Cablegate: Nigeria: Tale of Two Conventions
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
241036Z Dec 03
UNCLAS LAGOS 002640
SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED - HANDLE ACCORDINGLY
LONDON FOR GURNEY, PARIS FOR NEARY
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KDEM NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: TALE OF TWO CONVENTIONS
REF: LAGOS 2527
1. (U) The Alliance for Democracy (AD) party parted in two
when opposing groups held separate national conventions in
Lagos and Abuja last week. Plagued by infighting and the
controversial self-appointment as party chairman of Ahmed
Adamu Abdulkadir, President Obasanjo's Special Advisor on
Manufacturing and the Private Sector (reftel), the two
conventions disowned each other and thus widened the divide
between the Abuja- and Lagos-based party militants.
Nigeria's Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
did not attend either convention because it did not want to
legitimize either group before likely court action, and thus
neither faction is officially recognized.
2. (U) As expected, the Lagos convention elected former Osun
State Governor Bisi Akande as National Chairman, and expelled
Abdulkadir from the party for alleged anti-party activities.
Lagos Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who was rumored to have
bankrolled the Lagos convention, spoke to the delegates and
reportedly vowed that the AD will be "the rallying point for
the realignment of the progressive forces...(to) lead Nigeria
in a new direction."
3. (U) The Abuja convention elected former AD Senate leader
Mojisoluwa Akinfenwa as National Chairman. Although
Akinfenwa stated he will reconcile the differences in the
party, Abuja delegates expelled both former AD National
Secretary and party leader in the House of Representatives
Chudi Nwike and the secretary of the recently dissolved
National Convention Committee, Wunmi Bewaji, from the party
for organizing the Lagos convention.