2019: INEC Registers 21 New Political Parties

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has approved the registration of 21 new political parties, bringing the number of registered parties in the country to 67.

The commission through a statement signed by Mrs May Agbmuche-Mbu, INEC National Commissioner and Member, Information and Voter Education Committee, said the approval wss given at the commission’s weekly meeting on Thursday in Abuja.

The statement said that the associations were registered as political parties, because they had fulfilled the constitutional requirements for registration.

The new political parties are All Blending Party (ABP), All Grassroots Alliance (AGA), Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP), Coalition for Change (C4C) and Freedom and Justice Party (FJP).

Also registered are Grassroots Development Party of Nigeria (GDPN), Justice Must Prevail Party (JMPP), Legacy Party of Nigeria (LPN), Mass Action Joint Alliance (MAJA), Modern Democratic Party (MDP), National Interest Party (NIP), National Rescue Mission (NRM) and New Progressive Mission (NPM).

New Progressive Movement (NPM), Nigeria Democratic Congress Party (NDCP), People’s Alliance for National Development and Liberty (PANDEL), People’s Trust (PT) and Providence People’s Congress (PPC) were also registered.

Also on the list are Re-Build Nigeria Party (RBNP), Restoration Party of Nigeria (RP) and Sustainable National Party (SNP).

The commission also approved immediate and compulsory retirement of a member of staff and the dismissal of two others in Kogi office over act of gross misconduct.

It said that the action was taken against the three members of staff over their involvement in alleged double registration of Gov. Yahaya Bello in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).

“Following reports of the alleged double registration by the Governor of Kogi State in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR), the Commission set up a panel of investigation into the involvement of staff in the matter.

“The initial report submitted by the panel was referred to the Appointment, Promotion and Disciplinary Committee, which made recommendations to the Commission.

It added that the decision was taken in respect of its staff while the governor currently enjoys immunity from prosecution.

On the Anambra Central Senatorial re-run election, INEC said it had applied for Certified True Copy of the Federal High Abuja judgment on the election to enable it take a decision.

“It will be recalled that following the judgment of the Court of Appeal, the Commission announced that the outstanding election to fill the vacant seat for the Anambra Central Senatorial District would take place on Jan. 13, 2018.

“However, the attention of the Commission has been drawn to the judgment of the Federal High Abuja on the issue, delivered on Dec. 13, 2017.

“The Commission has applied for Certified True Copy of the judgment to enable us take a decision.”

Buhari/Osinbajo 2019 Endorsement Posters Flood Abuja

Major streets of Abuja were on Thursday adorned with campaign posters endorsing President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for reelection in 2019.

The posters were pasted on structures located on major streets as well as bus shelters.

The posters also has the picture of “Comrade Felix Ubokan”, with the words: “ We endorse you for 2019: Courtesy: Niger Delta Youths, Women and Security Movement For Buhari/Osinbajo”.

The posters are coming less than 24 hours after a former governor of Lagos state, Bola Tinubu, said he had ”absolute confidence and was exceedingly proud of the excellent job, Professor Osinbajo is doing as Vice President of Nigeria.”

Mr. Tinubu’s statement was in reaction to speculation that he may be picked by Mr. Buhari as his running mate in 2019.

The APC national leader said a report to that effect by SUN newspaper is a “classic case of utterly and irredeemably-fake news”.

Mr. Osinbajo has so far not made any comment regarding the 2019 election or his fate if the president chooses to seek re-election.
That, however, is not the case with Mr. Buhari.

He has so far tacitly shown on two occasions that he may be seeking reelection in 2019.

Addressing a group of Nigerians resident in Cote D’ Ivoire two weeks ago, Mr. Buhari said he arrived the meeting late because he had to wait for the two governors in his entourage, Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom and Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi states.

“This is why I came along with them so that when we are going to meet you, when you are going to meet the rest of Nigerians, if you tell them that their governors were in the company of the president, I think that will be another vote for me in the future,” Buhari said.

Tinubu also accompanied him on that trip.

Buhari while in Kano last week also revealed that he may re-contest.

