Foremost pro-democracy activist, Chief Ralph Obioha, Former Head of Nigeria’s premier pro-democracy group, National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), North America, has dismissed as lies, claims by Mr. Dele Alake, Special Adviser to President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as contained in his March 9, 2023 statement entitled “PUBLIC ALERT ON NEFARIOUS AGENDA OF NADECO IMPOSTOR, LLOYD UKWU IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA”.
Alake had said in a release earlier in the week that Tinubu’s camp got an intelligence that Ukwu, whom he called a NADECO impostor, planned to hold a media conference to hoodwink unsuspecting Nigerians in the diaspora about the 2023 polls.
Reacting Friday via a statement entitled “NADECO AND LLOYD UKWU: RIGHT OF REPLY TO DELE ALAKE”, Obioha rubbished “this diatribe by Dele Alake”, saying he was “aware of the ignoble intentions behind it.”
He responded point-by-point thus:
1, First, Prof Wole Soyinka was never a member of NADECO. At the time, he had Contemporaneously formed his own group which he called NALCO and which, according to him, was aimed at forming a Nigerian Government in Exile. Soyinka’s role in NADECO was limited to occasional collaborations because NADECO saw him as someone who was generally pursuing goals somewhat similar to that of NADECO.
2, Attorney Lloyd Ukwu (the person disparaged by Dele Alake in his Press Statement) was a major pillar in the NADECO struggle, especially in the American continents, comprising of the United States, Canada and some South American countries. When NADECO had no kobo, Dr Ukwu sponsored three air tickets to Ottawa, Canada, one to Haiti and funded costly outreaches to many countries, including Taiwan.
3, Initially, Dr Ukwu donated a befitting office space for NADECO in the prestigious Georgetown area of Washington DC, USA and he went on to later secure an exclusive-use office for NADECO directly opposite the headquarters of the FBI. This was deliberately done to ensure that NADECO and its principal officers like my humble self are completely protected by our proximity to the seat of United States apex security agency.
4, This Dele Aleke is a johnny-come-lately who does not have any factual knowledge of what he is talking about in the said Press Statement. He cleverly but clumsily avoided talking about me, even as it is in the public domain that I was the head of NADECO USA and Canada. He did not even have the basic decency of mentioning Chief John Oyegun who, who like Lloyd Ukwu, played a diverse mix of pivotal roles.
5, In the same vein, this Dele Alake minimized the major roles of our heroes past, such as Chief Anthony Enahoro, Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, Air Commodore Dan Suleiman, Chief Ralph Uwaechue, etc. Needless mentioning the names of high foreign officials who went beyond the call of duty to carry our burden for us and, through NADECO, helped us restore democracy in Nigeria.
6, For the record and because Alake was indirectly playing the ethnic card, let me state that Dr Lloyd Ukwu is married to a Yoruba lady by name of Remi, a prominent pharmacist in the United States. His children are therefore half-Yoruba. It is a gross injustice to the contributions of Ukwu to our noble struggle to enthrone civil rule in Nigeria to suggest that he or NADECO, as presently constituted are working for Peter Obi. For the record, we worked for and are still working for enthronement of true democracy in Nigeria based on the popular will of Nigerians, as expressed through free and fair elections.
7, In conclusion, let it be clear that Attorney Lloyd Ukwu is legitimate; his NADECO activities and credentials are legitimate; and he has the inalienable right to hold his political opinion, especially when geared to helping our democracy to flourish through a credible electoral process. We indeed need more activists like him.
•NADECO chieftain Ralph Obioha