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Ondo Guber Race: PDP rejects OAU VC as Chief Returning Officer, says don is Akeredolu’s crony

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The National Campaign Council of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),  for the October 10, 2020, governorship election in Ondo State, on Thursday rejected the appointment of Professor Eyitope Ogungbenro Ogunbodede, the Vice-Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, as the Chief Returning Officer for the election.

Chairman of the Campaign Council, who is also the Governor of Oyo State, Engineer Seyi Makinde, who addressed newsmen in Akure raised the alarm, declaring that the people of Ondo State could be shortchanged if Ogunbodede is allowed to serve as the Returning Officer.

He said that the VC is a crony of the Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Rotimi Areredolu (SAN), adding that such a situation cannot guarantee a free and fair election.

According to him, there appears a high plot to sabotage the will of the voters in the state by ensuring that they do not get a free and fair election.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the governor as saying that the appointment of Ogunbodede, a crony of the incumbent Ondo State Governor, who is also the standard-bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC), will compromise the election.

Besides being a crony of the Ondo State governor, Ogunbodede equally hails from Owo town, the governor added.

Makinde called on INEC to replace Prof. Ogunbodede as Chief Returning Officer with a neutral individual, adding that such a sensitive position must be held by someone who has no affiliation with any of the parties in the election.

The PDP National Campaign Council also declared that Professor A.S. Bamire, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, who conducted the training for returning officers, is not a neutral party for the purpose of the election.

The statement also indicated that the governor called on all lovers of democracy around the world to be alert to the machinations of the APC-led Federal Government to rig the Ondo State governorship election.

The campaign council urged the United Nations, the European Union, the United States of America and the United Kingdom and all lovers of democracy to call INEC to order, stating that it is already compiling names of all actors and would not hesitate to recommend the same for visa ban based on their actions and inactions in Saturday’s election.

Makinde said: “All the hard work and support that we have provided for our candidate, Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), who will help us reclaim Ondo, comes down to one date, the 10th of October, 2020.

“However, it has come to our notice that the people of Ondo State will not be getting a free and fair election if the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as presently composed, will be overseeing the election in Ondo State.

“We are speaking in particular about the appointment of Professor Eyitope Ogungbenro Ogunbodede, the Vice-Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife as the Chief Returning Officer of the Ondo State governorship election.

“The PDP totally rejects Prof. Ogunbodede, who is acting as the Chief Returning Officer. The reasons are very clear. He is a known crony of the current governor of Ondo State, who is also the candidate of APC, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN). He hails from Owo, the same hometown as the candidate of the APC. He cannot be a fair party in the proceeding by the virtue of their association.

“We also want to state that Professor A.S Bamire, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, who conducted the training of returning officers, is not a neutral party for the purpose of this election.

“We, therefore, call on INEC to stay true to their names and replace Professor Eyitope Ogungbenro Ogunbodede with a disinterested party. The Chief Returning Officer should have no affiliations with any of the participating parties in the election.”

Governor Makinde, who called on the international community to be alert to what the APC-led administration in the centre is trying to do in Ondo, said: “We also take this opportunity to call on all lovers of democracy around the world to pay attention to what the APC-led administration in the centre is trying to do in Ondo State.

“We call on the United Nations, European Union, United State, and the United Kingdom and, indeed, and indeed, all allies of democracy, to call INEC to order.

“We are compiling the names of the people involved in there and I believe those people will be good candidates for the visa ban, because if they try to rig this election and they stay here with us, then we will reach out to them after the election to either say thank you or show them what it is if they allow themselves to be used to deny the people of Ondo State the free will to choose their leader.”

The governor commended security agencies in Ondo State for doing well so far, warning, however, that they should not allow themselves to be used as tools to subvert the will of the people.

He further said: “We call on all security agencies in Ondo State not to allow themselves to be used as a tool against the will of the people.

“So far, they have done very well. So, we take this opportunity to commend them for what they have done so far. But we still have a long way to go. Until we see to the end of this process and a governor-elect is declared, it is going to be eternal vigilance for us. So, we urge the security agencies to still do more.

“Please, don’t forget that history and posterity have never been kind to people who allow themselves to be used as a tool for injustice. We urge our security agencies to read the mood of the people and act accordingly.

“Well, politicians, I am one, will come and go, but the people will always remain; and our state and our country will remain. And everyone should remember the world is watching us.”

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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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Enough of lies, propaganda – Oyo APC UK caucus chair replies rebels, debunks sack rumour

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Chairman, Oyo State Caucus of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in  the  United Kingdom, Elder Kolawole Saidu has  dismissed  rumours of his purported sack by some members of the group, describing it as a misrepresentation of fact and efforts by some party members to instigate unnecessary  crisis.

