A Message from The ANN Interim National Chairman
A New Dawn Foretold
Fellow compatriots, it is with gladness in my heart that I congratulate you all, on behalf of the interim National Executive of our vibrant party, on our registration as a full-fledged political party by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). This feat could only have been made possible with the dogged commitment of all of us and of course with the blessing of the all-knowing Creator of the Universe.
When we had the first meeting of like-minded individuals back in January where the name Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN) was birthed, being registered as a political party in 2017 wasn’t on our agenda. We were more concerned on how we could get the majority of Nigerians constituting of professionals like us to be more involved in politics and governance in the country and thereby instigate a positive disruption of the political space. By the time we started creating national awareness about our activities in March 2017, the massive support and enthusiastic feedback we received about our message of #TECHNOTICIANISM from the generality of Nigerians encouraged us to recalibrate and begin to set our eyes on 2019.
The road to getting INEC registration began in April and ended by mid-October when INEC conducted the verification exercise at our secretariat. So, in actual fact, we recorded this feat in less than seven (7) months! This, for a group of individuals considered politically naive (some have never even voted before), is no mean feat. This only tells me that though 2019 is round the corner, if we set our minds at it, we can ACHIEVE the UNTHINKABLE come 2019!
Often times, I have been asked: Who is behind you guys? Who are your godfathers? They ask these questions because, they believe that one needs tons of money or that you need the backing of some of the usual suspects to conduct the sort of mission we have set for ourselves. The truth of the matter is that we DO NOT have any godfather(s).
ANN was a movement and now a party that is DIVINELY ORCHESTRATED to cause a GENERATIONAL LEADERSHIP CHANGE in Nigeria that will lead the country on the path of prosperity and greatness. ANN is set on the ideals of ‘equal joiners and equal ownership’. Every member has the same right as everyone else. At ANN, the only godfather we want to have is the people. And we want to achieve this by taking power back to the people because we believe that it is by serving the people rather than the whims and caprice of certain individuals that you can truly usher in good governance that will yield the real dividends of democracy.
Answering the question of who our godfather is will not be complete without telling the story of how ANN began. Our story actually began on Zuckerville when a certain young man Prince Adekoya Hadeyborlar who approached me via my inbox and subsequently led to a physical meeting at the piano lounge of the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja. This meeting led to another meeting a week later but this time with four other young men including Amos Musa, Thompson Nsima and Sunny Famojuro. After being convinced of their objectives and that it aligned with mine, I gathered a group of my friends including Nkata Chuku Dale Ogunbayo Ak Of Cream Crest Richard Samuels Pst Ben Nkonye Irabor and thus we had the first meeting where the name Alliance for New Nigeria birthed within five (5) minutes of discussion with unanimity!
Today, ANN membership cuts across the 36 states including the FCT and we are gradually approaching the 50,000 membership mark. Not to even talk of the large membership base in Diaspora. For an organization that is barely a year old, this is a major achievement that we should be proud of but it’s still a far cry from our baseline goal of 10 million by end of October 2018.
This would not have been possible without the contribution of certain individuals like Samuel Ajayi who I approached via his inbox to preach the ANN vision. He not only believed in the vision he has contributed his time and resources coordinating our media game. Onome Ojigbo and his team have been managing our new media engagement by donating his intellect and resources from the very beginning when he approached me via my inbox pledging to build our website free. Zuckerberg has been generous to us to the extent that most of the people driving our message today, I met on Facebook.
I want to appreciate people like Olutoyosi Omotoso, Harry Slim, Omoakhia David, Prescott George, Onmonya Daniel, Akinloye NG, May Ubeku, Moji Danisa Dawodu and others too numerous to mention for believing in us and being enablers of our vision via their various platforms. What we have successfully done is to harness the energy of the social media and bring it to our ground game. On the ground, I also want to appreciate some of our members that have been dogged in their recruitment drive. Leonard Ebute has been working tirelessly in bringing on board a lot of individuals from the intellectual hotbed of Nigeria, the LBS. Michael Kelikume and ND Bonne have shown by actions that our goal is achievable by convincing even the most disillusioned Nigerians to board the ANN train.
Now that we have successfully scaled the registration huddle, the hard work begins. We plan to officially launch our vibrant party after the presentation of certificate by INEC. Thereafter, we will be holding our elective convention where substantive national executive officers would be elected to steer the party affairs. Our first order of task is the governorship election of Osun State. So all members are encouraged to bring on their A game to the membership drive and awareness creation about ANN.
We will also be unveiling very soon the #standup4naija project. The project is an unprecedented, ambitious and volunteer-driven project that aims to galvanize every Nigerian of voting age to become actively involved in the electoral process. We are seeking neighbours to talk to neighbours, and find out their hopes, fears and dreams for our dear country. It is our hope that the outcome of this exercise will enrich us with the tools that will make us the credible and only alternative party that will lead our country to the path of prosperity, equality, productivity and excellence. Fellow compatriots, all the above would only be achievable if we have the resources.
I am calling on all of us to step up to the plate with our membership dues, donations and fund raising drives. For those members still sitting on the fence, I call on you to tip over and let’s do this together. Time is running out. We need you, our country needs us. #togetherwecan do it.
ANN, The Difference! God bless Nigeria!
Dr. Jay Osi Samuels, MD, MS (Harvard) Interim Chairman Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN)