Obasanjo looking for third term through other means – Oshiomhole
Posted By Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, said on Friday the recent activities of former President Olusegun Obasanjo are part of plots to use other means to get the third term that Nigerians earlier rejected for him.
According to him, Nigerians have decided not to return to the era where the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) security money was shared to people based on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s philosophy of “share the money.”
He spoke with State House correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The PDP, he said, is now more factionized than four years ago and would not be a threat to APC in the 2019 elections.
Answering question on the threat of mass defection from his party, Oshiomhole said: “I think it is something you should ask the PDP. They are the ones who have suffered huge, huge mass defection even of the so called founding fathers. I mean, in those good old days, people like Prof. Jerry Gana will tell us, we are the founding fathers. People like President Obasanjo will tell us, you know I was the first President.
“All of these people are gone. I think the media need to get more engaged and scrutinize us, those of us who are political players. When we speak from both sides of the mouth or we are turning the story upside down.
“Just few months back, you know that a good section after their convention, people like Oyederan, Prof. Jerry Gana and a host of others who can be said to be founding fathers of that party, left to form what they call SDP or ADC or both. So, they broke out and then when it dawn on them that even together we defeated them just four years ago, and now further factionalised, what can they do.
“And they just want to capture power for the sake of power. So they say, even though we have already broken the house, can we for the sake of power come together. Does it make sense? In the morning, you broke away from PDP to SDP and then to ADC.
“And there is no better proof than that old man who is going round as an organising secretary recruiting people, looking for tired players to continue with a third term agenda which Nigerians had rejected.
“By whatever form they come in, Nigerians have spoken. They are not going to return to the era where Central Bank and NNPC security money is shared to people based on PDP philosophy ‘share the money’.
“We won’t do that, if they have forgotten. It is quite easy for robbers to forget easily the robbery they just did but it is not easy for the victim of the robbery to forget.”
With Ekiti experience, we may not participate in 2019 elections, PDP says
Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party has threatened that it may not participate in the 2019 general elections unless it gets assurance that what happened in Ekiti State governorship election would not be repeated.
National chairman of the party, Uche Secondus, spoke in Abuja on Thursday when he granted audience to joint delegation of International Republican Institute and National Democratic Institute at the party’s national headquarters.
Secondus accused the Independent National Electoral Commission and security agencies of being partial during the conduct of the Ekiti governorship election.
He said the main opposition party did not contest against the All Progressives Congress or any other political party in the state, but contested against the commission and security agencies.
He said, “Our opinion is that INEC and security agents are directly involved in this manipulation.
“As a matter of fact, we did not contest against the APC; we contested against the security agencies and INEC.
“Nigerians and the international community are aware of this fact because of what happened in the state.”
He disclosed that the party was consulting whether to participate in the 2019 general elections or not, “because you are participating against security agencies and INEC who have colluded to alter the figures even after you have voted. So, we are in a dilemma.”
According to him, if noting is done to restore the confidence of ordinary Nigerians and other political parties, it might be difficult to accept the result of 2019 general election, no matter what the outcome might be, noting that such may a recipe for crisis.
He alleged that Ekiti State was militarised before and during the election, adding that PDP leaders were harassed and arrested and detained in the state.
He said, “Our members were harassed, arrested and detained overnight. All of these things were happening in the suburbs.
“In the city, it was like a roadshow and it was like nothing was happening; but it was at the local government that they carried out their activities and most people were scared and didn’t come out to vote.
“The second thing was that they came out with federal might, with money, with everything to entice the voters.
“Even at that, we won the election but it was manipulated.”
At least Kayode Fayemi knows how to be a governor. Yes, we have had governors in Ekiti; the dignified Niyi Adebayo, the competent Segun Oni and the intellectual Kayode Fayemi, but none like the populist Peter Ayodele Fayose (He loves to call himself Peter the Rock). Fayose’s ambition was to be a governor like no other. He succeeded. He is not my idea of a governor. Therefore the election of July 14 was seen by most Ekiti citizens as a referendum on Fayose’s style of leadership.
