Omisore’s Ambition Cracks SDP

By Sola Jacobs

The recent carpet-crossing of the Ife-born politician, Otunba Iyiola Omisore from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the state has generated furore, as members of the party had denounced his membership and rejected his gubernatorial bid on the platform of the party in the State of Osun.

According to the Secretary of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the State, Elder Femi Awe, the party has no record of Senator Omisore as a card-carrying member of the party, let alone a letter of intent to contest on its platform.

He continued that “in his usual style and way of doing things, he has been announcing to whoever cares to listen that he has joined our party while he has not personally or officially meet the party leadership to express his interest of becoming a member”.

Another stalwart in the SDP and a gubernatorial candidate, Chief Yemisi Oladeji has carpeted Omisore over his pursuit of gubernatorial ambition in SDP as wishful thinking.

He added that the former Governor is not more than a “friend of SDP” in the state, as there is no significant move by him to join the party, contrary to his public claim.

Chief Oladeji stated further “this is just a wishful thinking brought about by certain elements trying to create confusion in the peaceful process of our party primaries and from records available to us, Senator Omosire is not a member of SDP in Osun”.

He therefore advised the former senator to first and foremost, properly approach the party to regularize his membership and until that is done, he is not a member of the party.

Meanwhile OSUN DEFENDER investigation in Ile-Ilfe among the supporters of the former Deputy Governor revealed a dissented opinion as most of his followers refused to support his ambition on the platform of SDP, which seem to have polarized his supporters in the ancient city.

According to Mr Fawibe Adeolu, one of his supporters from Ilode unit I, Ile-Ife,  Otunba’s ambition is myopic and inconsiderate of the interest of his followers.

He added, “his inconsistency has a far adverse effect on our future and we have refused to follow him, to secure our future in party we have labour to build”.

Another ardent supporter of Omisore in Okerewe ward I Ile-Ife, Mr Adewole Adesupo opined that as a leader, Omisore knows the best party to pursue his political ambition and that he believes in his political calculation, hence, his support for the senator is binding.

He described the statement credited to the SDP State Secretary and another gubernatorial candidate in the party, Chief Yemisi Oladeji as a political statement which had no effect on the ambition of the Ife-born politician.

Meanwhile a statement on social media credited to one Mr. Taiwo Akeju, that the senator had fully decamped from the PDP to the SDP and called on public to disregard the position of Mr Awe, insisting that the said Awe is not the state secretary of the party and cannot speak for it.

It was gathered that the members of SDP has called  for the leadership meeting of the party in the state over the purported ambition of Otunba Iyiola Omisore so that it will not cause crack in the leadership and the chances of the party in the gubernatorial election that will hold in the state come September 22nd, 2018.


Aregbesola Has Indelibly Imprinted His Name In History – APC

By Mariam Bello

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has declared that with eight years of exceptional governance in the state of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has indelibly imprinted his name in the history of Osun in particular and in Nigeria in general.

In a message from the party in Osogbo signed by the Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, Kunle Oyatomi to mark the Governor’s 61st birthday,  the party said that all rational human beings inside and outside the state who are familiar with the reality of governance in the state would not dispute that the greatest thing that has ever happened in the last 27 years in Osun is Rauf Aregbesola

The party said, “He has outperformed all governors before him, and at no time in the history of the state has a governor attracted as much international attention as Aregbesola has done”.

“There is no family in Osun that was not impacted by Aregbesola’s presence in government. All parents with kids at school had their children’s school environment improved; farmers had their fortunes improved; communities felt the infrastructural upgrade that Ogbeni Aregbesola effected throughout the state.

“Vulnerable elder citizens for the first time in the history of Osun were catered for by the state government.  And nowhere in the Federation can any state governor boast of a standard and quality educational infrastructure, the likes of which Aregbesola initiated and established in the state of Osun in the last eight years.

“Indeed, when we talk of development index in Nigeria today, Osun under the leadership of Aregbesola is ranked only second to Lagos in the Federation.

“By our own modest assessment, Aregbesola’s achievements socially, infrastructurally, educationally, agriculturally, and above all economically, more than double efforts of all other governors before him put together.

“That is incredibly exceptional. It is the stuff of which history is made.

