APC gov ticket: Aggrieved aspirants seek direct primary, allege hijack - AfrobadooTV
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APC gov ticket: Aggrieved aspirants seek direct primary, allege hijack

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Kayode Oyero, Adebayo Folorunsho-Francis, Grace Edema, Deborah, Tolu-Kolawole, Tosin Oyediran, Daud Olatunji, Dennis Naku, Bola Bamigbola and Animashahun Salman

Some All Progressives Congress governorship and state Houses of Assembly aspirants in Ogun, Rivers, Sokoto, Lagos and Osun states have called for the adoption of direct primary to elect the party’s candidates in the 2023 elections.

The aspirants, in separate interviews with The PUNCH on Tuesday, alleged that governors and some ministers hijacked election of delegates, who would vote at Thursday’s governorship and Houses of Assembly primaries.

They, therefore, called on the national leadership of the party to cancel the delegates’ elections and adopt a direct primary on Thursday.

The PUNCH had on Thursday and Monday reported that the election of delegates in Rivers, Sokoto, Benue and Rivers was characterised by crises with factions rejecting the results.

 

In the Rivers State APC secretariat, there were gunshots by the police, who dispersed supporters of a governorship aspirant, Senator Magnus Abe, who alleged that a former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, hijacked the congress.

Four governorship aspirants in Ogun State —Owodunni Opayemi, Adekunle Akinlade, Modele Sarafa-Yusuf and Biyi Otegbeye— in a petition to the APC National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, obtained by one of our correspondents on Tuesday, demanded a direct primary for the shadow election that would hold on Thursday.

The APC in the state is divided into two groups with one loyal to the incumbent Governor, Dapo Abiodun, and the other led by his predecessor, Ibikunle Amosun. The party structure is however controlled by the governor.

The four aspirants in the petition they jointly signed alleged that forms were not made available to “non-loyalists of the powers-that-be. This, Sir, is unconstitutional, unfair and undemocratic.”

They stated, “We, therefore, write to state our preference for the direct primary mode in Ogun State for a free and credible primary election.

“The chairman may wish to know that echoes of the disputed 2018 primaries are still being heard in the state and the division in the Ogun State chapter of the APC has yet to be healed.

“The party members across the divide are therefore desirous of having their voices heard in the next elections.

“We also wish to appeal to the chairman to appoint an independent and impartial arbiter to superintend the direct primary election in Ogun State for transparency and fairness.”

In a related development, the National Association of Nigerian Students on Tuesday accused the leadership of the APC of turning a deaf ear to the petitions written against Abiodun.

NANS in a statement signed by its National Public Relations Officer, Victor Ezenagu, knocked the APC for failing to take action.

Several attempts to get reaction from the leadership of the APC in the state failed as the chairman, Yemi Sanusi, did not reply to a text message sent to his mobile line. Several calls to his line were not answered.

But Abiodun, on Tuesday, breezed into the national secretariat of the APC in Abuja.

Abiodun was warmly received by the APC National Chairman who subsequently ushered him in for a closed-door meeting.

Efforts made to speak with the governor after the one-hour meeting proved abortive as he ignored the journalists and entered his car and left the premises.

Abe’s faction demands direct primary

The APC faction loyal to Abe called for the cancellation of the delegates’ elections and demanded a direct primary.

A chieftain of the party and former Chief of staff, Rivers State Government House, Chief Tony Okocha, in an interview with The PUNCH on the telephone on Tuesday, said the group had petitioned the national leadership of the APC.

He stated, “We have done that in black and white, besides the peaceful demonstration that took place in Port Harcourt. The other thing I would want anybody else to do is to find out from INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) if actually, that congress held.

“INEC’s role in that congress is not even to observe but to monitor. In other words, INEC was an integral part of that exercise. Find out from INEC if it actually monitored any exercise in any of the local government areas.”

Asked if his faction would demand the cancellation of the process and demand for direct primary for governorship should be held, Okocha answered in the affirmative.

He stated, “That is our position because there was no congress. That congress was supposed to throw up delegates that would have voted for aspirants to become candidates.

“To that extent, there is a lacuna. So, what is best as it were is to carry everybody along in a direct primary election to select the governorship candidate for the party.”

The state spokesman for the party, Chris Finebone, said he knew nothing about what the Abe camp was talking about, insisting that the entire processes were very transparent.

