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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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‘Stop sponsoring attacks on our members, officials’ – Oyo APC warns PDP

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Oyo state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has alleged that some unnamed political associates of Governor Seyi Makinde and leaders of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state were the sponsors of the recent reported attacks on its members and officials at some venues of the ongoing membership registration and revalidation exercise in parts of the state warning them “to desist from such reprehensible acts”.

According to the party, media reports have it that some identified members of the outlawed Park Managers System (PMS), who were fully harmed with guns, machete and charms, stormed Aliwo location of Polling Units 05 and 06 of Ward 12 in Ibadan North East local government area in early hours of Tuesday and unleashed terror on residents of the area before carting away registration materials of the APC.

APC, in a statement issued on Wednesday and made available to journalists in Ibadan by the Secretary of its Committee on Media and Publicity, Olawale Sadare, frowned at what it described as unwarranted and unprovoked attacks from the PDP elements “who must have been jolted by the rate at which the good people of the state are trooping to register as new APC members while old members also attach much importance to revalidation of their membership.

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“We have had reports of violent attacks against our registration officials and members in places like Olagoke Akano Street of Ward 11 in Ibadan North East local government area, Academy area of Ward 06 in Egbeda, Iyana Bodija Market of Ward 05 in Lagelu, Orita Challenge in Ward 02 of Oluyole, Owode in Ward 06 of Ogbomoso North and many other places where political thugs were mobilized to the venues of the registration and revalidation exercise since the exercise began about two weeks ago.

“It is clear even to the deaf and the blind that those behind these shameful acts are those close to the corridor of power in the state who feel that violence, brigandage and lawlessness have to be reintroduced to the politics of Oyo state after the last administration of late Senator Abiola Ajimobi had successfully stamped it out. These disgruntled elements believe it is by unleashing terror on political opponents and hapless citizens that their desire to retain power in 2023 but this would be resisted by us in APC and other well meaning people in the society”, Sadare said.

Meanwhile, the APC media committee has appealed for calm among party faithful and members of the public who had expressed their worries over cases of non-availability of additional registration and revalidation materials in most places designated for the exercise which has now been extended to the end of March this year.

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“We are not unmindful of agitation for more supplies of the necessary materials used at most registration and revalidation points where those deployed have since been exhausted as a result of influx of the citizens who are desirous of revalidating their membership of the broom party or willing to be registered as new members. It is worthy of note that the national Secretariat of our party deployed 100 forms to each of the 4,778 Polling Units designated as Registration Points but reports indicate that officials in about 60 per cent of these Registration Points attended to 100 registrants in less than 48 hours and thus used up their materials.

“In view of this development, we are glad to disclose that the national Secretariat of our great Party has been duly notified as we have it on good authority that more supplies would be delivered to us in few days to take care of requests from across the state. Also, the leadership of the Oyo APC is poised to do everything necessary to ensure the success of the exercise which has signalled a new hope of a stronger, united and pragmatic Progressive movement in Oyo state ahead of the 2023 general elections”, Oyo APC Media Committee added.

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2023: Ex-Reps Member, Lam-Adesina Dumps ADC, Returns to APC

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A former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Adedapo Lam-Adesina, has defected from the African Democratic Congress (ADC) returning to his former party; the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Lam-Adesina represented Ibadan Northeast/Southeast federal constituency between 2015-2019.

The defection, which was done amid jubilations by his supporters at the Felele residence of the late former governor of Oyo State, Alhaji Lamidi Adesina, came weeks after leaders of the APC visited the ex-lawmaker.

Lam-Adesina, who formally declared his withdrawal from the ADC informed that his decision to rejoin the party was as a form of respect to its leaders and elders who had persuaded him to return to the progressive fold.

The ex-Oyo commissioner for Youth and Sports, together with other aggrieved members of the party, grouping under Unity Forum,  defected to ADC in June, 2018 to pursue their political bids owing to irreconcilable  tussle within the party.

Lam-Adesina further disclosed that he had tabled his grievances to those who visited him and others who had promised to address it. 