Osun 2018: Battle For APC Ticket Begins

By Shina Abubakar

As the All Progressives Congress (APC) allows its prospective aspirants to publicly declare their intention to vie for its ticket ahead of the July Primary election, the party has given its aspirants directives as to the red lines it does not expect them to cross during any of their activities.

The rules has on top of the list, N500,000 intention fee, which the party expected all aspirants to pay before embarking on campaign programme, adding that each aspirants is expected to embark on a decent, colourful statewide mobilization of members and promotion of the party.

It further disclosed that their no aspirant should embark on hate speech or promotion of neither rancour nor maligning the party or government in any form and aspirants should strive to foster unity among party faithful without enhancing faction within the party.

Also, the party insisted that campaign issues should focus on the state of economy while adding that it should be modest, well organised and not necessarily exorbitant.

It ordered that all aspirants must flag-off their campaigns from the party secretariat in the state capital and itinerary approved by the party.

Aspirants, the party, insist must avoid statements or actions that could embarrass the party or government and should conduct themselves and campaign teams with decorum, pride and dignity.

The party also insisted that aspirant should guarantee maximum security at campaign venue to ensure the safety of party members and the general populace.

The state party chairman, Prince Gboyega Famodun while addressing the aspirants said that the party ought to have met them to set the ball rolling for political activities to commence in earnest, but the right time is not late, urging them to desist from act that could lead them to losing the composure and calmness with which they started their ambition.

He reminded the aspirants that the interest of the party and the state is superior to their individuals ambition, hence, the party expected them to work for the greater good of the party and ensure its victory in the September 22, governorship poll in the state.

According to him, our party is not just any political party established to contest election and fill political offices. It has been built through time as the party of the people which extols the Yoruba virtues of Omoluabi as the driving ethos.

“It is a tendency that has emerged as a platform for the pursuit of good governance and the welfare of the people by patriots that personified the Omoluabi ethos. Our ideals, handed down over the ages have been egalitarianism, integrity in leadership and uncompromising pursuit of the interest of our people. This is the current manifestation of AG, SDP, AD, AC, and ACN. These are the parties of Awolowo,Adekunle Ajasin, Abraham Adesanya, Bola lge, Bisi Akande and Tinubu.

“This is what separates us from the others. Our leaders, up till the present moment have been willing to pay any price and forego any personal comfort and interest in the pursuit of these ends.

He disclosed that all the aspirants are well qualified to govern the state, especially as they have all paid their dues in nurturing the party to the enviable height it is today and urged them to remain focus not to allow personal interest jeopardize the chances of the party in the coming poll.

“The governorship of the state and the ultimate victory of our party are bigger than any of us and our personal aspiration. We must all strive towards the same objective, which is the pursuit of the public interest and the welfare of our people. We must know that only one of us can win, no matter the efforts all of us put into it”.

However, reacting on behalf of all the aspirants, the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Najeem Salaam pledged the commitment of all aspirants to the success of the party.

He however urged the party to consider all aspirants as equal and provide a level playing ground for all without picking anyone as its favourite in the build up to the July 7, 2018 primary election as he called on the party supporters to see the struggle for the ticket as an internal affairs that must not be engulf in crisis.

Fielding question from journalist after the meeting, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representative, Hon. Lasun Yusuf said his ambition is not a do-or-die affair and he is ready to support whoever emerges from a transparent and credible primary election later in July this year.



