In the aftermath of the recentlyconducted 2015 General Elections, the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) has witnessed disputations among some party leaders on account of post-primary issues and some losses recorded in some states — through the ballots or courts. In this interview with JOHNCHUCHS ONUAYIM, the APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu defends the party’s National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and give reasons for its loses
How would you describe the loss of APC in some states that has become an issue in the party?
If Oyo, Imo, Bauchi, Adamawa, and Zamfara states where the APC lost were taken one by one, it will be discovered that there were peculiar issues in the respective states that accounted for how the APC lost them rather than the voters preferring the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). I would put the painful outcomes broadly under two reasons. One is indiscipline on the part of some members of our party in most of the states. The second reason is that the party leadership did not do much between 2015 and 2018 to move the party from being an amalgam of different political parties to become a truly blended progressive political party.
What should your party members expect going forward?
The next three years are very important as the APC under the leadership of the National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole will continue to strengthen compliance with the rules, build support structures for democracy, ensures discipline across board, and deliver good governance for the benefits of all Nigerians. We expect members who have different agenda to join their kind in PDP. We will welcome with open arms, those who share our progressive ideals, so that by 2022, we will have a party whose members are truly progressives.
What are your views on the allegations of the former APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun against the National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole on the administration of APC?
The APC’s immediate-past National Working Committee led by Chief John Odigie-Oyegun as National Chairman lacked the courage required to confront the pockets of political despots who could not operate by the partys rules. The resultant effect, he said, was widespread indiscipline across party ranks, lack of respect for party supremacy as witnessed in the 8th National Assembly leadership and its overall inability to align the varying interests of the legacy parties that came together to form the APC in 2014. Let me agree that the NWC that led the party into the 2015 elections and continued till June 2018 did nothing different from what you would find in PDP. It was a period the party was seen as a mere vehicle to attain political office.
The system accommodated impunity as certain members appeared to be superior to the party. Their interests were far more important than the collective interests of the APC, even when most times such interests are at variance with the ideals the party stand for. You would recall that it was under that leadership that some impudent members of APC called the bluff of the party by imposing themselves on the National Assembly as leaders contrary to the position of the party. Where was the party? Where was the discipline when this happened?
It would be difficult to calculate what lack of courage to assert the party supremacy cost APC over that period. The consequences of the inaction of the party were unimaginable. We all saw the consequences on governance as the National assembly practically held our government to ransom. The impunity, which President Muhammadu Buhari has rightly described as lack of patriotism, constituted an unfortunate hindrance to the smooth running of government. The leadership under Chief Oyegun, with due respect to him, condoned all sorts of acts of indiscipline from certain members. It is not surprising that the current National Working Committee inherited such a huge mess, where the party was struggling to differentiate itself from the delinquent PDP. We all know that PDP was practically dead following the devastating defeat of 2015. The PDP bounced back not because the party has changed its insidious way or did anything different, but because APC did not live up to expectations. It goes without saying that when an organisation is unable to enforce its own rules, it would suffer the consequences sooner than later. We should not be ashamed to say that our party’s leadership under Chief Oyegun lacked the courage required to confront the pockets of political despots who could not operate by the party’s rules.
What are your views on the letter written by the Deputy National Chairman (North), Senator Lawal Shuaibu to Oshoomhole
Senator Lawal Shuaib assertions in the letter to the National Chairman portrayed the NWC as a bunch of cowards looking for a scapegoat to pass on the blame following undesired results in his home Zamfara State. When he [Senator Lawal Shuaib] alleged that the National Chairman is running the party like a sole administrator, does that mean the rest of us are incompetent? I doubt if he would have many members of the NWC supporting him in this. The ability to face up to the challenges and to take responsibility for mistakes are important qualities of a leader. If the NWC had taken any action that did not produce the desired result, it would be plain cowardice to look for a scapegoat or pass on the blame to another person.
Since the Comrade Oshiomhole-led NWC came to office, we have been doing our best to institutionalise the best ideals of progressive politics. We understand that we must bring everyone under the fold of the party, where all of us would be subject to our party’s rules and conventions.
