…dares APC national chair’s loyalists to stop him
- Workers, NLC, TUC, ALGON, teachers, others rally for gov
Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, yesterday, vowed to ruthlessly deal with those out to scuttle his government and make the state ungovernable.
Addressing a crowd of supporters who converged on the Kings Square on the popular Ring road, Benin City, the state capital, Obaseki said with a strong team comprising himself; the deputy governor, Hon. Philip Shaibu and the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Osarodion Ogie, the “state is in safe hands,” and that the administration would not be distracted.
The rally had civil servants, leaders and members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), teachers, market women and traders as well as other support groups, who gathered to express support for the governor and to condemn those perceived as enemies of the state government.
The move is in the wake of the raging feud between Obaseki and his estranged political godfather and National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, over control of the party’s structure and the state House of Assembly.
Obaseki, who defied the rain to make it to the rally ground, told the crowd that: “You already know that with the three of us, Edo is in safe hands. When I resumed as governor, pensioners were always protesting in the streets because they were not being paid. I am happy that you no longer protest today.”
While thanking the crowd for their support and solidarity as well as “for knowing what is happening and coming out to support their government,” Obaseki assured them that “political activities in the last several months will not distract us. We will continue to be focused. Our focus is you the people of Edo and not any individual.”
He further said: “Our focus is to use the money we have in Edo to develop the people and Edo State. Our focus is to continue to build roads and infrastructure as well as make sure Edo continues to maintain leadership in education.
“We will continue to produce the best manpower for our country. I will continue to be committed to my electoral promises to you. I promised to create 200,000 jobs in my first four years and today we have created over 100,000 jobs.
“What I will not do as governor is to chop the seed yam. The seed yam is meant to be cultivated, so that we can have a bumper harvest. I will not allow anybody chop the little money we have today. That money is meant to be invested, so that we can have a better future. That is the fight; that is the struggle. The struggle started 12 years ago in this state. The struggle has not ended. It has entered gear two; the same thing that happened 10 years ago. Nothing has changed.
“It is unfortunate that some people who were with us 12 years ago, we do not know what has happened to them. It is a struggle we will win. It is a struggle that says that the people must lead. Democracy is about people. Whatever we are doing as a government is for you. This is just the beginning. All the plans we have in place will come to fruition. Construction work will start in the industrial park. Before the end of my first tenure, work will start at the Benin River Port. These are long term projects.
“We have tried to do so much work within the last two and a half years. I did not meet a lot of money; we have been struggling. I did not buy official car for myself until after 18 months in office because we do not have the money.”
He also lauded Edo teachers for starting a revolution in education as other Africa countries visit the state to understudy what the state is doing.
His words: “We are building our technical schools so that everybody will have a trade. After 20 years of democracy, we cannot continue to behave as if we do not have democracy. In states where they have released election calendar, they have not started heating up the politics as they are doing in Edo.
“Those people who are parading themselves singing everywhere for themselves and their pockets, Edo people are watching you. Those of you who have gone to Abuja to say people should come and invade Edo and seize our House of Assembly, we are waiting for you. We have no fear at all. We have resolved to continue to do what is best for our state and for our country. We have no doubt that we are on the right course.
“We know that Edo is with us. We know that the people are with us. We know that teachers, traditional rulers, labour unions are with us. Anybody that tries to stop us, come here and you will see. We dare you that nobody can stop the progress in Edo State. I assure that you have a government that is resolved to make Edo number one.
“Help us maintain peace. Without peace there will be no prosperity. They know that if we continue to have the peace we had in the last two years, nobody will catch up with us. In few years’ time those of them parading themselves as democrats whereas they are not; people who say they represent us in Abuja, but stay there and throw stones at home. Those Abuja politicians who we refused to send back and those who got there by mistake want to disturb the peace of Edo. We will not let them.
