nigerian people ultimately decided that they would rather choose the lesser of two evils; electing to go with the DEVIL THEY KNOW, rather than the ANGEL THAT THEY DO NOT KNOW.
While many of us might be disappointed that the elections ultimately came down to this false choice between the APC and PDP, we must listen to what the Nigerian people are saying. Their votes for Atiku and Buhari were cast reluctantly. Despite the billions of naira spent on these elections by the APC and PDP, only 27 million people voted, a paltry 32% of the total number of registered voters. The overwhelming majority chose NOT to participate.
THERE ARE TWO LESSONS THAT WE MUST LEARN
- NIGERIANS MUST GET TO KNOW THE ANGELS in TIB & AAC: Since 1960, our people have experienced cycles of hope followed by massive disappointment. Leaders have made promises during election cycles and they have failed to deliver. The restoration of democracy has brought nothing but economic misery and growing insecurity. No matter who has been elected – from Obasanjo, Yar’adua, Jonathan and then Buhari – nothing seems to have changed. It is therefore understandable that cynicism would set in. When a people lose faith in the expectation that changing leaders will improve their lives, they settle for the familiar. They choose the lesser of two evils. They go with the “Devil they know” rather than the angels that they do not. Our task is to ensure that by 2023, every Nigerian would have been touched by the activities and actions of the TakeitBack movement and the African Action Congress. They must have seen our impact in their lives. We must roll up our sleeves and engage. We must help shore up our schools, organise medical missions to various communities, develop policies and push for bills to be passed at state and national legislative bodies. We must call out corruption wherever it occurs and lead the Nigerian people to demand their rights in the courts and in the streets. We must practice what we preach! If we do all these things, and remain true to our mission, the Nigerian people will see us as partners who are in this fight for the long run – not just opportunists looking for votes. When they have seen us work to improve their lives in their own communities, they will trust us to do so at the national level.
- WE MUST STRENGTHEN OUR REACH AT THE GRASSROOTS: Although we have a commendable geographical spread, our movement and party will need to extend our reach to the grass roots. We must be present in every ward and in each of the 774 local government areas in Nigeria. Our members must be in every one of the 120,000 polling units in the nation. We must have active chapters in every tertiary institution. Our engagement in churches and mosques, market squares and community centres must continue. It is how well and how deeply we engage when there are no elections that will determine our reach and acceptance.
MARCHING FORWARD – MARCH 9th and BEYOND
Over the next few weeks we will be engaging with all of you in a series of conferences, meetings, town hall sessions – virtually and in person – to chart a way forward. However, in the short term, we still have elections to win, and we must remain focused on them.
On March 9th, we have 96 Candidates that will be running for various offices at the state level – 20 for Governor & Deputy Governor, and 76 for various State House of Assembly seats. They need our support, now more than ever. We cannot and MUST NOT abandon them.
Sowore will be holding sessions on the couch on Thursday February 28th, and on March 7th and 8th to help raise funds for the candidates. They have campaigns to run and agents to support. They need resources and encouragement. Let us continue to support them financially.
Funds donated to the party account from now through March 8th, will be allocated to the candidates. Anyone interested in making donations to candidates, can find a list of Gubernatorial candidates here:
and state house of assembly candidates here:
Donations to the party should be made to:
AFRICAN ACTION CONGRESS
Account Number 1015977493
It was my great honour and privilege to serve as the Director General for the Sowore 2019 campaign and I want to thank all of you for your impassioned support for our great candidate, Omoyele Sowore. He is the leader Nigeria needs and we are fortunate to have him at the head of our movement and party.
Aluta Continua. Victoria Acerta – The Struggle continues. Victory is certain!!
Dr Malcolm Fabiyi
DG, TakeItBack Movement
Deputy National Chairman (Admin), AAC Party