I cannot remember any election since 1999 that has polarized Ekiti than the last governorship election in which Dr. Kayode Fayemi, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, defeated Fayose’s deputy-governor, Professor Kolapo Olusola Eleka of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. The division showed in the result. Neither of the two candidates was dominant. Fayemi scored 197,459 votes to Olusola’s 178,121. President Muhammadu Buhari, in congratulating Fayemi for his victory, said it showed an acceptance of the APC. I dare say the President should wait till 2019 for the Ekiti opinion about the APC.
The July 14 election was not about APC or the PDP. It was a referendum on the unusual ways of Ayodele Fayose, the outgoing governor. Fayose is a phenomenon.He showed himself to be a politician of unusual brilliance and inventiveness. I first heard about him in 2002 when he emerged as the governorship candidate of the PDP.I met Governor Niyi Adebayo in his modest office (the old office of the Ado Local Government) in Ado Ekiti where we discussed the development. How can the PDP field an unknown quantity over and above men and women of substance within the party? It was strange. Adebayo too was surprised for he was expecting a more formidable and better known opponent. In 1999, he had faced Professor Tunde Adeniran, an illustrious son of the land. Adebayo defeated him. He had on his side the overwhelming influence of Afenifere, the mainstream Yoruba political and cultural movement that then dominated the Alliance for Democracy, AD.
Fayose had been procured from dark obscurity by the leadership of the PDP and placed at the centre stage of Ekiti politics. I was eager to know more about this new boy in the hood. Some of the leaders have brought charges that Fayose had never worked in any organization before and never performed the compulsory National Service. They said he never finished his course at The Polytechnic, Ibadan, where he claimed he graduated with a Higher National Diploma. I sent Yemi Olowolabi, one of my most enterprising colleagues in TELL, to get in touch with Fayose and ask for his Curriculum Vitae. Olowolabi, who is now the Ondo State Commissioner for Information, met him. Fayose never sent his C.V.
Fayose now has a rich C.V. He is the first Ekiti politician to be governor twice. After his first tour of duty, he fled the shores of Nigeria. When he finally returned he was put in Ikoyi Prison for about 100 days. He has cases hanging on his neck for alleged stealing of Ekiti fund and several cases of murder. He was accused of supervising the killing of one Akin Omojola who was beaten to death in Ifaki. Like Houdini, he escaped the vice set for him by his foes to continue his romance with politics. He flirted with Fayemi in his struggle against Governor Segun Oni and finally purchased a senatorial ticket of the Labour Party but lost the election to the famous journalist Babafemi Ojudu. By 2014, Fayose was back in full force winning the PDP governorship ticket by defeating a coterie of foes including Dayo Adeyeye and Caleb Olubolade, former Military Administrator of Bayelsa State who was a Minister in Jonathan’s government. He went ahead to rout Fayemi, then the incumbent governor, at the election.
Now that Fayemi has won the return match, I hope he would concentrate on his assignment. There are three things that are urgent. One is the issue of unemployment. Thousands of young graduates are roaming the streets of Ado-Ekiti and many have migrated to Lagos and other cities. He needs to lead the people to acquire marketable skills to produce product and services. This year, the only viable large manufacturing concern in the state, the Ikogosi Warm Spring Company, producer of Gossi Water, collapsed. It should not only come back, the government should try and encourage the setting up of other industries considering the abundance of trained manpower in the state and easier access to land.
The second assignment is to look into the portfolio of abandoned projects. The state is littered with many abandoned projects especially at the Ekiti State University, EKSU, and other places. All abandoned projects should be re-evaluated and completed. Ekiti State is noted for its good network of roads. All our governors: Niyi Adebayo, Fayose, Segun Oni and Fayemi, have all done well in making good roads. However, some of these roads are falling into decay. Rehabilitation and maintenance of roads should be a matter of public culture. We should not wait until the roads become impassable before we fix them.
