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2019: APC group asks Amosun, Ogun West to back Abiodun

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2019: APC group asks Amosun, Ogun West to back Abiodun

The Ijebu/Remo Forum, a group within the Ogun State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC), has assured that the party’s governorship candidate, Prince Dapo Abiodun, will be fair to all sections of the state if elected in the 2019 elections.

The group, which comprises elder statesmen from Ogun East zone of the state, also sought the support of Governor Ibikunle Amosun and stakeholders, particularly from Yewa-Awori extraction in the state, for Abiodun’s candidacy.

In a statement issued after their meeting in Sagamu on Tuesday, members of the forum saluted President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, for standing firm in support of due process and discipline leading to the emergence of the party’s gubernatorial candidate in the state.

They said though the Ogun APC had a difficult time conducting its primaries, they were delighted that Abiodun eventually emerged as the party’s standard bearer for 2019.

The group recalled why it championed the agenda that the next governor of the state must come from the Ijebu/Remo extraction, saying it was the only fair and just deal to guarantee the state for the ruling party.

It commended other aspirants, especially from Ogun West zone, that showed interest in the governorship, stressing that “there has been no victor and no vanquished” in the contest.

The statement partly read, “We appeal to everyone to be sportsmen and to be gallant in the present situation. Our experience has taught us that everyone will have his day.

“We say to our compatriots from Ogun West, in particular, that despite the intensity of this contest, the Ijebu and Remo people are no enemies of the Yewa and Awori people.

“Ijebu and Remo people are a people with a deep sense of history, justice and fairness. We seek it for ourselves and seek it for other people. Indeed, from the history of Ogun State to date, we know we are friends and allies. We have, mutually, supported each other before and we believe God that we will do so again in future.

“On this occasion, we appeal for your restraint and gallantry. Please be assured that the government to be led by Prince Dapo Abiodun will serve your interest and that of all of Ogun State without any discrimination.”

While stating that it holds Amosun in high esteem, the group further charged the governor to work for the success of Abiodun at the polls.

It added: “We affirm that in the past eight years, you have worked hard for the progress of this state and believe history will be kind to you and accord you credit as a builder of note. While we may have disagreed on this issue, this does not reduce or diminish our respect for your person.

“We wish to say that the next few months, in which you will write the last chapter of your governorship, will be crucial and challenge your leadership as you prepare for your succession. Permit us to remind you, Your Excellency, that there is no success without succession.

“We trust that in your characteristic no holds barred style, you will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the party candidate, Prince Adedapo Abiodun, MFR, and our party, the All Progressive Congress, are successful at the polls.”

Those who endorsed the statement included Aare Olu Dawodu (chairman), Prince Segun Aderibigbe (secretary), Chief Bisi Rodipe, Chief O. B. Okuboyejo, Alhaji Rafiu Songonuga, Prince Adeyemi Adefulu, Bashorun Adebisi Adesanya and Dr Rasheed Adenusi.

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2023 presidency: S’East should work with other zones – Nwosu

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2023 presidency: S’East should work with other zones – Nwosu

Chief Uche Nwosu was the governorship candidate of the Action Alliance (AA) in Imo State in the 2019 general election. In this interview, he espoused his views on issues of economy, security, governance and the need for the South-East to first work with other zones before demanding the 2023 presidency. Johnchuks Onuanyim reports

Few months after the general election, some people have started subtle campaigns for the 2023 general elections. What do you make of this development?

For me, it’s too early to start that. We have a sitting president and we have so many years to go. I think people should jettison this issue of 2023 and allow Mr. President to be focused on his four-year term that will end in 2023. For me, it is not in the best interest of the country for anybody to start talking about 2023 now. The President should be given all necessary support to keep the country moving. When we come close to 2023, we will know where we are going to.

Many people are realigning on the ground that the two leading parties – All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – might not be able to give Nigerians the direction politically in 2023. Do you share that view?

I do not share that idea because Nigeria is a complex country. We have seen such kind of a thing before and it didn’t work. I still feel that the ruling APC will still carry the day because of its structure.

Looking back, would you say you have any regret contesting the Imo State governorship election on the platform of AA?