“Go about your businesses peacefully. There is nothing they are doing now that will stop us from continuing to construct your roads. We will build our schools and create jobs for you. Whatever they try and do will not stop us. As long as you have us in government and in government house, Edo will continue to move forward.”
Speakers after speakers at the rally lauded the governor for his efforts towards turning the fortunes of the state around.
Chairman of the state chapter of the NLC, Comrade Sunday Osayende, said: “There is no godfather anymore and anybody who wants to take Edo back to the days of godfatherism, we will join hands together to fight them.”
The chairman of the state chapter of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Marshal Owe; said: “What is good is good and what is bad is bad. Godwin Obaseki is good today, Godwin Obaseki is using Edo State resources for Edo people. He has modernised the way taxes are collected, he has come, he has seen and he will conquer.”
The state chairman of ALGON, Comrade Lazarus Aderolor, on his part, said: “Today, I can tell you that before 2016, local government workers were owed 15 months arrears of salaries, but today, Governor Obaseki has given a marching order that salaries of local government workers must be paid promptly.”
The leader of Edo market women body, Mrs. Blackky Omoregie, said: “We thank Comrade Oshiomhole for giving us Obaseki, he told us then that he will work more than him, that whatever he was doing will be small compared to what Obaseki will do and Obaseki has not disappointed us, we will follow him to wherever he is going. We were enjoying before, we are enjoying more now. In every market now, we have light and water.”
Also speaking, a representative of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) said: “If you are in darkness and somebody comes with light, are you not supposed to follow the light? Obaseki is the light and we are following him, we watched him for one year and discovered that he is focused and has the people at heart and we named him God’s Servant Governor.”
On his part, the Chief Imam of Edo State, Abdul Fatah Enabulele, said: “Governor Obaseki has done well, he has been taking care of our pilgrim activities; our secretariat in Dumez road is nearing completion because of his support. We are with him, we support him and he should be given a second term. But, if they chose not to give him, we will follow him to form a new party.”
Mrs. Isoken Ehighe, who spoke on behalf of primary school teachers noted: “We have been trained by this government. We grew from analogue to digital all kudos to Obaseki,” while the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) helmsman in the state, Comrade Osahon Obasuyi declared that “youths in the state are behind you and we will continue to be with you to the end.”
Meanwhile, the stage is set as the 13-member probe panel set up by the National Assembly arrives the state today to investigate issues surrounding the crisis, which led to the inauguration of nine lawmakers out of the 24 members-elect on the platform of the APC into the state House of Assembly and the subsequent split of the House into two with 12 of them holed in Abuja since the past one month, while 12 others under Speaker Frank Okiye taking charge of proceedings in the state.
The committee is expected to hear from all the parties in the crisis and make appropriate recommendations necessary for peace within the state chapter of the APC and the House of Assembly.
Kogi: Situation Room urges parties to restrain their supporters from violence
Ahead of the Saturday’s governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states, the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room on Friday called on the security services to demonstrate their commitment to non-partisanship support to electoral security.
Speaking at a press conference in Lokoja, Kogi State capital on behalf of Situation Room, Dudu Manuga and Celestine Odo, the civil society groups also implored political parties to restrain their supporters from election violence
They also implored the people of Kogi State to come out freely to exercise their civil responsibility during the governorship poll.
“Owing to the high stakes in the governorship election and the increasingly tense political environment, the potential for serious local instability that may further exacerbate Nigeria’s security challenges as a whole, is real. Therefore, the Situation Room calls on the security services to demonstrate their commitment to non-partisanship support to electoral security, and ensure that it provides adequate security for the elections, in a manner that does not allow or encourage violence to be used as a tool for vote suppression.
“We further called on the Police Force to document evidence of violence as well as infractions and their perpetrators in order to speedily bring offenders to book.
“The Situation Room calls on political parties participating in the governorship election to take part in the elections devoid of perpetrating violence, vote buying or other electoral malpractices. Situation Room further calls on political parties to restrain their supporters from election violence.
