How Awolowo, Akintola Destroyed Action Group | By Idowu Ayodele - Mega Icon Magazine
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How Awolowo, Akintola Destroyed Action Group | By Idowu Ayodele

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Awolowo and Akintola (filed photo)

NIGERIA has witnessed a number of political crisis since independence, such as the Action Group crisis of 1962, the census crisis of 1962/63, the civil war of 1966-1970, the Federal election crisis of 1964/1965 amongst others.

In 1945, a group of Nigerian Students who were by the time studying in Britain came together to form a Yoruba socio- cultural group named ‘Egbe Omo Oduduwa’. However, in 1951, led by Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the party was formed and Christened ‘Action Group’, AG. Other members of the party were Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola, Chief Sonibare, Sir Adesoji Aderemi and Chief Bode Thomas. It is believed that the Egbe Omo Oduduwa metamorphosed into the Action Group.

Chief Awolowo later became the Premier of the Western Region on the platform of the party until 1955 when he moved to the central to become the official opposition leader of the parliament. The main objectives of the Action Group Party, AG were among others to bring and organize within its fold, all nationalists in the Western Region, so that they may work together as a united party, and submit themselves to party loyalty and discipline. Also, to prepare and present to the public programs for all departments of government, and to strive faithfully to ensure the effectuation of such programs through those of its members that are elected into the Western House of Assembly and Federal Legislature.

The Action Group which was the party in government in the Western Region was plunged into serious crisis early in 1962 over a number of irreconcilable differences between the leader of the party, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and his deputy, Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola who by then was the Premier of the region after Awolowo had assumed the position of the leader of the opposition at the federal level. Unfortunately, in 1959, Awolowo failed in the federal election and his ambition to become the prime minister was frustrated . While he was still nursing this anger, the prime minister, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa requested him to form government of national unity which he turned down.

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The reluctance of Chief Awolowo to support his deputy, Akintola as the Premier of Western Region when he was made the leader of opposition in the Federal House of Representatives in Lagos, also ignited the crisis as  the newly appointed Premier, took independent decisions without consulting his leader who was then at the center as leader of opposition. Akintola and some others supported the move to join the ruling Northern People’s Congress, NPC, to form a government of national unity which did not go down well with Chief Awolowo.

Another circumstance that threatened the existence of the then  Action Group, (AG) was the adoption of Democratic socialism as its ideology  which was also not well received by the premier of western region, Akintola.

It is interesting to note that intra-party disagreement and mutual suspicious were the remote causes of this crisis. The intolerance within the rank and file of the leaders that later spread to other members of the party. The accusation and counter accusation of the leaders clearly revealed a deep seated hatred they had for each other.

In a related development, the Action Group’s leader, Awolowo had allegedly instructed the Premier of the Western Region, Akintola to refer important matters to him before any action was taken. This was considered to be an undue interference in the office of the Premier. Similarly, Awolowo had earlier suggested a nation-wide political campaign to create sufficient awareness for the electoral preparatory to the Federal Elections of 1964, but turned down by his deputy, Akintola who wanted the campaign to be restricted to Western Region alone. This increased the suspicion between the two leaders and Chief Awolowo believed that his deputy wanted to overthrow him as the leader of the party.

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The ideological disparity between the two leaders could be likened to the event of Cold War when the United States of America led the West, and the East controlled by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic, this was indeed a great challenge which Awolowo and Akintola failed to resolve.

However, the crisis brew open at the party’s Annual National Congress held on 2nd February, 1962 in Jos, when the Premier of the Western Region, Akintola and a few of his ministers failed to attend. The party broke into two factions, Chief Akintola and others having charged with anti party activities was advised to resign which he refused to and was consequently sacked by the Governor of the Region, Oba Adesoji Aderemi and replaced by Alhaji Dauda Adegbenro as the new Premier. Chief Akintola did not stop there, he went to court to challenge his removal as the Premier of Western Region.

When the newly appointed Premier convened the meeting of the House of Assembly, fracas broke out and the mace, a symbol of authority was destroyed. Thereafter, the police was called to maintain order and lock up the House of Assembly. Violence ensued between the two factions (Awolowo and Akintola’s loyalists) and there was widespread killings and burning of houses. The federal government, for the first time in the history of the provisions of the constitution invoked the emergency powers and declared a state of emergency in the Western Region. By the time the state of emergency was lifted after six months, Chief Awolowo, other Action Group leaders and their aides were jailed for treason.

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After the collapse of Action Group, AG, Chief Akintola later formed the Nigerian National Democratic Party, NNDP. It should be noted that the crisis weakened the power of the opposition in the House of Representatives and made mockery of the parliamentary system of government. This portends that our political leaders cannot tolerate the opposing views of their colleagues. This crisis led to series of events and subsequently in the country before the military took over in 1966.

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Bayelsa: PDP’s Douye Diri finally gets certificate of return

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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.

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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.

 

 

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Apex court sacks Bayelsa governor elect, Lyon declares PDP’s Diri Duoye

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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.

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Source : Channels TV

 

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LG crisis: Court urges Govt, sacked chairmen to explore amicable resolution

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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.

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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.

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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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