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SENACO, LAMIST are creations of lazy people in Oyo APC – Morohunkola Thomas.

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ALMOST two years to the next general elections in Nigeria; various political gladiators have engaged in serious political activities, especially to be in control of the internal organs of the existing political parties. The battle for the soul of the parties is becoming vigorous due to perceived fragment.

It is obvious that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State is currently undergoing such challenge as the party sharply divided into two major splinter groups, labeled LAMIST and SENACO. Members of the LAMIST group are said to be loyal to a former leader of the party in the state, late Lam Adesina.

While the SENACO members were those that worked with the incumbent governor, Abiola Ajimobi when he contested the governorship election of the state in 2007 on the platform of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP).

However, the Executive Assistant on political matters to Governor Abiola Ajimobi, Barrister Morohunkola Thomas in this interview with Mega Icon Magazine described the claims of loyalty to SENACO and LAMIST as a creation of lazy members of the party.

Excerpts:

 

Is it true that there is crisis in Oyo APC?

Crisis? I can’t see it.

Some  people are accusing  the  governor of not running an all inclusive government, that party-government relationship is not cordial as it should be?

Who are the people in government here, are they not party members? You want to talk about the SENACO , LAMIST which is a figment  of people’s imagination. People use that to corner things for themselves. In this government which Governor  Ajimobi is a leader, the so called SENACO and LAMIST, have their members here but when people don’t get certain things they would say they lost it because they belong to  SENACO or LAMIST.

If you are  not popular within your  local government, if you are not hardworking within  the party  and you are not recommended by your people, you may never get anything .The governor will never appoint somebody without due consultation and involvement of  the  leaders in the party , he is always waiting for  recommendations of the leaders.

Take for instance, the newly appointed local government caretaker chairmen, the governor  set up a selection and appointment committee made up of  leaders from all the seven zones, these were the people that sat down to take nominations from the various  local governments and made their recommendations to the governor. Many of the  local government chairmen that were sworn in were never known personally by the  governor so you have to go back to the local government, you have to work in your wards  and local governments, forget about whether you are SENACO or you are LAMIST, those things don’t work again.

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What is LAMIST? Those people that said they are following Lam Adesina, you don’t follow a dead person, and what is SENACO, they said Senator Ajimobi Campaign Organization, is Ajimobi a Senator ? He is a governor now so there is no Senator Ajimobi Campaign Organization again, that organization existed in 2003, the man stop being a Senator in 2007, he is a governor now and the governor has said this issue of SENACO, LAMIST is the creation of lazy people in the party, people who don’t have intimidating credentials that will make way for them, within the system  and now hide under the fact that I didn’t get it because I am SENACO, or I got it because I am LAMIST, that is not true, those era of LAMISM, SENACOISM is gone in our party.

 

What about the claims that the governor is not in tune with majority of the party executives and members?

Well I don’t know about that. The party executives were elected into office at a congress in 2014 and by 2018 their time will be up, you have to come for re-election. Has this governor removed anybody from the executives?  He hasn’t  and some governors have dissolved the executives in their states, but governor Ajimobi has been magnanimous enough.

Remember, these executives that are in place now, he was not the one that put them there, he had the opportunity of changing them in 2014 but he did not do so, so there is no problem when the time comes for the new executives to be put there, if you are interested you can take a nomination form, you run  for  the election, if the people elect you so be it, Ajimobi will not be party chairman, he is the leader of the party.

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But party members are worried about the new concept of Directorate which seems to be alien?

There is nothing alien about that, if you read the constitution of APC very well, it makes serious  profound clearly stated provision for the establishment of  Directorate in the party, as a matter of fact, the constitution state  very clearly, unambiguously that the directors ought to run the  party , its only the party secretary that is supposed to be running it with them, all other members of the executives  should be coming once in a while, so what we are running now is not a constitutionally provided situation, it is the convention, a tradition.

The constitution says a director should be there . Let me tell you something, late Chief Owoade was the Director of Finance and Admin in the party, if there is a desire now to have  more directors in line with position held by Chief Owoade, what is wrong with that? Don’t forget also, when we were in Alliance for Democracy (AD) Opeyemi Bamidele was our Director of Publicity in AD that time  even though, we have a National Publicity Secretary.

