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2019 governorship: Amosun, Okorocha lose out as APC insists on Dapo Abiodun, Uzodinma



NATIONAL Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, declared yesterday that Senator Hope Uzodinma and Prince Dapo Abiodun remain the party’s governorship candidates for Imo and Ogun States respectively, despite protestations from the governors of the two states. Oshiomhole said he would not be a party to alleged effort by Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State to create a political dynasty in the state.

He said Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State would also not be allowed to keep running the affairs of the party in his state like an emperor. The party chair spoke to reporters in Abuja ahead of last night’s deadline for the parties to submit the names of their governorship and state assembly candidates for next year’s elections.

Oshiomhole said the party was in the process of conducting fresh primaries in Rivers State after the Supreme Court invalidated the last congresses in the state that produced candidates for the elections. Taking the states one after the other, he said while the party’s constitution allows only the National Working Committee to conduct primaries, Amosun resorted to selfhelp by organising primaries where the secretary to his government was the chief returning officer.

His words: “The Ogun State governor decided in his wisdom to conduct his own self help. I mean resorting to what you can call self-help by conducting what he called his own primary. “The Secretary to Ogun State Government became the Chief Returning Officer and I and other NWC members were watching the television and we saw the Secretary to Ogun State Government proclaiming himself as the returning officer, and purported to have conducted the primary.”

Amosun, he also claimed, at a point decided to introduce consensus and went ahead to announce the names of those he said were the consensus candidates of the party. The governor’s action, he said, was rejected by other stakeholders in the state, after which the governor settled for direct primary. Oshiomhole said that when the electoral committee sent to the state to conduct the primary got there, Amosun and his preferred candidate, Adekunle Akinlade, refused to participate in the exercise.

Dapo Abiodun went on to win the primary, he said. Oshiomhole said Amosun thereafter began to pile pressure on the party’s hierarchy to get the party to accept Akinlade, including mobilising some traditional rulers in the state to visit the President on the matter.

He vowed that no amount of blackmail would make him or members of the National Working Committee change what had been done in accordance with the laws of the party and in accordance with the provisions of the electoral act unless a court of competent jurisdiction rules otherwise. He said: “As we speak, we have submitted Amosun’s name to INEC as our senatorial candidate (for Ogun Central). “If we had anything against him, we would have found a way to disqualify him.

The fact that we submitted his name means we don’t have anything against him. The issue is that he did not have his way. “He announced somebody as the consensus governor. He proceeded to announce another man as deputy governor. “He went on to proclaim himself as the next senator, and he said the current senator, Tejuoso, should step aside. “He also went on to announce that the second senator, also from Ogun State, will step aside while another man will come in. “Governor Amosun went on to announce another man who will be the next speaker, and another one as the next deputy speaker.

“He also singlehandedly picked eight House of Representatives members. Seven will not return, according to him; only one will return. All these he claimed as consensus.” On Imo State, Oshiomhole said the APC reviewed the report of the panel sent to the state, headed by Ahmed Gulak, and discovered that it substantially met with the guidelines set by the party and decided to uphold the report and adopt the senator as its candidate.

Responding to a reporter’s question, the APC chair said: “The governor of Imo State said I should obey the order of the court and the law. I accept that advice wholeheartedly. “Yesterday (Thursday), I received documents from the High Court of Justice in Owerri where Governor Rochas heads the executive arm of government. The Chief Judge of the state ordered that I should not tamper with anything that has been done legally to throw up Uzodinma as the candidate of the party.

“The sitting Deputy Governor is the one who obtained that order. So, in accordance with the advice of Governor Rochas, I will respect that order of court.” Oshiomhole vowed that he would not be a party to helping the governor to build a political dynasty for himself where he would be a senatorial candidate of the party while his son-in-law would become the governorship candidate.

He said Governor Okorocha is already a beneficiary of the party’s belief in doing things in accordance with the principles of fairness and justice. He said: “He completely lost out in the congress that was conducted by my predecessors, and when we came in, he cried foul and we took another look at the process and decided to cancel it, and we conducted another congress that now put a smile on his face.”

