The African Democratic Congress has given 118 serving lawmakers at the federal and state levels automatic tickets ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The National Chairman of ADC, Chief Ralphs Nwosu, announced the party’s decision at its 61st National Executive Committee meeting in Abuja on Thursday.
Nwosu said the lawmakers, who recently defected to the party from the ruling All Progressives Congress and other parties, were rewarded for coming out boldly to identify with the fastest growing party in Nigeria at a crucial time in the history of the country’s democracy.
Out of the total number of legislators, 95 are serving state House of Assembly members, 18 are members of the House of Representatives and five are Senators.
Nwosu said: “We need to honour and appreciate them because they abandoned the ruling and bigger parties for a party that is just gathering momentum.
“The development can be attributed to the fact that the lawmakers and Nigerians at large have agreed that an end must come to anarchy, insecurity, lack of focus and terrorism in Nigeria.
“And the best platform, right now, is ADC.
“They are from Adamawa, Ondo, Osun, Imo, Ebonyi, Ogun and Oyo states, among others.”
On the party’s preparedness for the 2019 elections, the ADC chairman disclosed that the primaries for aspirants contesting for the House of Assembly elections would hold on September 29, 2018, while governorship primaries would hold on October 2, 2018.
For the National Assembly, primaries would hold on October 4, 2018, and presidential, October 6, 2018.
Nwosu said: “Aspirants have been coming to take forms for the presidential primaries.
“We will unveil our aspirants very soon.”
The chairman added that ADC had launched a campaign against vote buying and electoral corruption under the name: “Coalition for Electoral Integrity.”
“We invite the media and the general public to join the party in enlightening the Nigerian electorate that trading their votes for money means mortgaging a very bright future and we must stop that,” he said.
According to him, ADC is a vision driven grassroots political party with Role-Modelling Leadership paradigm and is not in the ridiculous “Harvest-Bazaar” money politics and “godfatherism”.
Nwosu explained that the new members had been enlightened by the party’s guiding principles, which were clearly worded, and spirited.
On the forthcoming Osun State governorship election, the ADC national leader disclosed that the party had received letters from labour unions, civil servants and other pressure groups in the state showing great support for the party’s candidates.
Nwosu said: “We are assuring Osun State workers and the people, who, on their own, have shown great support for ADC’s Governorship candidate, Alhaji Fatai Akinbade, and his running mate, retired Justice Folahanmi Oloyede, based on their excellent public service records, that our candidates will take them away from the grip of insensitive leaders and lead them far away from poverty
“The people of Osun should be assured that we will always stand by them at all times and will not betray the confidence reposed in us. We are set to hit the ground on September 15, 2018 with our mega rally, as the first step towards taking the state to the path of prosperity.”
Also, in line with ADC’s commitment to the inclusion of youths, women and physically challenged persons in its activities, Nwosu added that while the party had decided to give 50 per cent discount on Expression of Interest and nomination forms to aspirants under the age of 40 (Youth), the fees for women and physically challenged aspirants were optional.