At a State Banquet in his honour, the president said, “I know the elections (2019). If they are to be free and fair, if it is a question of numbers, if it is a question of allowing people to make their choice, then I think the people of Kano are in my pocket.”

”I am overwhelmed by the reception the people of Kano offered to me. This has indicated that I can still win an election in Kano. The people of Kano are aware of the tremendous job we did on security and agriculture.”

Alao Akala, Folarin, Others To Officially Join APC Saturday

The All Progressives Congress, APC, will welcome to its fold, former governor of Oyo State, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala; former Senate leader, Senator Teslim Folarin and former Secretary to the State Government, Chief Ayodele Adigun, on Saturday.

Also expected to join the party were Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja, Honourable Segun Odebunmi, Rauf Olaniyan, Honourable Ayoola Makanjuola, Alhaji Rasaq Gbadegesin, alongside their supporters, at a ceremony tagged “mother of all defections in the politics of Oyo State.”

Akala, who defected to the Labour Party, LP, from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in 2014, is set to join the ruling APC alongside other bigwigs in the state.

This was made known through a statement issued in Ibadan on Wednesday by the state publicity secretary of the party, Olawale Sadare and made available to newsmen.

Sadare said, “Some of the political bigwigs who had joined APC since last year and a whole lot of others just coming in would be unveiled during a rally at Mapo Hall, Ibadan, on Saturday.”

The Spokesperson added that, “with the calibre of those expected to join the party, it could be concluded that the battle over who takes over from Governor Abiola Ajimobi, would be fought and won only within APC.”

Court Fixes Jan 11, 2018 For Hearing On Osun Govt’s Application For Vacation Of Order On LGs Funds

The Federal High Court, Abuja that ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria, Accountant General of the Federal government and Ministry of Finance to warehouse statutory allocations to the local government councils in Osun state has fixed January 11, for the application of the state government seeking for the vacation of the order.

The new date, according to the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the state, Dr Basiru Ajibola, supersedes the earlier fixed date of January 23 by the court.

It was gathered that the court had last week granted a Motion Ex-perte filed by three chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Kolawole Osunkemitan, Chief Douglas Adeyinka Oyinlola and Prince Aderemi Adeniran Adelowo had approached the court with an application for the stoppage of monies for the local government in the state in
an attempt to stop the conduct of the local government in the state.

Contesting the court order, the state government filed an application before the court with a prayer for the vacation of the order.

Filed by Ajibola, the government stated in the application that the court order was liable to be set aside ‘ex debito justitae’ for fundamental irregularity, breach of applicant’s right to fair hearing and manifest lack of jurisdiction.

The government stated that the court order was made in violation of the legal right to fair hearing of the government as guaranteed under Order 26, Rules 13 and 14 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2009 and in consequence that it breached the right to fair hearing of the government as guaranteed under Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

On this, the government argued that whereas the Rules of the court mandated a minimum of three days as return date for the order to show cause, the Applicant only had one day between the day of service of the order on the Abuja Liaison Office on Thursday 30th November, 2017 and 4th December, 2017 when the orders were granted.

This is in view of the fact that Friday, December 1 and Sunday, December 3 were public holidays in the eye of the law and cannot be computed in determining the three day return date.

In the application, the government contested that the court had earlier refused the reliefs sought by the plaintiffs (now defendants) on November 27 for interim injunction in a Motion Ex-Parte dated November 8, 2017, pointing out that the court lacked jurisdiction to grant same reliefs December 4, 2017 as it had now turned around to do.

The government argued that it amounted to sitting on appeal over its ruling and/or orders for the court to grant same reliefs of the Motion ex-parte it had earlier refused, adding the application had become ‘functus officio’.

It explained that court lack requisite jurisdiction to still proceed to make an order to show cause against the defendants (now applicants) in contrary to its earlier verdict refusing the reliefs.

According to the government, there is no urgency to warrant the grant of the interim orders, maintaining that it amounted to using the court as “a vehicle for perpetrating injustice’. The government also argued that the orders are liable for non-disclosure of material facts by the Plaintiffs in obtaining the ex-parte orders by the plaintiffs (now defendants). For instance, that the LCDAs had been operational since 2015.