“The Situation Room calls on all eligible voters to come out freely to exercise their civic responsibility on Saturday, November 16. Situation Room expects that INEC and indeed all stakeholders in the electoral process would have taken lessons from the challenges of the 2019 general elections and work towards delivering peaceful and credible governorship election in Kogi State.”
Plateau crisis: Sango formally resigns as PDP Chairman
Chief Damishi Sango, the embattled Plateau Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Friday formally stepped aside by handing over to his deputy, Mr Amos Gombe.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that Sango’s resignation was announced by Lt.-Gen. Jeremiah Useni (rtd), the leader of the party in the state.
Useni, also PDP governorship candidate in the 2019 general elections, disclosed this at a stakeholders meeting in Jos on Friday.
“Sango is no more our state chairman as directed by the National Secretariat but now a member of PDP Board of Trustees (BOT).
“Mr Amos Gombi, his deputy, is now the acting chairman of PDP in the state. This was done to settle whatever crisis we were having.
“Left for us the leaders of the party in the state, there is nothing like PDP I and PDP II because we are one big family undivided.
“The allegation that Sango collected money from the headquarters for 2019 general elections was not true because three of us signed for whatever stipends given to us by the National Secretariat.
“So, the insinuations raised against him (Sango) were false and a disservice to him,” he stated.
Useni, who was flanked by his running mate, Mr James Dalok, described PDP as a big family devoid of any form of division and ready to reclaim its stolen mandate at the Court of Appeal.
“Our appeal is coming up on November 22, with great and strong belief that we shall emerge victorious.
“But no matter the outcome of the appeal, we shall end up at the Supreme Court because I will never give up the fight.
“I am a dogged fighter, and never give up. That’s why I attended all the sittings at the Election Petition Tribunal to the end.
“What I want from you people is your continuous prayers for God to help us reclaim our stolen mandate,” Useni said.
Bayelsa guber: INEC moves sensitive materials to RACs
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has begun distribution of sensitive materials to various Registration Area Centres (RACs) in Bayelsa State ahead of Saturday’s governorship poll taking place in the state.
At the Central Bank in Yenagoa, the venue of the distribution, INEC officials, party agents, both national and international Observers were all at the vicinity.
The Resident Electoral Commission (REC), Monday Udoh told journalists that INEC was 100 per cent ready to conduct credible elections for the people.
“We are here to observe and monitor the movement of the materials. The sensitive materials are ballot papers and result sheets and Card Readers.
“The distribution is moving smoothly, the security agents are here and National Union of Road Transporter Workers (NURTW) is also with us. The police have deployed many of their men for this distribution and the election proper.”
On the court granting the All Progressives Congress (APC) stay of execution to participate in the contest, the REC said, he was not the court but all political parties will participate.
“For now, all the political parties are participating unless there is a specific court order – then we can disqualify the affected party,” Udoh explained.
Appeal Court affirms Okowa’s election as Delta gov
The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Friday affirmed the election of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate Great Ogboru, were challenging the election of Okowa.
Respondents in the appeal are Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Ogboru and his party, APC were seeking to upturn the decision of the Delta State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal which returned Okowa for a second term as governor of Delta State.
INEC had declared Okowa and PDP winner of the March 9 governorship election in Delta State, haven garnered majority of the lawful votes cast in the election.
But the appellants in a 37 grounds of appeal filed by their counsel, Nicholson Ichekor, asked the Court of Appeal to set aside the entire judgment of the tribunal on the grounds that the tribunal erred in law when it dismissed their appeal for lacking in merit.
The three-man panel of the governorship election panel led by Justice Suleiman Belgore, had in September dismissed Ogboru and APC’s petition against the return of Governor Okowa on grounds that the petitioners failed to prove the cases of irregularities and malpractices claimed in their petition.