List Of Aspirants

1 Alhaji Moshood Adeoti (Secretary to the State Government) –  Osun West

2 Dr. Najeem Salaam (Speaker, Osun House of Assembly) – Osun West

  1. Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola (Chief of Staff) – Osun Central
  2. Hon. Lasun Yusuf (Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives) – Osun Central
  3. Elder Peter Babalola (Chairman, Local Government Service Commission) – Osun West
  4. Mr. Babatunde Taiwo – Osun Central
  5. Mr. Kunle Rasheed Adegoke –  Osun Central
  6. Mr. Benedict Alabi – Osun West
  7. Engineer Adelere Oriolowo – Osun West
  8. Hon. Gafar Amere – Osun West
  9. Mr. Rauf Adekunle Olabamiji – Osun West
  10. Oluomo Sunday Akere (Former Commissioner for Information & Strategy) –  Osun Central
  11. Dr. Oyebola Oyemomi – Osun-West 
  12. Mr. Dayo Oyebanji – Osun West
  13. Dr. Samuel Ibiyemi – Osun East
  14. Mr. Saka Layonu – Osun West
  15. Dr. Isiaka Owoade – Osun West
  16. Engr Ayoade Lawal
  17. Dr. Taofeek Olayinka Ayinde – Osun West
  18. Chief Biodun Fajobi – Osun West
  19. Hon. Yinka Ajayi – Osun Central
  20. Mrs. Akanbi Alimot Bolanle
  21. Alhaji Ayodele Fatai
  22. Alao Olabisi Kamoru
  23. Jolayemi Kamoru
  24. Engr. Mumini R. Olabamiji
  25. Elder G.T. Adediji


APC Congratulates Aregbesola At 61, Says He Remains Best Of All Governors In Osun

The State of Osun chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has declared that with eight years of exceptional governance in the state, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola has indelibly imprinted his name in the history of Osun in particular and in Nigeria in general.

In a message from the party in Osogbo to mark the Governor’s birthday,
the party said that all rational human beings in and outside the state who are familiar with the reality of governance in the state would not dispute that the greatest thing that has ever happened in the last 27 years of the existence of Osun Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has been the best.

He has outperformed all governors before him, and at no time in the history of the state has a governor attracted as much international attention as Aregbesola has done.

According to the APC in a statement signed by it Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, Barrister Kunle Oyatomi “There is no family in Osun that was not impacted by Aregbesola’s presence in government. All parents without exception with kids at school had their children’s school environment improved.

“Famers had a field day as most of their fortunes improved. Communities felt the infrastructural upgrade that Ogbeni Aregbesola effected throughout the state. Vulnerable elder citizens for the first time in the history of Osun were catered for by the state government. And nowhere in the Federation can any state governor boast of a standard and quality educational infrastructure, the like of which Aregbesola initiated and established in Osun in the last eight years.

“Indeed, when we talk of development index in Nigeria today, Osun under the leadership of Aregbesola is ranked only second to Lagos in the Federation.”

He said further, “By our own modest assessment, Aregbesola’s achievements socially, infrastructurally, educationally, agriculturally, and above all economically, more than double efforts of all other governors before him put together. That is incredibly exceptional. It is the stuff of which history is made.”

The party stated that, “So when we celebrate with the governor on his birthday, these achievements are actually what we celebrate and we are happy to be identified with the governor in this celebration of excellence.”

Investigation Of Senate Mace Theft Might Take 10 Years – Police

The National Assembly panel, probing invasion of the Senate yesterday decried delay in completion of police investigation on the matter, over a month after the incident.

The joint committee of Senate and House co-chaired by Senator Bala Ibn Na-Allah (APC, Kebbi) and Rep Betty Apiafi (PDP, Rivers) made the position known, when the commissioner of police in charge of IG monitoring unit, Abu Sani appeared before the panel.

Suspected thugs numbering five had on April 18, this year invaded the Senate and carted away with the Mace, the symbol of authority of the Senate.

Sani had told the committee that the investigation into the matter was inconclusive and assured the panel that they were working to get to the root of the matter.

He said the suspects arrested in connection with the matter have denied their involvement.

“The CCTV that was supposed to capture what happened from outside to inside the chamber was not functional. That would have assisted in puncturing the denial of the suspects,” he said.

He said the internal security of the hallowed chamber that was left in the hands of the Sergeant at arms compounded the matter.

He said the Sergeant at arms (National Assembly) relied on GSM to communicate rather than radio when the thugs struck.

The police commissioner said they were still trying to establish the link between the suspects in their custody and those that carted away with the Mace. He presented an interim report of the police to the panel.

Our correspondent reports that when Rep Apiafi expressed reservation over the delay in the completion of the investigation, Sani said it could take up to 10years. She replied by saying it could even be 30 years.

In his submission, Na’Allah said the police was not adhering to rule of law in their investigation, “Otherwise the suspects would have been charged to court through FIR (First Information Report).”