Apart from the application to discharge the orders ex-parte, the government also file Notice of Preliminary Objection that the matter should be dismissed and/or struck out on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction, locus standi and absence of cause of action.

The government argued that the plaintiffs lacked locus standi to file the suit and that the subject matter of the suit does not fall within civil causes and matters for which the Federal High Court is conferred with exclusive jurisdiction to entertain by virtue of the provisions of 251 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended).

In conclusion the government asked the court to dismiss or strike out the suit for being speculative, vexatious, frivolous and intended to irritate the state and constituting abuse of court process.

Also, the State House of Assembly and the Osun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC) have filed applications to set aside the order of substituted service granted by the court and all the proceedings of the court.

The grounds of their application are that the court could not competently make an order for substituted service at an address within jurisdiction on a defendant residing outside the jurisdiction of the court.

In the circumstance of non-service of all the processes in the suit on the House of Assembly and the Commission (SOSIEC), government stressed that the court ought to set aside all the proceedings and orders granted in this suit.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the applications which were filed on Friday December 8, 2017.

By law, the application to discharge the orders granted ex-parte must be heard within 14-day otherwise the orders cease to have effect.

Diekola’s Integrity Compromised – Famodun

Chairman of All Progressives Congress in the state of Osun, Prince Gboyega Famodun has declared that Alhaji Fatai Oyedele Diekola who claimed to be a leader of the APC in the state has seriously compromised his own integrity by admitting to be instrumental to APC losing Osun West Senatorial seat to the PDP.

Diekola had boasted on a radio programme in Osogbo Monday that he was committed to helping the Adeleke brother (Ademola), who had jumped ship to PDP because (he) Diekola and others he did not mention, wanted to secure the late Adeleke’s legacy. So, he had to work against his own party to make the opposition win.

‘If that is not betrayal arising from deep seated disloyalty what is it?’, Prince Famodun asked.

According to the APC chairman, Diekola in that radio programme, exposed himself and his co-travellers that their inability to influence the governor’s decision to favour their own ambitions was why he sabotaged the APC.

‘Once you have openly admitted to sabotaging your own party’, Prince Famodun stated, ‘you cannot, in good conscience, still claim to be a member of that same party.

‘In the circumstance, it will be patently dishonourable for Diekola to continue to claim that he is still in APC.

‘He doesn’t need the party to tell him to fall out’, the APC Chairman told Diekola.

Prince Famodun further stated that, ‘the party was aware that the question of succession was making a few over-ambitious party men insistent on having one of their own succeed Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.

‘In the process, desperation has set in for some who are prepared to sabotage the party, even if it resorted in them cutting their nose to spite their face.

‘It is a pity that some politicians who one would have thought were matured enough to know better, still exhibit culpable ignorance on this question of succession, Prince Famodun argued, stating categorically that ‘nobody can force the governor to be uninterested in who succeed him.

Dokpesi, Adeniran Reject Outcome Of PDP Convention

The Peoples Democratic Party national convention has ended but the project which was fraught with crisis, controversies, internal squabbles and dramatic withdrawals by party big wigs has ended on the same controversial note despite the emergence of a winner.

Two Chairmanship aspirants of the Peoples Democratic Party , PDP, Chief Raymond Dokpesi and Prof. Tunde Adeniran have rejected the outcome of the party’s national convention in different media interviews even before results were announced.

Dokpesi said he rejected the elections following alleged distribution of a so-called unity list to delegates, describing it as a charade that may destroy the party.

Similarly, Taiwo Akeju, Director, Media and Publicity of the Adeniran Campaign, called for the cancellation of the entire exercise.

He also called on the Board of Trustees (BOT) of the party to takeover the affairs of the party until proper election would be conducted, since the National Caretaker Committee has been dissolved.

Adeniran accused Governors Nyesom Wike of Rivers and Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti of being the masterminds of the unity list distributed to the delegates.

“We reject the entire electoral process. The election has been grossly compromised to achieve a predetermined end.

He said “The illegal unity list is prepared by governors Wike and Ayodele Fayose to foist on the entire delegates”.

