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Edo 2020 Election: Observations, Lessons And Recommendations For APC

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The year 2020 gubernatorial election in Edo state has come and gone.  Incumbent  Governor Godwin Obaseki has been declared winner by INEC, the electoral umpire. Since he won convincingly, his victory has been accepted by his closest rival, Ize Iyamu, Iyamu’s party,  the APC and the crux of the opposition party leaders- Messrs Muhammadu Buhari and Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Godfatherism was dealt with:  In the September 2020 gubernatorial election, attempts by APC’s Adams Oshiomole and Bola Tinubu to foist their person on the people of Edo State was strongly resisted. The lesson for APC is that issue of godfatherism, imposition of candidate and frustration of eligible candidate is no longer in vogue, as the democracy of Nigeria leaps forward. It is recommended that while there can be fair internal screening of candidates, manipulation of candidates’ thirst to serve their people by arm-twisting them to step down should be discouraged.

2023 Presidential Election: Obviously, there are camps towards the struggle for the APC Presidential ticket, each trying to stifle the other camp’s ambition. The lesson is that in politics it is most unwise to underrate internal conflict, schism and the disgruntled. If the wall is not broken, the lizard cannot enter. In the September 19,2020 gubernatorial election, there were compromises and betrayals, perfected from inside the APC top hierarchy and manifested on the electoral fields.

How many sitting or past APC governors campaigned for the party and the candidate? What logistics for winning were made available for Ize-Iyamu? The recommendation is that within the South enclave of the party, certain people needs to be called to order to shelve their Presidential ambition. Unless, through hatred,  jealousy and envy for certain people, the party will be torn into shreds before the Presidential primaries by which time to hold the center together, may be too late.

INEC, Police : These umpires could conduct a fair, free and credible election if they really want to. There were marked improvements in the performance of these bodies pre, during and after the 19/9/2020 election in Edo state. Former American President, Obama said ‘ Africa needs strong institutions, not strong men’. The onus is on Nigeria’s leadership to strengthen and support these institutions as Nigeria’s democratic growth and development progresses.

APC should prepare itself as a political party through selection of candidates, campaigns, funding, party cohesion to participate in fair, free and credible elections.

Buhari and APC: The body language of Nigeria’s incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari is not showing that he intends to trade his statesmanship, leadership credibility identity, integrity, posterity  for the APC, going forward. Recently, he supported a factional Chairman against erstwhile sitting National Chairman Adams Oshiomole, stating unambiguously that the rule of law was on the side of the factional Chairman.

Buhari was one of the first set of people to congratulate Obaseki for winning the September 19 elections. Clearly, he does not seem fastidious or elated about the Tinubu/Oshiomole grandstanding and he can use his enormous presidential powers, political clout to checkmate them anytime suddenly.

Given this, where their interests matter, Tinubu/Oshiomole can not rely on the presidential support as currently situated. More work, outside reliance on Buhari will need to be done by the APC and founders of the party.

South Presidential Ambition: The South East which should justifiably lay claim to the South President slot in the APC have not embraced it as a political platform since inception of the party. The party  has not perform well in the region as South East has always voted for the PDP. So, they should struggle for PDP Presidential ticket ditto for the South South.

With the capture of Edo State, the entire South South region is being controlled by PDP Governors under the leadership of Governor Nyesom Wike.

The South South PDP can justifiably lay claim to contest in PDP presidential primary, not in the APC which they have not embraced politically. By loyalty, sacrifices and service in the APC as a party , the South West APC has done well for the political party than any other region in the South.

Searchlight for APC Presidential candidate should be beamed towards a credible candidate in the Southwest, as they are bringing block votes.  In my opinion, Bola Ahmed Tinubu (BAT) may want it, desire it, long for it, qualify eminently for it but with serial losses of his hold as a national leader in the party as being orchestrated by ‘Fulani hegemony’, treatments earlier  given to late Obafemi Awolowo, Moshood Kasimawo Abiola (MKO) may just be the ‘reserved master cards’ for him. It is recommended that same BAT, shops for credible , sellable presidential candidate who can command the trust of the Hausa Fulani from the North West, North Central and North East regions.

BAT should join Buhari in the political shopping.

Welfarist Policies of Buhari’s APC: Costs of living cannot be going on like these, in high and astronomical fashion and APC would have any good hope in future elections. Masses of our people are suffering. Staple foods such as rice, bread and soup condiments are unaffordable. Farmers are being kidnapped and killed by Fulani herdsmen, their wives and children being raped.

In many families, unemployment is a common phenomenon. Costs of fuel, transportation and epileptic electricity are unavoidable. Call of people to elections involving APC is a call for display of anger of the hungry against a party suffering  and harming them. If APC does not want to continue loosing elections, it should embrace populist welfarist policies as were done during late Muritala Mohammed regime, late Shehu Yaradua and current Governor Zulu of Borno state.

People are not being by rhetorics deceived; even if they were before,  hunger, more education, social media have opened Nigerians eyes. From mid-year 2021, people should start feeling in smiling and tangible ways, the President Buhari’s APC and not these facades.