Bayelsa guber: Declare state of emergency in Nembe over killings – Diri
Pauline Onyibe, Yenagoa
The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Saturday’s Bayelsa State governorship election, Douye Diri has said that a state of emergency should be declared in Nembe Local Government Area where he alleged that the opposition, All Progressives Congress (APC), maimed about six of their members on Wednesday.
He made the plea in Yenagoa, the state capital, on Friday morning on a live radio programme.
The PDP candidate said: “What APC is doing in Nembe is not different from what Boko Haram is doing in the North.”
Diri expressed dismay at the propaganda being spread by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva and insisted that justice must be served on the perpetrators of the dastardly killings.
He stated that after the attack, members of the party were still being hunted at Ogbolomabiri and neighbouring Bassambiri with a view to killing them while alleging that a town crier also announced that all PDP members should leave the town whether they are indigenes or not.
Diri appealed to all those who left the PDP to return and see Bayelsa State as their interest since the APC has no candidate for the governorship election.
Kogi, Bayelsa: APC, PDP in test of might
It is another test of might between the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after the February/March general election as voters in Kogi and Bayelsa states go to the polls tomorrow to elect their respective next governors, FELIX NWANERI reports
After months of political intrigues, the stage is set for a fierce contest in tomorrow’s governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states.
Already, the race has rekindled the rivalry between the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
APC won the last presidential election and retained the country number one political seat, which it took from the PDP in the 2015 general election. However, both parties were neck and neck in the governorship polls that took place in 29 states in the 2019 general election.
The PDP won 15 out of the 29 states, while APC won 14. The states won by PDP are Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ebonyi, Delta, Enugu, Taraba, Abia, Imo, Oyo, Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Sokoto, Rivers and Zamfara. Those won by APC are Lagos, Ogun, Kebbi, Niger, Kaduna, Plateau, Jigawa, Borno, Katsina, Yobe, Nasarawa and Kano, Kwara and Gombe.
Governorship elections did not hold in seven states – Kogi, Bayelsa, Edo, Ondo, Anambra, Osun and Ekiti as a result of the interregnum by the courts. Of these seven states, APC is in charge in five – Kogi, Edo, Ondo, Osun and Ekiti. The PDP only holds sway in Bayelsa, while Anambra is controlled by the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
As it stands, the Adams Oshiomhole-led APC has 20 states, while the Uche Secondus-led PDP controls 16. APGA is in charge of only one state. But PDP added more states to its kitty after the 2019 polls.
Remarkably, the main opposition party took over five APC controlled states – Adamawa, Imo, Oyo, Bauchi and Zamfara. APC, on its part, won two PDP controlled states – Gombe and Kwara.
While the 2019 polls is now history, it is another test of might between the two leading parties eight months after the general election as they battle for the governorship positions of Kogi and Bayelsa states.
Interestingly, the governorship polls in the two states will not be the first time APC and PDP would be returning to the ring after a general election. The first was the gubernatorial polls in the same states after the 2015 general election. Both parties shared the states apiece then, with APC taking over Kogi from PDP, while PDP retained Bayelsa.
No doubt, several factors shaped the 2015 governorship polls in the two states, so it will amount to a political gamble for any of the two parties to rely on old variables going into tomorrow’s contest given the dynamic nature of politics.
Kogi: PDP plots Bello’s ouster
In Kogi, it would be battle royale as Governor Yahaya Bello, who have been in the eyes of the storm since he assumed office on January 27, 2016, seeks a second term.
The governor secured his party’s ticket after polling 3,091 votes from 3,596 delegates, who participated in APC’s indirect primary election on August 29.
Those Bello routed to clinch the ticket are Hadiza Ibrahim (zero), Yahaya Audu (10), Sani Abdullahi (seven), Abubakar Bashir (three), Danlami Mohammed (zero), Yakubu Mohammed (zero), Ikele Aisha (zero), Hassan Abdullahi (44) and Babatunde Irukera (109).