It was from there that Opeyemi Bamidele  becomes Commissioner for Information in Lagos state, go back to the UPN days, Chief Ebenezer Babatope was the Director of Organization for the UPN even though there was an Organising Secretary, and Chief Ajuluchukwu was the Director  of Publicity for the party. So having  directorate  in the party is not alien, it is in the constitution, in the AD  it was there, in the UPN it was there so if APC put it in the constitution it should be implemented.

 

Who are those eligible to be members of the said Directorate?

That depends on the leaders of the party but they have to be members of the party who are qualified in their various fields. For instance, if you want to be a director of finance in the party now you must be a qualified accounting officer and expert in financial matters, this is a modern party, we are not running NPN, we are running APC.

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Aspirants are already claiming to have secured Ajimobi’s endorsement, as a political adviser to the governor, has the governor anointed any candidate?

Does it make sense for anybody  in May 2017 to be anointing somebody that will take over in May 2019? You know he is in position, he is the governor, if anybody is saying that  Ajimobi has endorsed anybody they are illiterates, those who says Ajimobi has thrown his weight behind anybody are political illiterates.  I say that with all sense of  responsibilities that they don’t know what they are saying.

Ajimobi has no anointed candidate, he has not  told me, I have not seen it in his body language, it’s a level  playing ground for everybody, many people will still join the race.
How would you react to the perceived crisis in your party as over 35 aspirants jostle for governorship ticket?

Very easy! There are pretenders to the throne. There are people who are coming out because they want to use it to negotiate, its all part of politicking and I want to say that in 2011 there are about 11 people who jostled for the same seat with Governor Ajimobi before he got it. So in 2019, somebody will get it, when we get to the bridge we shall cross it.

 

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Politics

Oyo: Council boss allegedly attack PDP chieftain in Ogbomoso

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A  CHIEFTAIN of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo state, Mr. Oladosu Akanbi has claimed that the Caretaker Chairman of Ogo Oluwa Local Government Area, Hon. Seun Ojo assaulted him at his Ilu Iwata residence, Ogo Oluwa West Local Council Development Area (LCDA) .

The financial secretary of the party in the council, Oladosu , who also claimed that he was beaten to a pulp, while his wife and son were inflicted with various degree of injuries on the 29th December, 2020, informed that Hon. Ojo has been arrested by the police.

According to him, Hon. Ojo was arrested by the police at Zone 11, Osogbo, Osun State on the 3rd of January, 2021 following the failure of the Police at Opete police station in Ogo Oluwa West LCDA where the incident had initially been reported to take proactive steps to arrest him and his accomplices for the crime they committed.

Narrating his ordeal to our reporter, the complainant alleged that on that fateful day, the Council Chief, Ojo invaded his house at about 8:24pm with no fewer than eight thugs displaying dangerous weapons like gun, axe and cutlass

He said that on their arrival, the council gaffer, Ojo flashed a touch in his eyes and asked him whether he recognized him or not but before he could utter a word, they had descended on him, dragged him on the floor and beaten him mercilessly with his wife and 30-year-old son, Amos Akanbi who was with him at the time of the incident.

The PDP chieftain further explained that when they were satisfied with beaten him, they took him inside the official vehicle that they brought and drove him to an unknown destination for some minutes before they brought him back to his house that same night.

He added that when they got to his house, Hon. Ojo asked him where he kept bags of rice in his possession and he told him that they were inside his rooms, stressing that he thereafter ordered his ‘boys’ to pack them inside their vehicle and took them away.

He explained that out of the five bags that they carted away, two bags were from Governor Seyi Makinde for party members in his ward, another two from Caretaker Chairman of Ogo Oluwa West LCDA, Hon. Onaolapo Ajala for party members as well while the remaining one bag was giving to be shared by four leaders in each ward among themselves with a Turkey and one gallon of vegetable oil.

