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.”
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.”
The moment is here again that we pause from the routine to address the raft of words or phrases that have crept treacherously into national conversation lately.
By furnishing the content and context, the idea is to strip such terms of all ambiguities to the clearest meaning possible, thereby helping the general public – particularly the casual readers or the uninitiated – to better understand.
What better take-off point could there be than the latest tumult in the homestead of the ruling All Progressives Congress.
“Reformed” as new con: To fully unravel the often dark recesses of human mind, Sigmund Freud, the immortal patriarch of psychoanalysis, enjoins us to look out not for the cues from quick expressions, but clues from the slips in-between. And what a bounty of Freudian Slips we are able to harvest from the song of lamentations rendered by the renegades who revolted last week in APC and are now parading themselves as “reformed”.
One, to be reformed presupposes graduation from a course of redemption. It suggests a corps fresh from the validating crucible and, in this context, possessing already tested skills. It would, therefore, border on the abuse of language, if not delusion, for those who, by own admission, were shut out from the outset to now seek to insert themselves into the same proceedings almost at the twilight and yet betray a desperation to hijack ownership.
In what then clearly suggests premeditated deceit, no sooner had a long membership list been unveiled than a good number of those so named came out with strong disclaimers. What now remains is more like a procession of double agents, career traitors, moral lepers, name-droppers and political rats hustling for the next morsel.
To allow this pass is to dignify duplicity.
While it will be patently dishonest to claim Buhari has fully delivered on the promise of 2015, it is however debatable if many Nigerians are truly bought by the false narrative now being retailed by the new renegades within APC. Naturally, the discerning are now beginning to take a closer look at the unfolding circus. That we cry does not also mean losing the power to see.
By harping on being “marginalised” all the while, the “reformed” have only succeeded in giving themselves away as self-seekers. So, it is all about the stomachs and the pockets of the “reformed”, not the welfare of the people.
Of course, it is understandable why they would rather keep a creative silence on the issue of the anti-corruption war given that some of them and their known patrons are still busy answering questions from anti-graft agencies. While it is the popular wish that more of the big thieves be caught, Nigerians will certainly not listen to anyone suggesting that those who stole were not made to vomit what they had swallowed. The “reformed” are aware that they would be lynched if they as much as dare to rail against efforts to curtail the looting of the public till.
Indeed, the mantra APC chanted at its founding was to fix the economy as well as wrestle insecurity and graft. We would have expected that a truly altruistic inquiry by any self-anointed redeemer would begin with a point-by-point audit of the referenced benchmarks. But nowhere did any of such feature in the lamentations by the “reformed”, other than the whining about being denied patronage or being locked out of the feasting going on.
But many saw this coming. What truly sustains associations is shared commitment. Part of APC’s enduring failing in the past four years is the inability to rally the disparate tendencies that had coalesced into a movement together behind a common value, beyond the utility of wresting power from PDP in 2015. Indeed, peace only prevails in a home until the illegitimate kids come of age.
Rickety as it might appear, the “reformed” spectre is, therefore, only a manifestation of that organic crisis. If Buhari’s ethical reengineering exertions thus far were to be classified as an asylum, what we are witnessing could then be likened correctly to an audacious bid by some of the glaze-eyed inmates to topple the presiding therapist and take over the psychiatric ward entirely.
Land or death: Patrick Henry’s statement, “Give me liberty or give me death”, had always been one of the most easily recalled invocations in defiance. Now, almost two and a half centuries after that stirring verbiage by the American orator at the Virginia Convention, our own Femi Adesina would appear to have enriched us with what was undoubtedly intended naively as a plea for national understanding and accommodation, but now designated more as the metaphor of power contempt, even the unthinkable.
In his own wisdom, the presidential spokesman last week argued it would not be too much of a sacrifice for families or communities to give up their ancestral land if that would guarantee the ravenous cows graze and the genocidal herders were pacified to return their bloodied swords to the scabbards.
Only the living, he argued, are in a position to keep sentimental attachment to ancestral land.
Obviously, Adesina’s counsel, uttered in a voice that is child-like if not entirely effeminate, could not be said to be cognizant of history. Dating back to antiquity, most wars have always been waged over land. Looking into foreseeable future, nothing suggests yet that the story will ever change.
So, on account of its non-feasibility, Adesina’s proposition would now appear a new synonym in strictly Nigerian speak for the proverbial “Catch 22 situation” or Hobson’s choice.
