Oyo female guber candidates promise improved life for citizens

Female guber candidates

Two female governorship candidates in Oyo State have promised to focus on policies that will improve the live of people of the state if given the opportunity to serve in next political dispensation.

Princess Bolanle Sariyu-Aliyu of the National Interest Party (NIP) and Rev. Mrs. Adenike Victor-Tade of the Advanced Allied Party, made the pledge at the Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ) press centre in Ibadan recently while featuring as guests at the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Oyo State chapter’s forum.

They insisted that the Nigerian political space needs a feminist touch to make things better.

While arguing that men’s domination of the nation’s politics has created a shift from policies that can directly impact people’s lives, Princess Sarumi-Aliyu noted that investing political power in women will bring about unprecedented development in the social and economic lives of Nigerians.

She berated the men in politics for concentrating on the infrastructure at the detriment of policies that can directly improve the people’s well-being.

To correct this, the NIP candidate said her attention would be on how to secure fulfilled live for the people of Oyo State as the governor.

“At present, majority of the people in the state live in poverty. There is need to evolve and implement policies that can speedily take them out of poverty and make life meaningful to them. This is the exact mission I am coming to fulfill if the good people of Oyo State provide me with the opportunity to serve them in the next election,” she said.

Mrs. Sarumi-Aliyu also promised to make anti natal care free for all pregnant women, provide free healthcare for citizens above 65 years of age, and put in place a better education system in the state.

Also speaking, Mrs. Victor-Tade promised to improve on the health care delivery system of the state, stressing that the people of the state deserve to enjoy free medical facilities

She also kicked against the implementation of 30,000 minimum wage, saying it is unrealistic with the current situation of the country.

The candidates urged the people of the state not to allow themselves to be manipulated as the 2019 elections beckon.

Hoodlum attacks Hakkem Alao, Oyo AD guber candidate

Hoodlum attacks

The Oyo State governorship candidate of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), Engr. Oyedele Hakeem Alao, narrowly escaped being hurt on Friday when hoodlums attacked his Oke-Itunu, Ibadan campaign office and damaged the passenger’s glass of his vehicle.

Though the purpose of the attempted attack remained unknown, the Director-General of his campaign team, Mr. Ademola Adeniji, told journalists that the incident happened early morning on Friday shortly after the gubernatorial candidate arrived at the premises of his office to attend series of meetings lined up for the day.

Engr. Alao, according to him, would have been utterly wounded if he had sat directly behind the driver’s seat where the assailant targeted, adding that the sudden bang on the tainted glass led to his hurried exit from the vehicle.

Adeniji further explained that before his principal could recover from the shock and make any move to arrest the assailant, he quickly fled the scene and went away with the food flask he could lay his hands on.

When asked if there was any suspicion or whether there had been anything of such in the past, Adeniji disclosed that there had not been anything of such before the Friday incident and that his organization did not suspect anybody.

He however added a caveat that, “we are in a political era and politics cannot be ruled out of the incident. Our candidate is an easy-going person without any form of trace to violence, he is new in politics and not interested in political thuggery, gangsterism or hooliganism. We will not because of the ugly incident depart or deviate from our path of peace”.

The DG, who called on security agencies to rise to their first responsibility of protection of lives and property of the citizens lamented that the incident was an indication that there are still some people playing politics of underdevelopment, retrogression and bitterness, describing it as unfortunate. “As stated earlier, we are not cut out for any form of brigandage and we will not descend to their level of bestiality, rather, we will continue to go about our campaign of redemption for the people of the state in our peaceful manner and put our safety in the hands of the Almighty God in whom is our refuge”, Adeniji added.