PDP, A Lost Soul – Bode George

Chief Bode George, a foundation member and former national vice-chairman of the crisis- ridden opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called his own party a lost soul hijacked by mercenaroes even as he
withdrew from the chairmanship race

Hours after he vowed not to quit the race at the party’s convention in Abuja on Saturday, he changed his mind, noting that the party appears to have jettisoned zoning, that would have made the South West region produce the chairman.

Secondly, he noticed that the party has been hijacked by mercenaries and money bags and that the party chairmanship has been sold to the highest bidder.

Thirdly, he felt offended by what he perceived to be Governor Nyesom Wike’s insult on the Yoruba race and demanded an apology from the same.

Here is Bode George’s Statement in full:

Since the ancient days when the Yoruba people began their historical challenges on the plains and the hills of Ile-Ife, we have always been defined by our instinctive integrity, our methodical industry, our consistent loyalty and our steadfastness in protecting and defending the truth.
It is in all these characterization that I have personally lived my life. It is in all these summative portraits that I have pursued my personal and political engagements, strengthened in the resolve that truth, sincerity of purpose, fearlessness, equity, ethical balance are the basic ingredients of a purposeful life.

I have gone through many travails in my life. I have climbed the highest hills. and I have been through the lowest valleys. But in all, I have been guided by the holiest of heart’s affection, the genuine and the utmost surrender to the will of the Lord.

But I have never been afraid of a good fight.

I have never disengaged from a meaningful challenge. I have always committed myself to any struggle with absolute dedication and unflinching, resolute vision.

It is in this spirit and clarity of selfless engagement that I decided to run for the National Chairmanship position of our great party. I did not enter the contest for any personal benefits. I did not throw myself into the fray because of some pecuniary benefits.

I have come to serve. I have come to offer myself because I believe in the greater glory of our party and in the growth and development of our nation. I have served continuously for 10 years in various high level positions in our party administration, including the second highest echelon of Deputy National Chairman.

With all sense of humility, I can say that I know the workings and all the administrative processes and the tools of making our party work.

That shattering and very divisive crises of the last two years have made our party very vulnerable, weak and basically tottering on the edges of the cliff.

Less than one year before the next general election, our party must now elect new managers to direct our affairs. The foremost of these new managers is the position of the National Chairman.

In this highly challenging scenario, the party naturally needs an experienced, trusted, proven, reliable and astute administrator who can guide our party to the land of redemption and the land of triumphant rebound.

It is in this vein that I have offered my humble service to lead our party.
But more importantly, I have entered the contest on the fundamental predication of the micro zoning principle as laid down by our founding fathers.

The zoning principle, which was publicly reinforced last year in Port Harcourt, had specifically and rightly affirmed the South-West as the zone to produce the National Chairman. This binding proclamation was based on equity, fairness and natural balance that hold any organisation together.

But this old, legitimate and morally sound micro zoning principle has now been trashed, dumped in the waste bin, flung into the gutter by very little men who have compromised the pivotal moral anchor of civilised engagement for temporary selfish gains.

Everywhere you look, the Yoruba people are now being brazenly insulted. The very traditional fiber of our founding fathers are now being trampled upon, debased and soiled by external forces and mercenary traitors within.

It appears the PDP is now bent on self destruction. It has obviously allowed money moguls to dictate its thematic largeness. The party has lost its soul. It has lost its principled beginning and the predications of righteousness. It has traded the finer principles of democratic guidance and equity for the squalid, dirty and shameful resort to mercenary agenda where nothing matters save the putrid, oafish gains of the moment.

I cannot be part of this screaming aberration. And as the Atona of Yoruba land, I do not expect any well meaning, well disciplined, forthright, sincere Omoluabi of Yoruba land to continue with this deceit and shameful theater.

The Peoples Democratic Party has now mangled and distorted its soul and spirit. There is no morality here anymore. There is no sanity or any sense of enlightened civility.

As a result of these observed aberrations wherein the position of the National Chairman has been apparently sold and auctioned to the highest bidder, I, as an Omoluabi and as an authentic Atona of Yorubaland, will not partake in this charade.

I, hereby, withdraw from this brazen fraud and absolutely preconceived, monetized, mercantilist convention.