Recommendations and Realities: Let us give it to him, Bola Ahmed Tinubu is primus inter pares among politicians in APC and Nigeria. Many do not want to give it to him. The top echelon of the party need to reconcile with him.

Many of the politicians in APC  being embraced by the ‘Cabals’ against him neither has his clout or can they make any meaningful impact. The Southwest will not betray Tinubu’s leadership. Kudos to the Buni-led Convention Committee that has been successful in many reconciliation efforts and making many aggrieved party members and leaders to return to the party.

Noticeably, Buni Committee brought back former Speaker Yakubu Dogara and his allies and made meaningful impacts in the reconciliation efforts of Oyo State APC members. However, more still need to be done. Buni was not successful in uniting the various interests in Edo State  and APC failed successful reconciliation by truth and fairness committee directly reflects on party successes at the polls.

The people is the party and the people cannot be ignored by a serious political party. The lesson from September 2020 Edo State elections is also that the mass of the people cannot be ignored. APC  needs more intense, fairer and deeper work by the various reconciliation committees setup throughout the length and breadth of the country.

Therein lies the future of the party. Therein lies APC successes in future elections.

 

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Idowu Ayodele

Political Desk

Mega Icon Magazine

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Politics

Exclusive: Again, Another PDP Chieftain Rejects Governor Makinde’s Appointment

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Another chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who was a former member of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon. Abioye Mathew Adegboyega has rejected his appointment by the State  Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde as a member of Agricultural Credit of Oyo State, Mega Icon Magazine exclusively gathered

Our checks also revealed that Hon. Abioye’s appointment was conveyed to him through a letter of appointment addressed to him by the Secretary to the state government, Mrs Olubamiwo Adeosun dated 1st December, 2020.

A source , very close to the government who confided in our reporter informed that Hon. Abioye returned the letter of appointment given to him at room 20, Governor’s office, Secretariat, Ibadan on Wednesday 2nd December, 2020 without adducing any reason for rejection and left.

However, one of his close associates who did not want his name to be mentioned lamented that Governor Seyi Makinde is only trying to relegate the former lawmaker  politically by given him an appointment that is too demeaning for his personality.

He wondered why Hon. Abioye popularly called ‘Elder’ with such a huge political profile would be relegated by given him a low profile appointment when other candidates who lost election under the PDP like him including Hon. Mojeed Mogbonjubola, Hon. Kunle Yusuff, Hon. Abayomi Oyedeji, Hon. Segun Ogunwuyi and Hon. Afeez Jimoh that had earlier been appointed were given juicy political appointments.

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According to him, “to me the appointment is too demeaning for my leader considering his calibre, political records as a two term member of the Oyo State House of Assembly, former member, Board of Director of Oyo State Finance and Investment in 2006 and his contributions to the emergence of His Excellency, Engr Seyi Makinde as the Governor of Oyo State and the expenses incurred during the election.

“I remember vividly how he used his influence to prevent Sen. Ayoade Adeseun from getting all the candidates from our zone in Ogo Oluwa/Surulere during the primary election that produced Engr Seyi Makinde as our gubernatorial candidate in 2019 election.

“I also remember how a former Governor of Oyo State, Senator Rashidi Ladoja had promised to make him board Chairman and handed over the structure of the party in Ogo Oluwa/Surulere to him in 2004 before he fell apart with late Baba Adedibu which led to his impeachment in 2005. So, I think he deserves something that is better than a mere board member”, he lamented.

When contacted, Hon. Abioye did not state any reason for rejecting the appointment but said that his being in politics is not about holding elected or political appointment alone but to discharge his divine mandate of leading the people and impact positively on their lives.

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He added that though he has not been contacted by either the Governor or any of his aides to ask him reason for rejecting the appointment, he still remains bonafide member and supporter of Engr Seyi Makinde led administration in the State.

It would be recalled that Hon. Abioye Mathew Adegboyega was a two term member of the Oyo State House of Assembly representing Ogo Oluwa/Surulere state constituency between 2007 to 2015. He was a candidate of the PDP for Ogo Oluwa/Surulere Federal constituency in the 2019 election but lost to the candidate of the APC.

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Oyo APC expresses readiness for December 12 membership registration exercise

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As the December 12, 2020 date announced for the commencement of the All Progressives Congress’ membership registration and revalidation exercise approaches, the Oyo state chapter of the party has expressed its readiness and preparedness for the exercise as it called on those “external forces planning to polarize the party in the state for selfish reasons to stay away or be ready to lick their own wounds.

The Yobe State Governor, Mallam Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) had on Monday announced the commencement of the party membership registration and revalidation. According to the Committee, the four weeks exercise has been scheduled to take place simultaneously in all the wards in the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) between December 12, 2020 and January 9, 2021.