Therefore, being asked to give up land or reap death is to be faced with no choice at all.
Video monopoly: Those assuming they had heard the most bizarre with the recent viral audio tape in which a female student, Ms. Monica Osagie, spurned demand of bouts of sex by her tutor, Richard Akindele, to upgrade her poor score to a pass mark must have been shocked further with the leaking of the defence the latter reportedly tendered before the varsity board of inquiry.
While not denying that the illicit phone transaction held, the now dismissed Professor of Management Accounting hinted darkly at being outsmarted. More like being checkmated in the game of monopoly. Rather than being branded the aggressor, he saw himself as the victim. His own account is perhaps too lurid to restate fully here: from the claim of being tempted by the lady raising her skimpy skirt without underwear in his lonely office to being assailed with electronically delivered nude pictures in the dead of the night.
As the steaming baits rained down, the old professor claims his own strategy was to gather as much evidence as possible before reporting; only for the lady to blow the whistle ahead of him.
Given that it is now a case of his words against hers, we really may never know the whole truth. But what remains a big puzzle is how Akindele, a supposed senior ordained preacher in the local church, was able to continue to live with the abominable knowledge of his phone handset dripping with a trove of nude pictures for so long. Perhaps he should have saved himself the misery of the long defence by simply pleading Oscar Wilde: he “overcame the temptation by yielding to it!”
Tears for justice: From the age-old custom of being ascribed to human emotions of joy or pain, the chemistry of tears was stretched into an entirely new harbor last week – adjudicatory application. Credit for this novelty goes to no other than Nkem Ekweozor, an Anambra-based lawyer-cum-politician.
What became news was not the fact that he chose to enter an appearance for himself as the candidate of the Mega Progressive Peoples Party in the January 13, 2018 Anambra senatorial rerun election.
Rather, it was the torrent of tears he shed half-way in his cross-examination of the winner, Senator Victor Umeh of APGA. Having struggled real hard to conceal his sniveling under his breath during that difficult moment, the cat was let out of the bag when Ekweozor eventually fished out a white handkerchief to mop hot tears streaming down his cheeks, to the consternation of the presiding chairman of the Election Tribunal, Justice H. A. Olusiyi.
The visibly stunned judge then exclaimed: “What’s happening here? You’re crying. What for? Oh my God, a lawyer crying in court?… How’ll all these people in court see you? Do you think they will hire you tomorrow to defend them?… We (lawyers) are trained not to be emotional. This is not the final court; if you don’t get what you want here, you can go upstairs. Lawyers don’t cry.”
After regaining composure, Ekweozor apologized and offered an explanation: “My Lord, I’m sorry for this. I was crying for justice. My opponents here want to intimidate me. My Lord, I’m weeping for justice.”
In the event that Ekweozor wins the case, that will likely signal the age of tears as part of evidence. More and more attorneys will henceforth likely begin to round off their own submission by contriving some tears “for justice” as well.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Sunday rejected the result of Saturday’s Ekiti governorship election won by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Kayode Fayemi.
The APC candidate was declared the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) polling 197,459 votes to defeat his closest rival, the Deputy governor of the state, Professor Olusola Eleka who got 178,121 votes.
Fayemi won in 11 out of the 16 Local Government Areas of the state. But the PDP in a statement by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan on Sunday described Fayemi’s victory as a “daylight robbery.”
He alleged that the result of the election was manipulated in favour of the APC candidate by security agencies.
He also vowed that PDP will challenge result of the election in court.
Read the full statement below
The PDP Cannot Be Crushed!
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected in its entirety the results concocted by the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies, in the governorship election in Ekiti state and declared by INEC.
The party rejects the falsified results and declaration of APC candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, to be the winner of the election, as a daylight robbery, a brazen subversion of the will of the people and a direct assault on our democracy.
From the authentic results flowing directly from the polling centers across the state, it is clear that the PDP candidate, Prof. Kolapo Olusola-Eleka, incontrovertibly won the election, with a very comfortable margin over the APC candidate, only for INEC to allow the alteration of results at the collation centres.
Painfully, the people of Ekiti state were pillaged, openly brutalized, confronted with the worst form of cruelty and intimidation from security agencies, and their mandate, which they freely gave to the PDP, was snatched at ‘gunpoint’ by enemies of democracy, who are parading themselves as icons of anti-corruption.