The Yoruba people have been openly maligned. The Yoruba have been savaged, tormented, treated with contempt, scurried, scoffed at, humiliated and denigrated by little men whose sun will soon set.

As a Yoruba patriot and the pathfinder of Yoruba land, I will stand by our people, I will stay with them thick or thin, I will fight for their good cause without compromising any ethics.

The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike must as a matter of priority and ethical importance tender unreserved apology to the people of Yoruba land for his unguarded utterances on national television this morning. It was a show of shame.

I thank you all for listening.

OLABODE IBIYINKA GEORGE, CON
ATONA ODUDUWA OF YORUBA LAND
ABUJA, 8TH DECEMBER, 2017

Appraising A Progressive Govt In Office

By Abidoun Komolafe

In less than a year from today, Rauf Aregbesola’s tenure as governor of the State of Osun will come to a close. A time like this therefore presents an opportunity to review his performance in office, vis-à-vis, his administration’s Six Point Integral Action Plan.

Although, it has become fashionable for the opposition to look for partners in its dubious search for raw materials to power its odious charades, a closer assessment of the specifics will lead Nigerians to draw appropriate conclusions on the success or otherwise of Aregbesola’s government. For instance, if the governor’s desire was to move the state from a public service economy to its rightful place as an agrarian state, how has he fared in activating market-driven value chain? If his vision and mission found solace in setting Osun on a genuine path to socio-economic development, hasn’t he done well in plucking a coin out of the mouth of the fish? What was the state of our roads before Aregbesola’s inauguration and why has his desire to make Osun the food hub of the Southwest been misconstrued for avenues to siphon funds out of the state by a misguided and disgruntled clique? How has he been able to provide a soft landing for the salary bug, which no doubt has also caught up with Abuja?

Again, has Ogbeni betrayed the trust of his people or is it a case of his traducers woefully failing to purge their dirty excesses before coming to the table to seek equity? Is it an issue of the achiever, unsuspectingly shifting away from blowing his own trumpet loud enough to wake even the dead or that of the audience provably imprisoned by mute indifference? Perhaps, more importantly, is it one of unreconstructable spinners notoriously trying to destroy the threads of communal togetherness woven together over a long period of time?

With a motivation to rapidly develop the state in all ramifications as well as enhance the capacity of the people, Aregbesola’s government has in the last 7 years delivered “all round” development to at least 75% improvement on what it met in 2010. While the administration has been consistent in its investment in infrastructure without undermining welfare, lives of children, youths, adults, aged, the weak have also been positively impacted in line with its Social Protection programmes. In addition to ‘Opon Imo’ (Tablet of Knowledge), this administration’s ‘O’ Series have not gone without bearing positive fruits.

As we all know, Aregbesola’s intervention in the education sector is not limited to provision of infrastructure as government has so far been training a third of teachers in its public schools on a yearly basis. Besides, the state’s sterling performance in the West African School Certificate Examination (WASCE) is better understood from the context of where we are coming from. As at 2010, the performance level of students in WASCE was 15.7%. Within the last 7 years, Osun has recorded as high as 46.3%, which is quite a huge jump in the number of students with credit passes in English Language and Mathematics. The state’s position (between 1st and 3rd, since 2013) in the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) interms of matriculable students in Nigeria has rubbished the premise that WAEC rankings of states alone should be the basis for judging performance.

That Aregbesola has succeeded to a very large extent in all the critical indices is already settled. For example, within the last seven years, Osun has ranked 2nd on Human Capital Index and has maintained the 2nd position in four years in a roll in the global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI). Besides, it is now the 5th largest economy in Nigeria with its GDP growing at 7.3% per annum. And, as we speak, Osun is the 2nd richest and the 13th crime-free state in Nigeria.

Enrollment rate for the state’s children in primary school hovers between 70% and 80% – no doubt is about the highest in the country – while its performance ratings in NECO has also been in the units. In broiler production, Osun is now 2nd only to Oyo State. It also came 9th in the recently-concluded National Youth Games, a feat that has for a long while eluded the state. Predictably, Latifat Abiola Oyeleye and Alabi Philip Toluwalase have demonstrated that government’s transformational investments in the education sector have not been in vain.

