The Alliance for Democracy was established in 1998 by former close associates of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the late leader of the Action Group and Unity Party of Nigeria. In particular, the party was formed to promote the cause of the Yoruba people in the Nigerian federation following the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election widely believed to have been won by ChiefM. K. O. Abiola, a Yoruba multi-millionaire businessman.
The promoters of the party included Chief Bola Ige, Chief AbrahamAdesanya, Chief Olu Falae, Alhaji Mamman Yusuf (1st chairman of the party), Alhaji Ahmed Abdulkadir (2nd chairman), Alhaji AsiwajuBola Ahmed Tinubu, and Chief Bisi Akande.
Contrary to the widely-held belief that the Alliance for Democracy (AD) was a tribal party and that it would be unable to satisfy the stringent conditions for the registration of parties. the Alliance for Democracy (AD) was formally registered by INEC to contest the 1991 elections.
Aims and Objectives of the Alliance For Democracy (AD)
The party plans to introduce
Free health care programme;
Integrated rural development;
These objectives are similar to those which the Action Group and the Unity Party of Nigeria had previously set to achieve.
Achievements of the Alliance For Democracy (AD)
The Alliance For Democracy (AD) and ANPP presented a joint presidential candidate for the 1999 elections. The Alliance for Democracy‘s candidate, ChiefOlu Falae was defeated by ChiefOlusegun Obasanjo of the People’s Democratic Party – PDP.
The party did not even bother to present a candidate for the 2003 presidential elections and it gave no reason for the decision.
In the gubernatorial elections held in 1999, the party won the governorship seats in Lagos, Ondo, Oyo, Osun, Ogun and Ekiti states. It retained only Lagos State in the 2003 elections and had had none since then.
The party won 17 senatorial seats in the 1999 elections but managed to win only seven in the 2003 elections. All the senatorial seats in both elections were won in the South Western states. Coincidentally, the Alliance For Democracy party controlled all the Houses of Assembly in the states where it won the gubernatorial elections in 1999 and 2003 respectively.
Perhaps more than any other political-party, the Alliance For Democracy (AD) demonstrated some commitment to the implementation of its programmes, especially the free education and free health care programmes in states controlled by it. Like the defunct Action Group and UPN, the Alliance For Democracy (AD) tends to believe in the existence of a social contract between the rulers and the citizens.
Problems of the Alliance for Democracy (AD)
Perhaps the greatest problem of the party is indiscipline. Several senators and representatives elected on the party’s platform defected to the PDP at various times in the Fourth Republic. For example, two of the three senators elected on the party’s platform in Lagos in 1999 defected to the PDP in the first few months of the Fourth Republic.
The indiscipline in the party and the failure of its governors to carry the people along with them partly contributed to the defeat of the AD in the South West in the 2003 elections.
Factionalisation is another major problem of the AD. The party was at a time divided into the Bisi Akande and Mojisola Akinfenwa factions. The Akande faction soon moved to join the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Then the Koleosho faction emerged, and the rift in the party continued to deepen.
It is not unlikely that the factions will be swallowed by some of the major parties as time goes on. By the time the April 2007 elections were held, the party was virtually dead. Its emergency presidential candidate in the 2007 polls, Pere Ajunwa scored only 89,341 votes.
The party has also been unable to overcome the perception that it is a party that exists primarily to promote the interests of the Yoruba. This partly explains its poor electoral performance in other parts of Nigeria. The Alliance for Democracy (AD) may not be a big electoral asset in the foreseeable future.