Former Governor of Ogun State, Olusegun Osoba, has returned to his former political fold where he left years ago from the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).
Top leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Sunday met to receive Osoba back into their fold at his residence in Lagos State.
The party leaders present were former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, former Governor of Ogun State, Bisi Akande, Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Oluranti Adebule, who represented the Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode.
Mr Osoba left the defunct ACN after a party infighting which took him and his supporters to the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the 2015 general elections.
He is seen as one of the SDP founders.
Mr Osoba was elected on two different occasions as Governor of Ogun State; first from January 1992 until November 1993 on the platform of the SDP.
He and others were removed from office by the administration of General Sani Abacha on 17 November 1993.
After the return to democracy in 1999, he was elected again as Governor of Ogun State on the platform of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), holding office between May 1999 and May 2003.
A violent clash at the Accord party rally in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, has left three dead and at least 12 others critically injured.
The incident took place at Odinjo, Ibadan South-east Local Government Area of Oyo State on Sunday.
While the really was on, some thugs descended on supporters of the Accord Party, a Channels Television’s correspondent reported.
The thugs were said to have stormed the rally and opened fire on the gathering while the supporters rushed away from the scene with varying degrees of injuries.
A team from the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) led by a police Inspector, reportedly arrived at the scene and made an arrest of three suspected thugs with pump action rifles.
Speaking in an interview with journalists at the Police State Headquarters, Eleyele in Ibadan, the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in charge of zone 11, Mr Ikemefuna Okoye, described the latest violence as unfortunate, noting that thorough investigation would be done to bring the culprits to book.
Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Musa Katsina, also confirmed the violent attack and casualty figures.
However, he sounded a serious warning to politicians that zero tolerance for violence was not just a memorandum on paper, stressing that it would be put into action in the state.
Leaders of various political parties also condemned the attack, calling for decisive action on the part of the police in the state.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has granted waiver to a former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Nuhu Ribadu and two others to run as aspirants under the platform of the party in the October 11 governorship bye-election in Adamawa State.
Other persons granted waiver were a former military administrator of Lagos and Borno States, Buba Marwa and Markus Gundiri, the governorship candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria in the 2011 election.
PDP spokesperson, Olisa Metuh, made the disclosure to journalists on Friday at the National Secretariat of the party in Abuja.
The three aspirants had earlier submitted their application for waiver to the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party.
The NWC had also forwarded the requests to a sub committee under the leadership of the National Organising Secretary, Abubakar Mustapha.
The committee submitted its report to the NWC on Friday, recommending that the waiver should be granted.
With the development, the three aspirants will alongside eight others face a screening panel on Saturday.
The PDP is expected to name the panel members later on Friday.
Youths from the oil producing area of Ohaji egbema and Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State have commended the Governor Rochas Okorocha led government for initiating various youth oriented programmes aimed at engaging youths in the area in meaningful and productive ventures.
Not mindful of the rain drops, the youths made the declaration and pledged their unflinching support to Okorocha led administration at a solidarity rally in government house, Owerri, the state capital on Sunday.
They thanked the Governor for the 500 million Naira Empowerment Trust Fund launched by the State government few months ago and said that the empowerment had helped many youths in the area to do meaningful things with their lives.
They called on the Governor to run for 2nd term in office so as to complete the numerous infrastructural, economical and human developments he had started in the state.
Since the Governor was on a state trip to Abuja, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Sam Onwumuedo, addressed the youths, promising to deliver their message to the Governor on his arrival
Ohaji Egbema and Oguta Local Government are the two oil producing areas in Imo State known for their high restive nature and high level of unemployment. It is, therefore, hoped that the initiative would help end the restiveness of youth in the area.
A former Chairman of Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State, Mr Banji Okunomo, has revealed that allegations of non-performance against the Labour Party in Ilaje were baseless as they were outbursts of a disgruntled former party member.
