As political parties in Nigeria traverse the country canvassing for votes, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) presidential candidate, Adewole Adebayo has assured Nigerians that the party will eliminate insecurity, poverty and put the nation on the path of prosperity if he emerges as president in 2023.
He spoke at the flag-off of the presidential and governorship campaigns of the party in Yola, the Adamawa State capital.
Adebayo lamented that Nigerians are tired of a country that has all it takes to develop but its leaders have robbed the people of the opportunity. This, according to him, must stop and the SDP is the party that will do that.
He addressed the party’s supporters at the Mahmud Ribadu Square in Yola.
High point of the event was the official presentation of the party’s governorship candidate in the state, Umar Ardo, a former aide to then President Goodluck Jonathan; and his running mate, Yusuf Sunday, a human rights activist.
Speaking exclusively to Channels Television immediately after the event, the SDP governorship candidate said he has always considered the interest of the people first just as the national chairman of the party, Shehu Musa assured that the era of intimidation and harassing voters is over.
The presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Professor Jerry Gana, says his administration will focus on the devolution of power if elected into office.
Gana during a meeting in Abuja on Saturday noted that the devolution of power will address the challenges of poverty and over-dependence on federal allocations.
“In a good Federal system, the federating units have excellent purposes and basic functions to perform. In Nigeria, most of the federating units, the state, are always waiting to take resources from the Federal Government. That is not a Federal structure.
“In a good federal structure, the federating units must be strong on their own. Raising resources on their own. Paying salaries on their own. Every state of the Federal Republic will have resources for them to generate and create wealth. We don’t have to be waiting for the Federal Government.
“Therefore, there must be devolution of power to the Federating units, so that our people can be looked after in education, health, housing etc,” Gana said.
He also restated his party’s commitment towards the attainment of socio-economic development through grassroots mobilisation and addressing poverty.
The candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the just concluded Osun governorship election, Senator Iyiola Omisore, has explained the reasons behind his support for the All Progressive Congress (APC) during the supplementary election.
At a town hall meeting with party members in Osogbo the state capital, on Thursday, Omisore said he gave his support to the APC to have a coalition government which will birth development in the state.
He said, “We pride ourselves with good governance in this state which prime among them is the love for civil servants, the payment of salaries when it is due, pensioners’ payment, educational system to be rejigged, agriculture, commerce, infrastructural access, distribution of amenities to all, employment opportunities for the youths.
“We went into negotiation with a very clear mind that Osun must be first and it must be salvaged from destruction, from the way it is going. We must come to the reality of time and thank God our coalition government has given us the future for this state which we all shall share in the years to come”.
Omisoreadded that there is no iota of truth in the rumours that he had collected money from the ruling party.
According to him, he only gave his support because the party accepted to work with the blueprint of the SDP.
He said, “The National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, addressed a press conference a few days ago and he said clearly that our discussion was devoid of any financial discussion. It was about nothing but good governance in Osun State and our resolve to work together in all spheres of the economy.”
The Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Osun has alleged that Senator Iyiola Omisore is planning to hijack the party, faulting Omisore’s membership of the party.
Chairman of SDP in Osun State, Ademola Ishola on Monday reiterated the stance of the party on the membership status of Omisore, insisting that he has not completed the process of registration as a member from the party.
Ishola told journalists in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, that the party has not received Omisore who decamped from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) into SDP in the state.
He alleged that Omisore’s plan was to hijack the party and insisted that this move will be resisted.
Ishola explained that the process of becoming a member of the party, in line with the dictates of the party constitution requires familiarisation and registration from the ward to the local government levels.
Omisore according to Ishola is jumping the gun by relating with officials at the SDP Headquarters instead of the state. Such move, he added is totally strange to the party’s guidelines and regulation.
“There are fundamental criteria of becoming a member in our party, including registration at the ward level, and being a financial member among others; none of it has been fulfilled by Omisore.
“Maybe he is trying to influence the process to his advantage. As far as we are concerned, he is just the party admirer, not a member.
“Our National Leader, Olu Falaye has made it clear to all of us that the party should not be allowed to be hijacked by anybody, it is on this we stand,” he said.
Ishola went further to list the names of aspirants on the platform of the party to include Yemisi Oladeji, AbdulWakeel Adeola, and Munirudeen Atanda.
Omisore had earlier dumped his party, PDP to obtain the nomination and expression of interest form for SDP election.
He told journalists on Friday that he will win the September 22, Osun State governorship election if he emerges as the SDP candidate for the election.
Omisore made the pledge when he obtained the nomination and expression of interest form for the election at the SDP National Secretariat in Abuja.
Participating political parties in Ondo State governorship election have signed a peace pact to ensure that peace reigns before, during and after the polls.