There is no regret at all. Like I said in previous interviews, it was injustice that moved me to AA. I won APC governorship primary, but was denied the ticket and it was given to someone who came to the party less than three months going to the primaries. I have no regret because I still have my support for the leadership of APC and President Muhammadu Buhari. Remember that I contested under AA, but we had a perfect alliance with APC. So, I’m APC and I’m AA.

When you say you are in APC and AA, are you planning to return back to APC?

I’m still in court for now and we still have a perfect alliance with APC. If by tomorrow I’m declared winner of the case, I will not see myself as governor of AA or governor of APC, I will be governor of the entire political parties in Imo State. APC and AA are two parties that gave me their support in Imo State.

Let’s look at the 2020 budget that Mr. President just presented and which has been highly criticized by the opposition as well as some members of the APC…

First of all, before anybody criticizes, you just have to take the budget, go through it and not just taking a window look at the budget. Mr. President never woke up and drew a budget. You know he has a lot of advisers and cabinet members, who advised him on budget and so many things. Budgetary process is not a one-man show. The President has taken his time with his cabinet and made some consultations economically and otherwise for him to come up with that budget.

For me, the budget is a welcome budget and it will ensure the completion of most of the projects that were not concluded in the 2019 budget. You can see that there was no provision for new projects; that makes me happy. You don’t go and say you are constructing another road, when the one you started has not been completed.

But, where I have some reservations is on the issue of education. There should have been more allocation for education because it is the basis for every country. These young people you see in this country today involving in different crimes, if education is provided for them, they will not go into those things. I saw something like 40 something billion naira, they should have moved it higher. Allocation for the Works Ministry should also have been increased, so I think that with time, Mr. President should submit a supplementary budget for Works.

Another area I’m so happy about is the area of humanitarian services. I’m so happy with that ministry. In fact, that ministry is endeared to heart because it has to do with the less-privileged and downtrodden in the society. So, my advice to the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs is for her to focus more on Internally Displaced Persons camps. Those in these camps, especially the youth, should be trained on skills that will help them in life.

Do you see the 2020 budget transforming Nigeria’s economy?

Perfectly it will, but there is need for supplementary budgets in some of the areas that I just mentioned.

How will you access the APC-led government at the federal level?

President Muhammadu Buhari did well in his first term. He performed in the area of agriculture. His second tenure is just about five months, so I think it is too early to start comparing notes. But, with what I have seen in the 2020 budget, I believe that Mr. President will do well. He is doing a great job in the rail sector and also constructing roads across the country. So, he’s putting things in the right direction.

What is your take on what some people have described rumbling in the presidency over allegations of corruption against the Vice President?

Those things are fake news. The Vice President has come openly to say that he is in good terms with the President. For me, Mr. President and his vice have a good working relationship. I met with the Vice President when I was Chief of Staff in Imo State, he’s a gentle and as a professor of Law, you won’t have any option than to love him.

Let’s look at the issue of security. This is one area many people believe that not much has been done. The presidency keeps saying that Boko Haram insurgents have been decimated, but every day, we hear about different security challenges. What do you think is responsible for the President not to have achieved as much as expected?

If we say President Buhari has not done well in the area of security, it means we are not being fair to him. I was in this country from 2011 to 2015. I knew when Boko Haram was bombing some places in Abuja. I know when some local government areas in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states were taken over by Boko Haram.

I know when bombing of pipelines, kidnapping was top of the day. But from 2015 till date, you would have seen the reduction. There is no country in the World or no society that you will not find some kind of crime or criminality, but in such situation, what we should is to pray for the leaders so that they will curtail crimes and criminalities.

What do you make of agitations that the South-East should produce the next president in 2023?

I don’t believe in shouting for presidency at the moment. The people of the South-East who are agitating that they must produce president in 2023, how far have they reached out to the other zones? You don’t sit in the South-East and say it is our turn.  What is the relationship between the South-East and the North? What is the relationship between South-East and the South-West? What is the relationship between South East and South-South? That is what they should be talking about.

