I’m Still In Race For Presidency- Fayose

Despite the fact that his party, the Peoples Democratic Party has zoned the presidential ticket foe Elections 2019 to the North, Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has said that he is still in the race for the 2019 presidential election.

Speaking during an interactive session with teachers in public primary and secondary schools at the Government House in Ado Ekiti, Fayose said, “I am still in the presidential race. I am only waiting for the time the Ekiti governorship election will hold so I can have the time.

“Though I am making contacts and I am reaching out to the people that matter across the country, I have no role to play, only the NWC will present the delegates’ lists for them to elect the candidate. So, I won’t interfere despite my support for Prof. Kolapo Olusola.

“I have no regret supporting Olusola. If it were those people I had supported, they won’t be abusing me. But they remain our brothers and sisters and we are going to put our house in order at the right time so that we can be on the same page.”

Fayose appealed to the teachers to support Olusola the way they supported him in the June 21, 2014 governorship election, where he defeated Fayemi.

On the agitations of some aggrieved PDP aspirants that Fayose should be prevented from interfering with the primary, the governor gave an assurance that the state had no role to play in the primary election, saying it was the prerogative of the Chief Uche Secondus-led National Working Committee.

Some aggrieved PDP aspirants such as a former Minister of Works, Prince Dayo Adeyeye; Senator Biodun Olujimi, Owoseeni Ajayi and Amb Dare Bejide, had at a joint press conference on Monday advised Secondus to stop Fayose from playing any role in the primary.

The PDP has battled a series of internal fightings which political analysts suggest has weakened the party’s impact as a worth opposition and also dimmed its chances at the next polls.

INEC Expects 10m More Voters by 2019

The number of registered voters in Nigeria by year 2019 is expected to increase by abut 1 million more voters, bringing the total to about 80 million voters.

The Chairman of INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, made the prediction at a roundtable organised by the European Union Electoral Follow-up Mission to Nigeria and West Africa, held in Abuja.

Yakubu speaking on the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) said that no fewer than 3.2 million Nigerians had been register in addition to the 70 million registered voters for the 2015 general elections.

According to him, “We started in April and as at last week, and we have registered 3.2 million Nigerians on top of the 70 million registered voters for the 2015 general elections that we had before. Our projection is that the Voter Register will probably be over 80 million by 2019…

“We haven’t made much progress in the last two years, but we have made elaborate arrangements with the states to ensure that the cards are collected. We have just completed the draft Election Project Plan for 2019,” he said.

“The last election was three weeks ago in Gombe, the next election will come up in eight days time in Sokoto, followed by the Anambra governorship elections.

“We have issued the timetable for Ekiti and Osun governorship elections. In Anambra, we issued the timetable in February for an election that will take place in November. We have done the same for Ekiti and Osun. We have taken care, in both cases, to avoid party politics, national festivals and students’ examinations.

“The last (governorship) election in Ekiti took place on June 14, but June next year is likely to coincide with the fasting period and Salah.

“Since the law says that we should conduct the election at least 30 days to the end of the tenure (of the incumbent), we shifted it to July when there is no festival or examination.

“The same for Osun – instead of August 4, we’ll conduct the election in September.

“Interestingly in Osun’s case, we have given a one-year notice and we have always made copies of the timetable and schedule of activities available to the security agencies,” he said.

EDITORIAL: Facing The Future

The announcement by the nation’s Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) releasing the timetable for the Governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun States in 2018 is very much noted. The electoral commission must be given kudos for intimating all the relevant stakeholders of its intent and giving them the time to prepare for what in both states will be, probably pivotal elections. If nothing else, the early release of the sequence of events shows that critical institutions are being developed into the solid mechanism vitally needed to consolidate and deepen our democracy.

For the state of Osun, it is a wake-up call. It means that we will soon be in the post- Aregbesola era. These means that there must be a clear succession plan to consolidate on the gains of his two terms in office. The two terms have been pivotal. For a start there has been in governance, a clear and decisive break with an underachieving past. These gains must now be made irreversible.

The retooling of the state in terms of implementing Aregbesola’s original mission statement, via the six points’ integral action plan has been truly remarkable. The six-point agenda in its implementation has actually brought back into the lexicon the concept of the Social Contract. The essence of a social contract, which is a beneficial link binding the government in office to the electorate had hitherto been one of the casualties of the military incursion into our politics. Aregbesola through his fiscal prudence as well as the implementation of a remarkable social intervention programme has made the concept of the social contract fashionable gain.

The implementation is visible. Assessing the efforts made by the Aregbesola intervention makes one to recall what has been said for centuries about Christopher Wren, the sublime architect who defined what today is the ethos and spirit of the great city of London. The well known plaque says that, “If you seek to know what he has achieved, please look around you”. In this same manner, if you seek to know what Aregbesola has achieved in the State of Osun, do go there and look around you. The transformation starting from a low base is remarkable. There will be eternal discourses about the dotting of I’s and the crossings of T’s.

