How I bridged the communication gap between the national and state chairmen of registered political parties in Nigeria – Wole Adedoyin
Wole Adedoyin, is the governorship candidate of the Hope Democratic Party (HDP) in the forthcoming governorship election in Osun state. A former Oyo State Secretary of Interparty Advisory Council (IPAC) and the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP).In this interview with Ademola Rilwan, Adedoyin talks about his WhatsApp platform which has been uniting and an avenue for sharing news and information among the national and state chairmen of different registered political parties in Nigeria.
Tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Wole Adegoke Joshua Adedoyin. I’m a blogger, literary activist, computer analyst, writer and a freelance journalist. I am the current national P.R.O (South) of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) and the National President of the Society of Young Nigerian Writers (SYNW). Also a former Oyo State Secretary of the Interparty Advisory Council (IPAC) and currently the National Coordinator of the National Interparty Youth Alliance (NIYA).
Tell us about National Focus and how you started?
The idea behind the creation of National Focus and the IPAC Watchdog started after I emerged as the pioneer secretary of IPAC in Oyo State. Before the advent of IPAC, the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) was the only association of political parties in Nigeria. Chairmen of political parties across the country then found it difficult to discuss, share news related to their parties and INEC unless there were physical meetings summoned by INEC and related stakeholders. Sometimes individual state chapters of CNPP do organize workshops and seminars to sensitize and educate their members not only within their states but also across their regions. The advent of IPAC actually changes the face of registered political parties in the state. IPAC was established by INEC guided by a Code of Conduct, which is also mandatory for any registered political party to join. While CNPP is voluntary. IPAC has killed or incapacitated some state chapters of CNPP in the country. After I emerged as the pioneer secretary of IPAC in Oyo state, a positive idea came to me. An idea of building a strong and viable platforms where election stakeholders like INEC, Police, Civil Defense, DSS, Customs, Immigration, Prison Service, Political Parties, Election Observers and Civil Society organizations can discuss political and national issues as well as update members of the platform with useful news and information. This is what NATIONAL FOCUS is all about. On the WhatsApp Platform you will see top officers from INEC, Police, Civil Defense, DSS, Customs, Immigration, Prison Service, Political Parties, Election Observers and Civil Society organizations. National Focus was created on the 11th of February, 2016 a year after the 2015 general elections.
What about IPAC Watchdog?
IPAC Watchdog is only meant for the national and state chairmen of registered political parties in the country. The idea of creating this platform came to me during the first annual IPAC conference held in Kaduna state. There were representatives of different political parties across the country and few national chairmen of different political parties at the event. It was from the place I started collecting their phone contacts and emails. That was around 2014. With the few contacts I created IPAC Watchdog. The platform shares news about INEC operations, latest news about different registered political parties, updates on elections, press releases and communique from political parties and group. Currently, there are representatives of over 45 different political parties on the platform from over 25 states of the Federation. Also information and news about IPAC, CNPP, including the latest coalitions in town CUPP and CPPP are shared on the platform. I have also created other social media platforms like Facebook and blog for the platform. News publicized on the WhatsApp group are also shared on the Facebook page and group.
What inspired setting up the two platforms?
For sharing useful news and information as related to INEC and different political parties. It is currently the only platform mainly focused on the activities of INEC and registered political parties in the country. Bridging the communication gap between the national and state chairmen of different registered political parties in the country is the reason of setting up the platform.
What challenges did you face starting them and how did you overcome them?
The first challenge I encountered was getting phone contacts of state party chairmen across the country. Same thing applicable to the contact of the national chairmen. But God eventually helped me. The second challenge is the fierce action and reaction of some party national chairmen when they were criticized or assessed. Many state chairmen of different political parties have been sacked or suspended because of this.
How old are the platforms now?
Three years old
What were the reactions of the National Chairmen when you created the platforms?
Many of them commended me for the development while some criticized my actions. But 80% out of 100% praised the initiatives and gave them full support. Some of them even sent me their state chairmen contacts to add them as members of the platforms.
Is IPAC National Chairman aware of this?
Fully aware. Alhaji Muhammad Nalado, the current IPAC National Chairman is on the platform. He has been contributing and publishing on the platform. He is also one of the administrators of the platforms. He has been supporting the platform since his emergence as the national chairman of IPAC. Former and current National EXCOS of IPAC are members of the platforms.
Any other innovations from your side apart from creating these two platforms?
Yes, of recent I singlehandedly established a private organization known as the Documentation Centre for Nigerian Political Parties (DCNPP) for documenting and archiving documents and facts about and on the defunct, deregistered and the current political parties in the Country. The Documentation Centre is situated at Adeyipo African Heritage Research Library and Cultural Centre owned by Prof. Bayo Adebowale. It currently stored all the constitutions and manifestoes as well as news and releases from all the registered political parties in Nigeria. We compile news almost every day. Of recent we published names of chairmen and secretaries, phone numbers and addresses, Websites, Emails and Facebooks accounts of all the registered political parties in the country.