He was a guest on the Tuesday edition of Sunrise Daily on Channels Television, sequel to an earlier interview with another member of the Labour Party in the Ondo State, Mr Benson Enikuomehin.
Mr Okunomo noted that he was the agent of the Labour Party in the just concluded by-election in Ilaje Local Government Area of the state, which as far as the party was concerned had been concluded based on evidences available, irrespective of INEC’s declaration that the election was inconclusive.
He said that the party was “a little taken aback yesterday when we heard Benson Enikuomehin on air appearing for the Labour Party.
“I use this opportunity to say that the Labour Party has never asked nor mandated nor authorized him to so do. What he did yesterday was for himself and for his immediate family.”
Mr Okunomo insisted that Mr Enikuomehin was no longer a member of the Labour Party, having been purportedly caught in the web of political cross-carpeting going on in the nation’s polity. He said that he had since “withdrawn on his own” from the party.
“Our party has an etiquette, and the etiquette is that because of the nature of the fine and decent leadership of our Governor, we don’t witch hunt our members and we don’t normally do official eviction of our members, and maybe he took advantage of that.”
Although Mr Enikuomehin’s membership of the party still seems valid, Okunomo revealed that he dumped the party immediately after the House of Representatives primaries was held, because he aspired to be the Labour Party’s House of Reps candidate in the by-election but was not considered.
“He was not considered by the people, because for you to be the candidate of the party, the people must accept you, they will have to do a primary and this involves 3 state constituencies.”
The issues of developmental marginalization of the Ilaje people raised by Mr Enikuomehin in his interview was, however, more paramount to the Sunrise Daily crew as it was acknowledged that the discussion with him was centred more on these, and not about his differences with the party.
Mr Okunomo debunked what he termed the impression that the Labour Party was not popular in Ilaje, stating that the party had had different elections in Ilaje since the administration started, all of which they had won, except during the last governorship election in which Labour Party lost because the people decided to support the PDP candidate, Olusola Oke, who is from Ilaje.
Reading from documents in his possession, Mr Okunomo reeled out projects that were supposedly executed in Ilaje communities by the Governor Olusegun Mimiko led Labour Party administration.
Mostly stated as completed projects, especially in the health sector, he challenged Mr Benson Enikuomehin to check out his records to verify if those projects were there or not. He also challenged the Sunrise Daily crew to take a trip to Ilaje to verify the existence and status of those projects.
With counter-accusations against members of other political parties at the election, he also took on the allegations levelled against the Governor of state, regarding his campaign strategies during the just concluded by-election.
He maintained his earlier position that the Labour Party remains popular in the state and indeed in Ilaje Local Government, and that the by-election was conclusive as they only lost in 2 units.
A Member of the House of Representatives, Bimbo Daramola, believes that the performance of Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, guarantees his re-election in the coming polls in the state.
He gave this impression on Channel Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise, where he appeared alongside an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Lagos, Dr Derin Ologbenla, to discuss developments in Ekiti politics ahead of the June governorship election.
Daramola said that there were a number of things that have given Ekiti people hope and gives assurance that Fayemi would be fully supported by the people. He said that the question would be, “Wouldn’t you rather stick with a man that has come into governance with good track record?”
Speaking on the ambition of former Governor of the state, Ayo Fayose to contest for the seat again, Dr Ologbenla said that Fayose’s chances were slim because of his antecedents during his first tenure which saw several crisis and killings in the state. He said that the Ekiti people were more educated to embrace his candidature.
He also dismissed the chances of Labour Party candidate and former member of defunct ACN, Opeyemi Bamidele; he said that he lacked the political structure to win the June governorship election in the state.
The Congressman representing Ekiti North, Daramola, noted that the Ekiti election would mirror what Nigerians should expect in 2015. He said that the readiness of the Independent national Electoral Commision, INEC would be very pivotal to ensuring that the people of Ekiti are given the rights to choose the leader of their choice.
He went further to reveal the several issues already witnessed in the voter registration process in the state, just after the INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega had promised all political parties in the state that the commission was ready for a smooth process.
