… declares next year’s polls ‘misdirected pursuit of sectional agenda’
National Democratic Coalition says Nigeria is on the wrong course going by the energy being wasted on preparations for the conduct of the 2023 general elections.
NADECO in a statement on Wednesday by its General Secretary, Chief Ayo Opadokun, described the exercise as misdirected pursuit of a sectional rather than national agenda.
The coalition was formed in 1994 by pro-democracy campaigners to fight against the excesses of the military regime of the late General Sani Abacha as well as to clamour for the validation of the June 12, 1993 presidential election won by Chief MKO Abiola, but annulled by former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (rtd).
According to the statement, “What has been the benefits of all the elections already held since 1998/1999 except that they have produced misguided, perverted and ethically unfit public office fellows sponsored to important political offices by retired military strongmen and their civilian collaborators who have captured Nigeria by the Gulag since January 15, 1966.’’
NADECO also noted without any reservation that election was not the national priority but diligent pursuit of agenda to return Nigeria to federal constitutional governance upon which it secured independence.
The coalition also disowned a NADECO United States chapter which it said issued a statement on August 1, 2022, without attribution or known address.
The group added that it would like to state without any equivocation that it had no existing branch in the US.
It noted that the group held an international conference presided over by its then leader, the late Chief Anthony Enahoro, at Virginia, USA in October/November, 1999, where it decided to immediately put an end to its international operations and activities.
It added that since then, there had been no discussion or decision to reopen any office outside Nigeria till date.
It added, “NADECO believes that Nigerians, either as individuals or groups, have their constitutional rights to freedom of expression as provided for in Section 39 of Chapter IV dealing with fundamental human rights and directive principle of state policy of the disputed 1999 Constitution. However, such a right does not permit anyone to commit perjury by using other people’s name or platform. If anyone is sure of the conviction of his heart, the person should be bold enough to create personal or group platform to canvass chosen views and opinions.
“NADECO is ever sensitive to its image and reputation so much that it has always maintained dignified silence whenever it was in the national interest to do so and to be bold and courageous to speak truth to power whenever there was a necessity for national intervention. And we are not about to change course by using expletives on any public officer rather than criticising the wrongly headed issues being pursued by the Nigerian State.’’
Opadokun said NADECO informed the general public, both local and general, that as a body of respected statesmen, civil and military, ethnic nationality leaders, civil society organisations, religious and traditional rulers, women, youth, academia and professional groups which presented itself to the public in May 1994, it has no connection whatsoever with the so-called NADECO, USA, which bore no address nor attribution.