Senate receives bill on state police

Nigerian Senate

By Ifeanyi Nwoko

The Senate is set to receive for first reading, a Bill to alter the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and create state police.
According to the order paper of the upper legislative chambers for Thursday, the bill is listed as the first item for presentation.
In keeping to his promise to present the bill, Deputy President of the Senate, Sen. Ike Ekwerenmadu is listed as the Sponsor of the Bill.
Ekweremadu is supported in sponsoring the bill by 75 other senators, bringing the total number of sponsors to 76, that is over 82 per cent of the 109 members of the percent
As at the time of the report, the bill has not been sighted by our correspondent, therefore a list of notable co-sponsors cannot be readily given.
The establishment and running of the police force is a preservation of the government at the centre and is on the Exclusive list.
With the bill, the Senate seeks to remove Policing from the Exclusive List and put in in the concurrent list, thereby allowing state governors to establish and manage a police force within their states.
The decision of the Senate to allow for state policing came as a result of the unending crisis and killings across Nigeria.
The President of the Senate while welcoming his colleagues from their last break, stated clearly that it was time for the senate to take a decision on the security architecture in Nigeria.
“We have talked about the fact that whether these killings were initial acts of aggression or reprisal attacks, it is clear that either way, it is totally unacceptable and we must condemn it in all totality,” he said.
“Secondly, these are acts of criminality and we should not encourage any other colouration to it, be it religious or otherwise. This is criminality. And as such, we have a role to ensure that we must address this criminality to see how we can fight it.
“We have spoken on many platforms and made suggestions to the Executive on the fact that there is a need for an urgent review of the security architecture of the nation.”
Having made suggestions and listened to security agencies over the killings, Saraki said it was important for the lawmakers to do their own part.
“We as the Senate must come up with our own actions. We do not need to flog the issue. We have told the Executive what to do. We have told them privately and we have told them publicly. However, on our own part, we must decide on what we need to do.”
The senate therefore resolved to amend the Constitution to allow for state policing, while the Deputy President of the Senate promised to present a Bill to that effect.

Source: NAN

Ramaphosa promises to end attacks on foreigners in SA


South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has vowed to end attacks on foreigners living in his country.
Ramaphosa, who made the pledge during a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at Nigeria’s Presidential Villa in Abuja, linked the incessant xenophobic attacks in South Africa to criminal elements in the country.
He told journalists after a meeting with Buhari that victims of the senseless killings of foreigners in South Africa were not restricted to Nigerians alone, saying nationals of other countries are equally affected.
According to him, the country is also being plagued with other social challenges that are heightening its crime rates, even as he informed that his administration is trying everything within its power to address them and ensure that the country is safe for citizens and foreigners alike.
“In the course of everything else, people in various part of the country do get engulfed in acts of criminality, the majority of them are South Africans,” he further stated.
Earlier reacting to the xenophobic attack on Nigerians this year, Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, had said South Africa has the highest crime rate in Africa.
“The crime situation in South Africa is very high, probably the highest in Africa,” he said. “So there is a high level of crime; it is not just that Nigerians are victims of crime in South Africa.”
Onyeama blamed the unending xenophobic attacks on trust deficit between the Nigerian Union of South Africa and the South African police.

Gov’s seat not for ill-prepared – Oyo Ex-Speaker Onigbinde


By Jide Jegede

Notwithstanding his many enviable feats contained in the loud governorship campaign billboards conspicuously placed in strategic positions across the state, many youngsters would still want to ask ‘who exactly is Dr. Akin Onigbinde’. Their curiosity may not be out of place. Since the beginning of the current political dispensation in May 1999, little was heard of the erudite scholar and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). Though brief, the most advertised part of Dr. Onigbinde’s trajectory was his time as the Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, where he made his mark as an effective and efficient leader, even as a young lad then. Sadly, the House could not run its full term as the then Military President Ibrahim Babangida truncated what would have remained a shiny legacy of his regime. The annulment of Nigeria’s fairest, freest and most credible election held on June 12, 1993, and won by Chief M.K.O. Abiola, as well as his decision to ‘step aside’ in reaction to the heat generated by the misstep, halted the democratic process his government began.