Meanwhile, the issue of 2023 should not even arise now. The best thing is to work with our brothers from other zones, so that Mr. President can complete his tenure. In doing that, we will see ourselves having one country as well as see ourselves as people working closely together. For me, I wouldn’t want to venture in the issue of 2023 until Mr. President completes his tenure, but for those who are agitating for presidency, let me repeat, we need to work with our brothers from other zones. It is time for us to say, look, we have to work with other zones. Abuses and calling of names will not bring the presidency they are talking about. We must see ourselves as brothers and sisters to people from other zones.

Don’t you think that the South-East should be allowed to produce the next president for the sake of fairness?

That was why I said the South-East should not make so much noise now. As it is now, we have a president who has three years plus to stay in office and nothing has come from the villa that someone has been adopted or that the position has been zoned to South-West or South-East. People are just saying that the North will not handover power, South-South say they will take power, South-West say they will take power, North-East say they will take power. All these are based on rumour and hearsay.

When the time for that comes, we will know where it is going to, but for now, I think we should just calm down in the South-East, work for the development of the region and wait for 2023. We can’t start fighting now because there are lots of things we need to put in place in the South-East like the issue of Enugu Airport. South East governors should come together and meet with President Buhari to see how those things can work.

There are other things we need to talk about. 2023 is still far and God knows the best for the South-East.

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Kogi: We’ve support of 18 LGAs – PDP

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Kogi: We’ve support of 18 LGAs – PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that it enjoys over 70 per cent of registered voters in 18 out of the 21 local government areas of Kogi State.

The party, which will officially flag-off its governorship campaign in Lokoja, the state capital, on Friday, advised Governor Yahaya Bello to accept defeat in good faith and stop wasting public funds on his campaign.

PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said its victory on November 16 was inevitable.

The party however said it has uncovered plots by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to frustrate the flag-off of its campaign, but added that its members and supporters are ready to confront and stop the APC and Governor Bello in their plan.

“Since we kicked-off our grassroots campaigns in the last few weeks, the PDP has continued to receive overwhelming support, solidarity and endorsements from all segments of the voting population including political leaders and community groups, workers, pensioners, students, youth groups, business groups, professionals and a host of other Kogites, who have become despondent with the excruciating misrule of Yahaya Bello.

“This army of the Kogi people is fully rallied against any plot by the APC to derail any stage of the electoral process and they will not allow any infringement by anybody, no matter the machination,” PDP stated.

It further noted that the spontaneous jubilation that greeted the retrieval of PDP’s mandate of Shaba Ibrahim for the Lokoja/Kogi Federal Constituency at the Court of Appeal despite the machinations of the APC has reinforced the imminent triumph of the PDP and the people in the November 16 governorship election.

“The people of Kogi State are ready for this election and cannot wait to kick-out Governor Bello and vote in their candidate, PDP’s Engr. Musa Wada as their next governor,” PDP added

The party called on Kogi electorate, including those impoverished by the state government and unjustly sacked by the APC government in the state to continue in their determination to rescue the state.

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Diri’s kinsmen endorse APC candidate

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Diri’s kinsmen endorse APC candidate

The people of Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Council in Bayelsa State have declared support for the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief David Lyon, ahead of the November 16 governorship election in the state.

They said their son, Senator Douye Diri, who is the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was elected without any form of consultation with them.

Speaking on behalf of the people of the area in Sabageria during APC’s governorship campaign rally, Alternate Director General of the APC Bayelsa State 2019 Governorship Campaign Council, Prof. Seiyefa Brisibe, said the PDP deceived the people of Kolokuma/Opokuma during its last primary election that produced Senator Diri.

He pointed out that the area had an illustrious son they wanted as governorship candidate, but Governor Seriake Dickson gave the PDP ticket to Diri without consulting with people of the area.

He further said that the PDP candidate does not represent the interest of the people of the area and therefore cannot attract any form of development to the people, just as they did not benefit from the Dickson’s government for close to eight years.

“They claim we should support them because they have given us a governorship candidate. But did they consult us before giving us the governorship candidate? I urge you to vote for APC because we are sure of empowerment and development when David Lyon is in power,” he declared.

The APC governorship candidate, Lyon, on his part, assured the people of the area that if voted into office come November 16, he will complete the Sabageria/Polako bridge project.

He also promised to provide soft loans and grants for small and medium scale businesses women from the area, in a bid to move the people above the poverty line.