The peace pact signing, which took place on Thursday at the Police Officers’ Mess in Akure, the state capital, was attended by some governorship aspirants as well as party officials and supporters.
The State Commissioner of Police, Hilda Ibifuro-Harrison, urged the political stakeholders to adhere to the rules and regulations of the election.
He also asked them to conduct themselves in a peaceful manner before, during and after the polls.
The candidate of the Social Democratic Party, Olu Agunloye and the Vice Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ondo State, Fatai Adams, pledged to play by the rules of the game.
Fifteen out of the 28 political parties that would partake in the November election were present at the signing of the peace pact.
Dangerous For Democracy
The peace pact signing follows the demand by two PDP factions that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) must recognise their candidates.
Factions of the embattled National Chairman of the PDP, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and that of the party’s Caretaker Committee Chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, on Wednesday insisted that their candidates must be recognised, although the electoral law recognises one candidate per political party.
In its reaction, INEC described the situation as very unfortunate and dangerous for democracy.
The demand comes barely 24 hours to when the electoral umpire said it would publish the names of candidates vying for the governorship seat.
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 former presidential candidate and Afenifere leader, Chief Olu Falae, has admitted receiving 100 million Naira from the former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Tony Anenih.
Speaking to Channels Television on Sunday evening, Chief Olu Falae said that the money was received based on certain conditions and agreements and was transmitted to his party as soon as he got it.
He denied having anything to do with Colonel Sambo Dasuki, as rumoured.
“I never had any dealing whatsoever with the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki. No relationship at all,” he said, denying claims that he took money from the former NSA.
Explaining the circumstances behind the money he received from the PDP leader, he said: “All that I know is that Chief Tony Anenih, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the PDP, approached me before the last election to seek the cooperation of my party, SDP [Social Democratic Party], with his own party in re-electing the former president in what they called an inter-party cooperation agreement.
“I gave him six conditions before we could agree to that request. One was that the government must prosecute the insurgency in the northeast more seriously. Two, that we are not happy with the level of corruption in their government and if we are to support them they must pledge to adopt a policy on zero tolerance for corruption. Three, that they will expeditiously restructure Nigeria by implementing the report of the 2014 National Conference. Four, that they will pursue the creation of jobs for the masses as a priority. Five, that they will reduce recurrent expenditure to create funds for development and six that if they win the election we will expect to play some roles in the new government.
“Those are the conditions we gave them and he accepted them.
“To formalise the matter, I wrote to him to confirm acceptance and in six days time he wrote back to say that all the organs of their party agreed to those conditions and they were happy with them and that they were happy to cooperate with us on that basis.
He further explained that after the agreement was approved by his party’s executive members, Mr Anenih called him to express the PDP’s readiness to support the party financially.
“After that he phoned me and said that he knew the SDP was a poor party and that we will need money to campaign for the President and other candidates that he will like to send us some money and he did so, which was the 100 million they are talking about, which I then passed on to the SDP party which then allocated the money to the various state branches of the party for the presidential and other elections. That is all that happened,” Mr Falae further explained.
He also promised to hold a press conference on Monday, January 11, 2016 to explain what truly transpired between his party and the PDP before the election campaigns.
Chief Falae’s political party, the Social Democratic Party (SDP), in an earlier statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Abdul Isiaq, on Sunday, had absorbed its National Chairman, Mr Olu Falae, of any wrong doing.
The party said that the 100 million Naira that was received by Falae from Mr Tony Anenih, was meant for the SDP/PDP Electoral Alliance project.
They also explained that the money was shared to all the 36 state chapters of the party in the build-up of the 2015 elections.
The party maintained that “neither the SDP nor Mr Falae was aware that the money came from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki, through Chief Anenih and meant for arms purchase”.
The party stressed that “the SDP as well as many Nigerians were aware that the PDP had a fund raising event prior to the election where billions of Naira was donated”.
They said that the SDP was also conscious of the fact that the PDP had ruled Nigeria for 16 years and expected that the PDP was capable of funding their part of the electoral alliance.
As the search for persons involved in the arms procurement fund lingers, the SDP has absorbed its National Chairman, Mr Olu Falae, of any wrong doing.
The Social Democratic Party (SDP) made the declaration in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Abdul Isiaq, on Sunday in Kaduna State, northwest Nigeria.
The party said that the 100 million Naira that was received by Mr Falae from Mr Tony Anenih, was meant for the SDP/PDP Electoral Alliance project.
They also explained that the money was shared to all the 36 state chapters of the party in the build-up to the 2015 elections.