Nevertheless, in a very difficult fiscal climate within the context of a debilitating quasi-federalism, he has left the state in a better shape than he found it. The gains must not be frittered away. For there is a real threat that those who wish to go back to the pre-Aregbesola days of sloth, indolence and gains without pain are already preparing to leap over the fence and regain power.

Such a thing will be akin to a Shakespearean tragedy. It will mean in essence that like the Bourbons of revolutionary France, the people of the State of Osun will have learnt nothing and forgotten nothing. It must not be allowed to happen.

A much more desirable route is the example set in Lagos State since the return to civil rule in 1999. In that laudable trajectory, seamless transitions have handed the baton in a series of changeovers from the initiating avatar Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to successors who have passed on the torch of sustainable development. The framework has ensured fiscal stability and continuity of the development process, a remarkable model, in Africa.

The state of Osun must follow suit. This means that the helmsman himself must follow the laudable example set in Lagos and ensure that the atmosphere is created for continuity of the programmes so beneficially implemented in the state. Governor Aregbesola frankly has no alternative. For the verdict of history will be harsh if he is derelict in his historic responsibility on this score. The imperative for continuity is non-negotiable.

Aregbesola therefore has work to do. For there are two decisive tenets in political mobilisation and communications which have to be deployed in the quest for continuity. The first is that a figure who has achieved what he has achieved must shift the territory of debate decisively in favour of his own position. Furthermore, we must acknowledge that Nicolo Machiavelli was correct about ‘The Law of Constant Reminders’. Great achievements have been made but there is a need for “constant reminders”. These two interlinked positions must be used as the mobilizing tools for the myriad of focus groups and stakeholders in the state. Done sensibly as it must, the vitally needed continuity will be ensured.

EFCC Releases Ekiti Finance Commissioner, Accountant-General

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has let go of the two Ekiti sate government officials earlier arrested by the anti graft agency.

Toyin Ojo, Ekiti State Finance Commissioner and the Accountant-General, Mrs Yemisi Owolabi, regained their freedom after 14 days in EFCC custody.

Lere Olayinka, the media aide to Governor Ayodele Fayose, made the disclosure in a statement released by him yesterday.

“Today, God gave Ekiti State and its people another victory over the EFCC and its APC collaborators as the State Commissioner for Finance, Chief Toyin Ojo and Accountant General, Mrs Yemisi Owolabi were released after spending 14 days in EFCC detention for doing nothing.

“In celebration of this victory over agents of tyranny, all public servants in Ekiti State are enjoined to converge on Fajuyi, Ado Ekiti by 10 am tomorrow, Thursday, October 12, 2017 to welcome the Commissioner for Finance and the Accountant General back to the State.

“Consequently, Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose has directed that public servants in Ekiti State should work for half day tomorrow so as to enable them to join the governor to give heroic welcome to the Commissioner for Finance and Accountant General.

“Governor Fayose will be at Fajuyi, Ado Ekiti at 10am. All lovers of justice should join the governor to welcome our commissioner for Finance and Accountant General back to the State,” the statement read.

BREAKING: INEC Fixes Sept. 22 For Osun Guber Poll

The Osun State Governorship election will hold September 22, 2018, INEC disclosed on Thursday.

Also, Ekiti State Governorship election will hold on July 14, 2018.

Commencement date of Campaigns for Ekiti Governorship election is April 15, 2018, and that of Osun State June 24, 2018.

These were made known by INEC national commissioner, Solomon Soyebi.

Meanwhile, INEC has disclosed that more parties will soon be registered.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said this during a consultative meeting with national leaders of political parties on Wednesday in Abuja.

The chairman also disclosed that INEC would, by first week of November, take its decision on pending political associations requesting to be registered as political parties.

“As I speak with you, the Commission has over 108 political associations seeking fresh registration.

“We want to assure all the associations that the Commission will register those that met the legal requirements. They should take that for granted on the Commission.’’

Yakubu accused some parties of violating the constitution.

He said 18 out of 46 registered political parties are yet to constitute their National Executive Committee (NEC) as required by the law.

“I want to draw your attention to the certain issues. The constitution is very clear on the processes and conditions for registration that must be complied with.

“Section 223 of the constitution talks about the validity of the composition of the political parties NEC.

“Unfortunately, out of the 46 registered political parties, only 28 parties are in compliance. 18 political parties have not complied”, he said.

Yakubu also expressed INEC displeasure over failure of some political parties to have functional offices in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), as stipulated in Section 222 of the constitution.

“As we speak today, only 29 political parties are in compliance while 17 political parties have not.

“So, we have 17 political parties that have no offices in FCT or their rents have expired which amounts to the same thing as not having an office in FCT,” he said.

