Politics of preservation manifests in Oyo state, as political gladiators realign to protect and further hiding interests. The people of Oyo state clamoured for change of government, when the former occupant of the Agodi Government House, Senator Abiola Ajimobi was subjected to the public through wholesale media attacks , blackmailing, campaign of calumny with huge Pull Him Down (PHD) strategies by his political adversaries.
He was crucified , nailed to the cross, and they were able to achieve their sole aim which was to score cheap political points, as well as short circuit his political strength and that of his party, the APC in the state.
Despite his brilliant policies tailored at improving the lives of the people, yet, they manipulated the electorates against him and made them believed that the Abiola Ajimobi led administration’s policies were anti- people without human face. The political actors were able to sell their agenda through the media and it was assumed that the ‘injuries’ inflicted by the immediate past administration in the state were unbearable. Then , mediocrity reigned supreme in every aspect of life.
Indeed, for long, when he held sway, the then Governor Abiola Ajimobi had worked assiduously for his senatorial ambition and also to install a successor. A great number of those who called the shots in the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) especially those who had earlier benefitted from his political style felt disenchanted, frustrated and confused when other members of the party are about to benefit from the same political system.
Taking the risk as usual, former Deputy Governor (Operations) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Chief Adebayo Adelabu emerged as the governorship candidate of the then ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo state.
This resulted in most of the political actors in the party and members working at cross purposes with the party, which is beyond Senaco, Lamist struggle, since Ajimobi was alleged to had hijacked the party structure.
Interestingly, Governor Seyi Makinde (GSM) eventually secured the gubernatorial ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). But, for a former governor in the state, High Chief Rashidi Ladoja, remaining in the PDP meant a bleak future for him. He, then left with his supporters for the African Democratic Congress (ADC) and later to the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) with Sharafadeen Alli, secretary to the state government, when Ladoja was Governor, while Sen. Olufemi Lanlehin remained in the ADC to pursue his governorship ambition.
At the end of it all, Chief Ladoja and others saw the need to come together to fight their common enemy – Abiola Ajimobi, who is becoming the emerging political godfather in the state. They realised that participating separately under various political umbrellas comprising the ADC, PDP and ZLP will further confirmed their enemy’s status as the political godfather in Oyo state as the coast was more clearer for the APC candidate, Chief Adebayo Adelabu to becoming the next occupant of the Agodi Government House.
Chief Ladoja went further to midwife and lead a collation where the major opposition parties in the state adopted Seyi Makinde of the PDP, as Sarafadeen Alli and Senator Olufemi Lanlehin sacrificed their governorship ambitions which now serves as tool for bargaining. Members of the political class insisted that Makinde occupies the Agodi Government House and the support base went beyond party line.
The coalition is the first time in the history of the state that opposition parties agreed to ‘gang up’ against the ruling party in the state.
The event which took place at the NUJ Press Centre, Iyaganku, Ibadan was well attended by political elites and footsoldiers targeted at promoting the need for a change of baton. The people were continuously sensitized on why they should vote responsibly, curiously, the much awaited change has commenced and the people have changed the song .
Meanwhile, five opposition parties in the state successfully presented a coalition governorship candidate, Engr Seyi Makinde to run against the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The parties in the coalition include African Democratic Congress (ADC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the New Progressive Movement (NPM).
Speaking at the event, Sen. Lanlehin said, “It is no longer news that a good number of parties in Oyo state have deliberated intensely over the last few weeks and have come to the resolution that there is an urgent need to free our dear state from the shackles of outside oppression and domination.
“We have therefore decided that in order to present an effective and workable solution to the unpalatable situation where Oyo State has been remotely controlled for the past 8 years by outside forces and all manner of constituted authority, there is the need to form this alliance of political parties in the state.
“We have firmly resolved to present one candidate in the person of Engineer Oluseyi Makinde of the Peoples Democratic Party for the office of Governor at the elections holding on 9th March, 2019.
“He shall be heading by the special grace of God and the power of the people of Oyo State, a Government of Unity which will cater for the interest of all our people irrespective of political association.”
Other governorship candidates, Sharafadeen Alli (ZLP), Bolaji Ayorinde (SDP) and Col. Feyisayo Ladoye (NPM) appealed to their supporters to vote for Makinde.
Also, in his short remarks, Chief Ladoja submitted : “It is my pleasure to present to you the agreed candidate for the election coming up on Saturday March 9, and who Insha Allah, will become governor-elect on that day, and will be subsequently sworn in on May 29 as governor of Oyo State.
“He is my son. I present to you Engineer Seyi Makinde.”
Political barriers were broken ; politicians were united in the quest to have a change of leadership in the state. In the government today, is the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) and on the number one seat is Seyi Makinde. This was achieved courtesy of the agreement between the major political actors.