The party maintained that “neither the SDP nor Mr Falae was aware that the money came from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki, through Chief Anenih and meant for arms purchase”
The SDP stressed that “the SDP as well as many Nigerians were aware that the PDP had a fund raising event prior to the election where billions of naira was donated”.
They said that the party was also conscious of the fact that the PDP had ruled Nigeria for 16 years and expected that they capable of funding their part of the electoral alliance.
The statement emphasised that neither the SDP nor Chief Olu Falae had anything to do with the $2.1 billion arms deal scandal.
According to the statement, “SDP was approached by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Tony Anenih, for electoral alliance for the re-election of the former President Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.”
The statement also stated that Mr Falae, being the National Chairman of SDP, summoned the National Executive Committee of the party to a well-attended meeting to consider the PDP’s proposal of Electoral Alliance for the re-election bid of former President Jonathan since SDP did not field a presidential candidate of its own.
Thirteen governorship candidates in Kwara State have stepped down for the State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed.
The candidates called on their members to re-elect Governor Ahmed for a second term in order to complete his laudable programmes.
At the National Union of Journalists press centre in Ilorin, the governorship candidates under the aegis of Congress of Nigerian Political Parties, gathered to inform of their desire to step down in order to pave the way the re-election of Governor Ahmed.
Some of the 13 political parties include: Action Alliance, United Progressive Party, Social Democratic Party and African Peoples Alliance and others.
Meanwhile, the governorship candidates of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Simeon Ajibola and that of Labour Party, Dr Mike Omotosho, have dismissed the endorsement as a mere show that would not affect their chances of emerging as the next governor.
Reacting to the action, Senator Ajibola described the endorsement as nothing to worry about. He wondered how the endorsement by the other candidates would have any effect on his chances since most of them lacked followers.
Also opposing the endorsement, Dr Mike Omotosho of the Labour Party denied the rumour of stepping down for any candidate, wondering how he could withdraw in an election he is sure of emerging victorious.
As political activities gather momentum,the Ogun State Police command has read the riot act to politicians against violence during their campaigns, saying the command would not hesitate to arrest and prosecute any politician and political party found culpable.
The Deputy Commissioner of Police, Ogun state police command, Mr Sina Olukolu, who represented the commissioner of police gave the warning during a sensitisation meeting with members of political parties held at the police officers mess in Abeokuta, the state capital.
The command also warned against religious, ethnic sentiments and use of inciting statements during campaigns.
Although, some members of the political parties were not present at the sensitisation meeting, this did not stop the meeting from holding.
Members of the Social Democratic Party, Labour Party, Alliance For Democracy, All Progressives Grand Alliance were at hand to listen to what the command had to say.
Inciting statements, unlawful gatherings, religious and ethnic sentiments are now prohibited by the command, the police said, noting that they were working towards recording peace before, during and after the elections in the state.
Some of members of political parties who attended the meeting commended the command, expressing their commitment to abide by all laid down guidelines.
Beyond these pledges and promises, parties in the state must be seen to be doing those things that would encourage discipline among members while security operative discharge their duties without fear of favour.
The Ogun State Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Bayo Dayo, has said that the alleged defection of the former speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Dimeji Bankole to the Social Democratic Party (SDP), would not affect its chances in the general elections.
He was speaking in Abeokuta, the state capital on Tuesday while inaugurating a 35-member Governorship Campaign Committee, which has Mr Yomi Majekodunmi, as its director general.
The Chairman of the party asked members to be proactive in carrying out their assigned task of delivering the party come next governorship election.
Speaking on behalf of other members the Director General of the Campaign Committee, Mr Yomi Majekodunmi, promised an issue based campaign during the exercise.
The former Speaker had indicated interest in contesting for the governorship position in the state on the platform of the PDP but was beaten to the ticket by Gboyega Nasir Isiaka.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday declared Dr Shem Zagbai of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) winner of the Niger East Senatorial by-election after a re-run.
The August 30 by-election was declared inconclusive due to electoral malpractice in some polling units.
The re-run was held in polling units in Bosso, Chanchaga, Munya, Paikoro, Rafi and Shiroro local government areas on Saturday.
Prof. Morenikeji Olakonmi, Returning Officer for the election, who announced the results in Minna, said that Zagbai scored 92, 056 votes against Mr David Umaru of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who polled 87, 405 votes.
Isa Bello of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and Mr Abdulahi Diko of Social Democratic Party scored 2,185 and 419 votes respectively.
“We have come to the conclusion of the collation. I, Prof. Morenike Olakonmi, hereby certify that I was the Returning Officer for Niger East Senatorial District by-election held on the 6th day of September 2014.
“That Dr Shem Zagbai of the PDP, having satisfied the requirements of the law and scored the highest number of votes, is hereby declared the winner,’’ he said.