Dr. Onigbinde had since left the political scene. But, in this recent chat with some journalists in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, the learned silk hinted that he decided to take a break to enable him to prepare himself better before asking the people of the state to entrust him with higher responsibilities.
The break had afforded him the time to study to a Ph.D. level and had held several high profile positions in the private sector. It was within the period that he also got appointed to the rank of a SAN, the zenith of legal practice in Nigeria.

He is currently seeking the ticket of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) to contest as the governor of Oyo State in the 2019 elections. The interview touches on a wide range of issues critical to the development of the state, the Nigerian nation, and the citizenry.

Below are the excerpts:

Who is Akin Onigbinde

I intend to bring to you a summary of whom I am because many times, journalists are being asked to sell products that they neither know nor understand. I don’t think that is fair on the part of the journalist or the society itself.
My training started with the humanities. Initially, it was in the English Language where I did two degrees- BA and MA- at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife). I then read Law. Before I contested election into the Oyo State House of Assembly, I went to the University of Ibadan for an MSc in International Relations. My thinking was that people should be prepared for whatever they want to do. By the time I was finishing the programme, I was already the Speaker of the House. I then applied for a Ph.D. and I started attending lectures and seminars towards my doctoral degree. I had an opportunity to be a teacher. I taught in secondary schools, College of Education, Ilesha, University of Ife and recently at Bowen University, Iwo.
When National Bank had a problem and it went under, the late Chief Bola Ige decide to resuscitate it and they headhunted a number of Yoruba professionals. Mr. Olagundoye, who was the Managing Director of Chartered Bank that time, was headhunted to become the Managing Director of National Bank. I was asked to leave my practice in Ibadan to come and be the Legal Adviser and the Company Secretary because there were too many cases hanging on the neck of the bank. It was painful for me because I didn’t want to leave my practice. I knew it would set me back on my professional accomplishment. But I had to make that sacrifice. I joined National Bank and resolved all the legal tangos. Later, Econet Wireless came, and they were looking for lawyers to start the GSM technology in Nigeria. I bought into it too.
The relevance of all this is that I have been a teacher; I have been a banker, and I have worked in the telecoms industry. The experiences which one gathers along the line cultivates one’s intellect and competence.

My development strategy

What I see every day in Oyo State are sources of good business which the state can tap into to turn things around.
I will not be able to say everything now, but I just want to give two examples. I believe that the people of Oyo State, the Yoruba people that I know in this state, are people with honour. In other words, until recently that things nosedived, you won’t find a Yoruba man that begs. They will rather engage in menial jobs. Many of you have stories of the sacrifices your mothers made to send you to school. Presently our mothers and sister will take loans with very terrible conditions, just to survive. I believe in the cooperative system which was used in the past. I am going to work very hard to make it an instrument of economic empowerment. I am not going to buy motorcycles or pepper grinding machines for people. We will organise things along trade lines. As far back as the time of Rome, people were classified on the account of their trade. When you work on the street, people can tell what your trade is. A cobbler would say he is a cobbler because he is proud of making shoes. If we organise things along trades line, it will be easy to reach everybody. People on the same trade know each other. They won’t run away after collecting loan meant to grow their business. There have to be structures.

On the youth

I recently presented a paper at a function organised by the Federation of Oyo State Students Unions (FOSSU) where we addressed comprehensively the issues pertaining to the youth in Nigeria. I made it clear that really need to properly interrogate the whole idea of ‘youth must run’. When people are talking about the youth, they should not forget that governance is about responsibility. Therefore, there are critical issues that are very important in governance. One, you must have knowledge. If you don’t have knowledge of the job you are asking for, you cannot perform well. You must have the relevant experience; you must have integrity, and you must be trustworthy. We still have good people in our society. We will have to do the work of getting out those people and pushing them forward. We talk about the youth, but we must know that there are youths and there are youths. How do we classify those who spend their time watching the Big Brother Naija and the likes? You glue yourself to the television set, watching some people sleeping and waking up; playing and eating, you did that throughout the night. Do you realise that the most valuable thing that you have is your time? You want to achieve the same thing as Barack Obama, but you will spend your time on Facebook and Instagram. It is not that you are selling something on Instagram. You are posting the pictures of the food you ate yesterday and the dress you wore for your birthday party. That is what you are doing on Instagram, and you say because you belong to a particular age bracket, we should hand over governance of the state to you. It will never work that way. Youth gives you energy, it is for you to transmit that energy into capacity that will enable you to lead. It is not just a question of age. It is also a question of developing yourself to the point of getting ready to take up responsibilities. It is not a question of age. It is a question of capacity. What have you done with yourself? That is what youths should pay attention to. The fact that you are youth does not automatically confer on you the right to lead. If you are competent. if you can show that you have what it takes to take up higher responsibilities, by all means, we will support you.

