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Edo primary: Step in now to save APC from an impending loss -Senator Osunbor urges Tinubu

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…demands cancellation of the flawed primary

…says there’s a game plan to present a weak candidate to pave way for PDP

… insists a repeat of 2020 massive defeat is looming

One of the top contenders of the Edo APC 2024 guber primary, Senator Professor Oserheimen Osunbor has called on President Bola Tinubu to wade into the looming crisis of the party after a flawed primary conducted last Saturday.

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Senator Osunbor also called for the cancellation of the primaries which has so far produced three APC guber flag bearers.

He made this disclosure in a press conference on Sunday evening in Iruekpen his hometown where he chronicled what transpired last Saturday declaring that:

“On Saturday, 27th, February 2024 all registered members of APC across Edo state came out to vote for their preferred candidate for the 21 September governorship election.

“To their disappointment, the election did not take place anywhere that I know of across the 18 Local Government areas of Edo State. The party officials deployed from the Abuja office of the Natiional Organising Secretary to conduct the elections at the various wards and Local Government areas of Edo State were kept in hotels in Benin.

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“There is no record or video of any of them preforming their assigned roles in the election at their respective designated points.

“Specifically, in my own Ward 6 of Esan LGA, where over 200 members assembled and were eagerly waiting, no electoral official of the party turned up.

“Infact, there was no election anywhere in Esan West and other LGAs including Akoko-Edo and Etsako West. I was aghast and in disbelief when I saw a video of the purported result of Esan West election being announced by a lady said to be a retuning officer.

“What we saw on television was not result of election but allocation of votes by some persons in Benin to each of the aspirants.

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“In the end, two candidates have been announced as winners. Sen. Monday Okpebholo and Hon. Denis Idahosa in a primary election that was never held or was not conducted in accordance with the law and guidelines. This charade confirms the widespread suspicion that there is a deliberate plan by some people to create crises in Edo state APC, instigate bitterness among the members and set the public against the party in order to aid the victory of the presumed PDP candidate.

“They are labouring to present a weak APC candidate that will be easily over-run and defeated by the presumed PDP candidate during the election. They are not working in the interest of APC but of PDP. We must avoid a repeat of the scenario which lead to the defeat of APC in 2020.

“I hereby appeal to his excellency President Bola Tinubu to:-

1 Cause an investigation to be instituted into the allegation that this sham of a primary election and the crises it has generated have been induced by gratification given and received by the principal actors to damage APC and pave the way for the emergence of the PDP candidate in the election.

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2. Order the cancellation of the election which has produced two or four candidates, if you add Prince Clem Agba and Hon Anamero Dekiri who have each claimed victory. The primary election cannot stand the test of legal scrutiny but rather will jeopardize the chances of APC. This is, in fact, their true intention and desire. There has been a brazen disregard of the Party Guidelines, Party Constitution and the Electoral Act, which may prove fatal in the event of litigation.

  1. Order another primary election to be conducted ahead of the 24th February deadline set by INEC. Different officers should be assigned to conduct the fresh primaries.

“I make this appeal as the most popular aspirant with name recognition and acceptability throughout the length and breadth of Edo state.

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Allocation freeze: states set timetables for council elections

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Some states have unfolded plans for local government elections, following the Supreme Court judgment which ordered non-release of allocations to councils run by caretaker committees.

The states that have set timetables for polls are Katsina, Osun, Enugu, Sokoto, Abia and Anambra.

Others are Benue, Jigawa, Ondo, Kebbi and Imo.

Today in Abuja, Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister for the Economy Wale Edun, Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) and Federal Accounts and Allocation Committee (FAAC) officials will meet to discuss the implementation of the apex court verdict.

An aide to the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice told The Nation that the Supreme Court was unambiguous in its verdict.

When asked if the apex court decision had been communicated to the parties, the aide said: “There is no need communicating it to the federal and states’ executives. They were parties to the dispute through their attorneys-general.”

He added: “The Federal Government through remarks of Mr. President has acknowledged the court judgment. So, it’s up to relevant agencies of government to begin immediate implementation.”

The aide listed the Ministry of Finance, the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), FAAC representatives and the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF) as the agencies responsible for implementation.

Reflecting on the judgment, the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) called for increased allocations to the 774 local governments to enable them tackle the challenges of grassroots development.

Osun: no tenure extension for caretaker committee

The Chairman of Osun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC),  Hashim Abioye, said the commission has a timetable for elections that would be held in February .

He said: “Notice of election goes to the very root of the election. Any defect in the notice will knock off the election as it will lack any valid foundational basis.

“The notice we have given was in line with the law. Both the Electoral Act, 2022, and OSSIEC Law, 2022 provides for at least, 360 days before the date of the election. This we have done since February, this year. We are therefore, in a good stead to go ahead with our activities.”

Abioye said the tenure of the caretaker committee appointed by Governor Ademola Adeleke will expire next month.

He expressed doubt if their tenure would be extended.

However, 16 opposition political parties have said they would boycott the polls.

Osun State Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC),in a communique by its Chairman, Victor Akande, said “Abioye is not legally fit to conduct free, fair and credible local government election “ because he is a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Abioye, said the allegation by the 16 parties was unfounded.