Against this backdrop, the incumbent would be squaring against Musa Wada, who emerged the candidate of the PPD after beating 12 others in a keenly contested primary election.
Wada polled 748 votes to defeat his closest rival, Abubakar Ibrahim, who polled 710 votes to come second, while former Governor Idris Wada came third with 345.
Other PDP aspirants were Senator Dino Melaye (70), Aminu Abubakar Suleiman (55), Victor Adoji (54), Erico Ahmeh (42), Salihu Atawodi (11), Mohamed Shaibu (4l), Bayo Averehi (nine), Emmanuel Omebije (nine) and Grace Adejoh (zero).
Bello was elected governor for the first term in 2015, following his party’s defeat of the incumbent governor, Capt. Idris Wada. He made history then as the first governor from the minority ethnic groups in the state to occupy the historic Lugard House as Kogi State government house is known. He is Ebira of Kogi Central Senatorial District.
Before then, the Igala people of Kogi East Senatorial District have had enough of power, having ruled the state since it was created in 1991 by the General Ibrahim Babangida regime.
But, Bello’s emergence as governor would not have been possible if not for the demise of his party’s candidate in the November 21, 2015 poll – Prince Abubakar Audu.
The former two-time governor of the state (1992 to 1993 and 1999 to 2003) was coasting to victory in the poll, when he passed on. This unfortunate incident almost triggered a constitutional crisis as the then constitution did not envisage such situation.
The impasse over the incident was however resolved, when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) directed the APC to nominate another candidate as Audu’s substitution for the December 5, supplementary poll in the 91 polling units, where elections were cancelled.
The electoral body had declared the election inconclusive midway during collation and announcement of results, following the cancellation of results in the affected polling units due to incidences of violence, ballot boxes snatching, over voting, among others.
Late Audu was at the time leading his closest rival and incumbent governor, Wada by 41, 000 votes, whereas the total number of registered voters in the 91 polling units was 49,953, a figure, the commission explained was higher than the margin between the top contenders.
The window to substitute Audu, rather than serve as a relief to the APC, sparked off another round of crisis as the deputy governorship candidate, Hon. James Faleke, wrote to INEC that he should be declared winner on the ground that the supplementary poll was needless as the number of eligible voters in the affected areas stood at 25, 000 and so will not make any impact in the overall result.
The PDP, on its part, urged the electoral body to declare its candidate, Wada, winner of the election as the votes garnered by Audu were not transferable. The party further argued that Audu’s votes died with him.
However, INEC insisted on going ahead with the supplementary poll and the APC was left with no other option than to nominate the first runner up in its governorship primary election, Bello, as Audu’s substitution.
As expected, Bello was declared winner of the poll after the supplementary election. His party, APC, garnered 6,885 votes to bring its total votes to 247,752, having polled 240,857 in the November 21 election. The PDP candidate (Wada) scored 5,363 to take his total votes to 204,877 votes. He had earlier garnered 199, 514 votes.
Despite INEC’s declaration of Bello as Governor-elect, the Audu/Faleke campaign organisation described the supplementary election that produced him as “unnecessary and a complete waste of tax payers’ money’’ and headed for the tribunal to challenge it. Wada also challenged the outcome of the election and return of Bello, joining APC and INEC as respondents.
But ruling on the two motions praying it to halt the inauguration, the tribunal said though it had jurisdiction to hear the case contrary to insinuations, the motions were not contained in the original petitions as it was merely a motion on notice.
With that, Bello mounted the stage today as the youngest elected governor in Nigeria’s political history. He was 40 years old then.
Among the strategies he rolled out then was reorganisation of the state’s civil service to make it more efficient and productive. He also promised to immediately ensure massive industrialization to create employment for Kogites and to harness the mineral potentials across the state in order to improve the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the state and its economy.
But, almost four years down the line, most indigenes of the state believe that Bello’s lofty dream of taking Kogi to the next level has remained a mirage. From one crisis to another, the state has been described by many as a study in leadership failure.