Nigerians are witnesses to all manipulations by the APC, aided by security agencies and compromised INEC officials, to rig the election, particularly, the audacious alteration and substitution of election results in favour of the APC at the collation centers amidst the brutalisation of our agents.
The PDP has the details of all the polling units where we won, mostly with very wide margin ahead of the APC, only for the security agencies to chase away our agents, then aid the alteration and swapping of such results with those smuggled in by the APC at the collation centres.
We have the detail of the discrepancies between the authentic results from the polling units and the false figures eventually announced by INEC.
It is also instructive to state that all the issues we raised ahead of the election, including the conspiracy between the APC, some compromised INEC officials and security agencies; the importation of thugs from other states by the APC; the use of brute force against our members, the falsification and alteration of results in favour of the APC, all manifested in the election
We know how APC conspired with INEC to bring in card reader machines belonging to Kogi, Lagos, Ondo, Oyo, Ogun states into Ekiti state to enable APC members from these states to vote in Ekiti election with ease.
Nigerians will recall the irresponsible and inciting statement credited to the factional National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, where he threatened that the opposition will be “crushed” in this election.
The APC governorship candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, also vowed that they will “cage” the Ekiti State governor, Chief Ayodele Fayose.
These threats were carried out with the full collaboration of our security agencies.
Furthermore, the PDP has details of how APC state governors and federal ministers diverted huge sums of money from their states and ministries to bribe top officials of INEC, particularly, those in the ICT Department as well as security agencies to perfect the brigandage against the people of Ekiti state.
The PDP holds strongly that there is no way our democracy can survive with an electoral process as witnessed in Ekiti state under President Muhammadu Buhari and the current INEC leadership.
This bare-faced subversion of the will of the people is a clear recipe for crisis and we invite Nigerians and the international community to hold President Buhari, the APC, the INEC Chairman and heads of security agencies in Nigeria responsible should there be any breakdown of law and order in Ekiti state as a result of this election.
This robbery of the franchise of Ekiti people is a horrible rape of our democracy and it is most uncharitable that it could happen under the watch of President Muhammadu Buhari as well as the participation of the APC, who hugely benefitted from the credible electoral process midwived by the PDP in 2015.
It is shameful that APC and President Buhari, who jointly won a pan Nigerian election in 2015, now rely heavily on brute force to deliver their gubernatorial candidate in Ekiti state. This, indeed, is very shameful!
Finally, let it be known to all that, surely, this electoral banditry will not stand. The PDP is already collating all the infractions in this election and within the possible timeframe, we shall make our next step to reclaiming our stolen mandate public.
Split in R-APC as Saraki moves to join presidential race
Posted By: Yusuf Alli
•May lock horns with Tambuwal, Kwankwaso, Atiku, Makarfi, others for PDP ticket
•Opposition party leaders want ticket for old members, not defectors
•What Saraki, Atiku discussed in Middle East
•Obasanjo to back consensus candidate even if Atiku emerges
Senate President Bukola Saraki is warming up to join the race for the Presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in August, according to sources in his camp.
Hints about his presidential ambition emerged yesterday; just 24 hours after the Supreme Court cleared him of allegations of impropriety in his declaration of assets form by the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC).
The news immediately threw the camps of Governor Aminu Tambuwal and Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, who are co-drivers of the R-APC with Saraki, into confusion.
Tambuwal and Kwankwaso are also interested in the PDP presidential ticket and sources said it was their primary reason for wanting to return to the party having found out that they could not wrestle the ticket from President Buhari in the APC.
Saraki, who is said to be under pressure from his supporters to vie for the ticket, has been consulting his associates, political strategists, and well-wishers in the last 24 hours.
If he consents to seek the ticket, the move is bound to alter the Reformed-All Progressives Congress(R-APC) permutations ahead of next year’s elections.
The birth of the R-APC was announced last Wednesday by some top members of the APC who claimed the party has failed to live up to expectation.
Saraki travelled to Port Harcourt, Rivers State yesterday to commission some projects executed by Governor Nyesom Wike.
The Rivers State Governor is the arrowhead of PDP’s plan to stage a comeback next year.
The governor is credited with sponsoring the election of Prince Uche Secondus as the national chairman of the PDP.
But it could not be ascertained last night if Saraki’s unfolding game-plan informed his Port Harcourt trip yesterday.
The camp of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar is also said to have been taken aback by Saraki’s sudden interest in the presidential race.