Ologbenla, however, noted that he believed that INEC would not go into an election without being ready but the problem was how the political parties play their game. He stated that any attempt to rig elections in the state would be attacked by the people and he called for the deployment of substantial security resources to maintain sanity during the election.
Daramola concluded by saying that he had no doubt that the Ekiti people have decided to keep Fayemi as their Governor.
The Interim National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Lai Mohammed, has said that the party had foreseen that the coming together of different parties would cause the APC problems.
While speaking on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ , he said that the moment the defunct ACN, ANPP, CPC, section of DPP and APGA, came together they knew it would lead to differences at some point with everyone wanting to protect interests but that they were well prepared for it.
He noted that the defection of the five governors from the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, did not make things easier but the party had set up a Harmonization Committee to ensure a seamless blending.
The APC Chieftain refused to be compared to the ruling PDP in terms of party crisis. He argued that theirs was a different situation and indeed “unique in the history of Africa”, as what they achieved in merging such number of strong parties had never been achieved in the history of democracy in the continent.
He expressed optimism that the minor issues would soon be resolved with everyone coming back together. “What is important is that we will be stronger”. He stood by his past comments about the PDP not being able to handle its problems, insisting that the APC was different.
While referring to comments made by the PDP that the APC was made up of “strange bed fellows” with their make-up of different political parties, persons of different political backgrounds and lately the aggrieved PDP governors, Mr Mohammed said that the APC was simply playing by the rules of politics.
“You cannot effect a change from the outside, except u want to rig. In politics numbers are important.”
He dismissed the fear that the new members would pollute the values of the party, maintaining that the APC was a well structured party and the many people joining or defecting to the party would not pollute its values.
He enthused: “We have a manifesto, they can’t change it” but rather they would adjust from the ways of their former parties to do things in line with the APC’s ideology.
What exactly is the philosophy of APC?
As it has been a common criticism that Nigeria’s political parties lacked ideologies, since the defection of the five PDP governors to the APC, Mr Mohammed was asked to clarify the actual ideologies of the All Progressives Congress.
The APC Publicity Secretary said that the ideology of his party had never been hidden from the public as it had always been available on the party’s website for anyone who wished to know to read up.
He however went further to state that the All Progressives Congress was a “Left of the centre party”, a welfarist party that believed that the wellbeing of the people was the basic responsibility of any government.
The APC places the provision of amenities, security, and education as its priorities.
He said that the ideologies of the APC were obvious from the differences it had made in states where the PDP once ruled. Citing examples of the APC states of Osun, Oyo, and Ogun, he stressed that a proper comparison between the APC’s three years of governance to the eight years spent by the PDP governors would enable people understand the ideologies of the party better.
He also added that the APC was already rubbing off on the PDP defectors rather than the party losing its own values.
The Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, who was among the five PDP governors that joined the APC, has already declared free education in Kano State, while the Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, has also set up a committee to develop a plan for the employment of over 5,000 youths in the state.
The APC leader also debunked rumours that the party was confused on who to present as its candidate at the 2015 General Election.
Laughing at what he termed “creative rumour mill that emanates from Nigeria”, he stated that the issue of who flies the party’s candidacy at any level has never risen as the party was busy building its structure.
With member registration slated for the end of January 2014, congress in February, to be followed by the National Convention in March, there was no way they could have had time to discuss candidacy.
He insisted that the Party’s constitution was clear on how candidates at different levels should emerge and there was no pressure on whom to put forward at the coming elections.
Ogun APC Crisis
Mr Lai Mohammed also tried to exonerate the national leadership of the APC on allegations that it caused the crisis rocking the Ogun State APC through its imposition of an executive on the members without following laid down rules.
He explained that part of the conditions for merger as required by the National Electoral Commission, INEC, was that names of interim national officers were expected to be provided, and the Interim National Committee set guidelines for selecting the persons who should be in the interim based on their political qualifications.
