From Angela Ross Uyi
“When decorum is repression, the only dignity free men have is to speak out.” – Abbie Hoffman
When #TakeItBack was birthed in March this year and introduced to the world from the United States by a group of concerned Nigerians led by Comrade Omoyele Sowore, everyone heaved a sigh of relieve that Nigeria will be salvaged from, simply put, enemies of our common progress in Nigeria – the old moneybags and political elite who have been on the political scene since 1960. And so, other concerned Nigerians living in the Diaspora, especially in the United Kingdom, caught the fire and ran with the dream, pulling all their energies and resources together – time, money, families, jobs, hope, you name it – to ensure that that dream comes true. Today, in the United Kingdom, all of those have dwindled considerably, largely as directly result an “Animal Farm” situational irony, where those who have sworn to protect and liberate us are indeed the ones who have stood firmly against, and engineered the demise of our inner working and strategy to genuinely run over Nigeria and take it back from the old politicians. Examples of events of their systemic “cabalism” against the original ethos and ideology of the movement abound in the United Kingdom and across Nigeria where we are supposed to take over.
After the now popular London Town Hall Meeting, which, till today, is adjudged the most attended of all the town hall meetings – thanks to the rallying hands of those who came forward with all they had to make it a huge success – it became apparent to a clique of individuals led by the Director General of #TakeItBack himself, Dr. Malcolm Fabiyi to slow down London (sometimes used as a generic term for United Kingdom) as she was moving at a pace that looked to Dr. Malclom’s team in the US as though we were faster than everyone else to work directly with the grassroots people in Nigeria and against their almighty control. In time, the seed of suspicion was conceived in their mind and they found willing collaborators, now popularly known in the UK as 100% Group – Sowore’s Friends led by Dr. Samson Omosule, Comrade Olushina, Barrister Wale Balogun and their co-travelers in London who consistently liaised with Dr. Malcolm and his team in the United States to peddle lies and rumours of wanting to “hijack” the UK Support Group for personal gains against any known individual in the UK who was genuinely working in the interest of the movement, be it Comrade Adeyinka Afinni-Jegede (Baba Jay), Ify Chegwe, Eniola Otasanya Martins, Ms Bukola Azeez, Deacon Aghahowa and his committed wife, Debbie or any “outsiders” perceived not to align with the agenda of Dr. Malcom Fabiyi.
Their only claim to right over others in the UK, shockingly, was that they had schooled and worked with Dr. Malcolm Fabiyi and Comrade Omoyele Sowore when they were University of Lagos Students’ Union Presidents back in the days when they were all students at that exalted citadel of learning between 1992 to 1995. And so, this was how discipline, respect, regard, equality, comradeship among genuine members of the UK team began to dwindle until the last straw – the main UK FUNDRAISING EVENT for the movement, Sowore and AAC Party, was sabotaged and undermined by ego laden 100% Group – Sowore’s Friends in London and given full support and backing by the Presidential Candidate himself, Comrade Omoyele Sowore.
THE UK FUNDRAISING PLANNING COMMITTEE
By Saturday, 15th September, 2018, the AAC/TiB Executive in UK had put in place a Fundraising Planning Committee with individuals drawn from among Movement’s committed members, even though all communication and information channels were consistently rebuffed by Dr. Malcolm Fabiyi since late June 2018 to have a working relationship with the Headquarters. Notable Fundraising Committee members include, the UK Coordinator, Comrade Adeyinka Afinni-Jegede, Mr. Hassan Aliyu, Mr. Adeoye Akinwunmi, Pastor Samuel Adewunmi, Ms. Charlotte Bickersteth, Ms. Bukola Azeez, Mr. Mayowa Oluyede, Ms Eniola Martins, Deacon Aghahowa and his wife, Debbie to name but a few.
At the meeting, our principal, Comrade Omoyele Sowore spoke on phone with every member who was physically present at the house of one of the Fundraising Committee members and on that note, the UK kicked off its major fundraising event planning. It was agreed at that meeting that a crowd of between 450 – 600 #TakeItBack/AAC Party enthusiasts be hosted by our presidential candidate in a no-holds barred variety fundraising show at a hall in central London and a fundraising target of £100,000 was proposed for everyone to deliver on. Everybody was hopeful. Communication between Sowore and the team continued where it was agreed that we would have two events in the United Kingdom. First, the main fundraising event in London and then, the one in Manchester. Dates were issued out by Sowore himself, sealing the 9th November 2018 (Manchester) and 10th November 2018 (London) and this run of events in November was duly agreed upon and sealed.
