Dr. Thomas-Wilson Ikubese, an aspirant for the presidency in Nigeria’s 2019 general election has announced his resignation from the National Conscience Party, NCP.
Dr. Ikubese who spoke to journalists in Akure, the Ondo state capital, on Monday, said he had suffered enough hostilities in the hands of the leaders of the NCP.
Dr. Ikubese main grouse was against the National Chairman of the party, Yunusa Tanko and the National Secretary, Ayodele Akele, who he accused of imposing the sum of N7.04 million ‘tax’ on those wishing to contest an election on the platform of the party.
The aspirant said the monetary demand was against the tenets on which the late legal luminary, Chief Gani Fawehinmi established the party.
"The National Chairman Yunusa Tanko and the National Secretary Ayodele Akele drafted a document (attached herein) directing that any Presidential Aspirant who is less than 2 years in the party should pay the sum of N7.04 million naira to the party, which is against the age-long tradition laid down by Chief Gani Fawehinmi that party members who seek to run for offices should do so at no cost, as a Populist Party, as to encourage the masses to thereby participate actively in politics.
"The argument advanced by the duo is that this money will serve to finance the Party. Conversely, however, Article 9.4.1 of the constitution of the NCP clearly stipulates how the party shall raise funds, i.e membership fees, donations and/or contributions from well-meaning individuals or bodies, proceeds from sale or auction of party materials and publications and income from investments. Nowhere is it stated in the constitution that funds shall be generated by levying aspirants mandatorily!
"This action is in further breach of Article 4.1.3 (c) of the NCP which stipulates that a National Congress must be convened to discuss the affairs of the Party and to take such decisions and/or give general guidelines as may be necessary for the progress and proper working of the Party.
He also wondered why the leadership of the party has refused to call a national congress to deliberate over the decision to begin to charge fees.
The presidential aspirant also queried the declaration of the National Chairman to contest the presidency in 2019 without resigning his position as stipulated by law.
"The National Chairman, Yunusa Tanko formerly declared to run for the office of the President on the 23rd April 2018, without resigning his position as National Chairman.
"As at today, he doubles as the National Chairman and a Presidential Aspirant of the NCP to the disadvantage of any other Aspirant in the Party who will be "screened" by a committee that will ultimately report to him.
"He thus upholds the power to approbate and reprobate.
"You cannot be in charge of the Party, control its machinery and resources and also be an Aspirant without fairness, justice, and equity being compromised.
"Tanko erected a barricade, mandating me to pay N7.04million as a Presidential Aspirant, while he is not making any such payment, even though we are running for the same office.
"Since the National Chairman and General Secretary of the party have obviously compromised the integrity for which the party is known, I hereby withdraw my membership of the NCP forthwith, for if I remain in the Party, it is obvious that the duo will use the Party machinery to the advantage of Tanko.
"And should I defeat him in the primaries, he and his accomplices will most likely work against me in the general elections," Ikubese said.
The presidential aspirants added that he has to move on to join forces with genuine progressive-minded individuals and groups to birth a new Nigeria.
He disclosed that he has pitched his tent with over 20 political parties who are now in talks to form a coalition in order to wrestle power from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Dr. Ikubese, however, charged other members of NCP to rise and protect the legacy of justice and equity that late Chief Gani Fawehinmi lived on.