On Zamfara State where INEC said the party did not conduct primaries and will not be allowed to field candidadtes, Oshiomhole said the party is already in court to challenge the INEC position. His words: “We respect the sanctity of INEC and we expect them to remain impartial and not deny the people of Zamfara the opportunity to choose who should be their governor.” He said it would be undemocratic for the electoral management body to deny the party its right in the state.

Oshiomhole expressed confidence that justice will prevail and the party will be allowed to present candidates in the state. The APC chair said the party will soon conduct fresh primaries in Rivers to pick its candidates for all elections after the previous list sent to INEC was invalidated by the Supreme Court. He apologised to the judicial arm of government for the invasion of the court by hired thugs in Rivers. He also expressed confidence that President Muhammadu Buhari will emerge winner of the 2019 election, boasting that “Buhari will defeat Atiku in his home town.”

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The Ogun State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Rt. Hon. Muyiwa Oladipo has declared his support for the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the state, Prince Dapo Abiodun, saying he remain loyal to the party’s principles which is superior to any personal interest.

Oladipo made this known while fielding questions from Journalists in Abeokuta, noted that many were  wondering about his political stand and why he remain silence in the ongoing political imbroglio in the state but saying that he remain resilience with the APC which is the ruling party in that in the state, noted that he never thought of decamping to Allied Peoples’ Movement (APM).

He said “Truly there has been many gossiping here and there based on where I belong, most especially when I am silent about the ongoing political machinations in the state. But I must confess to you that I Basorun Muyiwa Oladipo, I am in support of APC progressive principles which is similar to the Action Group (AG), founded by our late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, that was later transformed to Alliance for Democracy (AD), and  now APC by the collective  agreement of all progressive political leaders and elders in Nigeria.

“There was a time I showed my interest in contesting for Governorship position of this state, but God said it is not yet time. Let me be frank with you, I am in ruling party, APC and I am in support of Prince Dapo Abiodun the governorship candidate of APC in Ogun State who I am very sure by the grace of God will emerge as the Amosun’s successor”.

Oladipo pointed out the reasons for him in remaining in APC and why supporting the party’s candidate Prince Dapo Abiodun for the March Governorship election in the country, saying that the supremacy of the party needed to be putting in consideration while playing politics, there are some principles guiding everybody in the party.

“I am in APC because my boss Senator Ibikunle Amosun who appointed me as Commissioner still remain and committed to APC progressive ideology. The Governor has his reasons for standing with Buhari in APC and that is why all of us cannot sleep and put our heads in the same direction, and we all have our conscience to follow. The Governor asked some of his party followers to decamp to the Allied Peoples’ Movement (APM) to actualize their political dreams and ambitions, while some did not complied but remain in APC just as the Governor Amosun himself standing in APC”, Oladipo said

He noted that the Governor Ibikunle Amosun was in support of Hon. Abdulkabir Adekunle Akinlade from opposition party, APM. That doesn’t means that every other cabinet members of the Amosun should follow his footstep, but one need to be steadfast and committed to the party’s principle that made him as Amosun’s cabinet members.

He said “This life is like a talking drum, what faces someone may back another. There is something my boss, Governor Amosun saw in supporting Hon. Abdulkabir Adekunle Akinlade which is personal, so the sky is very wide enough to accommodate variant birds to fly without conflict of interest, many Commissioners have resigned their appointment but I have not resigned because the party that appointed me as commissioner is still the ruling APC. The governor never said he is going to APM, so I have no reason leaving the party when our leader in the state is still in support of APC.”

The Commissioner restated his commitment to the party’s principle at all time but noted that he was ready to leave the party if the  governor also leave the party for APM, noting that he was not into any anti-party activities but in line with the Amosun’s principle of APC which he said that it can be justified by his Boss in the state.

” You see, there is no any consequences for my action, especially for not supporting the governor adopted candidate triple A which l know, but l am not in any way into anti party activities, I am in line with the  governor’s principles of remaining in APC, so if I am sacked for being a loyal APC member, then I think I will be justified, but I know my boss cannot do that because everybody is entitled to his own opinion.”