Why AD

The truth of the matter is that we have become very mentally lazy. Everybody wants a fast food solution. You are not ready to do the work that gives success. The average politician in the Southwest wanted to be a member of the Action Group (AG). He believes that anybody that is in AG will win an election. He wanted to be in the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), not because he wants to do any hard work, but he wants to take advantage of the work some people have done. He wants to be in the Social Democratic Party (SDP). He wants to be in AD. But the truth of the matter is that some people did the hard work that created those political pedestals. What we are saying is that it may be more of hard work to create a platform in AD, but it is a surer platform.
I don’t just want to go to any party. I would have been a welcomed person in the All Progressives Congress (APC). There are many of my friends there. The difficulty I have is that APC is a bus full of people going to different destinations. Some are gentlemen; some are rogues; some are violent, and all of them are encapsulated into a single vehicle. Some of those inside that vehicle are putting engine oil inside the fuel tank; some are putting water; some are stealing the tyre. For how long will it take to get to the destination? If a political party cannot organise its own self, how would it organise the country? A man cannot give what he does not have. As far as I am concerned, for us to be able to move, we need a healthy vehicle.
If Nigerians are kind of people that ask questions, it shouldn’t be difficult for us to say these people cannot help. Go and look at what creates problems in those political parties. They don’t have to do with the welfare of you and me. They have to do with the selfish interests of those individuals. why should it be difficult for us to see that these people are not working in our interest? These are the reasons why we decide that it could be hard work getting young and educated people. At what age did I become the Speaker? Some people did that to me. Why can’t I look around for people that I can mentor too? I mean people who have the mental capability. I don’t believe it is impossible. It requires a lot of hard work. But I think there are a lot of people that are ready to join in the struggle.

Chances of AD?

If you have a Mercedes Benz filled with adi agbon instead of fuel; water in place of brake oil; one of the passengers holding a dagger and an explosive, and the vehicle is being controlled by a drunk driver. On the other hand, there is a Keke NAPEP properly fuelled with a sane man in control. No matter how long it takes, the Keke NAPEP will get to its destination. If the other vehicle is not careful, it will self-destruct because it is carrying enough explosives inside of itself. And that kind of vehicle cannot help any society.
Anybody looking at a Mercedes Benz and a Keke NAPEP will ask the question what is the chance of Keke NAPEP overtaking a Benz. But if a Mercedes Benz is debilitated; if it has enough contradiction inside itself, it is not going anywhere. With all my education, why should I put myself in that kind of vehicle? That abuses my intelligence. That is the reason why I chose AD. Hard work is the only thing that I know and I believe that what you get from hard-work lasts longer than what you get from cutting corners.