“I am an Ijaw man like you, and I know your problems because they are the same problems I face everyday as a person. When I become governor, I assure you that I would work hard to solve your problems,” he said.

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Diri to envoys: APC planning to rig, unleash violence

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Diri to envoys: APC planning to rig, unleash violence

…promises to restore electricity to Ogbia

 

The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, has alerted the United States (U.S.) and the United Kingdom about plans by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to collude with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to rig the November 16 governorship election in the state.

Senator Diri also raised concerns over intelligence reports, indicating that the main opposition party in the state is planning to intimidate voters and unleash violence during the election.

Diri spoke in Yenagoa after separate meetings with officials of the U.S. Embassy and the British High Commission.

The U.S. delegation was led by the Consul General, Claire Pierangelo, while the Second Secretary (Political), Mr. Sarabjit Singh, led the British High Commission team.

The Director, Media and Publicity Committee of the PDP Campaign Council, Dr. Jonathan Obuebite, in a press release, quoted Diri as saying that the APC is not planning for a free, fair and transparent election, but rather plotting to manipulate the process.

He called on the international community to ensure that democracy is not hampered in the country. According to him, democracy was hemorrhaging in Nigeria and if not quickly checked, it could lead to its disintegration.

Diri also appealed to the diplomats to impress on INEC to be fair as anything short of a credible election could spark violence that may affect the entire country, which he said is already bedeviled with security challenges.

In her remarks, the U.S. envoy, Pierangelo, commended Diri’s disposition and commitment to a peaceful electoral process.

She said they were in Bayelsa to meet with all the political players to discuss the upcoming election and expressed the hope that the poll would be peaceful.

“It is our sincere hope that we see free, fair, credible and peaceful election. These are important tenets of a successful democracy and this is what the people of Bayelsa want. We will come back as observers in November to help document and hopefully be a positive presence,” she said.

Similarly, Singh said they have been meeting the candidates of the different political parties, talking about how important it is that the election is free, fair and credible and for the people to refrain from engaging in violence.

“We came to Bayelsa to meet you, your main opponent, David Lyon (of the APC) and other candidates as well to get your thoughts and opinions on how and what you think about the election and its process,” he said.

Meanwhile, Senator Diri has promised the people of Ogbia Local Government Area that he will make sure that electricity is restored in that part of the state if elected.

The PDP governorship candidate, who spoke at Otiokpoti, when his campaign team visited the area, also promised to sand fill communities ravaged by flooding.

Diri, who said that the state has limited resources, however declared: “We have limited resources, but we will partner with agencies like SEEFOR to curtail erosion.”

Maintaining that he is a realist, Diri stated that he understands the workings of democracy adding that governance is a process.

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Bayelsa guber: I’ll restore electricity for you, Diri promises Ognia people

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Bayelsa guber: I’ll restore electricity for you, Diri promises Ognia people

The Peoples Democratic Party candidate for the Bayelsa State November 16 governorship election, Senator Douye Diri has promised the people of Ogbia Local Government that he will make sure that electricity is restored in that part of the state.

The PDP governorship candidate, who was speaking on Wednesday at Otiokpoti when his campaign team visited the communities, maintained that if elected, he will bring dredgers to sand fill most of the communities salvage the issue of flooding.

Diri, who said that the state has limited resources, however, declared that: “We have limited resources but we will partner with agencies like SEEFOR to curtail erosion.”

Maintaining that he is a realist, Diri stated that he understands the workings of democracy adding that governance is a process.

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Bayelsa Decides: 10,063 ad hoc personnel for Bayelsa guber poll

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Bayelsa Decides: 10,063 ad hoc personnel for Bayelsa guber poll

T

he Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that it plans to use 10,063 ad hoc staff for the November 16 Bayelsa State governorship election.

 

INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner for the state, Pastor Monday Tom, disclosed this yesterday in Abuja at a roundtable on INEC’s preparedness for the election organised by The Electoral Institute, the research arm of the commission.

 

 

“We require a total of 10,063 ad hoc personnel made up of collation and returning officers and others and we have sourced all the required number.

 

“Movement of non-sensitive materials to Registration Area Centres (RAC) Super RACs is to take place from November 11 to 13 and the police have assured of adequate security for the materials,” he said.