“Seun Ojo packed all the rice and while he was leaving, he told me that he had come to show me the power of government and if I dare reporting him to the police, he will still come back and use the full power of government to deal with me again.

“Immediately they left, we went to Opete police station to lodge complaint but the police having seen my condition, suggested that I go to General hospital for treatment first before they could take my statement. However, I could not be admitted that night because the hospital officials complaint that there was no bed where I could be admitted for treatment and asked me to come back the following morning.

“The following morning, I was treated and went back to the Opete police station to write my statement alongside my wife and son. The police invited him for interrogation but he declined to honour their invitation. When I observed that no step was being taken to effect his arrest following his refusal to honour the invitation till 31st December, 2020, I sought the transfer of my case to zone 11, Osogbo”, he narrated further.

Oladosu continued, “He showed up at Zone 11, Osogbo on the 3rd of January, 2021 and the police took him to my house to inspect and took pictures of all items that were vandalized by him during the attack on my house”.

While asked what could have led to the invasion of his house by the council boss, the PDP chieftain explained that he could not fathom the reason for the attack on him because he has never had any misunderstanding or quarrel with the chairman before since they were not in the same council area.

“Seun Ojo is in the main local government, Ogo Oluwa local government while I am in the Ogo Oluwa West local council development area,  Odo Oba where Hon. Ajala Onaolapo is the Chairman. So I don’t have any reason to be at loggerhead with him whatsoever”, he submitted.

 

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But, when contacted through his cell phone, the Caretaker Chairman of Ogo Oluwa Local Government, Hon. Seun Ojo denied the allegation, describing it as unfounded, as there was nothing like that.

Speaking with Mega Icon Magazine on Saturday, the council boss stressed that it was a mischievous attempt targeted at destroying his name and that of the state governor, Mr. Seyi Makinde.

He also alleged that Oladosu was sponsored by the opposition APC in the state to carry out the hatchet job.

He said, “There is no matter between me and Mr. Oladosu .

“I don’t have a quarrel with anybody. As the Chief Security officer of my local government, I don’t have a quarrel with him. He’s one of the PDP members and presently romancing with the opposition. I have known him for over 20 years ago, I was once a councilor in that local government, I know all the impacts, what that man caused between me and my chairman then.

“They are planning to leave the party, but before he leaves, he wanted to destroy the party. For somebody to be saying the governor was distributing poisoned rice and palliatives, he has a motive. He was collecting money from me  for the Christmas and the new year. When I gave him the money , he said the money was not enough and I gave him another cheque .

“The APC are using them. The opposition gave him N300,000 and that after he successfully destroy the governor’s name, they promised to give him a balance of N200,000.

“The man is just trying to spoil the governor’s name and my name”, the council boss alleged.

When asked if he was arrested by the police, Ojo questioned, “How will a chairman of a local government be arrested on a fake information?”.

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Oyo deputy governor denies alleged feud with Makinde

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The Deputy Governor of Oyo state, Engr. Raufu Olaniyan says he has no rift with his boss, Governor Seyi Makinde, describing a report published by an online media outfit headlined, ” Governor Makinde’s Deputy, Olaniyan Has Vowed Never To End Rift With His Boss” , as not only baseless, but a figment of the author’s imagination.

The Deputy Governor, in a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Omolere Omoetan maintained that he had no rift with the governor, adding that even if there was, as a true Muslim, he would seek for  resolution and not take a stand that was contrary to common sense as reported by the online newspaper.

In the statement made available to Mega Icon Magazine on Wednesday, Olaniyan reiterated that he has a mandate to work with Governor Makinde to serve the people of Oyo State as the Deputy Governor, saying that he was totally committed to doing so and would not be distracted by reports emanating from shady sources and mischief makers.

The number two man in Oyo state, however urged the public to disregard the statement attributed to him by what it described as phantom source quoted in the malicious report by the online media who, he said in recent times, had become notorious in the propagation of fake news.

The Deputy Governor stressed, for the avoidance doubt, that he would continue to work assiduously with Governor Makinde to provide good governance to the people in line with the governor’s ideas and vision.