Lest we forget, Aregbesola’s civil servants-friendly disposition could also be seen in his commitment of more than N200 billion to salaries, pensions and allowances, compared to less than N60bn spent on infrastructure. It is also worth mentioning that, under its O’MEAL programme, government has so far committed more than N10 billion to providing over-200 million plates of highly nutritious meals to students in its Elementary Schools across the state.

Pre-November 27, 2010, Osun could not boast of a recreation spot anywhere in the state. Now, Nelson Mandela Freedom Park in Osogbo has added flavour to more than 80 Tourist centres, scattered all over the nooks and crannies of the state for fun-seekers to make merry. And, with more than 200 hotels, some of which can compete favourably in the comity of hospitality business, the state’s revenue base is assured of a huge boost. The signing of a N216 billion investment in Industrial Park with a Chinese firm, Jiangsu Wuxi Taihu Cocoa Food Company Limited, also points to a ”fresh deal” for transforming the state’s ”industrial base.”

Of course, the governor deserves commendation for leading a new understanding in parliamentary Local Government administration in Nigeria. When fully operational in the 1st quarter of 2018, facts are that it will, among other advantages, help in expanding the potentials for accountability, transparency and societal capacity building.

Well, this is where Aregbesola’s accusers deserve some tutorials on the politics and the complexities of capital city centres. As an illustration, though Obafemi Awolowo hailed from Ikenne-Remo, he chose Ibadan as capital of the then Western Nigeria to concentrate the greater part of his development efforts. Gawain Bell who served as governor of the old Northern Region between 1957 and 1962 was a South African, while Ahmadu Bello, his premier, was from Rabbah in Sokoto. But that never deprived Kaduna its privilege as the administrative capital of the Northern Region. Ditto for Enugu under Michael Okpara whose source was Umuegwu in the present day Abia State.

Crisis Edges Osun PDP Out Of National Convention

By Kehinde Ayantunji

The Internal crisis rocking Osun Chapter of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) will deny its participation and voting right in the PDP National Convention holding on Saturday in Abuja as a result of “irreconcilable difference”, over the local and state leadership of the party.

The indication emerged during the inauguration of the party convention main and sub-committee by the party National Caretaker Chairman Senator Ahmed Makarfi, as the state delegates were excluded from the convention delegate lists.

Osun local government and state congress as at the time of this report remained inconclusive and was excluded from congress report approved by the National Executive Council of the party last week.
Makarfi, had last week, sought the approval of the party leadership of the report of congresses as produced in nine states which includes; Adamawa, Borno, Kebbi, Kwara, Kogi, Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, and Osun.

While the party affirmed the conclusion of the ward, local government and state congresses in all the states, Makarfi said in the memo that only ward congress had been done in Osun.
Makarfi said, it has become practically impossible to make progress in conducting local and state congresses.

The implication is that the Osun branch would not be able to participate in the convention, except the statutory delegates recognized by the party’s constitution.

Since August that the party NEC has appointed Sharafadeen Ishola as the Chairman, Caretaker Committee of the party in the state, all efforts to conduct an acceptable congress at the local and state level had been unsuccessful.

The statutory delegates that may participate in the convention includes Chief Shuaib Oyedokun, a Member of the Board of Trustee of the party; Chief Ebenezer Babatope, Trustee Member; Erelu Olusola Obada, former Minister; Mr Jelili Adesiyan, former Minister; Professor Wale Ladipo former National Secretary; Senator Ademola Adeleke representing Osun West; the two serving Federal House of Representative Members, Hon Albert Adeogun and Hon Wole Oke, and the two current serving House of Assembly Members.

The party’s NEC had at its meeting on August 12 dissolved all party structures in Osun state and ordered fresh congresses for the purpose of electing party executive at all levels.

The contest between Hon Soji Adagunodo and Dr Bayo Faforijin for the chairmanship of the party has split the party and both camps have rejected several consensus proposals from the caretaker committee headed by Sharafadeen Ishola.

Meanwhile, 19 PDP leaders from the state were inaugurated on Monday to serve in the various party national convention committees that would hold Saturday.