 

Tom said that political parties have been communicated to notify INEC of their activities and to submit list of their agents to the commission.

 

He said the Bayelsa election is unique because 75 per cent of the state is on water, adding that youths in the state are also vulnerable to violence due to drug influence.

 

He assured that the commission is working with stakeholders to guarantee credible, free and fair election in the state.

 

TEI Board Chairman, Mr. Adedeji Soyebi, said efforts are being made to strategically reposition INEC and strengthen its capability to deliver successful election in Bayelsa State, leveraging on lessons from the 2019 general election.

 

Soyebi said the state election would be approached differently due to its terrain, adding that the commission would work closely with transportation providers, especially boats and canoe owners for successful transportation.

 

Executive Director, Family Welfare Foundation and member of the Bayelsa NGOs Forum, Mr. Torki Dauseye, said though INEC is prepared in terms of getting electoral materials and logistics ready, deployment might be challenged.

 

Dauseye said in terms of deploying electoral materials and personnel to electoral wards and polling units, INEC’s level of preparation is yet to be ascertained.

 

This, he said was because Bayelsa is unique in terms of geographical layout, making communication and transportation very difficult for ad-hoc personnel on election duty as they take real and serious risks.

 

His words: “The state is 75 per cent riverside with a poorly developed transportation system in windy creeks and rivers make transportation difficult, due to this difficulty in movement, it has always been difficult for INEC to start elections by 8.am as directed by guidelines.

 

“In many cases, electoral officers find it difficult to see boats to hire on election days. Due to the serious security challenges been faced in some parts of the state, boats are made to navigate through longer routes. This makes it more expensive both in terms of logistics and fuelling.’’

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PDP warns Oshiomhole against truncating Bayelsa’s peace

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PDP warns Oshiomhole against truncating Bayelsa’s peace

T

he Bayelsa State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Senator Douye Diri Campaign Organisation has warned the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) against acts capable of truncating the peace in the state.

 

Chairman of Bayelsa State PDP, Hon. Moses Cleopas, gave the warning, while reacting to claims by the National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, of attempt to rig the November 16 governorship election and cause violence during the exercise.

 

 

Cleopas said the intent and activities of the APC has been discovered and if not nipped in the bud would truncate the already existing peace in the state.

 

 

He further said that it is unfortunate that the APC national chairman could condescend to the point of encouraging violent activities before and during the elections in the state because of his ambitious intent to deliver their governorship candidate at all costs.

 

The Bayelsa PDP chairman insisted that his party will continuously stand for truth, peace and always preach against electoral violence by exposing the illicit activities of the APC.

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APC alleges plot by Dickson to sell state-owned oil field

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APC alleges plot by Dickson to sell state-owned oil field

T

he All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused the governor of Bayelsa State, Serieka Dickson, of planning to sell the state-owned oil field, OML 46.

 

APC’s Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Yekini Nabena, who made the accusation, called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the governor.

 

The allegation is coming few days after APC accused the governor of illegally withdrawing and diverting N17.5 billion from accounts belonging to the state government to prosecute the November 16 Bayelsa State governorship election.

 

In a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja, the APC deputy spokesman alleged that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led government in Bayelsa is planning to sell the oil field to fund the forthcoming governorship election.

 

 

“Our law enforcement and anti-graft agencies cannot fold its arms while the state is being robbed to enrich the pockets of a few people and fund the election of the PDP in the state.

 

 

“The EFCC and NFIU must take immediate action before outgoing Governor Dickson and his cronies bankrupt the state and sell our resources to themselves.

 

“Atala-OML 46, which was awarded to Bayelsa state by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), a subsidiary of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in 2003 is managed by the Bayelsa Oil Company Limited (BOCL). Hardy Oil Nigeria Limited (HONL) and Century Exploration and Production Limited (CEPL) are technical and financial services providers.”

 

Details of the planned sale of oil field, according to the APC chieftain are contained in a September 5, 2019 leaked letter by the Secretary/Legal Adviser of Bayelsa Oil Company Limited (BOCL).