Oyo APC, in a statement issued on Wednesday and made available to journalists in Ibadan by its Assistant Publicity Secretary, Prince Ayobami Adejumo, opined that ” the planned exercise was critical to the future of the party as it was necessary for all stakeholders comprising APC leadership at all levels, genuine democrats and patriots to play their part and ensure the exercise record a huge success.

“In Oyo APC, all hands are on deck to deliver on the mandate as we are already putting in place the necessary arrangement to accommodate both the teeming existing and prospective members across the 351 Wards in the state. The Chief Akin Oke-led Executive Committee will leave no stone unturned to make the atmosphere conducive for all stakeholders and supporters of our great party to work together and come up with accurate data bank for party faithful as desired.

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“Meanwhile, it is equally pertinent to make a strong appeal to our Party’s national headquarters not to give any room for saboteurs and divisive elements who might want to compromise the smooth conduct of the exercise in Oyo state. As it stands now, the question of individuals or groups trying to outdo one another is not expected before and during the exercise because the goal of membership registration and revalidation goes beyond self aggrandizement or settling of scores among gladiators.

“This time, we would not close our eyes at the possible incursion of some external forces backed by some over zealous political players within the APC who are still hell bent of sponsoring crisis in Oyo APC for their own selfish ends ahead of the next general elections. As a matter of fact, the national leadership of our great party is being put on notice that we are capable of handling the exercise as one united family because stakeholders are aware of the task before the party in the state.

“What is more important to us is how to ensure that every willing person is captured in the party’s data base regardless of their location and physical status before the end of it all. The situation in Oyo state now indicates that electorate would be willing to return us to power again in 2023 as doing so would afford them the opportunity to have unhindered access to public safety, improved infrastructure, clean environment, prosperity among other basic things which the current PDP administration has shown that it lacked the capacity to provide”, the statement read.

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‘No informed mind would celebrate Makinde over NUC’S ceding of LAUTECH to Oyo’ – APC

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The All Progressives Congress in Oyo state has faulted state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over an alleged shameless attempt to mislead the public on the decision of the National University Commission (NUC) to cede the full control of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, LAUTECH, Ogbomoso to Oyo state government.

The NUC, had on Friday, announced that the joint ownership of the 30 year-old Ivory Tower had ceased to be following a mutual agreement between the two states who were hitherto responsible for its funding and management.

It is recalled that the University was founded by the military government of the old Oyo state in 1990 while Osun state was carved out of Oyo in 1991 but the Institution was not among the assets shared between the two states as at that time.

Meanwhile, agitation for ceding of the University to Oyo state began to gain momentum from a section of the state when Osun state established its own state University in December 2006 and the then administration of Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola made a multi campus institution. The call was heightened recently when funding became an issue for the Institution even though governments of the two owner states blamed poor utilization of resources by the school management for this.

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In a statement issued at the weekend and made available to journalists in Ibadan by its Assistant Publicity Secretary, Prince Ayobami Adejumo, Oyo APC described the NUC’s proclamation as a welcome development even as the party cautioned that “it ought not to be celebrated by any reasonable person, group or government in view of its unpleasant implications which could be understood by only discerning minds.

“We received the news from the NUC with mixed feelings; on one hand, it could address the issues of buck passing and under funding of the great academic institution but on the other hand, the development underscore the fact that a lot still has to be done to entrench unity, love and brotherliness among the peoples of Oyo and Osun states who have just demonstrated lack of trust and cooperation amongst them over this LAUTECH issue.

“As a matter of fact, Gov. Makinde or Oyo PDP did nothing to actualize the sole ownership desire as what happened last Friday was the completion of a process started by a former governor of the state, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala whose people in Ogbomoso pressurized to pursue the goal for obvious reasons. Late Senator Abiola Ajimobi who governed the state between 2011 and 2019 could not have toed the same line because he probably felt it was reasonable for LAUTECH to remain a joint heritage of Oyo and Osun states.

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“Meanwhile, it is a height of insincerity and immorality for Gov. Makinde and his lackeys to embark on any celebration over the termination of joint ownership of LAUTECH between the two brother states during his own time. And if anything, Gov. Gboyega Oyetola of Osun state deserves kudos for being magnanimous enough to let go since there are no indication that Oyo state government paid any compensation for taking what is seemingly a greater share from the facilities.

“A snap check with NUC would reveal that Makinde did nothing concrete or special to claim the University from Osun as what essentially worked in favour of the Pacesetters state was the location of the University on its soil in Ogbomoso while Osun also claimed the Teaching Hospital located in its own state capital – Osogbo. We, therefore, challenge Gov. Makinde to make public his strategy deployed to defeat Osun state in the last 18 months as he now claims through his bootlickers.

“It is worthy of note that Gov. Makinde would only make a hero if he could replicate the magic which produced LAUTECH in its early days or the one that manifested the first Technical University in Nigeria. And as the whole world waits patiently for the aftermath of the dramatic cutting of ties between two brother states, we urge Oyo state government to take full advantage of whatever opportunity available to them and ensure that the University does not suffer on account of fake promises which is the pastime of the current PDP administration”, APC submitted.

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