Fela Durotoye remains our presidential candidate, ANN insists

Fela Durotoye

The national chairman of Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), Emmanuel Dania, has said that Fela Durotoye was duly elected at the party’s presidential primary held last week and remains the only recognised presidential candidate of the party for the 2019 poll.

This comes on the heels of the reported withdrawal of frontline presidential aspirant of the party, Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, from the race on grounds of breach of party’s constitutional procedures in the processes leading to the September 29, 2018 primary.

Meanwhile, a volunteer pro-Buhari group known as #iStandWithBuhari, says it is organising a rally to press its support for President Muhammadu Buhari ahead of the 2019 presidential election.

The rally, which is tagged, “Ndigbo Solidarity March for Buhari” is billed to hold on October 13 in Enugu with the theme: “No vacancy in Aso Rock.”

In a statement, the group’s deputy national coordinator South, Chineme Edwin Ume-Ezeoke, said the rally was to highlight Buhari’s achievements in the region.

“Buhari has done well in infrastructure development in the South Eastern states, therefore need our support to continue in office,” Ume-Ezeoke said, adding that the group is active in all the 774 local government councils of the country with over 23 million members.

“This provides us the platform to mobilize support on behalf of the President.

We also have a pro-government publication that seeks to bridge the gap between the leadership and the people through the promotion of the government’s achievements.”

He stated that in preparation for the rally and election, the group has already commenced mobilisation in all the 36 states of the federation to all polling units.

Olawepo-Hashim had in a letter to the ANN national chairman expressed displeasure over the failure of the party to correct the abnormalities he had mentioned to the chairman.

Speaking with journalists in Ikeja, Dania said Fela Durotoye emerged as presidential candidate of ANN at the party’s primary in an election witnessed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

“We are aware of different information in the media but I’m here to set the record straight.

ANN is a party that is ideals and its principles are built on transparency, integrity and excellence, and we always work within these principle.

We fulfilled all INEC requirements and guidelines in our primaries. The process in which we conducted our primary is very open for all to check.

On the crisis brewing in the party, he said, “few days before our primaries, one of our presidential aspirants requested for a change of date, three days to the primary, and we constitutionally said we were not going to shift the date, we had no reason to move a date.

He wasn’t the only presidential aspirant, and if we are going to do anything, we must always do it right, we felt from the position of a party that we didn’t have any reason to move the date and so we went ahead with it, in his ability to try to force our hands from holding that primary, he sent a letter to us where he copied INEC, stating he was withdrawing from the race.

“So, I don’t see why anybody would wake up in the morning and decide they want to hold a separate election.

I’m the national chairman of the party, I remain recognised as national chairman of the party, and my executive and the BOT were all involved in the primary that produced Durotoye.

So we do know, come 2019, we will present Fela Durotoye.

“If we give INEC 21 days which we also communicated to the aspirant that we are going to hold our primary at specific date, I do not see any reason why we should change those dates, so, for me, if he gave a good reason why we should move the date, I’m sure we will.

“I invited the candidates for a meeting and they all agreed to attend but on Thursday, September 27, where we suppose to have the meeting, he did not show up but Fela Durotoye, so who happen to blame.

I have no worries and not disturb about what is happening because I have confidence in INEC.

On if external forces are involved in the crisis, he said, “I do not have any evidence to that effect, however I know that Olawepo-Hashim used to be a member of the PDP, lot of his campaign team are PDP members.

In this article:
ANNFela DurotoyeINEC
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