“The entire processes were very transparent and open and the congress took place,” he said.

Also, a Sokoto State governorship aspirant, Balarabe Salame, told The PUNCH that he and five other contestants had petitioned the national leadership of the party.

He said out of the seven APC governorship aspirants in the state, six of them were not in support of the delegates that emerged from the congress. He, therefore, called on the party to go for a direct primary.

“I don’t understand how it is going to be but the point is we are not satisfied with the delegates that emerged. The party is working for someone and we all know whom they are working for.

“If the party does not do the right thing, anything can happen. I only pray that the situation of Rivers or Zamfara does not repeat itself in the state here.”

Primary committee: Lagos APC kicks as group alleges Sanwo-Olu’s brother’s inclusion

In Lagos State, the National President of the APC Professionals for Change, Hakeem Ogunsanya, expressed its dissatisfaction with the inclusion of a man it alleged is Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s elder brother in the APC primary committee.

In a statement issued by the group, signed by its Publicity Secretary, Bayo Aderibigbe, and made available to one of our correspondents on Tuesday, the group alleged that many individuals in the committee had strong ties with some of the contestants, thus allowing them to play the role of umpires could jeopardise the interest of other aspirants in the race.

The Chairman of APC in Lagos State, Cornelius Ojelabi, had on Monday inaugurated the committee, which is to be headed by the APC Zonal Organising Secretary, Lateef Ibirogba.

But the group flayed the state chapter of the party for setting up the committee, saying it was a usurpation of the functions of the national body, which is constitutionally empowered to perform such duties.

The other committee members include Olayinka Oladunjoye, Bola Badmus-Olujobi, Hakeem Odumosu, Gbolahan Idris, Adebayo Sanwo-Olu, Sodiq Ademola, Oluremi Shopeyin, and Muritala Seriki.

“The committee’s composition shows the desperation of some aspirants to subvert the process in their interest. We have some elements in that committee who have close ties with some aspirants. It beats my imagination that our great party in the state could appoint the governor’s elder brother to the committee that will conduct an election in which he is a contestant; this is like taking impunity to another level. What signal are we giving to other aspirants in the race? This is an aberration that shouldn’t be allowed to stand.

However, the group charged the party’s national leadership to dissolve the Ibirogba-led committee and reconstitute another that would reflect neutrality in fairness to all aspirants.

Reacting to the statement, the Lagos APC Chairman, Ojelabi, who spoke briefly with our correspondent, said the sequence of events outlined in the party needed to be understood.

Describing the group’s statement as false, he stated it was never the responsibility of the APC state chapter to form the committee as the power was only vested in the National Secretariat of the party, where the members were formed and inaugurated before being sent to report to their respective states where they would coordinate the primaries.

He said the committee was only received and introduced ahead to help prepare the ground for successful and hitch-free primaries, being unfamiliar with the structure of the Lagos State’s federal and state constituencies. He maintained that the said Adebayo Sanwo-Olu had always been a state executive, “Notwithstanding, the claims of his alleged ties are unfounded and cannot be established,” he added.

Ojelabi said, “I urge all party delegates to discard the statement and go on and cast their votes for the aspirants of their choice, without influence or fear, urging them to be calm and maintain orderliness during the process.

The Lagos State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, said he had no knowledge of the statement yet and did not know the organisation. He added that such a statement could not even be addressed to the governor. “There are no groups in the APC,” he said.

Reacting to the statement, the Chief Press Secretary to the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, said there could be no reaction from the state government as it amounts to nothing and that the person bears the same name as the governor doesn’t make them brothers.

Oyetola, Aregbesola’s camps disagree

The Publicity Secretary of Aregbesola’s faction in Osun APC, Abiodun Agboola, while speaking with one of our correspondents, warned that the group would resist any attempt to impose fictitious names as delegates.

Agboola alleged that, last week, some men loyal to Governor Adegboyega Oyetola compiled the names of the delegates that would vote during the primary election to elect the party’s candidates at the House of Assembly primary taking place on Thursday.

He stated, “We are in the dark regarding the primary that should hold this Thursday. No directive from the national headquarters. No delegate congress took place in Osun. What we have is that a group loyal to the sitting governor sat in the Government House and wrote delegates names and submitted them to Abuja.”