We understand that impunity can provide temporary advantage and even successes. But ultimately, those successes would be short-lived. PDP is a living example of the inherent calamity of impunity. The PDP era brought calamity to the country and ultimately led to the loss of power. What I read from that letter is a call to continue along that trend. With due respect, that is not what APC stands for. Look at the election results and the APC National Chairman dispositions. Despite some 2019 election losses recorded in some states, APC has improved significantly on the result of 2015 under the leadership of Oshiomhole. The National Chairman cannot be blamed for the avoidable losses recorded in some states as some stakeholders failed to follow the party’s directives and ensure internal democracy. Since we are comparing 2015 to what has happened now, we should remember that our President was elected in 2015 with over 15 million votes as against the PDPs 13 million plus. There was about 2.5 million votes difference. Under Oshiomhole, we have over 15 million votes as against PDPs 11 million plus.
There you have nearly four million votes difference. So for the Presidential election, our party has improved significantly on the result of 2015. The situation was expectedly different at the state level. The state players have the foremost responsibility to win elections in their states. What we can do at the national level is to provide the necessary support. The support starts from conducting transparent primaries that ensure the party produces popular candidates. Of course, certain state players in our party expected business as usual where other players are subjugated for them so that their wishes are imposed on other APC members in their states. This we could not do and I dont think we need to apologise for doing the right thing. By now, the states that failed to follow the partys directives are the ones that may be regretting. We have examples of governors who are true progressives who worked with the NWC to ensure things were done right. Look at Kaduna, Plateau, Niger, Kano, Nasarawa, Katsina, Jigawa, Borno, Yobe, etc.
The governors and leaders of APC in these states worked according to the rules in conjunction with the NWC and we all can see that the sweetest victory is the one achieved under a free and fair engagement with the opposition. This is what our party wants to showcase. This is the example President Buhari has shown by ensuring that we had a presidential election in this country without seeking to award himself any advantage over his opponents. The President has the instruments to use under him, but he rather subjected himself to the rules of the contest. If the President did not expect the party to manipulate his own election, why should anyone else expect that from the party? These people who are looking for who to blame are not talking about Kwara and Gombe. These were PDP states that we won via landslide. We won in these two states because the local players adjusted to the change agenda of the party. I am from Kwara, we won 100 percent in such a transparent manner that the PDP had nothing to complain about. Do not forget that the Senate President, Bukola Saraki is from Kwara. Kwara presented us the evidence that if we shun impunity and play by the rules, Nigerians would reward us with votes. The same is the situation in Gombe. Do these people want to give Oshiomhole credit for our victories in Kwara and Gombe states? Or they just believe APC must win by all means everywhere?
Bayelsa decides: David Lyon in early lead
David Lyon of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has taken an early lead based on results from four out of the six local government areas so far announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). He is leading with just over 42,000 votes.
So far, the votes recorded by the APC candidate, Chief David Lyon is 148,244 as against 106,167 recorded by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Senator Douye Diri in Sagbama and Kolokuma/Opokuma local government areas of the State.
APC recorded a massive win in Ogbia Local Government with a total of 58,016 as against the vote of PDP of 13,763.
It was 83,041 votes recorded by the APC in Nembe Local Government Area as against the PDP votes of 874.
But the PDP had its share of big votes at the home council of the state Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson in Sagbama with 60,339 votes to APC’s 7,831.
At the Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Council, where the PDP flag bearer hails from, the PDP defeated the APC with 15,360 votes as against the 8,934 votes recorded by the APC.
In Brass Local Council Area where the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva hails from, APC defeated the PDP with 23,831 as against 10,410 votes.
But the PDP in a press briefing on Sunday addressed by its flag bearer, Senator Douye Diri, accused the Nigerian Army of conniving with the APC to rig the polls in parts of the state.
Kogi decides: Bello coasting to victory, as PDP, Wada rejects election results
The reelection of Governor Yahaya Bello is becoming clearer, as he has so far won 10 local government areas out of the the 18 so far declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
As at the time of filing this report, results from three local government areas are yet to be announced, but there are strong indications that the incumbent governor Bello has won the election with a wide.
Meanwhile the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its governorship candidate, Engr. Musa Wada announce his total rejection of the gubernatorial election in the state.
The PDP governorship candidate, Engr. Musa Wada, at a media conference in Lokoja, the state capital, described the election in the state as not only a scam but a replica of war orchestrated by the APC and security agencies deployed to the state.
