OFFICIAL NEWS REPORT‏ OF THE ACN-USA CONVENTION IN CHICAGO

The Action Congress of Nigeria, USA Chapter, has called on all progressives in Nigeria to come together under the umbrella of APC to sweep PDP government of President Goodluck Jonathan out of power. Rising from its last convention in Chicago, Illinois, USA, ACN-USA said that this is the best chance for the progressives to form the Federal Government of Nigeria for the first time in the history of the country. ACN-USA appeals to leaders of various progressive parties and organizations to put the interest of Nigeria above any personal interests or political ambitions.

The National Secretary of ACN, Senator Lawal Shuaibu, who was the Guest Speaker at the convention, commended the Nigerians in the Diaspora for their love, commitments and contributions to Nigeria’s development. He acknowledged the role played by Nigerians in the Diaspora in the fight against dictatorship and the entrenchment of democracy in Nigeria. He said the APC was born out of the deliberate concern to rebalance our national history, redefine our democratic roadmap, and reinvent national integration for stability and prosperity, and to replace impunity, which has been the trademark of PDP since 1999, with good governance. Senator Shuaibu said Nigerians are excited about APC which is now a household name in the country within the short period and call for support of Nigerians at home and abroad for the party. He said that ACN-USA and our great country, Nigeria, can be mutually enriched by forging an inseparable and genuine partnership in our vision and mission for a progressive, stable, prosperous and democratic Nigeria.

Also speaking at the convention, Gov. Rauf Aregbesola, the keynote speaker, who was represented by Professor Adebayo Williams, commended members of the ACN-USA for their robust contribution to the party, especially for raising the party’s flag and giving it a voice in the great country of USA, the land of freedom. He condemned the violence and acts of terrorism in Nigeria. He particularly condemned the kidnapping of an ACN local government chairman in Lagos and the killing of the former Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Dr Chudi Nwike. He said the breakdown of law and order, leading to insecurity of lives and property in Nigeria is caused by social injustice leading to economic deprivation of the masses of the people, the culture of impunity, when the impression is given that the country is a huge outlaw estate, and the failure of the justice system, when the weak and underprivileged are no longer assured of obtaining justice from the legal system and then resort to self help. He said what we are seeing is a challenge of democracy and a call to patriots to rescue our country from this unmitigated slide into chaos.

He said never in the history of our country has there been such need for the intervention of the progressives in the polity and that Nigeria is very ripe for deliverance and salvation. Gov. Aregbesola called on all progressives and genuine patriots to rise to the occasion and fill the deep yearnings of Nigerians and rescue our land from the PDP in the coming election. He said that it may be too much to ask the Diaspora to come home to vote, but they can offer support in many other ways. He said the Diaspora can give financial support where possible; engage the international community on the situation in Nigeria, especially on the plight of opposition in Nigeria and the coming elections. He said the governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun in 2014 stand out and will be a prelude to the 2015 elections. He said the international community must be made to play greater roles in the conduct of free and fair elections, beyond mere observers. He said there have been enough observations, it’s time to make every citizen participate in elections and make every vote count in Nigeria. He said the opportunity to build the Nigeria of our dream is here now and he urged all true patriots to take it with full hands.

The two day convention was also addressed by Otunba Henry Oladele Ajomale who stood in for Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Chief Bisi Akande as the Guest of Honor and Chairman respectively. Otunba Ajomale said that ACN leaders in Nigeria are happy with the activities of ACN-USA in the USA especially its promotion of ACN and recruitment of members for the party. He thanked the leaders and members of ACN-USA for their commitments and support for ACN and for progressive politics in Nigeria. He hoped that APC will give us the platform to actualize the visions we all have for Nigeria.

Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Chairman of House Committee on Diaspora issues emphasized on the role the Diaspora must play in the development of Nigeria. She called on a thorough and modern database of Nigerians in the Diaspora. Senator Babafemi Ojudu, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, Lagos State Commissioner for transportation, Dr. Andrew Anugwom, a Dallas based businessman, Hon. Judge Dele Alade and Oloye Lekan Awojoodu all spoke on the role of the Diaspora in the Nigerian political system especially in the emerging APC.

Chairman of ACN-USA, Tony Ike Isama and ACN-USA Secretary, Kunle Oshunlalu both outlined the role ACN-USA has been playing to help stimulate and prepare the international community for APC and a potential APC Federal Government in Nigeria. Mr. Isama called for an expanded role for foreign chapters in the constitution of APC. He thanked ACN leaders for repositioning the party with the emerging APC thereby giving the party the greatest chance to win the Federal Government of Nigeria. He said that ACN-USA will continue to do everything within its power to support APC and work hard to ensure victory for its candidates in the coming elections.

Goodwill and solidarity messages were sent to the convention by Senator Chris Ngige, Chief Segun Osoba, Alhaji Bello, Ogun State ACN Chairman and Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, the ACN governorship candidate for Ondo State.

The convention was well attended by ACN leaders and members across the globe including strong delegation from ACN Canada led by its Chairman Mr. Ajimotokan, Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi, Senator George Akume, Pa Olupitan and 3 members from the Lagos State House of Assembly including Hon. Adebisi Yusuf and Hon. Muyiwa Jimoh. Also in attendance were Hon. Adesegun Labinjo, the Deputy Chairman of ACN-USA, Hon. Ademola Adesanya, the Organizing Secretary, Ms. Busola Akeredolu, the former ACN-USA Organizing Secretary, Mr. Adekunle Olayinka, Personal Assistant to Otunba Ajomale, Princess Aderemi Adebowale, Ms. Felicity Mbanefo, the ACN-USA Woman leader, Mr. Ayo Olasege, Mr. Kunle Masha, Ms. Patricia Ibekwe, the ACN-USA Deputy Secretary, Mr. Lamoriyu, Mr. Kehinde Kolawole, Mr. Musa Fatai, Mr. Lekan Ajibola, Mrs. Toyin Ayeni, Mrs. Khairat Animashaun, Mr. Adekunle Lawal, Alhaji Hammed Famuyide, Professor Moses Mabayoje, Mr. Victor Abejide, and hosts of others.