Yakubu also disclosed that only five parties have complied with the Electoral Act compelling political parties to submit election campaign expenses since the end of the 2015 general elections.

“Parties are expected to submit to the Commission their election campaign expenses for the 2015 general elections but as we speak only five political parties are in compliance.

“While 24 other political parties did not comply, the case of 17 parties is understandable because they are registered after the general elections. But for parties that contested the general elections, only five complied.”

Osun, Ekiti Guber Polls Timetable Out Thursday

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it would on Thursday release the timetable for Osun and Ekiti gubernatorial elections coming up in 2018.
The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this at a meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) in Abuja.
Yakubu said that INEC had started preparations for the elections in the two states.
“The end-of-tenure governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states will be conducted next year.
“In keeping with the commission’s tradition of giving all stakeholders ample time to prepare, the timetable and schedule of activities for the Ekiti and Osun governorship elections will be released on Thursday,” Yakubu said.
He added that INEC would on Saturday conduct bye-election in Eti-Osa state constituency in Lagos state.
“Only yesterday, we received the official declaration of vacancy by the Honourable Speaker House of Representatives for the Kware/Wamakko Federal Constituency in Sokoto state.
“The timetable and schedule of activities for the election would be released on Tuesday.”
Yakubu said that as part of the preparation for 2019 general elections, which remained 505 days, the commission would continue to explore ways by which all processes associated with Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) were improved upon.
He said that so far 2,786,405 citizens have registered in ongoing CVR exercise of which 1,619,513 representing 58 per cent were males while 1,166,892 (42 per cent) were females.
“In addition, 108,752 unclaimed permanent voters’ cards were collected.
“The commission has also recorded 132,431 requests for transfer from original places of registration to new locations.
“We also received 261,429 requests for replacement of PVCs that were damaged, defaced or wrong entries of personal and other details.

EFCC Arrests Fayose’s Finance Commissioner, Accountant General

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Thursday arrested the Ekiti State Commissioner for Finance, Toyin Ojo and Accountant-General, Mrs. Omobola Owolabi over alleged misappropriation of the Paris Club refund Thursday.

Operatives of the anti-graft agency arrested them  in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, on the same day the state governor, Mr. Peter Ayo Fayose declared his intention to run for presidency in 2019.

Wilson Uwujaren, spokesman of the agency, said the government officials were arrested following their refusal to honour the commission’s invitation.

He said: “They are currently in the custody of the EFCC. They were picked up today because of their refusal to honour previous invitations for interrogation in relation to pending investigation on the misuse of bailout funds by the Ayodele Fayose administration.”

Crisis Looms In Ekiti PDP As Stakeholders Reject Fayose’s Candidate

The announcement of Ekiti State’s deputy governor, Professor Kolapo Olusola, as sole candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for the 2018 governorship election in the state seems to have signaled a looming crisis as some prominent chieftains of the party petitioned National Caretaker Committee, saying they would not accept imposition in choosing the party’s candidate for the forthcoming election in the state.

They described as a “dance of shame,” the recent adoption of the Deputy Governor of the state,  Prof.  Olusola Eleka, as the consensus candidate of the party for the election.

The petition, a copy of which was made available to our correspondent, rejected Eleka,  whose candidature was being backed by Governor Ayodele Fayose.

The petition,  which was signed by Dr. Seun Adebayo and Mr. Gbenga Babawibe, was titled,  “Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad,”  which was from the classical poem by Henry Wadsworth, titled, “The Masque of Pandora,” written in 1875.

The petition read in part, “We reflect on the import of this statement as we stoically condemn the charade and ill-advised, poorly thought out,  dance of shame organised by the outgoing Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, at the Ekiti State Government House on Wednesday, September 6, during which he superintended the purported adoption of his deputy, Olusola Eleka, as the preferred candidate  of our great party, the PDP, for the 2018 governorship election in our state.

“Much as we reject and condemn this attempt at provoking us to wrath, we rather decide to be more circumspect by taking the noble option of pitying the governor.

“We unambiguously, reject the illegal adoption of Eleka as done by Fayose because he does not own the party, but has rather been a harbinger of disunity and chaos in the Ekiti State chapter of the PDP.

“We view his decision to cause unnecessary upheaval in the party by the provocative action as a continuation of his desire to sustain the division he caused at the national level when he canvassed and fought like a wounded lion for the enthronement of Ali Modu-Sheriff as the national chairman of the party, a move that almost brought the party to its knees.”

They promised to resist the imposition, which they said was unacceptable, saying that the action of the governor remained unpopular and undemocratic.

Apart from this, they also said that the action contradicted the provisions of the PDP constitution, the provisions of the Electoral Act and “does not meet any criteria under the principle of fair participation in an open democratic contest which should produce the candidate of a political party in a democracy like ours.”