Daily Post 

Breaking: Osun APC Lifts Ban On Political Activities Ahead Of Sept 22 Guber Election

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State of Osun on Monday lifted the ban placed on political activities in the party.

The party Chairman, Prince Gboyega Famodun made the declaration during a meeting held with all the aspirants contesting under the banner of the party.

According to the list and guidelines released by the party, there are 27 gubernatorial aspirants from the ruling party.


1.Alao Olabisi Iwo LG
2.Oyebisi Alamu Iwo LG
3. Jolayemi Kamoru Ila LG
4. Dr. Isiaka Owoade Irewole LG
5. Oluomo Sunday Akere Boluwaduro LG
6. Sulaimon Lasun Yusuff Irepodun LG
7. Elder Tunde Adediji Aiyedaade LG
8. Adegboyega Oyetola Boripe LG
9. Mrs. Akanbi Alimot Bolanle
10. Hon. Akintayo Gafar Amere Iwo LG
11. Alh. Adeyemo Ayodele Fatai Aiyedaade LG
12. Babatunde Adedotun Taiwo Isokan LG
13. Elder Dr. Samuel Ibiyemi Ife
14. Ayoade A. Lawal
15. Engr. Dr. Taofeek Olayinka
16. Mr. Oludayo Oyebanji
17. Kunle Rasheed Adegoke Osogbo LG
18. Engr. Chief. Biodun Fajobi Ayedaade LG
19. Engr. Mumini A. Raifu Iwo LG
20. Dr. Ismail Abiodun Layonu Ede North
21. Rt. Hon. Dr. Salam Najeem Folasayo Ejigbo LG
22. Dr. Ezekiel Oyebola Oyemomi Ayedaade LG
23. Benedict Olugboyega Alabi Irewole LG
24. Adelere Adeyemi Oriolowo Iwo LG
25. Dr. Peter. Adebayo Babalola Irewole LG
26. Alh. Moshood Olalekan Adeoti Iwo LG
27. Rep. Adeyinka Ajayi Boripe LG

The Chairman of the APC in the State of Osun, Prince Gboyega Famodun reeled out the rules for APC Aspirants Campaign:

1. Payment of intention fee N500,000.00

2. Aspirants are expected to maintain decency and colourful statewide campaign for the mobilization of memebes and promotion of the party.

3. No hate speech, promotion of rancor and anti-party sentiments. Do not malign the party and the government.

4. Foster the UNITY OF THE PARTY in all the activities. No fictionalisation

5. Campaign must reflect the state of our economy. Beautiful and modest, well organised outings. No flamboyant/ostentation.

6. Flag off must be from the State Party’s Secretariat in Osogbo.

7. Itinerary of campaigns must be approved by the party

8. Maximum guarantee of security and safety.

9. Avoid any action and statement that can embarrass the party and government.

10. Conduct self and team with decorum, pride and dignity always.

Lagos APC Elects Two Heads

The Lagos State chapter of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Saturday held its state congress where it elected new leaders to pilot its affairs.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the new leaders were elected and endorsed by the no fewer than 2, 500 delegates via voice vote at the party Secretariat in Ikeja.

A former Commissioner of Home Affairs in the state, Alhaji Tunde Balogun emerged as new chairman, while Mr Sunny Ajose, a former Head of Service in the state emerged as Deputy Chairman.

The party state Secretary in the last executive, Mr Hakeem Bamgbala was elected as Vice-Chairman (Lagos Central) while Chief Funsho Ologunde retained his position as Vice -Chairman (Lagos West).

Alhaji Kaoli Olusanya was elected Vice-Chairman (Lagos East) while a former Commissioner for Home Affairs, Dr Wale Ahmed emerged as new State Secretary of the party.

Mr Joe Igbokwe was returned as Publicity Secretary while the Assistant Publicity Secretary in the last executive, Mr Abiodun Salami was also returned.

Others in the 37-man new executive include Alhaji Abdullah Enilolobo as state Organizing Secretary and a former member of House of Representatives, Mrs Jumoke-Okoya Thomas.

The process was monitored by a team from the party’s national secretariat led by Sen. Uche Ekwunife.

Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode, his Deputy, Mrs Idiat Adebule were among top state government officials that attended the congress.