Quality journalism in a democracy

The essence of any reportage is that it should be grounded in fact and analysis. The media is the only source people believe and rely on for authentic information, and that places a huge responsibility on the journalists. That is the reason why for the good of the society, information that is going to be passed on to the people to rely on, has to pass through the test of veracity.
There is no other realm where half-truth is being passed to the society than in politics. Either when you are talking about facts or individual, you find out that the information being passed across are often unreliable. Therefore, they must be well interrogated before spreading to the public. All of us will probably remember the gentleman that was a Speaker of the House of Representatives in 1999, who had to resign because he claimed a qualification he did not possess. How did he get to pass the primary election; pass through the main election; got to the House of Representatives; and got elected as the Speaker, all on false claims? If somebody had done his investigation very well, the man couldn’t have gone that far. I want to encourage us that the media is a major stakeholder with huge responsibilities in the future of this country and there is no country that can be founded on the peddling of falsehood.
We have looked at the issue of political parties in Nigeria, and being an insider, I understand intimately the difficulties that political process takes us through. I need you, gentlemen, to take more than passing interest in what goes on in political parties. All of us agree that the way we run our politics is one of the things that spoil our morals, businesses, and makes us not to be trustworthy again. It is really dehumanizing. I was looking at a documentary recently where 19 former governors are on the list of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Is that normal in any society? Is that the kind of mentoring that you want to give to the people coming behind? We really need to tackle the issue of politics. And the media has a critical role to play here.
The way political parties select candidates for elections in Nigeria poses a lot of problems for the polity. Look at the delegates system, which, unfortunately, is in the constitution of most political parties, what goes on there is pathetic. That is where good candidates are sacrificed on the altar of resources to finance the party. if the delegate system has imposed on you a bad candidate, it is important for the press to be very tenacious; to examine us who say we want public trust; to be ruthless in getting to the root of who we are, where we are coming from, what is the level of our integrity and how much trust have we been given by our societies. Unless we are ready to do this hard work as pressmen, we are not going to go far, because it is the press that sets the agenda that determines how the society is run.

Why I stayed away

One of the terrible things about the politics in Nigeria is that people think that once they have occupied a political position, they must never work with their hands again. Some only got elected as Councillors, but since then, they are not doing anything again. They want to sit down and get free money. If there is any opportunity for you to serve the people, you are there to serve. When you finish, you go back to the job you were doing. I am a lawyer. After leaving the State House of Assembly, am I supposed to be hanging around? When did I know politics will start again? Between then and now, I had worked at the National Bank as well as Anderson Consulting, among others. What is wrong with a former Speaker being a worker in the bank? I didn’t see anything wrong in that. I went to work with my hands. All of those have now galvanised into an advantage. I am a better person now. I can serve the society much better because of the experiences I have garnered. I was busy developing myself and acquiring more qualifications. And I believe that I am a better person returning to politics now than I would have been if I had come back earlier.

Lawmaking not like it was in our days

When I was made the Speaker of the House, I had made up my mind, even as young as I was at that time, that nobody was going to mess up my reputation. I have been a beneficiary of this society; this country has been good to me and so, I wasn’t going to go to any police station to answer for any crime related matter after I leave office. So, nobody could push me. And it is the kind of leadership you provide that you get. No matter how rich you are material-wise, if you are plagued with covetousness, you will never be satisfied. From the governor to the lawmakers and other political office holders, we were not greedy. The political culture we imbibed did not allow for greediness.
These days, our society has gone terribly backward. It has deteriorated and gone down several notches in terms of values. Some of the things that are taken for granted today were unimaginable when we were in the House. Therefore, it was difficult for any governor, including Governor Kolapo Ishola, who was the governor during our time, to try to pocket the legislative arm of government in his state. Governor Ishola could not take me for granted. He was old enough to be my father. He even has a son who is a lawyer and a friend of mine too. I respected him as a father, but I see myself as somebody who has a job to do. There was a time the Clerk of the House died and we needed to replace him. Rather than allow us in the House to choose, they were lobbying in the Governor’s office to impose somebody. I chose the new clerk, with the consent of all members of the House. The governor only heard about the appointment on the radio. and I saw him on the evening of that day. There was nothing he could do about it. I had the knowledge, I had the courage and I had the support of my colleagues to do the right thing. It was a different culture altogether. The way I look at the present Houses of Assembly is that it is not the fault of the lawmakers that they tend to be subservient to their governors. This society generally has deteriorated and that is the reason for the hard work all of us have to do.