Everybody on the team started working frantically, looking for a befitting hall for our guests (which was pegged at 450) and especially our presidential candidate. After several deliberations and searches, we landed the Porchester Hall. The Porchester Hall would cost us a whopping £6,000 but we managed to convince the hall’s staff, who happens to be a Nigeria herself, to hire the hall to hall to us at £4,000 because we were doing this for our homeland, Nigeria. The lady was more than happy to help on hearing Nigeria and she acceded to our request. The deal was sealed at 50% non-refundable deposit – i.e. £2,000 – and members on the Fundraising Planning Committee team rallied round to pay the money. Today, that deposit is still on hold by the hall’s management at the invocation of the terms and conditions of hiring the hall.
When the invite for “London Night with Omoyele Sowore” was released on our WhatsApp walls and various social media on 13th October 2018, the attendant general disinterestedness in the event by our members made us suspect that something untoward was going on behind the scene and not long after that, it was revealed that there was a “third contending force” that was competing to out-price the main fundraising event’s ticket of £100 – the ALMIGHTY 100% GROUP – SOWORE’S FRIENDS UK.
Apparently the group had gone behind everyone else in the UK to obtain a date from our principal, Comrade Omoyele Sowore, for another event in London for the 11th November 2018. And sadly, that date was expressly issued out to them without giving a hoot or regards to constituted team here in the UK, that have been working tirelessly, day and night – spending their time, money and sometimes, to the detriment of their loved ones and businesses – to bring everyone under the same roof to raise funds for a common purpose of wrestling power away our country from the political cabals in Nigeria.
On realizing that the 100% Group – Sowore’s Friends UK headed by Dr. Samson Omosule had pressurized the principal to attend a select, “crème-de-la-crème” TiB/AAC big-wigs very close to either themselves, Dr. Malcolm or Omoyele Sowore himself, the Fundraising Planning Committee members called an emergency meeting on Monday, 21st October 2018 to appraise and question the integrity of purpose of the movement, of Omoyele Sowore himself and of all that went on at the National Convention of our party on 6th October 2018. In fact, it is on record that 100% Group – Sowore’s Friends UK, in their usual clandestine blind activities to sabotage and undermine the UK Executive, started calling our members to sell their event ticket at give-away price of £25.
And that was how they were able to kill the spirit of comradeship and enthusiasm among our committed members/supporters for a well-conceived main UK fundraising event which would have raked in nothing less than £100,000 for the entire movement before it was decided by the Fundraising Planning Committee that, in order not to incur more debts as a direct result fragmented events in London, the main fundraising event be cancelled or postponed to a later date before the 16 February 2019 general election in Nigeria.
Before the UK’s main fundraising event was eventually postponed and in order to save the main UK fundraising event, the presidential candidate, Comrade Omoyele Sowore was duly informed while he was on his way to Australia on Tuesday, 23rd October, 2018 and he was also advised by the UK Coordinator, Comrade Adeyinka Afinni-Jegede, to call a general meeting of #TakeItBack/AAC UK Support Group members so that we can all work together on one single fundraising event. He promised to do so but it he didn’t get back. On noting that the day to the Porchester Hall fundraising was inching closer, it became clear that it would be a daunting task for team members to drive the ticket sales to 450 guests, even as the video advert done by Sowore was unclear about which is which on the three events coming up in November. The major fundraising event was cancelled on Thursday, 25th October 2018 on that note.
In conclusion therefore, the salient questions to be asked remain,
- Why did the presidential candidate support the fragmentation of fundraising events in the UK by giving a splinter group in London a date to sabotage and undermine our main fundraising event for the common good of the movement and by extension, off all Nigerians in bondage in their country?
- Are the rest of us in the Movement “Sowore’s Enemies” or are some “animals in TiB/AAC UK Support Group more equal than the others?”
- Why is the TiB/AAC UK Executive being persecuted unjustly by the powers that be in TiB/AAC, namely, Comrade Omoyele Sowore and Dr. Malcolm Fabiyi?
- Is Comrade Omoyele Sowore supporting the Director General, Dr. Malcolm Fabiyi to fuel the division in TiB/AAC UK Support Group by setting willing collaborators in the UK against constituted members of the Executive?
- Generally, is TiB/AAC a place where equality of their members around the world is taken seriously?
- On what ethos and ideology is this movement party operating?
- Adeyinka Afinni-Jegede – Coordinator
- Bukola Azeez – Deputy Coordinator
- Ify Chegwe – Protocol Officer
- Charlotte Bickersteth – Treasurer
- Eniola Martins Otasanya – Fundraising Secretary
- Andrew Aluge – Head of Mobilization
- Nache Lekwot – UK Tech Lead
- Callistus Ikpunuekhai – Member, Fundraising Planning Committee
- Hassan Aliyu – Member, Fundraising Planning Committee
- Mayowa Oluyede – Member, Fundraising Planning Committee
- Adeoye Akinwunmi – Member, Fundraising Planning Committee
- Deacon Aghahowa – Member, Fundraising Planning Committee
- Pastor Samuel Adewunmi – Member, Fundraising Planning Committee
- Bolaji Idowu – Member, Fundraising Planning Committee
- Akin Akinboye – Member, Fundraisiing Planning Committee