The members speaking incognito also disclosed that the incumbent Governor had series of agreements with members of the political class. According to a source in the know, the mutual understanding revolved round positions in cabinet, local governments and parastatals . But the source laments that Seyi Makinde refused to keep its own part of the agreement completely or to a satisfactory level , so to say .
“Look closely at his cabinet and other bodies in government, you will see the manifestations of failed agreement, where is Alli or Lanlehin? Aside from Baba Ladoja, these are the major political juggernauts in the coalition”, one of the members argued.
Governor Seyi Makinde (GSM) has repeatedly maintained that governance transcends party affiliation, while assuring that he would take care of all the interests. But party loyalists find it difficult to understand the governor’s statement.
Shockingly, cracks hit the coalition parties in the state, three months after they forged an alliance that ousted the All Progressives Congress from the seat of power.
The governorship candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in the March 9 election, Senator Olufemi Lanlehin, publicly announced his withdrawal from the alliance.
The ADC guber nominee, in a statement by his media office in Ibadan, said “I, Senator Olufemi Lanlehin (Solan), Oyo State Leader of the ADC, hereby announces forthwith, my personal withdrawal from the coalition with Seyi Makinde, the Oyo State Governor.”
Lanlehin, who hinged his decision to quit the coalition on what he tagged Makinde’s non-compliance with the spirit and letters of the terms of the governorship pre-election agreement, also maintained that his party (the ADC) was at liberty to remain in the coalition, and believed it should, in fact, remain.
The former Senator added that he remained a committed member of the ADC, but would adopt a ‘siddon look’ posture in the governance of Oyo State and allied matters.
Considering the configuration of the PDP led government in Oyo state, under the leadership of Engr Seyi Makinde, political observers averred that the best man that can stabilize the present administration as its Scribe (Secretary to the State Government) is Akogun Sharafadeen Abiodun Alli due to his cognate experience in the art of politics and governance as a former local government chairman, ex Secretary to the State Government and ex Chairman, Oodua Investment among others.
Governor Makinde, his Chief of Staff, Oloye Bisi Ilaka and other allies in the government are from private sector with little or no experience as far as public administration and governance is concern, the political watchers added.
Fear of the unknown gripped the occupant of the Agodi Government House, believing that the Ibadan Chief, Akogun Alli, is a threat to his future political ambition and conceding such a position to him or any other relevant role may jeopardise his chances, thus a less prominent role such as an ordinary member of the state advisory council was offered to the ZLP governorship candidate with a view to regulating the growth of his political wings.
Political analysts in the state suggested that a good politician will risk it to keep the last man standing, Akogun Alli at bay, since Lanlehin is old and cannot contest again in 2023.
Though, political observers also believed that he has committed political harakiri considering the ‘kangaroo coalition’ and efforts targeted at sending him to political oblivion, but as a political strategist, Alli has not been successfully displaced or thrown into the dustbin of history, he remains one of the threats to Makinde in 2023.
However, there are nagging questions that requires resolute answers: Was there not agreement between ZLP, PDP and ADC and others before the 2019 guber election? Why not fulfil the agreement for the sake of prosperity? Was the PDP credible enough to dislodge the APC, if not for the alliance?
Another technocrat from the private sector, Mrs Olubamiwo Adeosun, was appointed as the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) by Governor Seyi Makinde (GSM) while other juicy positions have been doled out to perceived ‘alter egos’ whom were also technocrats. Alli has remained silent and inactive since he has tactically rejected the offer ( Member, Advisory Council).
Presently, neglected politicians are keenly studying the game and forming clusters among themselves for future political games if the status quo remains.
For now, political climate in Oyo state is conducive for governance and development depending on Governor Seyi Makinde’s administrative acumen, but political quagmire may begin after the first two years.
GSM, When Will Alli’s Prayers Be Answered?
By Idowu Ayodele
Bayelsa: PDP’s Douye Diri finally gets certificate of return
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has finally presented the Certificate of Return to the Bayelsa state PDP candidate, Senator Douye Diri.
Diri’s deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo was also presented his certificate of return.
The electoral commission in a briefing at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja declared the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) winner of the November 16 Bayelsa governorship election.
According to the INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, Diri was declared the winner after top officials met on Friday morning to review the results of the election, without the votes of the APC which have been voided by the court.
“The total votes cast after excluding those of the APC now stand at 146,999. PDP polled 143,172 and scored 25 percent as required by the law,” Yakubu said during the briefing”.
Supreme Court in its verdict barely 24hours to the swearing in of sacked David Lyon, and his Deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo declared Diri winner of the Bayelsa guber poll.
