Fidelis Soriwei and Adelani Adepegba
The Embassy of the United States of America in Abuja has held a meeting with top officials of the promoters of a mega party under the auspices of the Action Democratic Party.
Investigations on Tuesday revealed that an official of the US Embassy attached to the Political Desk, Mr. Robert Wang, led a team of Americans to hold talks with the leaders of the ADP in Abuja two weeks ago.
Top officials of the ADP, an association, which has applied to the Independent National Electoral Commission for registration as a political party, confided in our correspondent in Abuja that Wang told the team that the US was interested in the enthronement of a vibrant democratic culture in the country.
It was learnt that the meeting with the members of the National Working Committee and promoters of the ADP lasted for four hours.
Wang was said to have brought the meeting to an end with a promise to hold another meeting with the evolving party at a later date to be decided by the embassy.
The source added, “The US Embassy held a meeting with our leaders. The delegation from the Embassy was led by a senior official from the Embassy, Robert Wang.
“You know, it wasn’t an open meeting. They are concerned about political developments in Nigeria. There is a need for a vibrant democratic culture.
“They came to have an interface with us and get to know our political ideology; get to know the leaders of the party; then know the manifesto of the party. They wanted to hear from us and our mission; to encourage us because they are concerned about the political space and democratic development in Nigeria.
“Then, they fixed another meeting that other officials, more American officials, will also attend. The meeting lasted for four hours.
“Though they have not fixed another date, they just said that there would be another meeting between the leadership and the American embassy on a date that they would convey to us.”
The official of the planned party said serving senators and the members of the House of Representatives, former governors and top politicians across the country were discreetly identifying with the mega party arrangement.
The US Embassy Information Officer, Russell Brooks, however, described the meeting with representatives of political parties as usual.
“It is routine for Embassy political officers to meet with representatives of various political parties in order to hear from all points on the political spectrum. This is a normal Embassy activity and should not be viewed as any type of endorsement,” Brooks explained.
The PUNCH had reported exclusively on Friday that the ADP had paid the compulsory N1m for its registration and forwarded a list of members of its NWC to INEC which was said to have concluded its verification on the party’s claim and structures.
The proposed list of the NWC members are Yagbaji Sani (National Chairman); Dr. James Okoroma, (National Secretary); Mr. David Bichi, (National Legal Adviser); Chief Rex Onyeabo, a former National Secretary of the PDP, (National Chairman, South-East); and a former Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Nojeem Awodele (National Vice-Chairman, South-West) among others.
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