While providing details of the agreement with all merging parties, the set guidelines and the concessions given, he insisted that the party followed these rules as set during the merger agreements, adding that the people complaining about imposition of candidates in Ogun State APC did not know that agreements were made and rules had been set to ensure that old or new APC members were equally treated.
The interim National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Lai Mohammed has assured party supporters that there would be no turning back for the new members who crossed over from the new PDP.
Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise, on Saturday, Mr Mohammed described the alliance as the third event in 2013 which changed the political landscape in the country forever.
The three events were: the merger which birthed the APC on 31st of August, the implosion within the PDP manifested by the walking out of the G7 at the National Convention and the official agreement signed by the new PDP to be part of the APC on the 28th of November.
He stressed that the alliance is between the nPDP and the APC and not the G7 governors alone.
Commenting on the meeting the G7 Governors will hold with President Goodluck Jonathan, he said
“The new PDP is much more than just the governors because in the fold of the new PDP, we also have legislators, senators, members of National Assembly, members of Houses of Assembly and other rank and file politicians.”
About the meeting, “we are not worried about the purported meeting with the governors and the president because we have the firm assurance of the leadership of the new PDP that they have crossed the rubicon and that there’s no going back.”
“I am very confident that nothing has changed,” he added.
He also said that he would be surprised if anything changes because Baraje addressed the whole world.
The meeting which produced the alliance was ‘well-thought out’
Responding to Niger Governor’s (Babangida Aliyu) comments expressing shock at the move, Mr Mohammed said the party is “mildly surprised” and added that “this is politics and I think that he might not be with us today but we should not close the door to him.”
He disclosed that the leadership of the APC has been holding meetings with the new members at the state level to harmonise the political structure.
According to him, APC is inching nearer to its dream of forming the next government in Nigeria.
A legal practitioner, Kenneth Odidika, on Wednesday said that members of the G7 who crossed over to the APC are in for a surprise as they would not have as much freedom as they did while in the PDP.
While speaking on Sunrise Daily, Odidika said that the cross over from the PDP to APC was because their demands for protection from prosecution was not met by the PDP leadership.
As well as a way of positioning themselves for power come 2015 but he warned that “by the time they get there, they will find out that what they thought was, isn’t.” According to him, “these people who moved into APC are going to learn some lessons because they are dealing with a master, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
He added that “in PDP you are allowed a lot of latitude, which doesn’t exist in a Tinubu party, whether ACN or APC.”
Odidika also stressed that cross-carpeting makes no difference in the polity as all parties are the same. The political parties do not have any ideology as their sole target is to fill their pockets with State funds and satisfy their desire to stay in power.
Members of the G7 that joined the APC on Tuesday had been labelled thieves and rogues over the years by the same party but have now become saints by virtue of joining the opposition. “The politics being played in Nigeria has nothing to do with the interest of the average Nigerian,” he said adding that “I’m not surprised they left and I won’t be surprised if they go back.”
Commenting on Governor Aliyu Babangida’s insistence that he is still a member of the PDP, Odidika said that the governor has always been vocal about his willingness to negotiate with the leadership of the PDP.
Odidika added that the actions of the governors who are currently serving their last term are in a bid to protect themselves from the possibility of being held accountable for crimes committed while in office.
“When immunity is removed, EFCC or other agencies could come after them so their problem is how to get protected having committed crimes in the past 8 years,” he said.
Speaking about the legality of retaining their position after cross-carpeting, Odidika explained that “provision of the constitution regarding cross-carpeting does not apply to the Executive arm which includes the President, Vice President, Governors or deputy Governors.
The Supreme Court has struck out the appeal brought against Ondo state governor, Olusegun Mimiko by the former Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate, Rotimi Akeredolu and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Olusola Oke.
The Apex Court was unanimous in dismissing the petition for lack of merit.
According to Justice Sylvester Nguta and Mary Odili who delivered the lead judgments in the two cases, both the ACN and PDP candidates could not substantiate their claims, of injection of names into voters register.
