African Democratic Congress (ADC) has given 118 serving lawmakers at the federal and state levels automatic tickets ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The National Chairman of ADC, Chief Ralphs Nwosu, announced the party’s decision at its 61st National Executive Committee meeting, in Abuja on Thursday.
He said the lawmakers, who recently defected to the party from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and other parties, were rewarded for their boldness to identify with the party at a crucial time in the history of the country’s democracy.
Out of the total number of legislators, 95 are serving state House of Assembly members, 18 are members of the House of Representatives and five senators.
Nwosu said it is necessary to honour and appreciate the lawmakers for their boldness to leave the ruling and bigger parties for ADC that is just gathering momentum.
“The development can be attributed to the fact that the lawmakers and Nigerians at large have agreed that an end must come to anarchy, insecurity, lack of focus and terrorism in Nigeria. And the best platform, right now, is ADC. They are from Adamawa, Ondo, Osun, Imo, Ebonyi, Ogun and Oyo states, among others,” he said.
On the party’s preparedness for the 2019 elections, Nwosu said primaries for aspirants contesting for the House of Assembly elections would hold on September 29, while governorship primaries would hold on October 2.
The National Assembly primaries would hold on October 4, 2018, and presidential, October 6, 2018.
“Aspirants have been coming to take forms for the presidential primaries. We will unveil our aspirants very soon,” he said.
He also said the party had launched a campaign against ‘vote buying’ and ‘electoral corruption under the name: Coalition for Electoral Integrity. He invited the media and the general public to participate in the programme in enlightening the Nigerian electorate to understand the implications that trading their votes for money means mortgaging a very bright future and it must stop.
According to him, ADC is a vision-driven grassroots political party with ‘role-modeling leadership’ paradigm that is void of ridiculous ‘harvest-bazaar’ money politics and ‘godfatherism’.
He explained that the new members had been enlightened by the party’s guiding principles, which were clearly worded, and spirited.
On the September 22 governorship election in Osun State, he said ADC had received letters from labour unions, civil servants and other pressure groups in the state showing great support for the party’s candidate.
Nwosu said, “We are assuring Osun State workers and the people, who, on their own, have shown great support for ADC’s governorship candidate, Alhaji Fatai Akinbade and his running mate, Justice Folahanmi Oloyede (rtd), based on their excellent public service records, that our flag-bearer will take them away from the grip of insensitive leaders and lead them far away from poverty.
“The people of Osun should be assured that we will always stand by them at all times and will not betray the confidence reposed in us. We are set to hit the ground on September 15, 2018 with our mega rally, as the first step towards taking the state to the path of prosperity.”
Also, in line with ADC’s commitment to the inclusion of youths, women and physically challenged persons in its activities, Nwosu added that, while the party had decided to give 50 per cent discount on expression of interest and nomination forms to aspirants under the age of 40, the fees for women and physically challenged aspirants were optional.