Nigeria’s fight against corruption

If a man has a headache, stomachache, diabetes, leprosy, cancer and at the same time has Ebola, the kind of treatment, medication, and management that will be needed for that kind of patient is different from what is required for a man that only has a headache. The little we know about medicine makes us know that the condition of the earlier man is much more complicated than that of the other with a headache. Anybody that understands the amount of damage that corruption has done to this country will understand from a contextual standpoint that the combination of the EFCC, ICPC and CCB are not enough to solve the problem even if they are working honestly. This is because if you go to the EFCC, for instance, to report somebody that allegedly stole about N10m, they don’t take you seriously. They will say they don’t have time for that because they are dealing with a minimum of N100m and above. It is not contextually possible for only these anti-corruption bodies to solve all the problems of corruption in Nigeria. The question of corruption exists at the local government level, is the EFCC that will solve that too? There is corruption in our religious places, would the EFCC come from Abuja to address that too? I believe every state and every political unit must have its own vibrant anti-corruption mechanism to effectively tackle the menace.
We say we don’t like corruption, but we give kudos to people that corruptly enrich themselves. We give them chieftaincy titles, honour them in our churches and mosques. In our quest to curb corruption, we cannot be like the chichidodo bird that doesn’t like shit but likes maggot. We have to make up our mind on whether we want to fight corruption or we just want to pay lip service to the fight.

How to make Nigeria better

People complain the country is not running well. If the country were a company or your personal estate, and you have the kind of investment that you have in this country, will you allow it to go under? You will do everything, including bringing people that are competent in order to revive it and get it back to a profitable state. We need people with competence in management; people that understand how things work in order to be able to turn this country around.

Ekiti APC guber primary: No petition against Fayemi – Appeal panel

The appeal panel raised by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to handle possible grievances against the party’s governorship primary election in Ekiti State at the weekend has concluded its assignment without receiving any petition against the emergence of Kayode Fayemi, former governor of the state and incumbent minister of solid minerals, in the exercise.
The chairperson of the panel, Amb. Fati Balla, made the disclosure on Tuesday while submitting the committee report to Sen. Osita Izunaso, APC National Organising Secretary, at the party national secretariat in Abuja.

Balla declared the election rescheduled for May 12 rancour-free, though the initial exercise held a week earlier was marred by violence, necessitating its cancellation and postponement to the new date.

According to the three-member panel, none of the other contestants brought any petition to challenge Fayemi’s victory throughout the three day they spent in the state.

“In the three days we sat, we did not receive a single petition, either in form of writing, telephone calls or by text message.

“This is to say there has been no petition after the primary election in Ekiti State, we have, therefore, come before you this afternoon to submit our report having completed our assignment’’, she said.

Other members of the committee which was inaugurated on May 2, include Capt. Bala Jibrin (Secretary) and Mrs Lilian Obenwa.

While receiving the report, Izunaso thanked the panelists, as he equally expressed the APC’s determination to reclaim Ekiti state from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the governorship election scheduled for July 14 .

He noted that the leadership of the party is planning to earnestly meet all the 33 aspirants that took part in the primary to properly integrate them, and also that a national campaign committee for the election would soon be set up to map out strategies to convince the people of Ekiti to cast their votes en-masse for Fayemi on the election day.

“We are glad that you have finished your assignment after sitting for three days, and there is no petition from any aspirant.

“We are also glad that the Ekiti primary election has taken place and that the aspirants are working together to ensure that we win the election.

“The most important thing to us in the APC is victory in the July election, for us, whenever there is a primary election, it is a family affair.

“And whenever we finish our primary elections, and aspirants and stakeholders come together to work as a team, it gladdens our heart as a party’’, Izunaso said.

Oyo LG polls: Ajimobi’s APC takes all

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has won all the elective positions contested for in the Local Government election held in Oyo state last Saturday.

After the collation of the final results by the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC), the party’s candidates were declared winners in all the Chairmanship and Councillorship posts in the 33 local governments and 35 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) at the commission’s office on Sunday.