Enugu: we  are ready for October 5

Enugu State government has reiterated its readiness to conduct polls as scheduled by the Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIEC).

The polls will hold on October 5.

The Commissioner for Information, Aka Eze Aka, said: “The state has declared that it will conduct elections in the local government areas and will democratically do so. The next factor is the mobilisation of the people.

“We’re ready at any point and cost. We’re ready to conduct free, fair and credible local government elections.”

But, the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), appealed to President Bola Tinubu to ensure that elections into local governments are conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and not state electoral commissions(SIEC)

It’s chairman, Ugochukwu Agballah, said elections conducted by SIECs are not just a shame, but also an embarrassment to the international community.

Sokoto: Polls hold September

The Commissioner of Information and Orientation, Sambo Bello Danchadi, said council polls will hold in September.

He said: “Although, no exact date has been fixed, the SIEC has commenced preparations for the conduct of the elections.”

Benue:  election is November 16

The Benue State Independent Electoral Commission (BSIEC) has fixed council polls for November 16.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Local and  Chieftaincy Affairs, Dennis Akura, said,: “ Even before the judgment, Governor Alia on his first day in office granted autonomy to local governments in Benue State and had been channeling funds straight to their accounts.”

He added: “The Supreme Court  judgment on local government autonomy is a boost for Benue because the State Electoral Commission has fixed November 16 for polls.”

Kebbi: Opposition to participate on August 31

The Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in Kebbi said it  would participate in the elections scheduled for Aug. 31.

Its spokesman, Alhaji Sani Dododo, who spoke in Birnin Kebbi, the state capital,  said:  “The decision to fully participate during the polls was reached after a meeting of enlarged stakeholders of the party.

“The meeting resolved that the party should fully participate in the poll so as not to jeopardise the ambition of young party members willing to test their popularity at the said elections at both councillorship and chairmanship levels.

“We are going to submit the names of our candidates for both the councillorship and chairmanship positions by July 17.”

Imo: poll on September 21

Council polls will hold in Imo State on September 21, Imo State Government,(IMSG) has said.

Its Chairman, Charles Ejiogu, reassured the people of the government’s determination, saying that the  date would not be compromised.

He said: “Pursuant to its establishment Law No 14 of 2000, as amended, the Imo State Independent Electoral Commission (ISIEC) is charged with the task of conducting and supervising a free, transparent, and credible local government council elections in Imo State.

“To this end, ISIEC is set to conduct the much expected council elections into the 305 INEC Registration Areas/Wards and in all the 4,758 INEC polling units in the 27 local government area councils of Imo State, come Saturday 21 September, 2024.”

Ejiogu added: “We are very well prepared for the election that will usher in 27 democratically  elected council chairmen, their deputies, and 305 councillors, in line with the objective of the polls.”

 Rivers: APC gives conditions

The Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC) has announced October 5 as poll date, urging political parties to brace for it.

The Chairman of the commission, Justice Enebeli (rtd), said  the date was mutually agreed upon by  17 political parties.

He said:  “We will conduct a free, fair credible local government elections. Every vote will count, only winners with majority vote count will be declared”.

But the All Progressives Congress (APC)  said it would only partake in the poll, if the processes are transparent.

Its Caretaker Committee Chairman, Tony Okocha, shunned the meeting organised by the commission.

He said: “I was not invited. My party was not invited. My party is too big not to be officially invited for an event like that.

“I am too big to attend an event that I was not officially invited. RSIEC refused to officially invite me as a chairman of a major opposition party in the state.”

 Ondo: Councils will be funded

The people of Ondo State were warming up for council polls before they were postponed indefinitely last month by the  Ondo State Independent Electoral Commission (ODSIEC).

Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa has set up Transition Committees for the 18 local governments and 33  Local Councils Development Areas.

The Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Amidu Takuro, said the setting up of Transition Committees was part of the processes leading to the conduct of local government elections.

Oyo: Makinde summons emergency meeting

Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde yesterday summoned an emergency stakeholders consultative meeting to discuss the Supreme Court judgment.

The governor, who also set up two committees- Technical and Legal – to review the  judgment, expressed displeasure at what he referred to as “lacuna” in the court decision.

Addressing the stakeholders at the Executive Chamber of the Governors Office in Ibadan,  the state capital,  Makinde gave four weeks to the committees to present their reports.

At the meeting were ALGON members, Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice,  Abiodun Aikomo, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Ademola Ojo, and Chairman of House of Assembly Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters,  representatives of the Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), and  Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT).

Makinde said the problem confronting the nation was not how to share money, but how to become more productive and create economic prosperity.

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No More Business As Usual, Oborevwori Warns Council Chairmen

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Local government chairmen of the 25 councils in Delta State would henceforth embark on people oriented Infrastructural projects that would meet the yearnings and aspirations of their people, the State Governor, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, has said.

The governor warned that it would no longer be business as usual in the councils as the chairmen must hold security council meetings every month to appraise the security situation in their councils.

Oborevwori gave the directive on Monday July 14, 2024, while swearing-in the newly elected Chairmen and their Vice in Asaba, the state capital.

