Omoyele Sowore, the embattled former presidential candidate of the African Alliance Congress in the 2019 general election, has alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has connived with the Chairman of African Action Congress, Leonard Nzenwa to hijack the party from him.
He made the statement when he led a group of demonstrators on Monday to protest his expulsion from the party that he claimed he personally registered in 2018.
The protest was staged at INEC headquarters in Abuja where Sowore and others submitted a letter to the commission, containing a seven-day ultimatum for the electoral body to restore the party to the “original owners” or risk more protests, Guardian writes.
Sowore maintained that the party belonged to him, alleging that INEC was colluding with Nzenwa and others to forcefully take away the party from him because of its revolutionary stance.
“It is not true that I hijacked AAC. I formed the party in 2018 and we are the only political party in Nigeria that has explained how we spent money during the last presidential election. Nobody can remove the owner of the house. I registered for the party in 2018 and I received the certificate here. Government is using Nzenwa’s group to hijack the party,” he said.
“By August 2019, they arrested me and when I was in detention, they went and did fraudulent convention and claimed that they had expelled me from the party that I created.
“As they were doing that, INEC was funding them. They don’t want a revolutionary political party in Nigeria that will speak truth to power. The Nzenwa group works for the government. When we said that we were coming for the protest, they claimed that we were going to burn down the INEC office.
“We have been here for more than one hour and nobody is with a stick of match. The DSS and the police have arrested our people as they were arriving for the protest.”
In a counter-reaction, Chairman of AAC, Leonard Nzenwa, also stormed the INEC headquarters, alleging that Sowore’s aim of mobilising his people to INEC was to vandalise the place in the name of a party that had expelled him.
“Last week Wednesday, we alerted the nation to a mobilisation to hide under the name of our great party to cause havoc and burn down INEC offices nationwide. We also alleged an extended plot to attack other public infrastructure and cause mayhem across the nation by one Omoyele Stephen Sowore and some misdirected youths and miscreants from Monday, March 15, 2021, and onward.
“At the weekend, the mobilisation continued with greater intensity as some genuine members of our party were approached to partake in the plot, with money being offered to them which they turned down.
“Again, the leadership of the party has been inundated with calls from the intelligence community and various security outfits urging genuine members of the party to steer clear even as it was confirmed that Sowore and others had perfected plans to carry out the plot today (yesterday) and onward.
“African Action Congress, as a legal, responsible, and law-abiding political party in Nigeria, does not have anything to do with Sowore. He is unknown to the party as he and 29 others were expelled on August 9, 2019, after he was suspended,” Nzenwa said.