Niger guber: Gov Sani Bello savors victory at Appeal Court
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State has described his victory, on Saturday, at the Court of Appeal as a vindication and reaffirmation of the people’s mandate given to him and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mrs. Mary Noel Berje, Governor Sani Bello recalled his earlier victory at the Tribunal stressing that the dismissal of the case by the appellate court has proved his innocence and affirmed the sanctity of the judiciary.
The governor reiterated that, indeed, the victory at the Court of Appeal is a victory for democracy and the people adding that the country’s ‘nascent’ democracy and good governance will continue to thrive with the justice and fairness of the judiciary.
He applauded Nigerlites for supporting the policies and programmes of his administration and appreciated their prayers and pledged to continue to work for the growth and development of the state.
Governor Sani Bello stated that his administration is not unaware of the efforts by the people aimed at facilitating rapid development of the state assuring that his government will vigorously concentrate in the execution of people-oriented projects across the three geopolitical zones of the state.
While expressing gratitude to his legal team and the party officials for their collective and individual efforts in securing victory, Governor Sani Bello enjoined his political opponents to join hands with his government in order to move the state forward.
Kogi decides: Bello leads after collation of results in 15 LGAs
APC governorship candidate in the November 16 governorship election in Kogi State, Governor Yahaya Bello is leading his main challenger, Engr Musa Wada of the PDP with margin of 233,004 votes after collation of results of 15 out the 21 LGAs in the state.
The results of 15 local government areas so far collated by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) indicates that Bello polled 334,474 votes as against 101,470 votes won by Wada of the PDP.
The breakdown of the results showed that Bello won in 10 of the local government areas while Wada won in five of the local government areas.
The local government areas won by Bello include Ajaokuta, Adavi, Okene, Ogori Magongo, Olamaboro, Okehi, Mopa Muro, Kabba Bunu, Kogi-Kotonkarfe and Ijumu. Wada won in Omala, Idah, Igalamela/Odolu, Yagba East and Yagba West local government areas.
Kogi decides: Cancel Okene result, PDP tells INEC
Onyekachi Eze, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has demanded the cancellation of the result of last Saturday’s governorship election in Okene, Kogi State, alleging that the 112, 000 votes scored by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the area was fictitious.
PDP in a statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan said there was evidence of alterations of figures to reduce its vote in the area and allocate imported figures to the APC.
“Our party hopes that this apparent moves to allocate fictitious results to the APC has no bearing with the allegations in the public space that Governor Yahaya Bello and the APC had compromised highly placed INEC officials with huge sums of money to alter results in favour of the APC,” the party further stated.
It maintained that nobody would accept what it described as “the provocative alteration of results from polling units as well as allocation of fictitious votes, particularly the awarding of 112, 000 votes to APC in Okene.”
Bayelsa decides: Collation begins with Sagabama results
Collation begins with Sagabama results announced.
APC, 7831, PDP, 60339.
Valid votes 68569, total votes 69591
APC to PDP: Don’t think of causing trouble in Kogi
Muhammad Bashir, Lokoja
The Yahaya Bello/Onoja Governorship Campaign Council has called on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to shelve any plans it might be harbouring of causing trouble and spreading falsehood, urging the opposition party to await the conclusion of the entire process that has been “free, fair and peaceful”.
The ruling party in a press statement signed by the Chairman of the Media and Publicity Committee of the Campaign Council, Kingsley Fanwo said: “We have credible intelligence that the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party has directed the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan to quickly address a press conference to condemn an ongoing process that has been adjudged free, fair, credible and peaceful just because they are seeing the handwriting of people’s rejection on the wall.
“The pockets of crisis during the election were caused by the stand of the people against the rigging machinations of the PDP. Mr Ologbondiyan was caught in the same satanic plan as he has been alleged to have carried ballot boxes and papers to his private residence, a situation that was staunchly resisted by the people of his Ward who insisted on the power of the ballot.
“How will such a person garner enough moral strength to address a press conference to condemn a largely credible process?
“He and other PDP leaders should accept the verdict of the people and clean their names in the face of heavy accusations against them.”
The Council further commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies for their excellent performance in ensuring fair conduct.
