How To Hijack A Political Party In Nigeria

I will avoid being academic. I will not define concepts and other jargons but shall go straight to the meat.

You cannot by mere judicial pronouncements,  take over a political party. The court may give you the certificate, recognize you as the national chairman of a party but it can never give you the soul of the party.

Chief Dan Nwanyanwu handing over LP certificate to Com. Wabba

NLC for the past 7 years, have been in possession of the certificate of registration of Labour Party (LP) but not in control of the party or with the soul of the party. Chief Dan Nwanyanwu, mni handed over the certificate to Comrade Ayuba Nwabba mni, on 30th July 2015

Hijacking a political party, is only achievable by through a political process.

The prospective hijackers, must be members of that party, participate in the meetings of the party and most importantly, have majority of the delegates at the national convention of the party.

How does one become a member of a party? Article 4 of the Constitution of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), Article 9 of Labour Party (LP) Constitution 2009, spell out how one can be a member.

To effectively take over a party, being a member is not enough but you must be a financially up to date member. In the case of LP, you must fit into Article 9(3), particularly paragraph iii which reads, “only members who pay their monthly membership dues at rates prescribed shall be deemed to be bonafide members of the Party. Arrears of dues of up to six months shall lead to forfeiture of membership.”

For PRP, Article 4(c-e) reads, “No person shall be entitled to participate in any election in the party unless such a person has been a fully paid-up member of the party, continuously, for a period of twelve calendar months.

d. No person shall hold, or be entitled to contest, for any party office unless such a person has been a fully paid-up, continuous, member of the party for a period of twelve calendar months.

e. The first election in the party and to all party offices shall not be subject to the provisions of sections (c) and (d) of this article.

If you and your comrades in arms are desirous of hijacking either LP or PRP, the first thing is to get massively registered and be card carrying members of either of the parties.
Assuming these two are not of interest to you, know that all political parties in Nigeria, have similar constitutional requirements. The only difference is Party Manifesto.

After populating the party with members who share your ideals for change of leadership or direction for the party, the next step is to force the National Working Committee of the party to call NEC meeting. Dominate NEC, which is made up of NWC members, Chairmen and Secretaries of State Executive Councils of the Party etc.

LP’s NEC is interesting and a ready tool to be hijacked, if NLC/TUC is hungry enough to repossess the Party. Article 13 (2)(xix) provides that Presidents and General Secretaries of the two Central Labour Organizations, that is, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) & Trade Union Congress (TUC) shall be members of NEC.

2014 National Convention of LP held in Akure, where Com. Dan stepped down as National Chairman and A.A.Salam took over.

Once you dominate NEC and compel her to call for a National Convention, you have effectively hijacked the party. National Convention, is the final and highest authority/decision making and taking of the party. Make sure that INEC is notified in line with the prevailing Electoral Act. Any Convention not witnessed by INEC and report filed, is a mere gathering of political friends.

The Electoral Act states, “Every registered political party shall give the commission at least 21 days’ notice of any convention, congress, conference or meeting convened for the purpose of “merger” and electing members of its executive committees, other governing bodies or nominating candidates for any of the elective offices specified under this Act.”
Once you comply with this provision, you can carry out your coup by outvoting any other claimant(s) to the soul of the party.

But with less than a year to election, can we afford to hijack an existing party? Is it not better to identify a party, massively populate it and with our membership strength, negotiate party positions as well as field candidates to participate at all levels of the 2023 election stratum?

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