Saidu also described the alleged sponsored  report as a deliberate smear campaign and a ploy by some excessively ambitious elements to tarnish his image and that of the party  ahead of the 2023 general elections.

The Caucus chairman added that those using his allegedly overstay in office  as a propaganda has only “joined us or became active recently after or in July this year”.

In a chat with newsmen on Thursday from the United Kingdom, Saidu advised that the orchestrated campaigns of calumny, cheap propaganda, outright falsehood and mundane attempt to malign the group and its executives will not benefit the sponsors and the party.

He disclosed that the rebels are desperate to hijack the leadership of the Party for  personal benefits; both in Nigeria and the UK.

In his words, “there is nothing bad if you do not believe in the leadership of a group. You can leave without rocking the boat as a man of conscience and gentleman instead acting deceitfully and embarrassing everyone on the social media using deliberate mistruth.

“Those we took with open arms as brothers who have never been active in the caucus before July this year are the one that have constituted themselves to a group that think they are superior to the rest of us flouting the constitution of the party in a very fragrant way making spurious allegations. I reached out to a number of them but they are recalcitrant and adamant to reasoning and have never offered any best way forward to the one I offered. It has be their way or never

“Social media cannot legitimise illegality. It will only embarrass the party and all of us”, the Chairman counseled.

Saidu continued, “Contrary to what our detractors are pedalling, I have never gone against my promise. I said election would take place and we all agreed way back in January this year.

“He who comes to equity must come with clean hands. The people who accused us of lack of transparency when the “rules of the game” of election was still being perfected two months to the election time are the same people who rushed to the social media perverting the constitution and arrogating power they do not have to themselves. What an irony!

“We will follow and defend the constitution in all we do. You do not become the Chairman of a group through the backdoor. You work for it and pay your dues as at when due and not engaging in “fire brigade” approach fuelled by inordinate ambition to destroy or rubbish what others have built over the years.”

“When you maligned or have to destroy the reputations of others to get to the top, be rest assured that there is law of retributive justice waiting for you as well.

“I want to assure you all that those who are causing mischief among us will be identified and dealt with based on the Party’s constitutional provisions for anti-party activities. No one begs anyone to belong to the party. If you can not respect the rules, be decent enough to leave without causing disaffection”.

The Chairman, however assured that the constituted electoral body will soon come out with their guidelines which will strictly be informed by the provisions of the party’s constitution, maintaining that there would be no bending of rules or provisions of the constitution to suit the whims and caprices of anyone in the name of peace.

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“The Party Chairman in Nigeria has advised that we should follow the  constitution and ensure that we carry along party echelons both in the UK here and Nigeria”, Saidu submitted.

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Oyo APC group to Makinde : Don’t divert attention from your govt’s monumental corruption

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The Integrity Group, a group within the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State, on Monday advised the state gaffer, Engr. Seyi Makinde not to divert attention from the endemic corruption in his government with the news of investigating the construction of the Oba Akinbiyi High School in Ibadan.

Integrity group also called  on the people of the state not to be deceived by the ploy of Governor Makinde to divert attention from the massive corruption uncovered in his government.

Contained in a statement issued in Ibadan, the state capital  and made available to newsmen by its Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Ajibola Adewale, the group described the news of the school as a fraudulent attempt to divert attention from the uncovering of monumental corruption in the Seyi Makinde – led government by the Independent Corruption and other practices Commission (ICPC).

Ajibola in the statement also called attention to the arrest of four local government chairmen in the state who were arrested and indicted for leasing government tractors at N80,000 per day without remitting the proceeds to the account of the government.

The statement read, “We have it on good authority that the four arrested chairmen are not alone in this fraud. Many other local government chairmen are involved. The chairmen reportedly resorted to such act of corruption because the Seyi Makinde Administration refuses to release federal allocation meant for the local councils to them.

“We call on the ICPC and EFCC to beam its searchlight on other councils to uncover the monumental fraud going on in the councils under the watch of Seyi Makinde

“We also implore them to beam their searchlight on the federal allocation to the local councils since May 2019 to establish the feracity of claims that it has become a slush fund in the hands of the Makinde government.

The statement continued, “While we are not making a defence for the past administration which is duty-bound to defend itself in the spirit of accountability, the timing of the Makinde government’s sudden discovery about Oba Akinbiyi High Sxhool is not only suspicious but confirms the neophite strategy of the government to always attempt to play kn the intelligence of the people of Oyo State.

“This is more so when Makinde had commissioned the same school as part of the achievements of his 100 days in office.Did the government not inspect the school to certify that is was in good condition before commissioning it?”, the group questioned.

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