The most difficult assignment however would be how to reconstruct the state finances which is now in shambles. First, there is a need to put a moratorium on public borrowing. All past governors, except Adebayo, have borrowed for mostly unproductive prestige projects. Now we have enough debt overhung to be inherited by our grandchildren. The incoming governor should pity the next generation by putting a cap on borrowing. He should also move quickly to recover state assets in private hands. He may need the help of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, and the Interpol to do this. Some of the assets may be in far-flung places like China, Singapore, Hawaii and Dubai.
Though Fayemi won the governorship contest, the winners of the election are the long suffering Ekiti people. In the evening of Saturday July 14, even before the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, declared the result, Fayose and his agents went to the state radio to claim that Professor Olusola Eleka had won the election, asking the people to “rise up and resist rigging.” The National Broadcasting Corporation, NBC, quickly shut down the radio station. In the early hours of Sunday July 15, the governorship election returning officer, Professor Idowu Olayinka, the highly respected vice-chancellor of the University of Ibadan, announced the result, proclaiming Fayemi the winner.
On the day of the election, I had joined other citizens to cast my vote. I was at the polling centre in front of my uncle’s house, the late Chief James Ekunola, in Okemesi. Voting was orderly, witnessed by only three female police officers. Voting was concluded by 2 p.m. Votes were counted openly and everyone heard the result. There was no dispute anywhere because the process was so transparent notwithstanding the pervasive and corrosive influence of money.
The fall of Fayose is an affirmation that politics is local. His rabble-rousing rascality resonated with many people across Nigeria, especially among those who are opposed to the dour Muhammadu Buhari and his incapacity to save Nigerians from rampaging murderous gangs. Fayose was the brave David who stood up to the Federal Leviathan over the Fulani herdsmen issue. He took on Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, who drove him from power in 2005, accusing the former President of hypocrisy. He attacked President Buhari at every turn, once proclaiming him dead or paralyzed while the President was receiving medical treatment in London. Then last week, the President came to Ado to campaign for Fayemi and Fayose asked taxi driver and transporters to stay off the road so that no one would be available to welcome the President.
Twenty-four hours after the President left, news came that the governor had been attacked by some policemen and that Ado was boiling. I called my friends in Ado and was told that indeed, there had been clashes in front of the Government House in the morning but that Ado was now calm. Fayose soon appeared on national television, with neck brace turned upside down and his left hand in a sling tied to his supposedly wounded neck. He was weeping, with tears falling on his robust cheeks. He alleged that some policemen slapped him and wounded him with the butts of their guns. He said Professor Olusola Eleka too was also beaten. He blamed the Inspector-General of Police for his plight.
I spoke to a senior police officer who claimed that Fayose was lying. Yes that morning, police had dispersed with teargas a crowd of PDP supporters who wanted to organize a prayer walk round the city. He said the police had not granted any permit for a prayer rally. Fayose’s supporters later moved into the Government House ground where the rally was addressed by Fayose, Olusola and other leaders.
One disturbing aftermath of this election is that no role is assigned to the candidate who came second. The American presidential system adopted by Nigeria since 1979 is a winner-take-all Olympics. In the old parliamentary system, Ekiti would have benefited from Professor Olusola Eleka’s knowledge and experience as the Leader of Opposition. He would also be the Premier-in-waiting in case the Premier loses a vote of confidence in the House of Assembly. Now the only place where the winner and the loser can meet is in the law court. This is not right.
Those who are clamoring for restructuring should consider this aspect of our Constitution. It is simply unhealthy.A day before the election, a foreign delegation had visited Ado to have discussions with both Fayemi and Olusola Eleka. They met Fayose. He had dispatched the deputy governor on another errand. He had removed his hand sling but still carry his neck brace with grim determination and dark humour. The brace was now properly fixed. Such was Fayose’s sense of drama that he did not tell himself the truth about his neck brace. He would have a lot of opportunities for drama in the months ahead.
