A special congress of the Lagos State chapter of the National Conscience Party (NCP) was held in Lagos on Monday, 6 January 2003. The main purpose of the congress was to elect party candidates for the general elections into the offices of the state governor and deputy governor, and members of the state house of assembly. The congress was to also elect candidates for elections into the two chambers of the National Assembly (namely the Senate and House of Representatives).
The National Conscience Party (NCP) in Nigeria has been holding special congresses in the last few weeks to elect the Party’s candidates for the general elections, which will take place in the country between March and April 2003. Below is a short report on the congresses in Lagos and Oyo States and the National Congress in which comrades of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM), the Nigerian section of the CWI, were involved.
About 1,500 members and supporters of the party attended this congress, which had been called at four weeks’ notice. However, there were only 623 members accredited to vote. Those who attended were predominantly youth. The mood was quite enthusiastic and it reflected the growing confidence among members since the party was given official recognition on 3 December 2003, allowing it to stand in elections. A sum of 5,600 naira (US$ 43) was raised during a financial appeal.
The congress received wide media coverage. It has been reported in at least five national newspapers and three TV channels in Lagos.
All the three members of DSM whom we put forward as candidates in the party primary elections at the congress were successful. A comrade and member of our NEC, Lanre Arogundade, will be the party’s candidate in the Lagos West senatorial district, the biggest and most populous in the country. He had 305 votes compared with 53 votes for his challenger. In addition, two comrades, including a female comrade, were elected to be NCP candidates in the elections for the state house of assembly while a very close sympathiser of the DSM whom we supported was elected as a candidate for the federal House of Representatives.
DSM members distributed over 1,000 copies of our special bulletin titled ’Registration of NCP: Another Victory for the Working People. Build A Mass-Based, Democratic NCP On a Socialist Programme’.
The congress of the NCP Oyo State chapter was also held on Monday 6 January 2003 in Ibadan. About 100 people attended the congress, most of who were students, youth, middle-aged workers and professionals.
The congress received adequate press attention as most of the invited media outfits, both print and electronic turned up to give coverage to the even.
At the congress some party candidates for the next general elections were elected. Femi Aborisade, the National General Secretary of the party, was elected as the party’s gubernatorial candidate. He was the only aspirant for that position. In all, the party will stand 5 candidates for federal House of Representatives. The same number of members will run for the State House of Assembly. There is a candidate for one of the three senatorial seats in the state. Two of the candidates – one for Federal House of Representatives and the other for State House of Assembly are women.
Two student members of the DSM (University of Ibadan) and (Ibadan Polytechnic), were elected to contest for the State House of Assembly elections in next general elections. Copies of the last edition of our paper on NCP registration were circulated at the congress.
NCP national congress
The special national congress of the NCP to elect the party’s candidates for the posts of president and vice-president took place in Lagos on 8 January 2003. A total of 516 party members were accredited for the meeting although about 1000 people were present. The congress elected the party’s founder and national chairman, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, the human rights activist and lawyer, as the party’s presidential flag bearer.
Just like at the Lagos State congress two days earlier, almost everybody at the national congress received a copy of the DSM special bulletin on the next steps for the NCP.