A source knowledgeable about the relationship between Atiku and Saraki yesterday rated the Senate President’s latest move as an “upset and contrary to the discussion by the two leaders in a country in the Middle East.”
The source said “what was agreed upon by Saraki, Atiku and other contestants was that whoever secured the presidential ticket would be supported by all.”
But the source said Saraki “did not give any commitment to back Atiku only for the presidency.”
Investigation by our correspondent revealed that the Supreme Court verdict on Saraki played a big role in changing the permutations in the R-APC and the PDP.
Rules out continued membership of APC, support for Buhari’s re-election
Saraki, it was gathered, has ruled out remaining in APC or backing Buhari for re-election, declining persuasion by a top presidency official that he should remain in the APC.
The Senate President felt he will “not be able to have moral and emotional stamina to campaign for Buhari in view of his humiliation at the Code of Conduct Tribunal and the police on Offa robbery.”
His political family and APC supporters in Kwara State are also said to be opposed to mounting the podium for Buhari in 2018/2019 electioneering.
Investigation also showed that Friday’s ruling of the Supreme Court which cleared him of any corruption stigma was the ‘joker’ Saraki needed to rescue his political career.
“Since the pronouncement of the Supreme Court, the Senate President has become morally emboldened to rev up his presidential ambition. He has started consultations in the last 24 hours,” a source said yesterday.
“So far, the preliminary round of consultations indicate that he might participate in the presidential primaries of the PDP with some R-APC aspirants like Tambuwal and Kwankwaso.
“Initial field report and extensive survey have buoyed his confidence of winning the slot.
“With this development, Saraki will slug it out in PDP with Atiku, ex-Governor Ahmed Makarfi; ex-Minister Tanimu Turaki; ex-Governor Ibrahim Shekarau; ex-Governor Sule Lamido and others.
“Already, Saraki is done with APC going by the formation of R-APC and the defection of some of his backers and political like-minds to PDP.”
Asked why Saraki cannot stay in APC to challenge Buhari for the presidential ticket, the source added: “he believes he did not deserve the humiliation he went through at the tribunal and in the hands of the police.
“What finally made the Senate President to forsake APC was his being linked with those behind the bank robbery and killings in Offa by the Police.
“I think the police pronouncement did more damage and it was that day he drew the line with APC.
“Also, his family, relations and political supporters in Kwara State don’t want to hear anything about APC. The trauma was too much for them.”
Tension in R-APC camp
Assessing the situation in R-APC on the strength of Saraki’s plan to join the race for PDP presidential ticket, an informed source said: “there is tension everywhere now within our ranks.
“From the look of things, having three R-APC leaders seeking the PDP presidential ticket is like a house divided against itself.
“The coming of Saraki will certainly whittle down the prospect of Tambuwal and Kwankwaso because our calculations will change. And do not forget that these three leaders will still have to confront other presidential hopefuls who are in PDP.
“The race may look open but the path is laced with landmines if R-APC members have to split their votes at the presidential primaries of PDP. It would have been better if Saraki stuck to the negotiated offer of Senate Presidency in 2019.
“You can see that the R-APC innovation may not last more than two months because the leaders may fall apart over presidential ticket.”
Asked if Saraki will not be betraying a mutual understanding between him and Atiku in a Middle East country recently, the source said: “there was no pact. What was agreed upon by Saraki, Atiku and other contestants was that whoever secured the presidential ticket will be supported by all.”
PDP leaders root for ‘old’ party members in presidential ticket race
Party sources also said that some PDP leaders are opposed to ceding the party’s presidential slot to defectors from APC.
“We won’t allow them to come back and take over our house. Many of us believe that the R-APC leaders are looking for a refuge camp in PDP and they should not be dictating to us from a position of weakness,” a PDP BoT member told The Nation.
“If we decide not to readmit them into PDP, they will be politically stranded.
“It will be a disaster handing over our presidential mandate to any of the defecting leaders. We want the ticket for any of our old and consistent members who are in the race like Ahmed Makarfi, Tanimu Turaki, Ibrahim Shekarau, Sule Lamido, and to some extent, Atiku Abubakar.
“These R-APC leaders should know their limit. You don’t run into a house cap-in-hand and seize it from the landlord.”
It was gathered that ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo has been persuaded to support any consensus candidate picked by PDP and other 30 parties it might form an alliance with.