Saturday’s victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate Kayode Fayemi came from a combination of factors and the performance of key party leaders in their strongholds.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Fayemi winner with 197, 459 votes. His closest rival, Prof. Kolapo Olusola of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) scored 178, 459 votes.
Fayemi won in 12 of the 16 local government areas. Olusola won in four.
In the four local governments, Olusola edged Fayemi with the highest number of over 5,000 votes in his hometown Ikere, but the over 5,000 margin with which Fayemi won in Ise/Orun Local Government cancelled that out.
Ise/Orun is the home local government of former PDP National Publicity Secretary Dayo Adeyeye, who defected to the APC after the PDP primary.
Fayemi’s victory reverberated in the local government areas, leaving many PDP casualties in its wake.
The biggest casualty among the PDP leading lights is outgoing Governor Ayo Fayose who was defeated in his Irepodun/Local Government Area.
APC polled 13, 869 in Irepodun/Ifelodun, which is also the local government of origin of the first elected governor of Ekiti State,
Chief Adeniyi Adebayo. PDP scored 11,456.
Other losers in Irepodun/Ifelodun are two House of Assembly members, Mr. Posi Omodara (Constiuency 1), Mr. Sanya Aladeyelu (Constituency 2) and Local Government Chairman and Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) boss Mr. Dapo Olagunju.
The two senators and five House of Representatives members still with Fayose kissed the dust in their local government areas.
The Senator representing Ekiti South, Senate Deputy Minority Leader Mrs. Biodun Olujimi, lost her Ekiti East local government to the APC.
APC garnered 12, 778 in Ekiti East, leaving PDP with 11, 564. Other losers in the council area are two members of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Mr. Ojo Ade Fajana (Ekiti East 1) and Mr. Dare Pelemo (Ekiti East 2).
House of Representatives members in Ekiti South, Akin Awodumila and Segun Adekola lost in Gbonyin and Ekiti Southwest where they hail from.
Senator Duro Faseyi (Ekiti North) lost his Ilejemeje Local
Government to APC. Two Reps, Thaddeus Aina and Kehinde Agboola, lost in in Ido/Osi and Ikole council areas.
Another big casualty is Speaker of the House of Assembly Mr. Kola Oluwawole, who lost his Moba Local Government Area to APC, alongside the lawmaker for Moba 2, Mr. Badejo Anifowose.
Deputy Speaker Sina Anifowose, also lost his Ekiti West Local Government to APC, the same fate that befell former House of Reps member and Commissioner for Agriculture Mr. Kehinde Odebunmi.
Secretary to the State Government Dr. Modupe Alade, was defeated in Ido/Osi Local Government Area.
Several commissioners and local government chairmen could not deliver their council areas in the APC hurricane that has confounded political pundits.
The defection of Senator Fatima Raji-Rasaki and some House of Representatives and House of Assembly members also played a role in improving the fortunes of the APC in the election.
Fayemi’s running mate and Deputy Governor-elect Bisi Egbeyemi is highly influential in Ado, which shored up the votes in the state capital, where he had been a council chairman.
For the PDP, it is believed that the outgoing ruling party suffered some internal sabotage from senior members who did not believe in Olusola’s candidature.
There was no opportunity to manipulate the election unlike in the past.
Besides, APC members approached the election with full confidence and were effective in their mobilisation.
The APC’s post-primary reconciliation was successful. Nobody defected. All the party’s leading lights were on the same page, unlike in the PDP where some key members defected to the APC.
The grinding poverty in the state, where workers have not been paid for at least six months, was a major factor. Many felt insulted by the payment of N3,000 into their accounts. “The suffering must end,” some civil servants were quoted as saying on the queues.
Yekini Nabena, deputy national publicity secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has challenged Senate President Bukola Saraki to make his intentions clear on whether he wishes to remain with the party or not.
The APC has been faced with some realignments, with some members hinting on leaving the party.