Stating that if the names were injected, they could not prove to the court who the persons were and how many times they voted
The Supreme Court has deferred judgment in a suit challenging the election of Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo state, as the seven-man panel of the Apex court led by justice Walter Onoghene, fixed August 29th to decide on the election petitions filed by Mr Rotimi Akeredolu of the former Action Congress of Nigeria and Olushola Oke of the Peoples’ Democratic Party who were candidates in the elections.
The two appellants asked the court to nullify the election of Governor Mimiko and order a fresh election as a result of irregularities and corruption in the compilation of the voters register.
Both candidates accused the Labour Party of conniving with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to inflate the voters register which was used for the election, an allegation INEC denied as its counsel, Mr Oyechi Ikpeazu told the court that INEC did not fraudulently inject names into the voters register but upgraded the register from data gathered after the 2011 election copies of which were made available to all the candidates in both soft and hard copies.
Counsel to Mr Akeredolu of the Action Congress of Nigeria asked the court to substitute the Action Congress of Nigeria with the All Progressive Congress (APC) following the merger of the ACN with two other parties to form the APC.
His application did not go down well with other parties in the suit who challenged the jurisdiction of the court to exchange the name of parties.
According to the lawyers, the substitution if allowed will have implications on the case should the court rule in favour of Mr Akeredolu.
The Apex court agreed with other parties in the case and struck out the Action Congress of Nigeria from the suit since it no longer existed as political party in Nigeria.
Mr.Rotimi Akeredolu prayed the court to order a fresh election on the grounds that the election that brought Governor Mimiko to power was marred by irregularities and corrupt practices contrary to section 138 of the electoral act, while the candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, Olushola Oke, also accused INEC of failure to display the register before the election, a position that both the tribunal and the appellate courts agreed to and as such the Apex court should nullify the election of Governor Mimiko.
Responding counsels to both Governor Mimiko and the Labour Party through a cross application urged the court to discountenance the appeal filed by the two parties as it has become an academic exercise.
According to them, since the Action Congress of Nigeria has been struck out of the case on the basis that it is no longer an existing party, the appeal if allowed will suffer the challenge of participation, because it is only parties who participated in the first election that will be allowed to participate in a fresh election if allowed.
A member of the new merger political party; APC, Funsho Ologunde says the creation of merger political party the Allinace for Progressives Congress (APC) was borne out of the desire give Nigerians a ‘better Nigeria’,also debunkiung political insinuations that most key members of the new Alliance for progressive Congress (APC) are splinters of or have their roots traced to the ruling party Peoples Democratic Party(PDP).
Mr. Ologunde who was a guest on Sunrise Daily, said the emergence of APC as a merger political party described the APC as party with a difference from the conventional political parties, because it tends to achieve more and better than with its synergy as stakeholders from the merged parties come on board with different party backgrounds, ideas which will come in useful in decision-making for a better Nigeria.
“There are a lot of things that are new, there is this synergy that produces greater effect, greater energy and what that means is that it will be ACN doing things the way it was known as ACN, CPC doing its own, ANPP doing its own
“We are not talking of gurus from three different political parties that have been individually identified as opposition parties, coming together to put together their thoughts, synthesizing their advantages and then learning from their weaknesses to present a more formidable organisation”
He however implored Nigerians not to make any meaning out of aspersions casted by the ruling party at the APC, because the sole purpose of a merger between the strong oppositions ACN, CPC and ANPP, in Nigeria was to give Nigerians a voice and better their lives as well.
“I want to assure Nigerians that each time a PDP man goes on air like it happened yesterday, where the president said there was going to be bla,bla,bla for 2015 elections, it’s not to be taken as a threat, because such things are never objective analysis of the situation
” When all these forces, the previous political parties, came together and decided to work together, for the betterment of the generality of Nigerians, we are going to see with the emergence of APC that has already come on board, stronger, more potent, more forceful and more aggressive than the previous opposition parties”