A member of the NWC said: “We have begged Baba to forgive and forget in supporting any common candidate agreed upon by PDP and other coalition parties.
“We made this request having in mind whether the candidate will be Atiku or not. He has left the option open with a target that the APC must be shown the way out of power in 2019.
“Baba is only after a credible choice that can match Buhari. He is no longer fixated on any candidate.”
Ekiti guber: Civil servants as toast of politicians
By Muyiwa Adeyemi (Head South West Bureau)
If there is a bloc vote that could decide next Saturday’s governorship poll in Ekiti, it is the civil servants. The 50,000 man-strong workforce on the payroll of Ekiti State government has become a crucial deciding factor in the election, mainly because they usually vote in unison.
Consequently, a few days to the election, the civil servants have become “beautiful brides” sought by all politicians. In the last governorship poll four years ago, there were 733, 766 registered voters, out of which only 369, 257 actually voted. It was civil servants, who made the difference.
However, for sometime now, the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has been meeting with candidates of the 21 political parties contesting the July 14 year governorship election in the state.
Promises and assurances of improving on the welfare of workers, prompt payment of salaries and allowances, training and retraining of workers, were made.
The state NLC Chairman, Comrade Raymond Ade Aladesanmi, said they made it clear to the candidates that peradventure the present administration could not clear all the arrears of salaries, pension and gratuity, labour will give the incoming administration just three months to clear the backlog of salaries and pension and six months to reduce appreciably the gratuity owed, “otherwise workers will be led against the government.”
Concerns are however mounting in the state over the seeming politicisation of the workforce by promises being made and various steps being taken to coerce them into voting for a particular candidate.
As at last Friday, civil servants are being owed four months, while teachers and council workers have not been paid in the last seven months. Also, lecturers in all the tertiary institutions in the state have not received their salaries in the last seven months, while pensioners are being owed several months of arrears.
However, the incumbent governor, Ayodele Fayose, promised to clear all arrears before leaving office, assuring that his party’s candidate, Professor Olusola Eleka will continue from wherever he stopped.
To court the workers for the election, Fayose promised to clear the promotion arrears of 37,132 workers, while 15, 722 workers were also promoted. But the last screening and promotion exercise conducted by the state government has been roundly criticized for setting a bad precedent in the state civil service.
While the exercise ought to have been in both written and oral interview, going by the civil service law, the written aspect was jettisoned and the only oral question was “who will they vote for during the election?” Mentioning PDP candidate, Prof Olusola Eleka’s name as the answer automatically settled the matter.
One of the recently promoted civil servants confided in The Guardian, alleging that, “Almost all of us were asked the same question and once you assured them you would vote for Eleka, you have passed the interview. I just received my letter, but we all know that it’s all politics, because he cancelled all promotion exercise Fayemi did shortly before his election.”
Observers have also expressed concerns about the alleged directive to all Head of Departments to collect photocopies of the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and attached their bank account details to it. But this has unsettled some teachers and civil servants who reported the matter to the Department of Security Services (DSS).
While the teachers at Olaoluwa Muslim Grammar School, Ado-Ekiti had gathered their PVC and the photocopy was going on, some of the teachers alerted the operatives of DSS that swooped on the school and arrested some members of staff making the photocopy in the Principal’s office.
The School Principal, Mr. Sunmonu Olaoye, who condemned the arrest of the workers said: “The DSS operatives were in black uniforms and also wore black masks and headed for my office. I wasn’t in the office, but I was within the premises to monitor the ongoing third term examinations. Some of my staff members were in my office making photocopies of their documents, including their PVCs.
“I allowed them to make use of the school’s facilities because I don’t want anything to disrupt the ongoing examinations. The DSS people just swooped on the teachers, seized their documents including their PVCs and took away two members of staff. They also locked up my office and denied us access to examination materials we were to give to our students.
“I don’t know when making photocopies of documents including PVCs became an offence. One of the operatives even called my number saying I must report in their office within an hour or I would be treated as a common criminal. We have 123 teachers in the school and the people are resolved on who they will vote for during the poll regardless of intimidation and harassment.”
The arrest and detention of the staff had thrown up debates on the legality of their action, which can only be decided by the court. However, the NLC chairman, Comrade Adesanmi, has warned politicians in the state to desist from harassing and intimidating its members, saying the union would stand against such acts.