While Bello has persistently admonished those he described as detractors to allow his government to focus on its goal of a better Kogi for its citizens, analysts kept reminding him that the deterioration of any administration begins with the decay of the principle on which it was founded.
Echoes of that counsel are reverberating in the Confluence State as Bello goes into poll though the governor said his declaration for a second term came after consultations with the leadership of his party both at the national and state levels and pressure from the people of the state on him to seek re-election.
Besides what seems a replay of the 2015 contest, Bello’s main opponent – Musa Wada, an engineer from the majority Igala ethnic stock of the state – has close links to two former governors of the state. He is ex-Governor Wada’s sibling and an in-law to former Governor Ibrahim Idris.
Interestingly, the younger Wada trounced his brother – Ex-Governor Wada and his brother in-law – Abubakar Ibrahim – in the PDP governorship primary.
Bayelsa: Will APC turn the table against PDP?
The Bayelsa governorship poll also promises to be interesting as former political allies square against themselves. The poll is also likely to be a two-horse race given the strength of the PDP and APC in the oil-rich state.
While the ruling PDP in the state is fielding Senator Douye Diri, who presently represents Bayelsa Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly, APC’s candidate is Chief David Lyon.
Diri defeated 19 other aspirants to emerge the PDP candidate. One of the 21 aspirants, Talford Ongolo, stepped down from the race on the eve of the primary election.
The senator polled a total of 561 votes ahead of a former Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Timi Alaibe, who came second with 365 votes.
Keniebi Okoko, son of a former National President of the Ijaw National Congress (INC), Prof, Kimse Okoko, came third with 142 votes.
Lyon, on his part, emerged as APC’s candidate by polling 42,138 votes to defeat five other aspirants – Mrs. Desiye Nsirim (1,533), Chief Ebitimi Amgbare (633), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri (571), Prof Ongoebi Etebu (564) and Prince Preye Aganaba (354) in a direct primary election.
Already, tension is brewing and the fear is that the poll may go the way of that of December 5, 2015, which was characterised by violence.
Governor Dickson, who recently reasoned along this line, acknowledged that the battle for his successor is going to be a defining moment for the state.
His words: “The last governorship election is still fresh in the memories of Bayelsans. It was more than an election, it was a war. The 2019 governorship may not be any different. The stakes are high as some persons are desperate to capture the state regardless of how unpopular they are among the people.
“In their desperate bid to launch a deadly come back, they have begun to gradually disrupt security architecture in the state. This they have done by using their privileged positions against the people. In 2019, they are expected to be more daring but as always, Bayelsans know them and in line with true Ijaw spirit, the people are ready to repel every attempt to circumvent their will.”
It would be recalled that armed thugs had disrupted voting process on the election day in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state during the last governorship poll. This forced INEC to shift voting to the next day (December 6), but the rescheduled poll did not hold as the thugs prevented INEC from deploying officials and materials.
The electoral body had to declare the poll inconclusive as votes from the council were expected to be the decider, being the largest of the eight local government areas of the state.
The council then had 120,827 registered voters. Governor Seriake Dickson of the PDP, who was seeking a second term then, led in six of the seven local government areas initially declared. He polled 105,748 votes, while the candidate of the APC and a former governor of the state, Chief Timipre Sylva (now minister), won in only one and had 72,594 votes, a margin of 30,154 votes.
The impasse was resolved a week later, when both candidates returned to the poll, but it was the PDP that had the day. In what could be described as the stiffest governorship contest since the creation of the state in 1996, Dickson secured a second term by polling a total of 134,998 votes to defeat Sylva, who garnered 86,852 votes.
Traditionally, Bayelsa is a PDP state, but APC has of late made inroad into the state. The centre’s ruling party seized the opportunity of the 2019 polls to win a senatorial seat, two out of the five House of Representatives seats as well as pockets of state Assembly seats.