The reformed All Progressives Congress (rAPC ), a faction iwithin the ruling party, had met with the PDP on July 9 to sign a memorandum of understanding on presenting a presidential candidate that will slug it out with President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
The new Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP), which Saraki was member of, is also threatening to break away from the APC.
Also, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, Saraki’s chief of staff, and some aides of top APC members have dumped the party, but Saraki is yet to make clear his intentions on where he stands.
In a statement sent to TheCable on Sunday, Nabena accused Saraki of being a double agent.
“Saraki must declare now where he belongs, whether he is for APC or other political interests. He cannot serve God and mammon. He cannot play hide-and-seek. He cannot hide behind his fingers,” the statement read.
“In recent times, there have been attempts to discredit the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the federal government it controls by a roguish alliance of forces within and outside the party.
“The President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has loomed large in this scheme. Saraki has never hidden his sympathy for those who have launched a vicious attack on the APC, a party that gave both him and the nascent mudslingers the platform on which they ply their political careers.
“The APC is not averse to dissenting positions. But we reject deceit in every shade or form.”
Nabena told Saraki that he is free to leave the APC, while warning him not to “try to destroy a house that gave him accommodation”.
He also accused him of being the brains behind the emergence of the rAPC.
“We are aware that a number of Saraki’s aides and close allies have left APC for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). For example, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje has returned to his former home in PDP; Saraki’s Chief of Staff, Dr. Hakeem Baba Ahmed has withdrawn his membership from APC,” the statement continued.
“We are also not unaware of the fact that Saraki is the brawn and the brains of the so-called Reformed All Progressives Congress (rAPC).
“APC is a democratic institution and Saraki is free to make choices in accordance with the laws of the country. But he cannot continue to take members of APC for a ride.
“Politics is based on trust. Saraki has betrayed the trust reposed on him by the party. If he wants to leave APC, let him leave peacefully, and not try to destroy a house that gave him accommodation when he needed it most.
“His current attitude can only be the action of a traitor or a double agent.”
Naira rain, federal might, ‘Pastor’ Fayose and other highlights of Ekiti poll
By Jamilah Nasir
Four years ago, there was jubilation in Aso Rock over the outcome of the governorship election in Ekiti state. Four years after, there is jubilation in Aso Rock over the outcome the another governorship election. It was PDP that celebrated in 2014; it is now the turn of APC.
The victory of Kayode Fayemi couldn’t have come at a better time for the ruling APC. With the PDP regrouping for the 2019 general election, a win in Ekiti would have put a spring in their steps and a spanner in the works of APC.
Here are the five things to remember about the July 14 governorship election in Ekiti.
1. FEDERAL MIGHT — AGAIN
All hands on the broom
The 2014 and 2018 elections had a lot of things in common and one of these is the influence of the party controlling the centre. While in control of government at federal level, PDP deployed tools that helped Ayodele Fayose to defeat Fayemi. Human and material resources were not lacking. APC big guns were blocked from entering the state on election eve.
Fast forward to four years later. The APC government also gave massive support to Fayemi. Buhari conveyed meetings at Aso Rock and gave his party charge to deliver Ekiti. He also led a delegation to the state to campaign for his former minister. PDP even complained that they were contesting against the security agencies.
The mega rally of the APC provided another avenue for the Ekiti governor-elect to intimidate his opponents. Ministers, governors, senators, house of reps members and influential personalities stormed the rally.
Yahaya Bello, governor of Kogi state, promised to be in Ekiti during the election. It’s unclear if he fulfilled the promise.
The power of incumbency at the state level could not save Fayose and his candidate.
2. CASH FOR VOTES
TheCable’s eagle-eyed reporter caught this voter counting the money he got from one of the political parties
It’s no news that the two leading parties used money to sway votes in their favour. Although agents and supporters of PDP and APC tried to conceal the act initially, reports later spread across town. People were given between N3,000 and N5,000 in exchange of their votes.
“Stomach infrastructure” was one of the reasons given for the loss of Fayemi in the last election. People said while Fayemi was investing in infrastructure, Fayose focused on the people’s stomach. This time around the APC matched the PDP naira for naira, kobo for kobo. Bags of rice, sachets of salt were in circulation.