But reacting, the state Commissioner for Political Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations, dismissed the allegations, saying the election of delegates was held across the state between Monday and Tuesday last week.

He also said the exercise was monitored by INEC and advised against spreading unfounded allegations in a bid to score a cheap political point.

The Niger State APC is also in crisis over the alleged tampering with delegates’ lists by some members of the party executive to favour some aspirants.

Nine governorship aspirants, in a letter to the state governor, Abubakar Bello, alleged that some people had tampered with the party’s delegates’ list.

Umar Bago, on behalf of other aspirants including Alhaji Ahmed Muhammad Ketso, Professor Mohammed Yahaya, Mohammed Nda, Idris Usman Makanta, Engineer Sani Ndanusa, Muhammad Rufai, Dr MK Muhammad, and Alhaji Idris Ruga, warned those involved.

APC adjusts primaries timetable for fourth time

The APC the National Working Committee has again adjusted the released timetable and schedule of activities for the Governorship, state House of Assembly, Senate and House of Representatives primaries making it the fourth time the party would carry out the adjustment.

Unlike in the previous schedule of activities, the primary for the 340 senatorial aspirants that was slated for Friday, May 27, would now hold on Saturday, May 28.

The primary for the House of Representatives aspirants, earlier scheduled for Saturday, May 28 has been shifted back to Friday, May 27.

Primaries of the 145 governorship and state House of Assembly aspirants remain the same – Thursday, May 26.

While apologising for the last-minute adjustment, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Felix Morka, disclosed that “the special convention for the Presidential Primary will be held as scheduled on Sunday, May 29 to Monday, May 30, 2022.”

The Head of Department, Political Science, University of Lagos, Prof. Derin Ologbenla, in an interview with The PUNCH, said it was too late for the party to organise a direct primary.

He stated, “It is too late to organise a direct primary because the party did not start the process on time. They have to submit the names of candidates to INEC which they are struggling to meet. The President’s delay in signing the amended Electoral Act is also a factor. They were waiting that he would sign last week but he didn’t sign.

“Even if he signs it tomorrow, it can’t meet up or take effect, it is the laws that existed before that will apply.
“The political parties, especially the two major political parties will not meet up with INEC’s deadline. And they want INEC to give them an extension of time to submit the various aspirants for various positions. Some of them are still hoping that the President will sign the amended electoral law.”

Buhari holds marathon meeting with governors, NASS leadership
As he prepares to travel out of the country, President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday had a closed-door meeting with the governors and members of the National Assembly in the State House.

At the end of the meeting, the parties kept sealed lips on what they discussed.
A source at the APC secretariat, however, told our correspondents that it bordered on talks around the coming primaries and the need for consensus.

This is even as he disclosed that the outcome of today’s meeting with the President would determine the direction of the primaries and the new date for the postponed presidential screening.

A meeting of the APC governors took place late last night at the Kebbi Governor’s Lodge in Asokoro.

The source also stated that Buhari might likely meet with the presidential aspirants again tonight since he is travelling tomorrow.
“Baba seems to be travelling too much these days. It is hard to tell whether that is also part of his strategy to avoid giving in to some unusual demands ahead of the primaries.

“The dual citizenship issue is a tricky one I am sure even the publicity secretary may be unwilling to address. First, we have to determine what the constitution says about it. If it is against it, the party won’t concede to it as well.

“Morka himself has always maintained that the party will be consistent with the letters of the constitution,” he said.
On former President Goodluck Jonathan and the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele, the source said their forms were in the custody of the NWC.

Lagos aspirants threaten court action
An APC governorship aspirant in Lagos State, Wale Oluwo, warned the ruling party not to rely on the elected delegates’ list to conduct its primaries.

In a chat with The PUNCH on Tuesday, he described the delegates’ elections in Lagos as a sham and a fraud and threatened to go to court should the party proceed with the list for the Thursday governorship primary.

Oluwo, who is the chairman of the Akinwunmi Ambode Campaign Organisation, and a challenger of Governor Sanwo-Olu, said, “For the whole of Lagos State, we have a minimum of two contestants per slot in every ward. Then, for Lagos West particularly, we have three contestants per slot. So, how can one particular group come up with their own delegates and take it to the field and conduct an affirmation.