Justice Ejembi Ekwo, who read the lead judgment on Thursday made the orders after disqualifying the APC’s deputy governorship candidate, Degi-Eremienyo, as a candidate in the election for submitting forged certificates to INEC.
The court ruled that Degi-Eremienyo’s disqualification had infected the joint ticket with which he and the governorship candidate, Lyon, ran for and won November 16, 2019.
A five-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Mary Peter-Odili then ordered the INEC to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to the APC candidate.
Apex court sacks Bayelsa governor elect, Lyon declares PDP’s Diri Duoye
The Supreme Court has sacked the governor-elect of Bayelsa State, David Lyon, and his Deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo.
A five-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Mary Peter-Odili ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to the All Progressives Congress’ candidate as the winners of the November 16, 2019 governorship election in the state.
The Apex Court ordered INEC to issue a fresh certificate of return to the candidate of the party with the next highest votes and with the required constitutional spread of votes in the results of the election, which are the Peoples Democratic Party.
Justice Ejembi Ekwo, who read the lead judgment made the orders after disqualifying the APC’s deputy governorship candidate, Degi-Eremienyo, as a candidate in the election.
The court upheld the November 12, 2019 judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja which had disqualified Degi-Eremienyo in the election for submitting forged certificates to INEC.
The court ruled that Mister Degi-Eremienyo’s disqualification had infected the joint ticket with which he and the governorship candidate, Lyon, ran for and won November 16, 2019.
The five-man panel further held that on the basis of that both candidates and their party, the APC ought to have abstained from participating in the election.
Source : Channels TV
LG crisis: Court urges Govt, sacked chairmen to explore amicable resolution
An Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan, the state capital, on Wednesday adjourned till 21st February, 2020 the suit filed by the State Government in which it is seeking to restrain the sacked council chairmen from forcefully taking over the council secretariats in the state.
The sacked Council Chairmen under the aegis of Association of Local Government of Nigeria(ALGON) had sought to take control of the council secretariats by relying on a letter written by the Attorney General of the Federation,Abubakar Malami (SAN) and another by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, urging them to put effect to a judgement of the Supreme Court on local government administration in Ekiti State.
The Court presided by Justice Mahmood Abbas, lauded the parties for considering the option of amicable resolution of the matter, urging them to exercise maturity while discussing the option of amicable settlement.
Ruling on the application to allow for the parties to further explore the out-of-court settlement option, Justice Abbas adjourned the matter till February 21, warning all parties to see what they could do to arrive at an amicable resolution.
Oyo State Government and ALGON had, at the last adjourned date on February 5, 2020, declared the readiness to explore an out-of-court settlement, with the Court adjoining till February 12 to allow for that option.
The parties had, on Wednesday, approached the court to report the outcome of the out-of-court settlement option, which was agreed upon at the February 5, 2020 sitting.
In their presentations, counsels to the claimant/applicant(the State Government), Dr. Akin Onigbinde (SAN) and the counsels to the defendants(ALGON and others), reported on the meetings held to explore the out-of-court settlement option, noting that a settlement could not be reached on the matter so far.
Dr. Onigbinde stated that though the parties could not reach a conclusion on the amicable resolution of the dispute, the process could not be described as having failed, because some proposals were made, which the Government looked at and registered its difficulty in accepting.
“There was no failure of the first attempt. There is always a progression in this type of negotiation. It is not the day you start that you conclude. Actually, we have made some progress because there were certain proposals made, which we have looked at. We have registered our difficulty in accepting them. Now, we have another opportunity to look at those proposals again. So, it cannot be characterised as a failure. I will consider it as a stage in the process of what we are trying to achieve,” he said.
The counsel to the sacked chairmen, Mr. Kunle Sobaloju, maintained that though the parties could not come to an amicable resolution at the two meetings between last Saturday and Monday, his clients were not opposed to the out-of-court-settlement option.
He added that he would not be opposing the application to further explore that option, because the resolution of the matter would be in the interest of the state.
The Court lauded the parties for considering the option of amicable settlement, urging them to exercise maturity while discussing the option of settlement.
The presiding judge maintained that parties in the matter were stakeholders in the Oyo State project, noting that they would have to take the most valuable decision in the matter with a view to amicably resolving the crisis in the interest of the state.
He added that all parties in the matter must exercise a lot of maturity while discussing amicable resolution, noting that settlement “means a little compromise here and there.”
He said: “I did say during the last adjournment that all parties in this case are stakeholders in the Oyo State project… So, all parties must exercise a lot of maturity. The only duty of this court is to listen to all facts as you bring them and apply the law. The law is there, nobody can change it. The court cannot change the law. But the most valuable decision in this case will be taken by the parties.”
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