He added: “Let’s re-emphasise here that NLC is apolitical. Hence, we enjoin all workers to come out and fulfill their civic responsibility by voting for the candidate of their choice.”
Meanwhile, a moderate-size pavilion in Fajuyi, Ado Ekiti, has become a meeting point for job seekers, who besiege the place everyday to submit their application letters.
Since last month when Governor Fayose announced that all unemployed residents of the state interested in government job should submit their application letters at the centre, hopes of hundreds of job seekers were rekindled.
Indeed, collection of their application was a big ceremony presided over by the deputy governor and governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prof Kolapo Olusola, who promised that 2,000 applicants would soon be provided jobs.
But, the academic or professional competence of the job seekers were not the main consideration of the government officials that received and acknowledged the application letters, it was their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), their contact addresses, including their telephone numbers, bank account details, wards and local councils that were properly checked and confirmed to be authentic, before accepting their application letters as alleged.
Over 20,000 applicants were said to have applied for the job, while the exercise lasted. This government process of “recruitment” has not only helped to improve the number of registered voters in Ekiti, but has forced many registered voters to collect their PVCs from INEC.
Besides, the state government has not left the job seekers unattended to by constantly sending them text messages on why they must vote for the PDP candidate, Prof Olusola, in order to secure their “dream jobs”. In fact, they were duly mobilised to participate in the presentation of the PDP flag to Olusola last Thursday.
Like other civil servants in the state they received a message, which stated: “You are invited to meeting with the Governor in Ado Ekiti on Thursday 5th of July 2018, 10am at the Fajuyi pavilion. Kindly be punctual. Thank you!” A few seconds after the message, they received alert of N1, 500 from the “Empowerment Fund”.
Indeed, political watchers said that was not the first time Fayose would use this kind of tactics to woo hapless unemployed youths to secure their votes.
They were quick to recall how in 2014 he publicly announced at all his campaign rallies that those seeking jobs should submit their applications at his Afao-Ekiti residence and his hotel in Ado Ekiti, without employing anybody since he became the governor.
Criticizing Fayose for playing on the emotions of the unsuspecting job seekers, the State Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Taiwo Olatunbosun, said it is unfortunate that the governor keeps on deceiving youths when he has no plan for them.
He said: “During his governorship campaigns in 2014, he asked Ekiti youths to submit their credentials to his campaign office for immediate mass employment if they voted for him. But after winning the election, the credentials of the youth found their way to groundnut and roasted plantain sellers, and up till now, none of them has been employed.
“I think people should ask him how many people he has employed since he became governor, instead he sacked people employed into various intervention schemes by Dr. Kayode Fayemi. The old trick he used last time will not work now. People know who has the capacity to employ and they will vote for Fayemi on July 14, this year.”
Also, former Minster for Works, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, said that the recent offer by Governor Fayose to create 2000 jobs for the youths of the state, is a scam that would end in nought and that it would only hurt their feelings and aggravate their present position instead of improving their lots.
However, the state Publicity Secretary of PDP, Mr. Jackson Adebayo, refuted Adeyeye’s allegations against the Fayose administration, saying that the employment exercise was not a scam.
He added that many youths, who had obtained the forms had been praising the governor. “ I am not surprised at the allegations of Prince Adeyeye. Fayose will never release employment forms that are not genuine or fake but Adeyeye is only criticising the state governor because he is a failure.”
Similarly, the Commissioner for Information Youths and Sports Development, Mr. Lanre Ogunsuyi, said: “Adeyeye is only speaking from both sides of the mouth. He is not a democrat and before he defected to APC, he was always supporting all the actions and decisions of Governor Ayodele Fayose. I will only advise Ekiti people to disregard his words and comments.”
Posted By: Emmanuel Oladesu, Group Political Editor
For the All Progressives Congress (APC), this is an anxious moment. Reminiscent of the pre-2015 election period, when the new Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) sprang up to liquidate the acclaimed largest party in Africa, some chieftains yesterday announced the formation of the ‘Reformed APC’ to coordinate the onslaught against the ruling party.
APC National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole, who tried frantically to avert it, now has a big challenge on his hands.
Can he stop the predictable defection from the APC? Can he avert the disintegration of the ruling party? Can he persuade the aggrieved chieftains to sheath their swords? What is the way out of the logjam?
According to observers, the APC has no formidable competitor in next year’s elections; it is now evident that it has so much trouble to deal with within than without.