Olaniyan, therefore advised the forces working to cause disaffection between him and the governor to look for better things to do as their machinations and conspiracies had failed on arrival.

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US President, Trump Impeached For Second Time

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Donald Trump became the first US president in history to be impeached twice when the House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to charge him with inciting last week’s mob attack on Congress.

The Senate will not hold a trial before January 20, when Democrat Joe Biden assumes the presidency, meaning the real estate tycoon will escape the risk of being forced to leave early. He will, however, depart in disgrace — and likely due to face a Senate trial later.

The only question in the House had been how many Republicans would join the Democratic majority.

In the end, 10 Republicans broke ranks, including the party’s number three in the House, Representative Liz Cheney.

Holed up in the White House, Trump had no immediate reaction but he earlier issued a brief statement insisting that he opposed violence among his supporters.

“In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be no violence, no lawbreaking and no vandalism of any kind. That is not what I stand for,” he said.

“I call on all Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers. Thank You.”

Reflecting the fear of upheaval, armed National Guards deployed across the capital and central streets were blocked to traffic.

In the Capitol building itself, guards in full camouflage and carrying assault rifles assembled, some of them grabbing naps early Wednesday under the ornate statues and historical paintings.

Trump survived the first impeachment almost exactly a year ago when the Republican-controlled Senate acquitted him of abusing his office to try and get dirt on Biden’s family before the election.

This time, his downfall was triggered by a speech he delivered to a crowd on the National Mall on January 6, telling them that Biden had stolen the presidential election and that they needed to march on Congress and show “strength.”

Amped up on weeks of election conspiracy theories pushed by Trump, the mob then stormed into the Capitol, fatally wounded one police officer, wrecked furniture and forced terrified lawmakers to hide, interrupting a ceremony to put the legal stamp on Biden’s victory.

One protester was shot dead, and three other people died of “medical emergencies,” bringing the toll to five.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told the chamber that Trump “must go.”

“He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love,” she said.

And Democratic lawmaker Ilhan Omar branded Trump a “tyrant,” saying that “for us to able to survive as a functioning democracy there has to be accountability.”

But Nancy Mace, a newly-elected Republican congresswoman said that while lawmakers “need to hold the president accountable,” the speed of the impeachment “poses great questions about the constitutionality.”

The top Republican in the House, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, said that while Trump deserves censure, hurriedly impeaching will “further divide this nation.”

 McConnell open to impeachment 

Trump, who has been stripped of his social media megaphones by Twitter and Facebook, and finds himself increasingly ostracized in the business world, is struggling to impose his message — let alone any kind of resistance.

His refusal to accept any responsibility for the horrifying scenes on January 6 — including his insistence Tuesday that his speech was “totally appropriate” — has infuriated allies and opponents alike.

The main question now is to what extent former Republican allies in the Senate will turn on their party’s figurehead. Last year, they acquitted Trump overwhelmingly after the House impeached him for abuse of office.

Powerful Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell has made clear there is no time before Trump’s January 20 exit to hold an impeachment trial, given that the Senate is in recess until January 19.

However, he said Wednesday that he was open to the possibility of voting to convict Trump in a trial, which could still be held after Biden takes over.

“I have not made a final decision on how I will vote and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate,” McConnell said.

The New York Times reported Tuesday that McConnell is signaling privately that he believes Trump did commit impeachable offenses.

This presents a potentially fatal shift in the ground under Trump’s feet, because it could lead other Republican senators to join in convicting Trump with the goal of turning the page in the turbulent relationship between the party and former reality TV host and real estate magnate.

Meanwhile, the increasingly toothless Trump’s social media woes deepened late Tuesday when video-sharing giant YouTube said it was suspending his official account for at least a week, out of concern his videos could incite violence.

He is also being cut out by the business world, threatening his financial future once he leaves the White House.

The latest blow to the Trump empire was when the mayor of his native New York City, Bill de Blasio, announced Wednesday a termination of contracts to run a golf course, two ice-skating rinks and a carousel in Central Park.

“New York City doesn’t do business with insurrectionists,” de Blasio, a Democrat, tweeted.


Source: AFP

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