Besides the parties’ strength, there is no doubt that election is going to be a proxy war between two political archrivals – Dickson and Sylva. Senator Diri is believed to be Dickson’s preferred candidate, while Lyon is Sylva’s anointed, which informs why he defeated Lokpobiri, who is a former senator and immediate past minister of State Agriculture and Rural Development.
With few hours to the polls, there is no doubt that both sides will deploy all they have in their respective arsenal to either consolidate on what they have or extend frontiers as whichever way the pendulum swings in both states will further strengthen their respective confidence ahead of the 2023 general election.
Secondus tasks security operatives on fairness
National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, has called on security agencies particularly the military to allow the people of Bayelsa and Kogi States vote their choice candidates in Saturday’s governorship elections.
Secondus, who condemned the needless killing of a voter in Nembe, Bayelsa State on Wednesday, urged security operatives to exhibit high sense of professionalism in their conduct during the elections.
In a statement by his media adviser, Ike Abonyi, the PDP National Chairman said that the disqualification of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in Bayelsa State is a sign that God does want continued bloodletting of innocent citizens.
“Nigerians expect all stakeholders in the Bayelsa election to see divine hand in the disqualification of APC out of the race and respect it. That is a consequence of impunity and it should send a signal to all,” he stated.
He said that from inception APC knew that it was not wanted in Bayelsa State and accused the party of heating up the state to frighten the people from voting
“Even before the voting, God has shown his mighty hands and cleared the violent prone APC out of the race,” he said.
Secondus also accused Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, of using violence to scare away voters and warned security agencies against voter intimidation on election day.
Delist APC from ballot, PDP tells INEC
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately delist the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the ballot for Saturday’s governorship election in Bayelsa State.
The party said this was necessitated by two court judgements that disqualified the APC candidate, David Lyon and his running mate from contesting the election.
PDP in a statement yesterday by the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, told the electoral umpire that any vote cast for the APC in the election would be a wasted vote since the court judgements have made it clear that the APC is not in the election.
The statement read in part: “The first was the judgement disqualifying the APC candidates over the presentation of false documents by the deputy governorship candidate, Biobarakuma Degi Eremienyo, which was followed by another judgement, nullifying the entirety of the APC primary that produced the candidates.
“It is therefore trite in law that given the circumstances that have entangled the candidature of the APC, the party, accordingly, has no place in the November 16 governorship election and cannot lay claim to any vote.”
The party, however, said that notwithstanding the disqualification, Lyon and other APC leaders should be questioned over Wednesday’s attack that led to the death of PDP supporters in Nembe.
It described the attack as a crime against humanity, which must not be politicized under any guise.
“Information available to the PDP shows that the attackers were known supporters of the APC, who have also been seen on several occasions in functions with APC leaders including the disqualified candidates.
“Our party therefore stands in vehement rejection of any attempt to politicize the attack, insisting that the masterminds, facilitators and executors must be swiftly brought to book on the full terms prescribed by our criminal laws,” the statement added.
APC to Bayelsans: Disregard judgement against our candidate
•High Court nullifies APC primaries
•Appeal orders stay of execution
The Bayelsa State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has urged the people of the state not be deterred by the judgement of the Bayelsa State High Court presided by Justice Jane Inyang, which disqualified its candidate, David Lyon.
The alternate Director General of the David Lyon Campaign Organization, Prof. Seiyefa Brisibe, who gave the charge yesterday, said the judgement does not hold water and therefore should be disregarded.
This is as a Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa, also yesterday, nullified the governorship primaries that produced Lyon as the candidate of the APC for this weekend’s poll in the state.
Prof. Birisibe, who addressed the media in Yenagoa, urged the people not to panic, saying that the party has appealed the judgement against APC candidates.
He noted that the governorship candidate of the party, David Lyon and his running mate, Degi Eremienyo are on the ballot for the election.
His words: “Our opponents are actually jittery because of the acceptance of our candidate because testimonies abound. So, people will want to do anything that will scuttle the peace of the state.