They added that the action of the governor was self-serving.

The aggrieved party members said, “A governor who has been battling corruption charges even while enjoying constitutional immunity as a state governor is sure to run helter-skelter looking to form any sort of shield round himself in preparation for exit from the government, even if such shield will eventually collapse like a badly arranged pack of cards.

“We pity Fayose’s desperate moves to find a way of avoiding … a development that is sure to affect the chances of our party at the next election unless the party can put its act together and select, through a democratic party primary, a credible individual as our candidate for the election, who will be accepted by the voting masses in Ekiti State.

“But out of desperation, and his unquenchable greed, he’s seeking a politically deaf and dumb stooge who will continue to open the state vault to him to satisfy his refractory thirst for primitive acquisition of wealth which he has been nurturing since 2014 when he was sworn into office.”

Source: Punch Newspaper

Fayose: PDP May Adopt ‘Option A4’ For Primaries

Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has hinted that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may adopt Option A4 in the selection of its candidates for the coming local government election in the state.

He stated this in Ado-Ekiti during an interactive session with party leaders from Efon, Gbonyin and Ekiti East local government areas of the state.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Idowu Adelusi, on Tuesday, said the governor also warned aspirants against dropping his name for political gains.

Option A4 was made popular during the regime of the Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, where voters would queue openly behind their preferred candidates during elections.

Fayose, while giving reasons for the possible adoption of the system, said it would help clear ambiguities and allow the most popular aspirants to emerge as the party candidates.

“We are going to use Option A4 to choose our candidates for the coming local government election. In areas where the people have unanimously agreed on their candidate, there is no problem, but in any place where there is a single dissenting voice, primaries will be held.

”All aspirants should go into the field and work. Nobody should drop my name as having endorsed them. I hope to lead the team of party leaders that will go round to conduct the primaries where necessary. The party has spelt out the conditions for aspirants to meet, there is not going to be any deviation from that.

“As for women aspirants, while they may be asked to pay less fees than men, it is not that they will be given blanket ticket or get it on a platter of gold. A woman aspirant must also be popular among her people and be the preferred candidate,”he stated.

He urged party leaders and aspirants to mobilise people to the party and to ensure such people are registered in the ongoing voter’s registration exercise by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

The governor said nobody is being blocked from aspiring to be the candidate of the party in the 2018 governorship election in the state, as the party would still conduct primary to pick its candidate.

Fayose warned against sabotage and said whoever is found wanting would be severely dealt with.

PDP Publicity Secretary, Adeyeye Resigns Over Fayose’s Guber Choice

Prince Dayo Adeyeye, the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has resigned his appointment as the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council of the Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti.

His resignation it was gathered, is not unconnected with his desire to contest the Ekiti State Governorship election and his rejection of the unilateral adoption of Prof Olusola Eleka, the Ekiti State Deputy Governor as the purported candidate of the PDP for the 2018 Governorship contest by the state Governor, Ayodele Fayose.

It would be recalled that Prince Adeyeye through a statement by his campaign organisation, Prince Adedayo Adeyeye Movement (PAAM) had stoically rejected the decision of some party members who were allegedly coerced by Gov Fayose to endorse Prof Eleka at a hurriedly organised stakeholders meeting, held at the Ekiti State Government House, Ado Ekiti, on Wednesday .

When contacted for confirmation, Prince Adeyeye confirmed that he has resigned his position in the Ekiti State University and has communicated same to the State Governor through the right channel.

Man Sentenced To Death For Killing Father

An Ado Ekiti High Court has sentenced a man, Blessing Olumakinde Egunlae, to death by hanging for killing his father, Benson Egunlae, over issues of inheritance.

The state Chief Judge, Ayodeji Daramola, who delivered the judgment on Tuesday, concluded that evidence before the court showed that the accused was guilty of murder as charged.

He held that the prosecution had proved the case beyond reasonable doubt and so should be hanged.

The accused stood trial for murdering his father who had six wives and 18 children.

The polygamous family had been at daggers drawn over the sharing pattern of parcels of land belonging accused’s father, Mr. Egunlae.

Not satisfied with the sharing, Olumakinde, 47, trailed his father to his farm, cut him to pieces with a machete and axe and fled.

His brothers who were shocked to meet their father in his pool of blood attempted to save his life by rushing him to the hospital, but the man was confirmed dead.

Olumakinde was at large for six months after committing the crime but eventually turned himself over to the police.

During the trial, the state was represented by the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Owoseni Ajayi, while the accused person was represented by Morakinyo Ogele.

The prosecution called two witnesses in the course of the trial while the accused testified in his defence.

Exhibits which included an axe and a cutlass with which the accused stabbed his father on the head and the chest and pictures were tendered and admitted.

The accused in his confessional statement to the police admitted killing his father in his farm’s hut.