Omoyele Sowore has been suspended as National Chairman of the African Action Congress, AAC by the National Executive Committee, NEC of the party.
The party made the announcement on Monday after its NEC meeting in Abuja.
According to the body, Sowore was suspended for alleged anti-party activities, failure to convene NEC meeting and financial misappropriation.
The NEC also appointed Leonard Nzenwa as the new national chairman of the party. He was immediately sworn-in.
The suspension according to NEC will last for six months, and takes effect from March 27, 2019 except overturned by the party’s National Convention.
Sowore was the presidential candidate of the AAC in the February 23, 2019 presidential election.
He came 10th in the election with 33,953 votes.
Sowore had formed the AAC as a party to actualise his desire to run for president in the 2019 elections after creating awareness with the ‘Take it back’ movement.
The Party was announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC as one of the newly registered political parties on August 14, 2018. The slogan of the party is, Take it back-action.
“On August 15th, the official unveiling of our party, the AAC, will hold at the Party Headquarters in ABUJA. We will also be announcing the members of our Coalition of Authentic Progressive Parties & Organizations (CAPPO) on that date.
“With our own dedicated party platform, we are now able to match up a pace setting movement with a transformative political platform.
“We call on progressives and youth everywhere to embrace the AAC. Our party is the authentic platform for political transformation in Nigeria. Our party’s slogan will be – Take it Back – Action,” Malcom Fabiyi, Director General of the TakeItBack Movement/Sowore 2019 Campaign, said while announcing AAC’s registration.
Meanwhile Sowore has also announced the expulsion of the newly sworn in National Chairman of the party, Leonard Nzenwa from the party.
Sowore made this known in a statement he personally signed titled: “AAC announces expulsion of Leonard Nzenwa and suspension of other individuals for financial impropriety and anti-party activities”.
“It has come to the notice of the office of the Chairman of the African Action Congress that a group of suspended members, induced by financial reasons and anti-progressive politics, gathered in Abuja today, 13th May, 2019, and purportedly held a NEC meeting.
“These members, led by Leonard Nzenwa, former national secretary, who was suspended for financial impropriety and anti-party activities, have demonstrated by their actions that they have never been, and have never shared, the core beliefs that those of us in the African Action Congress hold.
“Leonard Nzenwa is hereby expelled from the party, and the misguided individuals who participated in the Abuja meeting are suspended from the party until investigations reveal the extent of their involvement,” the statement read.
Troubles looming for AAC
Troubles seem to be looming for the AAC, a party reportedly set up with a different ideology to curb corruption and to set a new pedestal for Nigeria with a new ideology.
The party first entered into crisis after Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi backed the candidate of the party in the Rivers state governorship election, Biokpomabo Awara against Governor Nyesom Wike.
Amaechi’s whose party, All Progressives Congress, APC had been barred from elections in the state asked all party members and supporters to vote the AAC candidate.
“So, on Saturday (March 9), we will vote for AAC. You must go home and vote for AAC. There should be no excuse not to vote, because there will be security for everybody. You must prepare and make sure you win the governorship election,” Amaechi said in a meeting with AAC supporters.
The AAC however quickly dissociated itself if the arrangement, stating it was not into any alliance with the APC in the state.
“We were made aware of the APC’s recent endorsement of the AAC’s Rivers State gubernatorial candidate in the forthcoming elections on the 9th of March. Rotimi Amaechi, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, has pitched his tent with Awara Biokpomabo, our governorship candidate in the African Action Congress (AAC).
“While we have no influence over who other parties might choose to endorse, we wish to make it unequivocally clear that we have we not entered any alliances or coalitions with the APC or any other party in Rivers State, neither have we made any decisions to dovetail parties or seek strategic alliances as we approach the state elections in a few days.
“The AAC, led by Omoyele Sowore, promised Nigerians a different style of governance at the national level; we also believe we can bring this new promise of transparency and progress to bear at the state level”.
“We urge all PVC-bearing Nigerians to come out en masse on the 9th of March and vote for transformation and a true paradigm shift, the kind that only the African Action Congress can bring,” AAC Deputy National Chairman (Administration), Dr. Malcolm Fabiyi said.
INEC then cancelled the elections after violence broke out in the state in the cause of the election. The electoral body later fixed a new date for the collation of the election results across the state.
Within the period of wait, Awara’s running mate, Akpo Bomba Yeeh dumped the AAC for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, alleging that Amaechi had hijacked the party in the state.
“I write to most respectfully notify of my resignation from the membership of the African Action Alliance (AAC) with effect from today 25th March 2019 and subsequent defection to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),” read the letter.
“Please note also that by this notice, I cease to be the Deputy Governorship Candidate of our Party, the AAC, for the 2019 Governorship Election in Rivers State.
“My decisions were informed by the complete hijack of the structure and administration of our Party by a faction of the APC in Rivers State led by the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, for his personal political ambition.
“Furthermore, the Rotimi Amaechi led faction of the APC is not letting in its determination to subvert the will of Rivers people and cause crisis in the State using the platform of our promising Party.
“In the circumstance, I cannot in all conscience continue to lend support to the selfish political venture of the Minister of Transportation, which does not mean well for the progress and development of the people of Rivers State.
“As a budding and promising politician, I also appeal to you to accept the reality of your crushing defeat and liberate yourself from being used by Rotimi Amaechi to cause unnecessary political crisis in our dear State.
“Thank you very much and please accept the assurances of my highest regards as always,” he said in his resignation.
Awara and the AAC in the state subsequently dismissed his resignation, and alleged that Wike and the PDP had bribed Yeeh to join the party.
INEC later declared Wike the winner of the election after the end of collation in the state.