The election which held on Saturday after 11 years of its kind in the state, witnessed extremely low turnout, though it was peaceful as residents complied fully with the sit-at-home order imposed by the state government to ensure that the exercise did not experience any hitch.
Independent observers, who monitored the election, declared it free and fair.
Though twelve political parties participated in the election, APC candidates were returned unopposed in most of the seats.

Meanwhile, a splinter group within the ruling party, the Unity Forum, has described the “abysmally low turnout” of the electorate at the Saturday’s LG election as a wake-up call on the leadership of the party to intervene in the crisis rocking its Oyo state chapter and reposition it for good outing in the 2019 general elections.

The Forum in the release by its Secretary, Wasiu Olatunbosun, noted that the poll was a referendum on the APC, saying the low turnout was an indication that the party needs to be re-invigorated to stand a fair chance in next year’s elections.

“We have said it for the umpteenth time that the members of the Unity Forum constitute more than 70 per cent of the membership of the APC with a history of party loyalty, discipline and proven capacity to deliver the votes.

“It was to the members of the group that the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu turned in 2015 to secure needed votes for the second term bid of Governor Abiola Ajimobi,” the released further stated.

Also, the state chapter of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has thanked the people of the state and particularly its members for boycotting the LG polls, describing the exercise as a ‘rehearsal for APC’s burial’.

The party, which had announced its decision to boycott the exercise ahead of its conduct, made the claim in a statement forwarded to journalists in the name its chairman, Kunmi Mustapha, by the party’s Publicity Secretary, Akeem Olatunji.

The statement alleged that participating in last Saturday’s local government election in the state would amount to “a tacit endorsement of an illegality as the election failed integrity test right from the inception of the electoral process.”

Steer clear of LG election, congress, Ajimobi warns rival APC faction

Town Planning

Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi on Thursday warned his rivals in the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to stay away from the Local Government election scheduled to hold across the state on Saturday,
The group, otherwise known as Unity Forum was also warmed against alleged attempt to disrupt the party’s Local Government Congress holding across the country same day.
The governor’s warning was contained in a statement issued by his Executive Assistant (Political), Dr. Morohunkola Thomas, in Ibadan on Thursday.
Thomas said the state government had uncovered a plan by the disgruntled APC members to cause mayhem in the state on the said date, warning that security agencies in the state have been placed on red alert to deal decisively with any group or individual fomenting trouble during the exercises.
Since the party held its ward congress last week, the factions in the state have been tackling each other in the bid to have their loyalists at the helm.
Below is the statement from the state government:

“The Oyo State Government has warned groups and individuals against activities capable of disrupting Saturday’s local government election and party congresses, saying that security operatives have been put on red alert to ensure peaceful conduct of both exercises.

“A statement by the Executive Assistant, Political to the Governor, Dr. Morohunkola Thomas, on Thursday, said that the warning became necessary following the fresh plans by dissident groups and their sympathisers within the All progressives Congress to cause mayhem on Saturday.

“Following the scuttling of the initial plans of the group to burn down the state secretariat of the APC, he said that intelligence revealed that they are restrategising to disrupt the peace of the land and render the LG election and congresses inconclusive.

” The government said that necessary security arrangements have been put in place to protect lives and property and to ensure that residents exercise their franchise without let or hindrance.

“According to him, latest intelligence has revealed that the members of the Unity Forum are planning to use their thugs to unleash terror on innocent electorate and loyal members of the APC.

“He said that the government appealed to all citizens, including the self-styled Unity Forum to embrace peace and allow the elections to hold in a peaceful atmosphere in the overall interest of the state and sanctity of democracy.

“The government has put security operatives on red alert to ensure the safety of election officials and voters. It has therefore become necessary to warn groups and individuals bent on fomenting trouble on Saturday to have a rethink.

“The law of the land is no respecter of anybody, no matter his or her position in the society. As leaders in their own right, those crying blue murder should rise above pettiness and join hands with the government and our great party.

“The government is using this opportunity to caution all political parties, including APC and their followers against any act of violence before, during and after the local government election and party congresses. The full weight of the law will be visited on troublemakers without discrimination.