It was so brazen that when after casting his ballot at the polling unit 1, St. David Primary School, Afao, Fayose told journalists about it.
“What they call see and buy money politics is thriving everywhere (in Ekiti) with the police and civil defence giving signs to people sharing the money so that they can pay the voters,” he had said.
Shortly after he said that, a voter in Ikere confessed to TheCable that he got N3,000 from the PDP for voting.
In Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, police arrested some persons distributing money for votes.
This is a major highlight of every election in Nigeria, though.
3. ‘ONDO EXPERIENCE’
All for Fayemi
In 2016, when the PDP defeated APC in a governorship election just like it has done in Ekiti, Fayemi, then a member of the federal cabinet, played a major role. He was on ground all through the election period, strategising and looking out for the way to deliver Ondo for the ruling party.
Before 2016, Ondo had been under the control of the opposition for over 12 years. The last time it belonged to a political bloc of the south-west was the era of the late Adebayo Adefarati. All attempts to bring the state into the mainstream fold in the region were counterproductive.
But it took the intervention of Fayemi and some APC chieftains to deliver Ondo for the APC. Being a neighbouring state with Ekiti and sharing a lot of things in common, Fayemi would have mastered the art knowing that it would be useful for him.
4. OLUSOLA’S POLITICAL CLOUT
Being a former governor and minister, Fayemi appears well experienced than his opponent. The perception that his candidacy was strongly backed by the federal government posed an intimidation to his opponent, who had just Fayose.
Until his emergence as deputy governor of Ekiti, Olusola was no actor on the political stage.
However, Fayemi had governed the state between 2010 and 2014. He also served as minister of solid minerals development. Also, Fayemi, has achievements from when he had previously ruled the state, with which he campaigned, unlike Olusola who only sought to consolidate on the works of Fayose.
He was seen not to have the charisma, and the boldness to make and stand by his own decisions. To some, this was evident in most of the campaign billboards screaming ‘continuity’ where the picture of Fayose appeared bolder than that of Olusola, the candidate.
The video released on the election eve also did damage to the PDP candidate. Fayose is known for his hardline stance on a wide range of issues. Although a practising Christian, clutching a Bible few hours to election and asking your preferred successor to kneel before you indirectly sent signal to a lot of people.
The Fayose people know is not an ordained pastor. He could have organised prayers for his deputy but asking him to kneel down while he laid his hand on the governorship hopeful left tongues wagging. If that move was meant to attract voters, it did exactly the opposite.
5. WELFARE OF WORKERS
Fayose the emperor
Presently, civil servants in Ekiti are being owed for at least six months. Many live from hand to mouth and repeated assurances did not end the way they thought. In a state where many depend on salaries, no excuse, not even the construction of the first of its kind bridge in Nigeria – apologies for ex-President Goodlucj Jonathan – would make the people stand on your side.
The non-payment of workers salaries worked against candidacy of Olusola. A hungry man is an angry man. Some who would ordinarily have thumbed it for Olusola did otherwise when they get to their polling units.
Afterall, Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the APC, told Ekiti people that Fayemi would clear the backlog. Yes, people find it difficult politicians but they might have just decided to try someone else.
Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike of Rivers State said yesterday that what transpired during the Ekiti governorship election was “the worst political robbery in the nation’s democratic history.”
According to him, “The APC Federal Government will not be able to replicate the Ekiti political robbery in Rivers State.
Governor Wike spoke at the Anglican Cathedral Church of Saint Paul, Port Harcourt, during the thanksgiving service to mark the end of third year anniversary celebration of his administration.
He said: “Don’t be worried about what happened in Ekiti State. We are prepared. It will not happen here in Rivers State.
“I have never experienced that kind of robbery in politics; I told my colleagues, do not give them any chance. Most of them in APC are happy that they will repeat the same thing in Rivers State; we are waiting, come and repeat (it),” he said