Sen. Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos Central), Rep. Jide Jimoh, Lagos Speaker, Rep. Rotimi Agunsoye, Mr Mudashiru Obasa top the list of federal and state legislators at the congress.

However, while the congress was going at the party Secretariat on ACME Road, another group of the party members, led by a former Vice -Chairman, Mr Fouad Oki held another congress at Airport Hotel in Ikeja.

Just like the congress at ACME Road was well attended by members, the parallel congress was attended by no fewer than 2, 000 members.

Thirty-nine executive members were elected by the Oki group with him emerging Chairman.

Oki insisted that the congress met all the guidelines of a democratic congress.

He said the people had made up their minds to the right things, hence the decision to hold the congress.

But speaking at the congress held at the main Secretariat which produced Balogun as chairman, Ekwunife said the authentic congress was the one she presided over.

She said any other gathering elsewhere was null and void as the outcome would not be recognized by the party.

“This is the only legal committee constituted by the party to conduct congress in Lagos State.

“If there is anything going on elsewhere, it is at the essence of that illegal gathering null and void,” she said.

She commended the peaceful conduct of the congress, urging other state chapters to emulate the peaceful conduct in Lagos.

A former Minister of State for Defence, Mr Musiliu Obanikoro, also said at the party secretariat the Oki congress was illegal.

“Well, whatever it is, for me, it is inconsequential. Since the presiding officer was designated by the party at the national level, I will not worry myself with whatever is going on there.

“This is democracy. People have the right to express themselves. And expressing oneself about an issue doesn’t make him wrong or right on such issue.

“What we are doing here has been sanctioned by the party as the authentic congress. So, why should we worry about what is happening elsewhere?” he said.

Balogun, after his emrgence at the party secretariat, thanked party members for the confidence reposed in him by electing him as chairman.

The former commissioner assured members of the party that the new executive would strive to cover lost grounds and take the party to greater height.

Hillary Ekeh Re-elected as Imo APC Chairman

Mr Hillary Ekeh has been re-elected as Imo APC party Chairman in the just concluded APC state congress in Imo.

The party delegates who described the congress election as peaceful and successful also re-elected Deputy Chairman Mr Ugochukwu Nzekwe.

However, Gov. Rochas Okorocha described the election as illegal claiming that there was a court injunction restraining the party from conducting the election.

Okorocha’s Chief press Secretary Mr Sam Onwuemeodo on Saturday issued a statement that the governor had obtained an injunction from an Owerri high court to stop the congress.

The party Chairman Hillary Ekeh countered the claim by saying neither he nor any member of the executive was served the injunction notice.

But the Imo police command claimed an injunction notice was served them and appealed that the congress be put on hold.

Andrew Enwerem, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) who disclosed this added that police will not allow any illegal gathering in the state.

Speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) after the election, Sen Ifeanyi Araraume described the congress election as peaceful and well-coordinated.

He said there was no fracas or any form of violence during the process and commended the party chairman for his re-election.

He also lauded party delegates who in their wisdom decided to retain Ekeh as their chairman.

Asked if he has any idea of the injunction notice, Araraume said there was nothing like injunction stopping the conduct of the election.

“We the party stakeholders have no idea of any injunction, but even if there is an injunction nobody had been served so our election has to move on,” he said.

Sen Hope Uzodinma in a telephone interview told NAN that there was no hitch during the conduct of the election, adding that the congress in Imo indicated that democracy is growing in Imo.

Deputy Governor Mr Eze Madumere said the state congress was held successfully and the mandate of the people has been protected.

But the Deputy Chief of Staff to Gov. Okorocha, Kingsley Uju insisted that a faction of the party went into an unknown place to hold state congress even when a court injunction was served against the conduct of the election.

Kaduna Announces Appointment of 77 District Heads

On Saturday, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity Mr Samuel Aruwan announced the appointments of heads for the 77 restructured districts statement in Kaduna.

Aruwan said the appointments followed the conclusion of checks and assessments of the 230 nominees forwarded by the 32 emirates and chiefdoms in the state.

“This step consolidates the state’s return to the 77-district structure that existed prior to 2001”

According to him the reduction is part of the government policy of reducing the the size of the government

“The Kaduna State Government disclosed in June 2017 that the state was returning to the 77-district structure that existed prior to 2001.