“To the PDP, they should prepare for future elections with seriousness and stop claiming ‘danger to democracy’ when things don’t go their way. We also congratulate Kogites for coming out enmasse on Saturday to elect their next governor,” the statement added.
Kogi decides: Yahaya Bello leading with over 180,000 votes; after results from 9 LGAs
Yahaya Bello, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Kogi state governorship election, is leading with a very wide margin in the results announce so far.
The incumbent governor is ahead of the other 23 candidates with 184,430 votes margin in nine of the 21 local government areas where results have been officially announced.
Bello got a total of 245,269 votes, followed by Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who comes a distant second with 60,839 votes.
The APC candidate’s highest win so far is in Okene LGA, where he is from, with a total of 112,764 votes as against Wada’s 139 votes.
He also trumped the PDP candidate in the Kabba/Bunu, the LGA of Kola Ologbondiyan, the party’s spokesman. He got 15,364 votes there, almost double that of Wada who polled 8,084 votes.
There are 12 LGAs left out of the 21 in the state.
The various LG collation officers are reporting that thousands of votes were cancelled as a result of violence.
Mopamuro LGA Governorship Election
Registered Voters – 23,030
Accredited Voters – 9,093
APC – 4,953
PDP – 3,581
SDP – 95
Total Valid Votes – 8,689
Rejected votes – 314
Total Votes Cast – 9,003
*915 voters cancelled as a result of ballot box snatching and disruption of the election process in some areas
Ajaokuta LGA Governoship Election
Registered Voters – 73,836
Accredited Voters – 24,942
APC – 17,952
PDP – 5,565
SDP – 323
Valid votes – 23.951
Rejected votes – 512
Total Votes Cast – 24, 463
Idah LGA Governorship Election
Registered Voters – 56,743
Accredited Voters – 19,967
APC – 4,632
PDP – 13,962
SDP – 221
Total Valid Votes – 19,037
Rejected votes – 772
Total Votes Cast – 19,809
Votes from three polling units cancelled due to over voting and card readers not functioning very well
*APC agent rejected the election results in Idah LGA saying election didn’t hold in the area.
The State Returning Officer said the APC should channel his request to appropriate quarters.
Olamaboro LGA Governorship Election
Registered Voters – 82,973
Accredited Voters – 27,202
APC – 16,876
PDP – 8,155
SDP – 262
Total Valid Votes – 25,701
Rejected votes – 819
Total Votes Cast – 26,520
Ondo has no reason to be under-developed, says Olafeso
National Vice Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), in the South-West and governorship aspirant in Ondo State, Dr. Eddy Olafeso, has perused the state’s debt profile, stating that the state has no reason to be dependent on loans in view of the resources at its disposal.
Speaking at a dinner organised in his honour in Lagos at the weekend, Olafeso said it was inexplicable that Ondo State is in deplorable condition with about N131 billion foreign and domestic debts, besides a N50billion bond in the works, despite agricultural and other resources begging for attention in the state.
“The case of Ondo State is comparable to what Bob Marley in his song titled: ‘Rat Race,’ where he lamented that ‘in the abundance of water, the fool is thirsty,’ hence, we are setting out to implement the state’s template for development, put in place more than a decade ago,” he said.
Olafeso observed that though successive governments have tried their best to develop the state, the deplorable condition of roads and other infrastructures and government failure to intervene in the absence of public power supply in Ondo South senatorial district in the last 15 years was almost inconsiderate.
In his remarks on the occasion, a former chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State, Barr. Benson Enikuomehin, described Olafeso as a visionary leader whose time has come to turnaround the fortunes of the state.
He said that from what he knew about Olafeso as a corporate czar, an intellectual, a former Commissioner for Information and Strategy and a party leader in the state and at national levels for over 17 years, indicate that he is sufficiently qualify to govern the state.
Enikuomehim was later joined by a colleague of theirs at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife, Yemi Sotiminu and former Editor of Guardian Newspaper, Mr. Martins Oloja, a childhood friend of Olafeso who extolled the aspirant’s leadership qualities.
Bayelsa decides: INEC says collation of results to commence by 2pm
Collation of results to commence by 2pm according to INEC.
However, according New Telegraph correspondent, the fact that corps members, who form a bulk of the ad hoc staff of INEC in this election continue to submit incident report forms on the violence that erupted in their territories, collation will most likely start much later.
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