“What they did was an affirmation. Affirmation only happens when only one person has obtained form or if more than one person obtained the form and others stepped down. Then, you affirm by voice note. But when you have two to three people and you still do voice affirmation for one delegate of your own side, and they want to rely on that for a governor? The APC will not have a governorship candidate the way they are going. In so many states, the APC should be very careful, particularly in Lagos; the party will not have a governorship candidate.”

Efforts to get the reaction of the state chairman of the APC, Cornelius Ojelabi, proved abortive as calls to his line were unanswered as of press time. A text message sent to his line was also not replied.

Also, efforts made to speak with Morka on the demand of the aspirants in Ogun, Rivers, Osun, Sokoto and Lagos states proved abortive.

As of the time of filing in this report, he neither picked the calls nor replied the SMS of one of our correspondents.

PUNCH.

 

 

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LAGOS STATE CHAPTER OF NIGERIA UNION OF PENSIONERS ENDORSE ASIWAJU BOLA AHMED TINUBU FOR PRESIDENT AND BABAJIDE OLUSOLA SANWO-OLU FOR SECOND TERM

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The Lagos State Chapter of Retirees and Pensioners Association on the 30th January, 2023 made an open declaration in support of the Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the second term bid of Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu at NECA House, Alausa CBD ,Ikeja.

Prior to the declaration of support, the members of the union had in their hundreds took a walk of about 200 meters in which various banners were displayed showing inscriptions in support of the All Progressives Congress candidates.

Representing the Governor was the Secretary to the State Government Mrs. Folashade Sherifat Jaji who thanked the gathering for deeming it fit to throw their support behind Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu.
She reminded them of the need for all registered voters to have their PVCs collected.

On her part, Mrs. Ajibola Ponle who is the Commissioner for Establishment, Training and Pensions highlighted the positive impacts the State Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu had made and what he is doing in the state in the area of Infrastructural Development, Education, Health, Transportation and many more.

Other speakers were Mr. Kola Peregrino the Deputy Director General who represented Mr. Tayo Ayinde the Director General of Independent Campaign Council. Peregriho attributed the successes recorded in Lagos State as the brainchild of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. He submitted that Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu has truly performed beyond expectations since he assumed office three and half years ago.

Furthermore, the Chairman of Nigeria Labour Union Lagos State chapter Ms Agnes Sesi addressed the gathering in a more pragmatic way, saying the Lagos State workers remain far ahead their counterparts across the country in terms of governmental support. She was bold on this because according to her, she compares notes from time to time with other states’ Labour Union leaders. She, therefore, urged the pensioners to vote for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as president and work for the re-election bid of Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu.

Also, in his remarks, the Chairman of Nigeria Union of Pensioners Lagos State enclave Rev. Remi Johnson acknowledged the steadfast commitment of government to the plight of pensioners. He advised all his colleagues – pensioners to get their Permanent Voter Card (PVCs) and vote for the candidates of All Progressives Congress in the coming elections.

The event was facilitated by the Directorate of Grassroots Engagement of Independent Campaign Council for Tinubu-Shetima and Sanwo-Olu-Hamzat (ICC) ably led by Hon. Ladi Balogun.

Dignitaries who witnessed the endorsement were Secretary to the State Government Mrs.Folashade Sherifat Jaji, Commissioner for Establishment, Training and Pensions Mrs. Ajibola Ponle, Commissioner for Physical Planning Dr. Tayo Bamgbose-Martins, Deputy Director General ICC Mr. Kola Peregriho, Chairman NLC Ms. Agnes Sesi, Chairman Nigeria Union of Pensioners Lagos State Rev. Remi Johnson, and Director Directorate of Grassroots Engagement ICC Hon. Ladi Balogun among others.

#BAT2023
#SanwoLekansi

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Sponsored Protests Cannot Change Your Status As Sacked State Governor

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Adeleke

– Osun APC chairman Tells Adeleke

The Osun State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has told Senator Ademola Adeleke to leave up to the reality of his Friday’s sack as the governor of the state by the virtue of the explicit judgement of the state Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.

According to a statement issued by the Acting State Chairman of the APC, Sooko Tajudeen Lawal, in Osogbo yesterday,, the sponsored protests of both Adeleke and his party, the PDP, which were shamelessly staged in some of the states yesterday could only worsen their case instead of adding positive value to it at the appelate court.