“The government wishes to tell the public that an earlier interim injunction stopping the LG election had been vacated by a Federal High Court, Ibadan, thus clearing obstacles before the conduct of the election.”

Dino Melaye arrested

The Senator representing Kogi West in the National Assembly, Dino Melaye, was arrested by men of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) on Monday.
Melaye, who broke the news himself in a tweet at 7.32 a.m., said he was arrested at the Nnamidi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja while trying to board a flight to Morocco on an official engagement.
“I have just been arrested at the international wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe airport on my way to Morocco for an official engagement sponsored by the Federal Govt after checking in,” he said on Twitter.
The spokesperson of the NIS, Sunday James, later formerly confirmed the arrest, saying it was based on instruction.
The police recently declared Melaye wanted following his refusal to honour invitations extended to him over alleged conspiracy and illegal possession of prohibited firearms.
This was sequel to the court summon obtained by the police after his initial arraignment at a Federal High Court, Lokoja in Kogi State.
Melaye’s summon follows the arrest of two men in Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi State, on January 19, after they confessed to having committed various crimes such as kidnappings and armed robbery.
They also disclosed that the Senator had handed them a bag containing firearms.
The police while parading Kabiru Seidu and five other suspects who escaped from a detention facility in Lokoja, said it is in the interest of Senator Melaye to voluntarily report to the Police in order to forestall the execution of an arrest warrant issued against him.

Ekiti 2018: Don’t vote for money, Ex Speaker charges APC delegates

A former Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assemblies, Olufemi Bamisile, has urged the delegates billed to vote in the All Progressives Congress’s (APC) forthcoming primary election in the state to resist the temptation to be influenced by monetary inducement while casting their votes.
Bamisile, also a governorship aspirant under the platform of the APC, gave the charge during a recent interaction with journalists in the state where he advised the delegates to use their votes wisely if they desire the party to upstage the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state’s governorship election coming up later in the year.
He also made a case for choice of a candidate from the southern senatorial zone which was yet to produce a governor since the state was created from the old Ondo State more than 30 years ago.
While arguing that the APC needs a strong and well established candidate to effective challenge Governor Ayodele Fayose, who he described as a grassroots politician, Banisile said opting for a deep-pocket over an equally versatile politician would spell doom for the APC in the election.
“I have always been an open minded person when it comes to the issue of zoning. Even when I know that there is no constitutional backing for it but people from the South have been disenfranchised since the creation of our state. But as it is now, the issue has gone beyond zoning. We don’t have control over that, I won’t lie to you.
“We can only appeal to the conscience of the delegates. If the delegates now want to sell their conscience for money, at the expense of winning the general election, they should know that the biggest spender may not be the best candidate. What we should look at now is how to dislodge the monster that we have as governor.
“ Fayose as much as we hate him, is grounded in Ekiti State politics. So, we need someone who is acceptable, who know the nook and cranny of the state to actually take over the leadership of the party. So, when someone is saying the persons who have money, Ekiti people are not like that, they have cultures and values. I am sure they won’t sell their conscience. Let people bring their money; I am sure they (electorates) would take it and do their wishes.”
Also commenting on the declaration of interest in the race by the Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Bamisile said as much as he was not averse to the former Governor’s exercising his constitutional rights, he would rather advise that he does not leave certainty for uncertainty.
“For me I am going to this race to earn respect for myself. I am not really bothered about anybody contesting with me because I know it is not going to be a one horse race. I won’t be the only one contesting this election. I have not really bothered about the character of the persons contesting with me. I am focusing on the delegates.
“If you don’t forget, I have been in the race for about three and half years. I have been Campaigning from house to house sensitizing and galvanizing support for the party. For me, he is exercising his constitutional right anyway. Yes, people are saying that he should not have entered the race as a Statesman, but the truth is, he has to probe his conscience to do what he did. But if I were in his shoe, I won’t have left certainty for uncertainty.”