“The government reached the decision after due consideration by the State Executive Council of the report of a committee that examined district and village administration in the state.

“A meeting of the State Executive Council on 24th April 2017 had concluded that no scientific criteria or strategic consideration could be found to justify the expansion in the number of districts from 77 to 390.

Read More: Issues in Kaduna LG poll, electronic voting

“Instead, political expediency appeared to have motivated this proliferation that imposed the burden of paying personnel of the 313 extra districts on the 23 local government councils.

“This proliferation also severely reduced the prestige and respect attached to the office of district head.

“On 25th April 2017, Malam Nasir El-Rufai consulted the State Council of Chiefs which requested two weeks to deliberate on the matter and submit a report.

“The State Council of Chiefs eventually communicated its support for the restructuring of districts via a letter dated 8th May 2017,” he said .

Taraba APC Puts Congress on Hold

The Taraba State Congress of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the election of the state officials of the party has been suspended, following crisis that rocked the exercise in the state on Saturday.
Chairman of the Congress Committee, Rtd. Maj Gen Danjuma Dambazau while announcing the suspension of the State Congress said the committee would sit and look at the issues that led to the protest with a view to resolving them.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that at about 4:45pm when the exercise was about to commence at the Jolly Nyame Stadium in Jalingo, some chieftains of the party stormed the venue demanding the committee to use the list earlier sent to the National Headquarters of the party in Abuja.

The protesters were led by the former Acting governor of the state, Alhaji Abubakar Danladi, a former Governorship candidate in the state, Chief David Kente and the National President of Trade Union Congress, (TUC), Mr Bala Kaigama.

They accused the Committee of tampering with the delegates list duly signed by returning officers during the ward and local government Congresses.

As they were engaging the Electoral Committee sent from Abuja on how to resolve the issue of delegate list, one of the supporters seized the materials for the election, while others dismantled some items on the high table, causing pandemonium in the hall.

One of the protesters, Kaigama told journalists that the team from Abuja was acting a script in favour of the Minister of Women Affairs, Hajiya Aisha Alhassan to shortchange other chieftains of the party ahead of 2019 elections.

According to him the time of manipulation in the party was over.

“We are in the game to correct the rot in the system.

“Tarabans are now wiser and we will not take the manipulation of the five man committee sent to conduct the election in the state in favour of a particular candidate,” he said.

On his part, Kente who noted that they had asked the committee to paste the delegates list at the party secretariat in Jalingo for verification before the delegate election said the committee members were not fair to all.

“Three of the five man committee agreed that the list they were using was not from Abuja but from the INEC office in Jalingo and that is where the problem lies.

“The State Congress will not hold here unless we sit down and resolve the issues involved,” he said.

Minister of Women Affairs, Alhassan refused to comment on the issue, saying “I don’t know what is happening, I am just coming into the hall.”

Answering questions from journalists, the Chairman of the committee, Gen. Dambazau described the action of the protesters as a show of shame.

He explained that the committee discovered that the list sent to Abuja was tampered with and decided to use the list validated by INEC on the directive of the national Secretariat of the party.

According to him the action was aimed at ensuring fairness, since INEC were part of the ward and local government Congresses that were held across the country.

“The list that was sent to Abuja was discovered to have been tempered with and the National Secretariat issued a directive for the withdrawal of the list and mandated this committee to use the list from INEC for the conduct of the state congress.

“However, since these people felt disgruntled and prevented us from using the list to screen delegates for the state Congress we will act accordingly.” he said.

APC Congresses Produce 12 Factional Chairmen

True to type, the All Progressive Congress (APC) maintained its chequered image yesterday, with at least half a dozen states holding parallel congresses and electing two factional state chairmen each.However, the widespread violence and needless blood-letting, which characterised the ward and local council congresses in the last two weeks, were toned down as there were no reports of deaths, only violence and intrigues in parts of the country.

The party’s lack of cohesion, passion for imposition of candidates, brazen impunity and lack of team spirit manifested prominently in the South West, where two states, Lagos and Oyo produced four factional chairman, that is two apiece.