The governor said the era of council chairmen living in Asaba, Warri or elsewhere outside their locality only to come to the council at the end of the month to share allocation was over.

Hear him: “To the elected Local Government Council Chairmen, I urge you to reciprocate the huge mandate that has been given to you by giving preference to the needs and aspirations of your people with a view to delivering good governance.

“You must discharge your duties with sincerity of purpose, impartiality, compassion, fairness, and justice and I expect you to work assiduously for the actualization of the MORE Agenda.

“You must address the reoccurring issues of insecurity, poverty, unemployment and environmental decay in your local government areas .

“I employ you to have regular meetings with security agencies in your area of jurisdiction for the purpose of maintaining law and order.

“I say, not just that you will hold meetings at your discretion. No, every month you must hold security council meeting”, stressing that security is a shared responsibility and should be done through periodic town hall meetings in collaboration with security agencies to review the security situation for the purpose of keeping the various communities safe.

“As the third tier of government, closest to the people, you need to improve the environmental sanitation in your communities. Our urban centres are riddled with filth as a result of improper waste disposal and poor sanitation habits of our people.

“I will like to see you step up in this regard by devising proper waste disposal measures, while embarking on aggressive public enlightenment campaign to educate our people on good sanitation habits.

“It goes without saying that you need money to run a successful administration. Please, take note that your statutory allocation in the last three months is intact.

“I, therefore, expect you to hit the ground running by embarking on visible infrastructural projects that can be commissioned. Don’t think that because the money is there, you will do the usual way, it will not be possible.

“You must make sure that these monies are put into use. Let your administrations be characterised by modesty, fiscal discipline, prudent management, judicious allocation of resources, and excellent project delivery

“Your success on this job will also depend on your ability to work seamlessly with your Vice Chairmen, the legislative arm and other critical stakeholders in the local government area. Please, avoid running a one-man show.

“You must demonstrate the political sagacity to manage the local politics, and the administrative acumen to be all-inclusive to ensure peace, stability, and cohesion in your domains.”

“For you to be effective as local government council chairmen, it is imperative that you stay close to your people, you must shun the unhealthy practice of running your councils from Asaba, Warri or elsewhere only to show up at the end of the month when you have allocation, that will not be accepted .

“We won’t tolerate that because it will not be profitable to you and the people you lead.

“I want to reemphasize again, Chairmen, carry your Vice Chairmen along, carry your councilors along. Sit down and plan how you can run your councils. I know that you have the capacity, you have been elected by them, don’t disappoint the people because there is an other time”, Oborevwori, stressed.

Responding on behalf of the Chairmen and Vice Chairmen, Chairman of Oshimili North Local Government Council, Hon. Innocent Esewezie, expressed appreciation to the governor and leaders of the PDP in the state for the opportunity given to them to serve at the grassroots level of governance.

He commended the electorate in the various local government areas for endorsing their candidature through the electoral mandate given to them at the polls, and assured that they have adopted the MORE Agenda of the Governor and would not betray the confidence reposed in them.

The highpoint of the ceremony which was attended by the wife of the governor, Deaconess Tobore Oborevwori; the Deputy Governor, Sir Monday Onyeme, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Emomotimi Guwor, State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Kingsley Esiso, and other top government functionaries, was the administration of oath of office on the chairmen and their deputies by the governor.

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16 Political Parties Withdraw From LG Elections In Osun

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Not less than 16 political parties have backed-out if the proposed Local Government election in Osun State.

This is revealed by the inter-Party advisory council, an umbrella body of all political parties in the State on Monday in Osogbo, noting that it will not participate in the forthcoming local Government election in the State.

“Political parties involved in this include:
Action Alliance
African Democratic Congress
Accord Party
Social Democratic Party
African Action Congress
New Nigeria Peoples Party
Allied Peoples Party
Peoples Redemption Party
All Progressives Grand Alliance
Zenith Labour Party
Action Democratic Party
Action Peoples Party
Labour Party Boot Party
National Rescue Movement
Young Peoples Party

It should be recalled that Chairman of Osun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC) had fixed February February 22, 2025, for the conduct of the local Government election in the state.

However, the State Chairman of IPAC, Victor Akande said it is imperative to withdraw from the proposed council election because the Council has lost confidence in the Chairman of the Commission, Ashim Abioye.

Victor Akande alleged that Ashim Abioye has perfected plans to use members of the PDP as electoral officers during the election slated for next year February.

According to him, the Council expected up-to-date information from the Commission ahead of the election but reverse is the case, alleging that the Peoples Democratic Party in the State is intentionally creating avenue for crisis in the State to scare people away.

“When Governor Ademola Adeleke of submitted the name of a card-carrying member of his party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Barrister Hassim Abioye, to the rubber-stamped House of Assembly for confirmation as the Chairman, Osun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC) on November, 2023, we vehemently kicked against it.

“Our position then, as Osun chapter of IPAC, was that Abioye is not legally fit to conduct free, fair and credible local government election in Osun.

“We opposed the brazen imposition of Abioye as OSSIEC umpire as he was Adeleke’s Senior Special Assistant on Legal Matters then.”

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