Prominent among the leaders are the two former Deputy Governor, Mrs Erelu Olusola Obada, Member Security Committee; Senator Iyiola Omisore, member Venue and Protocol Committee and Chief Francis Fadahunsi, Member Security Committee.

Confusion Over Osun Councils’ Election

By Kehinde Ayantunji

There now seems to be confusion among political parties’ members and candidates in the State of Osun over the Local Government election slated for January 27, 2018, as series of interpretations have followed the Federal High Court injunction, purportedly stopping the Osun Independent Electoral Commission (OSSIEC) from conducting the elections.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said it has gotten court injunction stopping the process of the election and that the court has ordered that Status Quo be maintained, but the OSSIEC said, the injunction could not stop the commission from continuing with the process, as no service of the suit was effected on the commission.

A statement signed by the Chairman of the Commission, Otunba Segun Oladitan wondered how such an injunction would be granted without the other party having a say in the matter, saying the OSSIEC was not aware of any court process involving it at an Abuja Federal High Court.

He said, the local government election could not be stopped through a funny means by a court of law, adding that the election would still hold on January 27, 2018 as slated.

Querying the locus of the Federal High Court based in Abuja to meddle in a matter affecting the conduct of Local Government Election in the state of Osun, the commission insisted that it is focused and working round the clock to deliver the most credible and acceptable council election in January 27, 2018.

Meanwhile, a lawyer and Public Affairs Analyst, Yomi Obaditan has said that by law, no court has stopped the process of the election, but only ordered that the status quo should remain, meaning that the process would still continue.

According to him, the status quo as at the time the injunction was given was that the process of the election has started and by interpretation of the injunction, it would still continue pending the January 23, 2018 adjournment date when the matter would come up again.

He said the purported order stopping the council poll was a rumour to disturb the electoral process and the power given to state government over local government, saying, no such order was given by any court.

He noted that the state government has the power to supervise and run the electoral process at the local
government level going by Section 7and 8 of the constitution.

On the parliamentary system which is the bone of contention, Obaditan said the state has power to run the local government by any system of government it deemed fit, saying, more so that the State House of Assembly has amended the Local Government law to make provision for parliamentary system at the local government level.

He also disclosed that the court would not go ahead to stop any electoral process going by different court judgments on similar issues in Kwara State where the court noted that there was nothing unconstitutional about the process, since the House of Assembly has passed law in that regard, as well as Akwa Ibom state.

The legal practitioner also noted that the Supreme Court has, at different times ordered that no electoral process must be disturbed, but the outcome of the election could be challenged.

However, the candidates for the election are now in dilemma on which side of the information to believe, as some of them are confused on whether to go ahead with their campaigns or not, with a view to avoiding waste of resources.

PDP Can’t Continue With ‘Imposition Of Candidates’ — David Mark

A former Senate President, David Mark, has called for a peaceful national convention on Saturday of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.

Mr. Mark urged the delegates to right the wrongs of the party’s past by allowing the will of the people to prevail at the elective gathering.

In a message to the delegates, the senator admonished “true faithful of the PDP to try and restore the dignity of the party, urging them to shun ills such as imposition of candidates and impunity he said ruined the chances of the party in the previous elections.

“We have seen what the imposition of candidates caused us in the past. We cannot travel the same route anymore.

“I am sure we have learnt some useful lessons from our electoral misfortune in 2015. We now have the opportunity to right the wrongs of the past by allowing the will of the people to prevail at the convention,” he said.

While expressing confidence in the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa-led National Convention Committee to do a good job and return the PDP to the people, Mr. Mark enjoined party faithful to adhere to the rules of the game in order to guarantee a smooth convention “because only the rule of law and adherence to the principle of Democracy endures.”

Advising contestants for the various party offices to accept the outcome of the elections in the interest of all, he said: “Win or lose, we are still one family. All we need to do is put our house in order in the interest of the party and its members because I can see a bright future.”

Mr. Mark also welcomed former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and others back to the party and urged all those who defected to return home because “PDP is still the only national party and a home for all.”

The PDP National Convention on Saturday will witness the emergence of a new chairman, deputy chairman among other party officers.