Former Kogi Speaker Dumps APC for SDP as new platform for Lokoja-Koto bye election.
By John Akubo
The Immediate past Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Hon. Umar Ahmed Imam has dumped the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Social Democratic Party (SDP) the platform on which he plans to actualize his ambition of winning the Lokoja/Kotokarfe bye election.
Imam announced his defection in a well attended press conference made up of media men and National, State and Local Government Area Party officials from Lokoja-Koto federal constituency.
The lawmaker who is currently representing Lokoja 1, State Constituency says he is embracing the SDP as an alternative party to contest the forthcoming Lokoja-Koto Federal constituency bye election slated for August 11, 2019.
The former speaker, who said he had already written the state house of assembly about his defection, said he was shut out of the party by the leadership of the party in the state.
He declared his intention to contest the forthcoming by-election into the Lokoja/Kogi federal constituency seat on the platform of the SDP, sayinh the current leadership of the party in the state betrayed those that laboured to build it.
He said virtually all those that worked for the success of the APC in the last general election were shut out by the state government.
According to him, as a foundation member of the APC and a former speaker of the house, he was instrumental to the stabilisation of the Yahaya Bello led government which was bedevilled with crises because of the unusual manner he emerged.
Imam explained that before quitting the ruling party, he made several efforts at reconciling aggrieved members by meeting the former national chairman of the party, John Odigie-Oyegun and other members of the leadership of the party.
He, however, noted that he was vilified by the state government because of his refusal to support the botched recall of the senator representing Kogi west senatorial district, Dino Melaye, following which he was completely shut out of the party.
Imam said, “I was vilified for not supporting the recall of senator Dino Melaye, I made my stand known that I was for reconciliation, I spoke for the people, I was attacked and removed for it, those who suffered to build the party were not rewarded.
“There were three national efforts towards Kogi reconciliation but they all failed. I told the newly constituted reconciliation committee that they were behind time and that the committee was not a sincere one, if they are sincere they should go back to Tony Momoh’s committee report”.
The former speaker, however, said his defection was coming late because he had hoped that the leadership of the party would encourage participation of every party member in its affairs and decision-making process and genuinely reconcile with aggrieved members to unify it.
He, however, said following due consultations he and his followers had joined the SDP, saying it was the only truly progressive party in the country.
He said he defected from the APC because of the prolonged crisis in the party that had led to its fictionalisation at both the state and the national levels.
Imam said he is confident of victory in the forthcoming bye election, described himself as a grassroots politician who has paid his dues with experience as a former speaker and a serving member going for him
“The decision I must say was arrived at after I had waited patiently, for several months, hoping that the APC leadership would encourage participation of every party member in the affairs of the party and in the decision making process to genuineness reconcile with aggrieved members.
However he said that was not done to unify the party members as the crises and division in party continued unabated.
According to the former Speaker he was been vilified for his forthrightness and ability to speak what is considered uncomfortable and the truth to those at the helms of affairs in the state.
He said his greatest undoing was advising the party leadership against the recall of Senator Dino Melaye and the effort to bring back all who worked for the victory of the party abinitio.”
Nasarawa PDP tackles Gov Sule over alleged poor performance
From Abel Daniel, Lafia
The Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP Nasarawa State chapter has described Governor Abdullahi Sule as the weakest and non performing governor since creation of the state.
The state chairman of the PDP, chief Francis Orogu while addressing journalists in his office yesterday described Governor Sule as an impotent Governor who is doing nothing to develop the state since his emergence as Governor.
“Governor Sule is doing nothing to develop the state as far as I am concern. He is like a man married to a woman but cannot impregnate the woman”, Orogu lashed out at Sule.
Orogu alleged that Governor Sule has not started and completed any physical project since he took the oath of office.
Orogu however regretted that the media who are suppose to amplify the voice of the opposition are silent.
The chairman appealed to citizens to remain patient and prayerful despite the hardship and misrule of the ruling party.
INEC boss pledges to supervise direct primary if Buhari signs bill
Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, yesterday, said the electoral body would ensure implementation of direct primary as passed by the National Assembly as soon as it is assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The INEC boss, at an interactive meeting with senior jdetaiists in Lagos, said he had the political will to implement any law that would advance democracy in Nigeria.
By this declaration, the electoral body might have put to rest speculations by opponents of direct primary that INEC may not have the capacity to supervise direct mode of electing party’s candidates if it becomes law.
Yakubu said: “Since it emerged that the direct primary clause was included in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, many of you have been asking the commission for its position. But the issue is not about our position, but the process. In the exercise of its constitutional power, the National Assembly has passed the bill into law awaiting the President’s assent. Once the process is concluded, the bill becomes law and every person and authority in Nigeria, including the commission, must obey.
“The commission will give expeditious consideration to the law, including the detailed regulations and guidelines for its implementation where necessary.”
When asked by The Guardian if the electoral body has the capacity to supervise direct primary if the President assents the bill, he said: “I won’t say more than what I have said. My point is very clear.”
Also speaking on the just-concluded Anambra State governorship election, Yakubu said despite the fact that the election was conducted under difficult circumstances, the commission was able to conduct credible and fair election, noting that few technical glitches experienced during the poll would be corrected before 2023 general elections.
He blamed the technical issues on some trained ad-hoc members of staff that absconded few hours to the election and difficulties posed by commercial transport owners hired to carry technical officers to some areas.
“I want to reassure Nigerians that we have learnt vital lessons from the Anambra pilot. There will be remarkable improvement in the next major election, which is the end-of-tenure area council election in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) scheduled to hold on February 12, 2022,” he said.
Culled from the Guadian
2023: Jigawa delegates urge Bello to run for President
An envoy from Jigawa made up of political and religious stakeholders have urged the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, to throw his heart in the ring for the 2023 Presidential election.
The group of Jigawa leaders, who visited Bello on Saturday, based their call on what they described as above board performance, as they listed areas of security, inclusive governance, youth and women empowerment and infrastructure as his selling points
Bello, while responding commended the delegation promising not to take the call to serve for granted.
He told them that many Nigerians have continued to call on him to run for the Presidency and he would not betray them or breach the trust they have reposed in him.
“I am so happy to receive a delegation from Jigawa State. This delegation is not just an ordinary delegation, these are delegations who have always been with President Muhammadu Buhari ever since he ventured into politics till date. These delegations make things happen in Jigawa State.”
“They have come to lend their voices to very many Nigerians who have been calling me to run for the Presidency in 2023, and by the grace of God, I will not disappoint them.”
Governor Bello also said that the fight against insecurity would not succeed without carrying the grassroots along.
He stated that he was able to successfully fight against security challenges because he was more connected to the grassroots than most politicians in Nigeria.
According to him, the grassroots have assisted him in curbing insecurity and achieving the present level of development being recorded in Kogi State.
He said that like President Muhammadu Buhari, he was more at home with the people.
“I wouldn’t have succeeded in Kogi State in curbing the insecurity, unity, togetherness, and modest achievement without the grassroots.
“The difference between me and some leaders is that I am connected to the grassroots. The grassroots is where politics is and any administration that is not connected to the grassroots has no business with governance.
“We have learnt from President Buhari, that you must be connected to the grassroots, with the grassroots supporting me and all of us and supporting President Buhari to succeed, we can only come on board to build on his (Buhari’s) successes.”
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