Mr Nwosu also said the party’s presidential candidate, Dumebi Kachikwu, was suspended because all efforts and consultations to get him to stir up his campaign arrangements, were futile.
The embattled National Chairman of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Ralph Nwosu, has denied the claim that he has exhausted his two terms of eight years each, in office.
Speaking on a political programme aired on Channels Television on Sunday, Mr Nwosu admitted to having spent 17 years in office but that the party’s condition warranted it.
The ADC was thrown into crisis on Saturday when it announced the suspension of its 2023 presidential candidate, Dumebi Kachikwu.
The statement released by the Deputy National Chairman (Politics) of the party, Bamidele Ajadi, said Mr Kachikwu was suspended for speaking against Mr Nwosu’s leadership, among others infractions.
The ADC presidential candidate, in a counter press conference on the same day, dismissed his suspension and questioned the constitutional rights of Mr Nwosu-led National Working Committee (NWC) to do so.
As confirmed by the Chairman and Secretary of ADC State Chairmen Forum, Kingsley Ogga and Odion Osas, Mr Kachikwu said the ’embattled’ chairman had spent 17 years on the same seat and had continued to beg for a year extension.
“For some reasons, I believe best known to INEC, I or we don’t know how he was able to hold on to that position for the last 17 years.
“With the chairmen of different state chapters, it became known to me that the tenure of NWC was coming to an end and Nwosu was seeking an illegal or backdoor extension and that they were not in support of this. I told them that as the presidential candidate of this party, I will do everything within my power to ensure that I uphold the Constitution,” Mr Kachikwu said.
Why we suspended Kachikwu – Nwosu
Mr Nwosu said Mr Kachikwu was suspended due to several events after the party’s national convention three months ago.
The embattled chairman stated that all efforts and consultations to get the ADC presidential candidate to stir up his campaign arrangements have been futile because of his (candidate) constant trips overseas.
“I have watched your clips today of how other parties are making consultations, they are opening their offices, they are doing different things, and frankly, all the efforts we put in to build the third largest party in Nigeria, where we had 12 persons contest for the presidency, seems to be going down.
“We’ve been holding consultations with our presidential candidate, we have discussed different things and issues keep coming up. He has done overseas travels more than five times. I got involved with different organisation’s including the Labour Organisation to join this movement. Then we succeeded in having 12 persons running for president, and then all of a sudden, ADC has been stampeded into almost motionlessness, and this will frustrate both founders and members of the party.
“There was a time, about two months ago, when I thought that the national chairman was the issue and I offered to resign so that someone that the presidential candidate can work well with can take my place. I saw and still see Dumebi winning the presidency, and in our strategic compass, I see him winning. When I thought that we couldn’t jam, I said that I’m ready to step down. After we finished discussing, leaders of the party said “no, you can’t step down,” he said.
On whether the ADC will replace Mr Kachikwu as its presidential candidate, Mr Nwosu said it was unlikely and the party is open to resolving the matter if he (Kachikwu) is still running.
When asked to clarify the allegation of him betraying ADC in 2019, Mr Nwosu denied it and said that he felt pained that the allegation was even made, and that he would surely take it up legally.