The parallel but peaceful Lagos State congresses, which held amid tight security, was monitored by representatives of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and the State Congress Committee from the APC National Headquarters, Abuja, headed by Senator Uche Ekwunife.The congresses took place at the party’s secretariat, along Acme Road, Ogba, and at the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja. The Right to Chose Coalition, which comprise the new Mandate Group, Justice Dorum, and Broom United Movement (BUM) met at the latter venue.

Consensus and affirmation of aspirants were, however, adopted at both congresses without rancour or complaints.In her speech, Ekwunife said the congress held at Acme was the authentic one, because it was witnessed and monitored by INEC and representatives of the party, which she led, stressing, “We have been interacting with party stakeholders in Lagos since Thursday. The congress in Lagos is physically stable, and we hope other states will emulate what is happening here.”

She also commended the outgoing state chairman, Otunba Henry Ajomale, for the maturity displayed in leaving the stage for a successor, after serving meritoriously for years, as well as other outgoing members. Ekwunife also dismissed insinuations of any crack in Lagos APC.

The newly elected officers include the state chairman, Mr. Tunde Balogun; Deputy Vice Chairman, Mr. Sunny Ajose; Vice Chairman Lagos West, East and Central, Mr. Funsho Ologunde; Otunba Kaoli Asipa; Mr. Hakeem Balogun; State Secretary, Mr. Wale Ahmed; Public Relation Officer, Mr. Joe Igbokwe; Women Leader, Jumoke Okoya-Thomas; and Youth Leader, Mr. Tayo Sanyaolu.

Present at the congress was Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and his deputy, Idiat Adebule; senators Remi Tinubu and Gbenga Ashafa; Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, and other lawmakers in the state.

Meanwhile, Mr. Fouad Oki, the campaign manager for former governors Bola Tinubu, Babatunde Fashola, and Ambode, emerged as state chairman at the parallel congress held at Airport Hotel.Others are: Deputy Chairman, Sank Oloyede; State Secretary Wale Oshodi; State Treasurer, Kufisile Arwmo; Auditor, Idera Lawal and others.

Although, it was alleged that Fashola, Mrs. Joke Orelope and the APC National Legal Adviser, Dr. Muiz Banire, sponsored the parallel congress, none of them was present at the event.The faction stated that its congress was in strict compliance with the constitution of the party, while the second one at Acme, Ogba was not.

Speaking on behalf of the members, the factional state chairman, Oki, stated that the leadership of the party intimidates and muzzles the people’s voice.Oki, who maintained that the party must respect and stick to the rule of law, said the party belongs to everyone, adding that the Banire faction will not relent until equity is established.

There was a heavy presence of security agents at the Airport Road congress venue.Efforts to reach Banire for comments were unsuccessful.The unresolved internal crisis within the Oyo State chapter of the party went from bad to worse, as two parallel congresses in the state produced two sets of officers, amid claims by both camps that their congresses were monitored by INEC officials and congress committee members from Abuja.

An executive committee, led by the former chairman of the party, Chief Akin Oke, and Governor Abiola Ajimobi, held its congress at the Adamasingba Sports Complex, while another group, led by Alhaji Isiaka Alimi, and Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, was at the Obafemi Awolowo (Liberty) Stadium, Ibadan.

Also at the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium were the senator representing Oyo Central, Monsurat Sumonu; eight members of the House of Representatives; party leaders; and 22 out of the 26 outgone executive members of the party in the state. Ex-Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala, and former Senate leader, Teslim Folarin, joined Ajimobi at Adamasingba.

The chairman of the congress committee and former governor of Kano State, Alhaji Abdullah Gwarzo, said he was not aware of parallel congresses in the state, pointing out that he monitored the congress at the Adamasingba Stadium along with the INEC officials, describing same as a success.Also, Ajimobi described those who held a parallel congress as failures, saying his group is the authentic one and has the mandate of the national secretariat and INEC.

On his part, Shittu said the parallel congress was as a result of demand for justice in the party, stressing: “This congress is to liberate our people from impunity. It is to liberate our party from imposition. It is to liberate our people from oppression. We are not going to be violent, but we shall use our broom to liberate us.”