The late governor’s son said he was happy to be back home after what he called a ‘loan deal’ to ADC. He thanked the leadership for making the platform available when it was needed.

In his words, “I am happy to be back to APC. For me, it is a great homecoming. Like I have said, I have told our leaders who spoke to me let us address our problems once and for all”.

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2023 Presidency: Monarchs endorse Tinubu, as SWAGA takes crusade to Ogun

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The Alake and Paramount ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo and other prominent traditional rulers in Ogun state including the Akarigbo and Paramount Ruler of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, the Olu of Ilaro and Paramount ruler of Yewaland, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle have pledged their support for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s 2023 presidential ambition.

Also, the monarchs described the former governor of Lagos state and the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the rightful candidate to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.

The cultural custodians, who played host to a group of rainbow coalition of like minded politicians of South West extraction under the aegis of South West Agenda (SWAGA ’23), in their palaces declared that Tinubu is the best and preferred choice from the southwest zone of the country.

Remarking, the Alake of Egbaland , Oba Gbadebo, who said he had envisioned the former Lagos state governor serves as the nation’s president a very long time ago, also expressed confidence that the group will succeed in its assignment.

Also commenting, the Olu of Ilaro noted that his support for the APC national leader is apolitical, stressing that Tinubu is the most qualified candidate any political party in the South West could boast of.

According to Oba Olugbenle, the south west could not produce any other candidate that is as fit as Tinubu for the Presidential race in 2023

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The Paramount ruler of Yewaland maintained that the contribution of Tinubu to the growth and development of Nigeria was second to none, adding that he possesses the needed sagacity, tenacity and experience to rule the country.

“His legacies as former governor of Lagos State can attest to the fact that he is the most qualified for the job.

“When he was the governor of Lagos State, the foundation he laid was what all his successors are building on, which has made the State a force to be reckoned with in the country.

“It is not about party. It is about the product that we are bringing in. He is the best man any party can present in the south. Not about APC or any other party but about the national development”, the monarch said.

On his part, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, the Akarigbo of Remoland noted that the Presidential bid of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is a collective project that must be supported not only by Remoland, but the entire southwest.

The monarch, who offered prayers for the success of Tinubu’s presidential aspiration in 2023, also assured that the entire Remoland will key into the project of ensuring a true and patriotic Nigerian in the calibre of Tinubu to succeed Buhari.

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Also receiving the SWAGA 23 delegation at his Asoludero Court, Sagamu residence, former Ogun state governor, Gbenga Daniel preached unity of purpose.

While noting that the group has reignited the political strength and unity across the southwest, Governor Daniel, however advised its leadership not to lose focus and mobilise support beyond the southwest. He urged the group to collaborate with similar groups in order to actualise its ambition.

Earlier in his address, the Chairman of SWAGA ‘23, Senator Dayo Adeyeye disclosed that the mode of operations of the group is strictly voluntary and self-financing body, with the objective of convincing Tinubu to contesting for president in 2023.

The former minister of state for works further emphasized that if the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) would follow agreement and zone presidency to the south in 2023, the APC national leader should be put forward and supported by the southeast and south-south.

Adeyeye submitted, “Tinubu is a good product that doesn’t need any advertisement and he has contributed greatly to the growth and development of the nation. He is consummate democrat and progressive.

“South West is interested to contest for the presidency in 2023. The person who can help us win this ticket is  Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

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“He has done a lot for Nigerians irrespective of religion and tribe. He has built bridges across the country”.

The delegation included, former Senator Adesoji Akanbi, former House of Representatives’ members, Hon. Bosun Oladele (Secretary), Hon. Rotimi Makinde, Hon Ojo, Senator Obadara, Ogun State Central Working Committee chairman, Arch Dunni Opayemi, Suraj Adekunbi Ishola and Hon Abiodun Ishiaq Akinlade, Ogun State coordinators of SWAGA 23 among others.

The group, thereafter launched its Ogun State chapter in Abeokuta, the state capital on Tuesday, targeting Kogi and Akwa Ibom states soon.

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