Prominent APC chieftains have constituted themselves into a curious internal opposition within the fold. Thus, while APC appears unperturbed by the activities of the main opposition party, the PDP, and other smaller rivals, it can only ignore the antics of its internal opposition leaders to its peril.
The bone of contention in the APC is not ideology. Neither is it the welfare of the common man. There is a clash of ego. Those fighting within are fighting the battle of relevance and survival. They crave for more party powers and access to the inner corridor of power, where President Muhammdu Buhari, who seems to have a different vision and mission, is aloof and indifferent to their cravings.
Senate President Bukola Saraki is on trial for alleged corruption. He has also been linked with bandits who broke banks in the deadly Offa robbery. He expects a sympathetic presidential ear. The Bauchi home front is hot for House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara, owing to the war of attrition between him and Governor Muhammed Abubakar. He believes the President should intervene on his side.
Members of the so-called ‘Reformed APC” have returned to the drawing board. The pre-2015 tactics of the nPDP is on their palms. The defection ravaged and devastated the then ruling party. When nPDP members dumped their former camp en mass, there was no remedy. Therefore, the “Reformed APC” or put succinctly, “nAPC,” is on a familiar path.
Defection can only be condoned under the law if there is crisis in the party. Yet, the APC has been surviving its crisis, including the furore over congresses. The onus is now on the Reformed APC to orchestrate a crisis as a prelude to its final decision to jump ship. A shift of allegiance to a new party is legally permissible. But, it is at a cost. The parliamentary defectors forfeit their seats. But, if they can manage to successfully instigate crisis, they can hold on to their legislative positions, just as former House of Representatives Speaker Waziri Tambuwal did and escaped sanctions in 2014.
Those behind the new plot are skilled in the art of defection to score some points. Former nPDP leader Kawu Baraje is ready to fuel the ‘rebellion’ with his rich experience.
It is ironical that the ‘Reformed APC’ has no clear agenda for party reforms.
To observers, the doomsday was only postponed. Since the beginning of the Buhari administration, the APC has been fighting internal battles. The party was nearly suffocated in an atmosphere of strife and rancour. Although it has the majority in the National Assembly, it has never translated that to cordial relations between the legislature and the executive.
In the past, the logjam was attributed to the weakness of the party caucus, which should have moderated the tension between the presidency and the National Assembly. Also, reconciliation in the APC has been slow. Many stalwarts are erecting obstacles on the way of the process. When he assumed the reins last week, Oshiomhole promised to swing into action.
Already, those who are likely to defect are locked in partisan fraternity with the PDP. The motivation is personal interest, which is fundamental in politics. There is a realignment of forces. Also, there is a clash of permutations. When the national convention was going on in Abuja, Senator Rabiu Kwakwanso was meeting with the PDP presidential aspirant, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar in another location. Just this week, Tambuwal was holding court with Rivers State Governor Nyeson Wike in Port Harcourt. Saraki’s Chief of Staff Hakeem BabaAhmed called it quits with the APC.
What next? It is believed that the aggrieved chieftains have made up their minds to defect. But, the defection is still being delayed for strategic reasons. Can the national chairman stem the tide?
If potential defectors bid APC farewell, will it herald the disintegration of the ruling party? Will the defectors go back to the PDP, with all its baggage? Will the PDP change its name as it is being speculated? Will the defectors team up with former President Olusegun Obasanjo? Will their defection cripple the APC? Will it abort President Buhari’s second term ambition?
Certainly, there is a split in the nPDP. There is no consensus. The current action is not a unanimous decision. In the Southwest, the activities of the Reformed APC will not have impact. In the Southsouth, which is a PDP-dominated zone, and the Southeast, where zonal APC leaders are trying to persuade their kith and kin to support the President, it will create a setback for mobilisation. But, not beyond what happened in 2015 when the zone rejected the APC. The battle front is the North, where pro-Buhari forces will now gird their loins in anticipation of titanic battle with anti-Buhari forces.
Generally, it is doubtful if the activities of the Reformed APC will produce the same impact like that of the pre-2015 nPDP ahead of next year’s polls. The reasons are obvious. There is split in the camp of the internal agitators. The public perception of some of their arrowheads is a big factor. Preliminary steps have been taken to reduce the effects of defections in states that may likely be hit by the defections. Also, unlike what happened in the PDP in 2014/2015, majority of party leaders will not desert the president in his bid for a second term.