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Lagos PDP: Defection depletes opposition party

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Lagos PDP: Defection depletes opposition party

The rate at which prominent members of the Lagos State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are dumping the party for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has made many to wonder if Lagos State is heading towards a one-party state, ADEWALE AJAYI reports

 

 

T

he Lagos State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was perceived to be the credible alternative to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state. But, the rate at which members of the main opposition party in the “Centre of Excellence,” are defecting to the ruling party has continued to deplete not only the membership of the PDP, but its strength. 

 

 

APC being an offshoot of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), Action Congress (AC) and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has been running affairs of the state in the last 20 years and Lagosians, who are dissatisfied with the APC administration in the state had looked up to the PDP to take over from the ruling party.

 

 

At every election, the expectation of those who want a change of guard in the state is always high, but irrespective of their optimism, such hopes are always dashed.

Perhaps, the only times the PDP made serious moves of taking over the state were in 2003, when late Engr. Funsho Williams was its governorship candidate and 2015, when Mr. Jimi Agbaje was its standard bearer.

 

 

Despite losing Lagos again to APC during the 2015 elections, the PDP made unprecedented incursions into governance in the state by producing eight House of Assembly members. The party also won five House of Representatives seats.

 

 

With the good outing, there was an impression that the party would improve on its performance in subsequence elections, but the result of the 2019 general election has proved political pundits wrong. Not only was the performance of the opposition party abysmally in the governorship poll, it also lost all the seats it earlier won in the Lagos State House of Assembly, while retaining only three House of Representatives seats.

 

 

The outcome of the 2019 general election jolted those who looked up to the party to free them from what they described as “harsh policies” of the APC government.

 

 

And rather than leaders of the party to subject themselves to critical analysis of what went wrong, they were engrossed in apportioning blames, accusing their governorship candidate, Agbaje of sidelining them in the preparation for the election.

This, according to them, led to the huge loss the PDP suffered in the last general elections. Agbaje was also accused of failing to disburse funds given to him to prosecute the election.

 

 

Since the conclusion of the 2019 election, things have continued to go bad for the party and the centre seems not to be holding anymore for Lagos PDP. Some of its prominent members have decided to jump ship on the premise that the way the party is composed; it has become impossible for them to actualise their political ambition through it.

 

 

First to leave was a former Minister for Works, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe, along with his son Moyo, who was the PDP House of Assembly candidate for Kosofe I State Constituency during the 2019 polls.

 

 

Giving reasons for dumping the PDP, Ogunlewe said the party’s wing was rudderless and that it had been perpetually enmeshed in crisis. According to him, he saw no future in the PDP and that nobody should expect a politician of his stature to stay in a house, where some leaders were only after their selfish interests.

 

 

He added that issues arising from the governorship election exposed the fact that some people were only after money and not the progress of the PDP in Lagos State.

 

 

Though, he was condemned for leaving the party, having benefitted a ministerial position, many had expected that he would remain in the party and fix the problem militating against the party progress.

 

 

Speaking on Ogunlewe’s defection, a former Publicity Secretary of Lagos PDP, Chief Willie Akinlude said: “I don’t know what informed his decision to dump the PDP after he has been made a grade one minister. It was unpalatable news. Instead of dumping the party, he should have remained in the party to be part of those who will build the party, but he decided to leave the party.

 

 

“He can never be given a position in APC. They will just use the decampees and dump them. That is what has been happening; some are even regretting dumping their former parties.”

 

 

Another notable member of the party and its House of Representatives candidate for Lagos Mainland Federal Constituency in the 2019 elections, Hon Tajudeen Agoro, also dumped the party, hinging his reason on the fact that Lagos PDP has become a useless political vehicle to realise his dreams and aspirations.

 

 

Agoro, who expressed strong belief in what he termed “Lagos dream,” condemned the approach of PDP to politics, saying: “The way the PDP is going about its activities in Lagos, there is no way you can add value to people in Lagos. I have been in it, I have seen it all. I need to move forward because I want to be part of adding value to Lagos State.” 

 

 

Speaking during the defection of Agoro and his followers to APC at a ceremony held at the party’s secretariats on Acme Road, Ikeja, Lagos APC Vice Chairman (Central), Hon. Hakeem Bamgbala, said Agoro and the team he led in Lagos Mainland remain a very strong factor to be reckoned with.