The two existing factions in the Abia State chapter of the party went their separate ways to produce state executives at different venues in Umuahia.The faction chaired by Dr. Emmanuel Ndukwe, which has Chief Ikechi Emenike as it’s leader, held its congress at the Eziama Mgbaja Ossa Hall in Umuahia North Local Council and returned Ndukwe as chairman, while the other faction, at Umuahia Township Stadium, returned the Donatus Nwankpa-led executives.A two-man congress committee led by Hajia Rabi Sulu Gambari and Alhaji Graba Dani, conducted the Ndukwe faction’s exercise, while Senator Jonathan Zwingina conducted the Nwankpa group’s congress.

Both factions claimed to have duly conducted and held their congresses in accordance with the party’s rules and guidelines, claiming that any other congress conducted by a rival faction is null and void, including the emergent parallel executives.Ndukwe told journalists after the congress: “Any other factional leadership gathering in the name of the party in the state did so at its own peril. There is nothing like parallel congress or faction in Abia APC.”

He referred to a court order of March 8, 2018, which ruled that the executive he leads is the authentic Abia State APC chapter executive.In his post congress remarks, Senator Zwingina described the congress he conducted as peaceful and transparent, saying it was in accordance with the APC constitution, even as he warned that elected officials who did not obtain nomination forms from his committee would not be recognised.Nwankpa’s faction parades such members as former governor, Orji Uzor Kalu; former deputy governor, Chief Chris Akomas; former Speaker of the State Assembly, Martins Azubuike; Senator Nkechi Nwaogu; and Chief Nyerere Anyim.

ADAMAWA State chapter of the party did not fare better as the crisis rocking it led to the emergence of factional chairmen.Both Governor Mohammed Jibrilla Bindow’s faction and the President Muhammadu Buhari camp, headed by former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. David Babachir Lawal, organised peaceful parallel state congresses.

Two serving senators, Abdulazil Nyako and Abubakar Mo-Allah, alongside former senators and former governor Murtala Nyako’s supporters participated in the Lawal faction’s congress and elected Mr. Dimas Ezra, from Adamawa Central zone as chairman.At the Governor Bindow congress, the acting chairman, Alhaji Ibrahim Bilal, was returned, alongside other former officials, apart from the secretary, who was replaced by former state lawmaker, Mr. Wafarninyi Theman, who defected recently from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Chairman of the Buhari supporters congress committee and former Speaker of the Adamawa State House of Assembly, Alhaji Hassan Turaki, said the emergence of Dimas, as state chairman, is in line with APC’s rules of balancing party positions between the Christian and Muslim religion.“We have a Muslim as governor who is from the northern zone. So, to balance the power allocation in the state, the party chairman should be a Christian and from another zone, so that both Christians and Muslims in the state will have equal representation in the party,” he stated.

“Dimas is from the central zone. The deputy governor who is a Christian is from the southern zone. And the governor, a Muslim, is from the northern zone. So, all the zones and religions are equally represented. That is the best way to handle party politics in a democratic government,” he said.

The Bindow faction returned Bilal, a Muslim from the same northern zone as the governor.Current SGF, Mr. Boss Mustapha, who is a staunch supporter of the Bindow group, commended the exercise, assuring APC faithful that the party is fully prepared to retain power in 2019.TWO state chairmen, Dr. Sylvester Nwambe and Pastor Eze Nwachukwu, have emerged from parallel congresses held by APC factions in Ebonyi State at two different locations in Abakaliki, the state capital.
While Dr. Nwambe triumphed at the faction led by the 2015 governorship candidate of the party, Senator Ucha; Pastor Eze Nwachukwu emerged as the choice of the other faction loyal to the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu.The Guardian gathered that heavily armed policemen barred delegates and journalists from a faction of the party loyal to the former APC governorship candidate from gaining access to the venue of the state congress.

Upon the refusal, Ucha’s group relocated to the APC party secretariat to hold its congress, where Nwambe was elected. Also, factional delegates loyal to Onu were only allowed inside the venue before the arrival of other delegates at the Nkwegu Ugbala Grand Arena, venue of the congress, which facility is owned by Dr. Edward Nkwegu, a member of the rival faction.A chieftain of the party informed journalists that the APC national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, allegedly colluded with the Onu faction to doctor the delegate list, which the police and INEC acted on.

Source: Guardian