“Everybody that desire peace in the state should not worry. Your preferred candidate and his deputy are on the ballot. We have done everything procedurally to make sure that the judgement doesn’t stand. So, come out en mass and vote for APC.”
Prof. Birisibe said that prior to the judgement, the APC governorship candidate has been endorsed by groups and individuals including ordinary men, women and youths across the state owing to his selfless services to the people.
He assured of a better Bayelsa ahead for the people, adding that “the needful has been done. Come out en masse and vote. We must take this state to a platform of sustainable development. We must take this state to a platform where we not only have electricity.”
According to him, the party’s campaign had shown the love that the people have for Lyon, noting that they were enthused at how the APC’s flag bearer helped their children out of drug addiction, criminality and other vices.
Delivering judgement on a suit filed by Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, which challenged the conduct of the September 4 governorship primary of the APC, Justice Jane Inyang held that the exercise was conducted outside the rules of the party.
She further held that since the process was conducted in violation of the party’s constitution and guidelines as clearly spelt out for the conduct of governorship primaries, none of the aspirants should be fielded as the party’s candidate.
She therefore restrained the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), from including Lyon as the APC candidate in the governorship election.
Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal in Abuja has granted APC a stay of execution on the judgement delivered by the Federal High Court nullifying the primary of the party.
Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timpre Sylva, who disclosed this at a news conference in Yenagoa, yesterday, said APC will participate in the governorship poll.
His words: “I must tell you that the judgement nullifying the primary was clearly a bias one with all due respect to the judiciary. So, I have come to address you because we have good news for the people of Baylesa. The court in Abuja has granted us stay of execution.
“That means, we are fully as a party in the position of contesting this election. Because we know that the people of Bayelsa are seriously behind us and we will win the election.
“Everyone in Bayelsa knows that APC has the majority in the state and if there is an election today, it is clear even to blind and the deaf that APC will win. The electorate should go en-masse and vote the candidature of the APC, Mr David Lyon,” the minister said.
Court asked to disqualify Wada over alleged forgery
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has been asked to disqualify the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Engr. Musa Wada, for tomorrow’s governorship election in Kogi State over alleged forgery of his school certificate.
The claimant, one Femi Joseph, had in a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1146/2019 dragged the PDP, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Wada before the court.
The suit was instituted by way of an originating summons at the registry of the court on September 27, shortly after the publication of Forms CF001 (particulars of persons seeking election to office) of all candidates in the Kogi gubernatorial election by INEC.
The claimant through his counsel, Mike Enahoro submitted that by virtue of Section 31(5) & (6) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), he reasonably believes that the information supplied by the PDP candidate in both his Form CF001 and the attached First School Leaving Certificate as to his primary school education were false.
He therefore prayed the court to determine that the information was indeed false and on that basis, disqualify the plaintiff from contesting as the candidate of the PDP.
He prayed the court to determine whether having regard to the clear and unambiguous provisions of Section 31
(5) and (6) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (As Amended), 3rd Defendant’s INEC FORM CFOO1 and the Primary School Certificate, bearing Number: 910922, attached therewith and submitted to the 2nd Defendant by the 1st and 3rd Defendants, contain false information regarding the 3rd Defendant’s Primary School Certificate
He also wants the court to determine whether having regard to the clear and unambiguous provisions of Section 31 (5) and (6) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (As Amended), vis-a-vis 3rd Defendant’s INEC FORM CFOO1 and the Primary School Certificate, bearing Number: 910922, attached therewith and submitted to the 2nd Defendant by the 1st and 3rd Defendants, the 3rd Defendant is disqualified from contesting the Kogi State Governorship Election slated for 16th day of November, 2019, for submitting to the 2nd Defendant false information regarding the 3rd Defendant’s Primary School Certificate.
While the PDP as a party has responded to the said suit, Wada is yet to file any response.
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