The presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress, Dumebi Kachikwu, has debunked reports that he had been suspended from the party over reported anti-party activities.
Kachikwu stated that one Bamidele Ajadi who signed the press release declaring his alleged suspension had no right to do so as his term as the party’s deputy national chairman (politics) had ended.
Reacting to his purported suspension at a press briefing in Abuja on Saturday, the presidential candidate said that the tenure of the national executive committee of the party led by Ralph Nwosu had elapsed, noting that the ADC had organized an interim committee that would conduct the election of the NEC.
He disclosed that though Nwosu had been in office for 17 years, he had been begging for a 12-month extension which was not approved.
The businessman criticized the Independent National Electoral Commission for permitting the former chairman to remain in office for over a decade against constitutional provisions.
The presidential candidate noted that he had no knowledge of the fraudulent activities going on in the party as he only joined the ADC early this year.
Kachikwu said, “Some party members told me Nwosu was seeking an illegal extension and they are not in support of it. I told them that I, as the presidential candidate of this party, would do everything within my power to ensure that I uphold the constitution. It’s just that my party, the ADC, has been known in the past; it has the dubious distinction as a party that traded the mandate of its candidates.
“In recent memory, we can remember the case of (the late Obadiah) Mailafia, who was the presidential candidate of the party (in 2019) and what happened to him on election day when the party supported another party, having traded his mandate.”
Speaking further, he stated that a newspaper had questioned him last month if the party was in talks with another party, noting that on investigating, he discovered that the party had started negotiating with a political party ahead of the 2023 elections.
Confirming Kachikwu’s statement, the Kogi State Chairman of the ADC and Chairman, Forum of ADC State Chairmen, Mr kingsley Ogga, said that the National Working Committee’s tenure expired on August 28, 2022, and that the members lacked the right to suspend the presidential candidate.
He said, “We agreed to elect a caretaker committee that would be there for just one month and we said we would do an elective convention immediately. That was where we were when we saw this letter (suspending Kachikwu).”
Nwosu could not be reached on the phone for his reaction. He was also yet to reply to a text message sent to him on the allegations against him.