 

 

Another member of the party, Hon. Ola Animashaun, who was its House of Representatives candidate for Ikorodu in 2015, equally dumped the party. But, refused to team up with other political parties.

 

 

Reacting to the development, a chieftain of the party, Engr. Deji Doherty, said those quitting the PDP are moles planted in the party. According to him, some of them chose to leave because their activities in the party are being investigated, so they decided to leave before their shady deals are exposed to members of the party which may lead to them being humiliated.

 

 

Lagos PDP Publicity Secretary, Taofiq Gani, who also spoke on the gale of defections, said everyone has reason for taking a decision, but whether it would be regrettable or not is left for the individual.

 

 

His words: “As a party, we are not happy that we are losing members, especially, those who have made names in the polity. However, we cannot force them down. The Lagos PDP is facing its hardest period. The decampment is unfortunately worsening the situation, but I can tell you that the PDP will soon settle its issues and move on. Unfortunately for the recent decampees into APC, they have made very weak judgements.

 

 

“We concede that APC has individuals who will always win elections, even if not as APC members, however the APC has become so unfashionable to lagosians. This government of Babjide Sanwo-Olu has nailed the coffin of likeable perception about the Lagos APC. It is thus laughable that such a party is where anyone will decamp to. We challenge these persons to come boldly and lay open the offence committed against them by the PDP.

 

 

“We are ready to accept blame and apologise. The truth is that many of these persons are laying credence to rumours that they were never sincere members of Lagos PDP. That they only acted moles, ‘stole’ away the chances of the PDP and now hurriedly joining the APC, their paymaster.

“We advise them to mind their utterances against the Lagos PDP as any falsehood against the image of the party would be met with equal exposé of these characters. We have a lot of plans to improve the image of the PDP in Lagos State, especially ahead of coming polls. We cannot open up now, but such will be felt soon.

 

 

“For the members of the party still loyal, we commend and appreciate them. They should remain steadfast. Victory is around the corner for us. We promise to rejig to their satisfaction.”

 

 

No doubt, it is expedient for PDP to put its house in order, so there is the need to set up a reconciliation committee to assuage all aggrieved members and reposition the party for future challenges because the way things are, it is the only political party that has the capability to challenge the APC and it will be unfair if it allows the state to become a one-party state, which may shatter the hope of the electorate looking for change of status quo in Lagos State.

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Politics

Kogi Decides: Stop giving loans to Bello, PDP tells banks

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Kogi Decides: Stop giving loans to Bello, PDP tells banks

T

he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has advised commercial banks in the country to be circumspect in giving loans or any form of credit to Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.

 

 

This, the party said, was because the state is not willing to bear any responsibility for such facilities if the governor fails to win re-election.

 

 

PDP in a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said Governor Bello will not win the November 16 governorship election, adding that there is consensus by the people Kogi State to vote its candidate, Engr. Musa Wada, as the next governor.

 

 

The PDP accused the Kogi State government of misleading commercial banks into granting it huge loans under certain hazy items and conditions, after which the money would be allegedly frittered by leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and cronies of the administration.

 

 

The statement read in part: “Our party wants the nation to note that the people of Kogi State can no longer accept any further mortgaging of the future of the state by Yahaya Bello, whose administration has gone down as the most profligate in the history of our nation and which cannot account for over N700 billion of Kogi funds released to him in the last four years.

 

 

“Anybody or organisation in league with Yahaya Bello is directly supporting the torturing and impoverishing of the people of Kogi State by the Bello administration, which has manifested so much insensitivity in owing workers as much as 36 months’ salary arrears.”

 

 

Warning that the people of Kogi State are not ready to inherit any financial liabilities, PDP assured of its commitment to running “a prudent, transparent and productive administration where the welfare and economic empowerment of the people is overriding; where salaries are paid promptly, where infrastructure development in critical sectors take center stage and where accountability is the watchword.”

 

 

The party added: “In this regard, the PDP urges all financial watch organisations to join the people of Kogi State in monitoring all monetary activities of the Bello administration as well as all inflows into the state coffers, particularly, the N10.06 billion federal refund, which the PDP insists, must be declared and directly channeled for the payment of salaries so as not to allow the ring of APC leaders achieve their plot of diverting and stealing the money for their selfish purposes.”

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