Lawal stated that it was strange and unbelievable that Adeleke and his party could choose the option of denigrating the judiciary simply because the tribunal judgement did not go their way.

The state acting APC chairman said it was saddening that the sacked Governor Adeleke could be applauding and commending his sponsored protesters who went out to inflict inconvenience and violence on the inhabitants of the state under the guise of protesting the tribunal judgement that was not in the favour of the PDP candidate.

Lawal hinted that his own appraisal of the Adeleke-sponsored protests was an unmistakable conclusion that the sacked governor and his party are bad losers who are thinking that they can whip up the undeserved sentiment of the people in order to curry unmerited favour from the court of the public.

The state acting APC chairman said that the Adeleke sponsored protests were without any effect as there is no nexus between justice and sentiment because the law will always take its cause without the heavens coming down.

He reminded the embattled Senator Adeleke that it should dawn on him by now that he remains a sacked governor until the contrary is stated by a court of competent jurisdiction which is the Court of Appeal in this circumstance.

Lawal stated that no matter the magnitude of Adeleke’s sponsored protests and vilification and denigration of the judiciary, his current status as a sacked governor has the stamp of the law of the land.

The state acting APC chairman stated that whoever has recommended the sponsored protests for Adeleke to make up for his terrible loss at the tribunal is bereft of qualitative advice needed for someone like him who has crashed from his fraudulent political height that was witnessed at the tribunal on Friday.

In his words: “One needs not be a soothsayer to observe and conclude that you have lost this political battle and there is no known political short cut for you to get out of this self-inflicted political conundrum which has irredeemably defied any known remedy.

“I must expressly state here that it is still within the purview of your fundamental human right to approach the Court of Appeal for redress instead of sponsoring violent protests in some states across the state.

“Based on the Friday’s tribunal judgement, it is absolutely illegal for Adeleke to be talking about any mandate as the authentic election results of the July 16, 2022 governorship election has expressly shown that the PDP candidate has no mandate to flaunt to talk less of claiming any.

“It should be known that the incidence of over-voting, basis upon which Adeleke was purportedly declared the winner by the INEC as established by the tribunal, is nothing but unfair play which if left unturned is capable of setting a very bad precedent for our democracy.

“Adeleke should emulate the spirit of sportsmanship and maturity such that was displayed by the APC and Alhaji Isiaka Gboyega Oyetola having felt cheated, chose lawful and legal way through which they became victorious today”, Lawal counseled.

The state APC acting chairman stated that the protests were by the sacked governor’s sponsored thugs and not the electorate who have been happy and joyous all over the state over the judgment.

 

e-SIGNED:

Sooko TAJUDEEN LAWAL, Acting Chairman, Osun State APC.

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VIDEO: JANDOR UNLEASHES TERROR ON INNOCENT LAGOSIANS

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Our attention has been drawn to the reign of terror unleashed on innocent and law abiding citizens of Lagos state by the gubernatorial candidate of the PDP in the forthcoming national elections, Jide Adediran, otherwise known as Jandor in the course of his campaign in Surulere Local Government Council of the state.

The incident left in its wake several maimed victims and three people reportedly sent to their untimely death.

We condemn in strong terms the unwarranted and unprovoked resort to violence on the citizens of the state in the name of electioneering campaign.
Lagos cherishes it’s enviable status as the safest state in the country which has been as a result of long running and painstaking investment in security through the provision of the wherewithal and incentives for security agencies.

We view this attack as a ploy to instill fear in the hearts of voters as we count down to the elections.
It’s pathetic to note that a candidate seeking to govern the state could be seen actively promoting anarchy and violence to disrupt the peace of the citizens.

It will be recalled that the suspect has been busy in the past days crying wolves in the media as he perfected his evil plans which manifested at his rally.

While we can imagine the untold misery and frustration that his faltering campaign might have visited on him, it ought not to result in the thirst for the blood of potential voters.
We hereby call on the law enforcement agencies to thoroughly investigate the incident , bring the culprits to book and beef security across the state with the obvious desperation of the opposition PDP in order to forestall a reoccurrence.

We urge Lagosians to remain calm and law abiding as the state government remains irrevocably committed to its onerous duty of ensuring the safety of lives and properties of all and sundry.

watch video here 

Hon. Seye Oladejo
Lagos State APC Spokesperson
27/01/23.

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