FRONTLINE Presidential aspirant of the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN) and businessman, Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, said the party will restore the national unity which the current administration of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been playing politics with.
The former chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who made the disclosure at the first National Convention of the party held in Abuja on Saturday added that “the party’s commitment to building a new Nigeria would not be in mere slogans”.
Olawepo equally assured that the party would be used to enthrone a new Nigeria where the malaise associated with professional politicians are not found.
According to him: “APC government has played politics with the national unity. ANN will restore that unity. We will give everyone a sense of belonging and we will produce a president that will be a president for all Nigerians and not for some Nigerians”.
In a related development, the former spokesman of the party, Mr Emmanuel Dania emerged as chairman of the party that prides itself as the party of technocrats.
However, the foundation chairman, Dr Ojay Samuels, who retired to the Board of Trustee es as the chairman said he left his position after doing his best and finding in Dania a worthy replacement who h:e said: “will take the party to the next level”.
Delegates at the national convention were drawn from all the states of the federation with the notable exception of Lagos State whose delegates did not answer to the roll call of the states.
In his acceptance speech, Dania said that the party came to disrupt the existing system he claimed has held Nigeria back despite its abundance potentials.
In his words: “We did not come to this game like any other political party but here to disrupt the system and, indeed, we will disrupt the system. We have different strategies one of which is the engagement of grassroots participants; identifying people whom we know are already doing a lot of reform work in different part of Nigeria. The strategy is to bring them into clusters and those clusters would enable us to see how they can integrate and exchange information to impact their immediate societies.
Dania emerged unopposed following the withdrawal of Jay Osi a few minute es to the commencement of balloting by delegates from the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Other members of the National Working Committee (NWC) that were elected unopposed include Isa Tijanni (Deputy National Chairman), Thompson Isime (National Organizing Secretary), Ben Nwokoye (National Legal Adviser) and Victoria Ayo (National Woman Leader).
Akinloye Oyeniyi, an Audience Economist and Legislative Expert who emerged National Publicity Secretary said that the party, definitely, was on a mission mission
Akinloye said: “we are in this in a bid to rescue Nigerians out of this quagmire we found ourselves since 2015. It shows truly that new Nigeria is here and this is a good one for our dear nation at this critical period of her tribulations.
He charged Nigerians to continue to join the party as it is the only way to 2019 victory, saying: “We have seen much about what brought us to this ignoble state as nation and people, and we must in unison embrace ANN because it is the only para ty on a rescue mission”.