The camp of the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on Thursday, raised the alarm over an alleged imminent campaign of calumny directed at their principal by a United States-based Nigerian named Lloyd Ukwu, who they claimed was an ally of the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi.
But Obi’s campaign team denied the allegation stating the ruling APC was a party of propaganda, that was perennially afraid of even its shadow.
NADECO was formed on May 15, 1994 by a coalition of Nigerian democrats and activists, who resiliently piled pressure on the military government of the late General Sani Abacha to step down for the winner of the June 12, 1993 elections, Moshood Abiola.
The coalition members, who were mostly from the South-West, consequently became the symbol of mass resistance against military rule in the struggle to restore democracy in the country.
The founding 49 signatories to NADECO included Late Chief Michael Adekunle Ajasin, Mallam Lawal Dambazzau, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe, Chief Anthony Enahoro, Major General Adeyinka Adebayo (retd.), Chief Bola Ige, Commodore Dan Suleiman, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Professor Anya O. Anya, Colonel Yohanna Madaki, Reverend Father Moses Adasu, Dr Beko Ransome-Kuti, Reverend Tunji Adebiyi, Chief Ade Ojo, Chief Ralph Obioha, Chief Empire Kanu, Chief Michael Anyiam, Dr. Sola Soile, Vice Admiral Akin Aduwo and Chief E. Duru.
Others were Mr. Nick Dazzang, Mr. Labaran Maku, Dr A. A. Akingba, Mr Babas Eko Oyekanmi, Mr Alex Ayatolla, Mrs Sarah Jubril, Alhaji Ganiyu Dawodu, Mr O. P. Edodo, Mr A. Barber, Otunba Olabiyi Durojaiye, Chief Olusegun Osoba, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, Alhaji Mohammed Siraj Hamza, Dr. Wahab Dosunmu, Otunba Aboyade Cole, Major General Olufemi Olutoye (rtd), Chief Sobo Sowemimo, Dr. Steve Achema, Chief Olaniwun Ajayi, Chief Olu Falae, Brigadier-General Jonah Jang, Chief Abraham Adesanya, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Mr. Alao Aka-Bashorun, Mr. Emmanuel Njiwah, Chief Vincent Nwizugbo and Dr. Uma Eleazu.
A statement issued by Dele Alake, the Special Adviser to the President-elect, titled “Public Alert on Nefarious Agenda of NADECO Impostor, Lloyd Ukwu, in the United States of America,” described Ukwu as an impostor who paraded himself as NADECO Executive Director.
Alake further disclosed that they got an intelligence that the alleged impostor planned to hold a media conference to hoodwink unsuspecting Nigerians in the diaspora.
He said, “Our attention has been drawn to an attempt by one Lloyd Ukwu, a United States-based Nigerian claiming to be the Executive Director of the National Democratic Coalition to organise a press conference specifically intended to disparage and cast aspersions on the credibility of the 2023 presidential election freely and fairly won by Tinubu.
“It must be stated emphatically and without any ambiguity that Ukwu is an impostor, hellbent on hoodwinking unsuspecting Nigerians in the diaspora and the international community.
“That Ukwu is attempting to fraudulently exploit the NADECO platform for Obi against Asiwaju Tinubu is so laughable and a grave insult to the sensibilities of Nigerians, who witnessed first-hand the struggle by the pro-democracy group in restoring democratic rule to Nigeria and the roles played by prominent Nigerians, including independence hero and nationalist, Late Chief Anthony Enahoro, Asiwaju Tinubu, Professor Wole Soyinka, General Alani Akinrinade, late Commodore Dan Suleiman, Late Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, Chief Cornelius Adebayo and several other pro-democracy activists in exile to birth the freedom from military dictatorship that Nigerians enjoy today.
“We reiterate that Ukwu was very peripheral to this group of eminent statesmen and illustrious Nigerians who bore the pain and peril of exile so that our country could be free from the jackboot of military dictatorship of Late General Sani Abacha. It is imperative to remind Ukwu and his desperate paymasters that while Tinubu put his life and resources on the line during those challenging times, the likes of Obi were nowhere to be found.”
Reacting to the allegation, the chief spokesman for the Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council, Yunusa Tanko, debunked the allegation.
“We don’t even know the Lloyd Ukwu they are talking nor the alleged move to discredit their principal. The man in question has not even said anything, you are already pre-empting that he is going to say something. How did you know about it?
“The Tinubu’s camp is actually the one flying the kite. My principal doesn’t even know anything. The guilty are always abroad. The APC is always afraid of everything including its own shadow,” he said.