He advice the people of the state go and collect their PVCs, which he said was an instrument to choose the candidate of their choice that is going to lead them for the next four years, while he enjoined the youths in the state not to be used as political thugs for any political gain but be  very wise in working for the success of general election in 2019.

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Atiku takes Campaign to Ekiti, Ondo on Monday



The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar will on Monday, January 14 storm Ekiti State with other
leaders of the party in continuation of his campaign tour across the country.

Director of Media and Publicity of the Atiku/Obi PDP Campaign Council in Ekiti State, Lere Olayinka said in a statement issued in Ado Ekiti
on Saturday, that the presidential campaign train will have a stopover at Ikere-Ekiti before moving to Ado Ekiti, the State capital where
homage will be paid to traditional rulers at the palace of the Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adejugbe.

Olayinka, who said further that members and supporters of the PDP are expected at the State Pavilion, NTA Road in Ado Ekiti, venue of the
rally from 9am added that the campaign train will also stop in Akure, Ondo State on Monday, move to Osun State on Tuesday, Lagos State on 17 and Ogun State on 19.

He said the rally was billed for the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium, Ado Ekiti, situated at the center of the State capital but the State
Government declined only to approve the use of the State Pavilion, located at the outskirt of the town.

Olayinka urged the people of the State to troope out en-masse to give rousing welcome to the PDP presidential candidate, who he declared as
the “next president of Nigeria by the grace of God.”

On the parallel campaign council inaugurated by the Senate Minority Leader, Biodun Olujimi, Olayinka said; “That one goes to no issue. The
campaign council at the national level is relating with the Chairman, Prof Kolapo Olusola and the Director General, Chief Dipo Anisulowo.

He said “the stand of the party as well as the campaign council, which Senator Olujimi must abide with is that those in the House of
Assembly, who are still claiming to be PDP members but working against the party by being instrumental to the suspension of 12 assembly
members as well as the sack of elected council chairmen and councilors who are members of the party will not be accorded recognition.”

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Our attention has been drawn to reports published by some media outlets following a press statement by the International Press Centre on the purported shooting of three journalists at Tuesday’s flag off of the All Progressives Congress gubernatorial campaign rally held at the Sky Power Grounds in Ikeja, Lagos.

The statement is inaccurate and not a representation of what happened at the well attended and highly successful flag off campaign.

Over 50 journalists were accredited to cover the event and a special arrangement was made to guarantee their safety with the provision of a dedicated media platform.

At no point was any member of the media harassed, threatened or molested throughout the period of the campaign. Journalists moved freely from one point to another in the expansive field and no one was censored.

For the records, the campaign began at 10 O’clock in the morning with several events lined up, such as endorsements and open declaration of support for our candidate, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu. There was music, dance and jubilation by party faithful who came out enmasse to witness the epoch-making event. The State Party Chairman, Alhaji Tunde Balogun, assisted by the incumbent Governor of Lagos State. Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, presented the official flag of the party to our standard bearer, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

While His Excellency, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, remarks was going on, sounds suspected to be gun shots rented the air.

Characteristically, people who were close to where the sound came from ran for dear lives.

Unfortunately, some three journalists, Emmanuel Oladesu of the Nation newspaper, Temitope Ogunbanke of the New Telegraph newspaper and Abiodun Yusuf of Ibile TV were caught up in the melee, orchestrated by two factions of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW). They sustained injuries and were rushed to the hospital for treatment. These gentlemen had since been discharged and had returned to their various duty posts. Our office is in touch with the affected journalists.

Rather than celebrate inaccuracies, the IPC should have expressed concern and asked pertinent questions on why there was security breach at such a highly mobilized political gathering. The body should have bothered itself on where the policemen were when the perpetrators carried out the criminal act.

We encourage our media partners to seek clarification from our office on matters relating to our campaign before going to the press. That is the minimum requirement for ethical journalism.

Gboyega Akosile

For Babajide Sanwo-Olu media centre

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