***says South East should be allowed to produce the next president
Former Minister of Aviation Osita Benjamin Chidoka has indicated that he declined to contest in the forthcoming Governorship election to respect the zoning arrangement.
Chidoka who is also a Former Corps Marshal and Chief Executive of Federal Road Safety Corps spoke in Abuja while marking his 50th Birthday with 50, 000 steps in a road keep fit jogging through the streets of Abuja.
Chidoka in 2017 Chidoka ran for the governorship of Anambra State, Southeast Nigeria as a member of the United Progressive Party, but was defeated by Willie Obiano of the All Progressives Grand Alliance.
Chidoka had been one of the founding members of the People’s Democratic Party.
Continuing he said he said “Multiple Opinion polls while talking to the ordinary people they told me they would like the zoning to be respected and I decided that since I come from the zone that has taken its turn.
On the many issues surrounding the Anambra election he said, “Anambra has its peculiarities and I think they would resolve themselves as we progress but I did not run because I thought here was need for me to respect the zoning arrangement in Anambra State.
“When people talk about this zoning issue it is actually a good thing in National building.
“So for the country I just believe that in 2023 the country must confront its demons and allow a southerner to be President of Nigeria and precisely a southerner from the South East of Nigeria.
“Anything short of that will mean that Nigeria has given into cynicism giving into hopelessness and if we give in to the hoplessness and our youth continue to disconnect then our future as a nation is in danger.
“I think we should without any proving from anybody just follow the natural order of our zoning in Nigeria. In the South East zoning has brought peace as Governorship in the South East been rotating”
On his Challenges and how he was able to overcome them, he said, “There have been multiple challenges, being all of that at 44 leaves you rutherless and, losing an election at the prime of your youth and carrier can be so
But luckily for me I did what General Gowon did, I went back-to-back school and got the law degree.
“This year I have a law degree from Base University and also have expanded on my private businesses.
“In life everybody should be prepared for the highs and the lows even as we were running today there were moments you think you should quit, there were moments I think I can’t make it to the last line but that is the purpose of life, to just put your mind on the goal and to pursue it relentlessly.”
On the state of the nation he said the nation is in a bad shape
“The three things for me that has put the nation in a bad state are mismanagement of our diversity, the great divisions that we have sown in the nation, a government that has been insensitive to multiple part of Nigeria.
“I think that has made it a difficult time for every body. I don’t just want to blame the Government of the day. I just need to say that the Nigerian Elits needs to create new concensus
He expressed gratitude to God for manifold blessings because lives race he said is not to the swiftest, nor the strongest.
“Those whose palm-kernels were cracked for them by a benevolent spirit should not forget to be humble”
“Because it is not like if some other people are making their efforts but a mixture of opportunity and hardwork sometime will give you benefit
On why he decided to Mark his Golden Jubilee with a road walk, he said, “I am an avid fitness buff, one of the things I will like to pass onto my younger friends and generation is the need to keep fit. I got it from my boss the late Chief Ojo Madueke when he was Minister.
“He was already in his 50s and I could not keep pace with him when we ride bicycle. The day he rode the famous bicycle to the cabinet I could not make it, I was out of breadth half way less than one quarter of the way. I took a decision then to improve my fitness and wellbeing. I took my way down from 118 to 95kg, since then I have been faithful to exercise every morning”
“So every year since I turned 45 I have marked with 45,000, steps, last year was 49000, this year we have done 50, 000 steps.
“We started 4am and it is ending about 9am so I think we did well, we had a lot of well wishers. Interestingly this running is going on in the 36 States of the Federation. The people in green shirts are the friends of Osita in Abiluja. Same in Oyo, Ondo, Sokoto, in Kaduna, in Bayelsa, in Kano.
“They are all running today and the idea is that the young generation should be infused with the idea of physical fitness and, the idea that you can be young and be a leader. My hope is.more young people should be in that leadership position I was when I was 35years.
“I pray that the Government of the day will give allocation even deliberately to just groom young persons because at that age you are idealistic, you are hopeful, you are trusting in your abilities.
“If you are looking at things from the positive sides of life, you do not give into the cynicism that has become the bane of our country.
“Sometimes you dont even remember ethnicity but as you grow older so many things come in to make you to look back. The whole idea of the executive is to improve fitness of young people and to mobilise them.”
APC embarks on self destruct as it vows to go ahead with congresses despite Supreme Court’s decision
Despite Wednesday’s Supreme Court split judgement that upheld the election of Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, as winner of the November 20, 2020 governorship poll, which indicated that the caretaker leadership of the party is in error, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has vowed to retain its Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) led by Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State.
One of the party stalwarts who is a minister, a lawyer and SAN Festus Keyamo had advised the party to suspend its ward congresses over legal fireworks that may follow but the Buni led caretaker arrangement said there is no going back on APC congresses, despite court verdict
Also Stakeholders of the party, including the Secretary, Senator John Akpanudoedehe, Hillard Etta, Festus Keyamo (SAN) and President Muhammadu Buhari’s senior advisers, Babafemi Ojodu and Ita Enang, among others, have reacted to the court’s observation that Buni’s headship of the interim management committee of the party was in violation of Nigeria’s Constitution.
Former Presidential Candidate Progressive People’s Alliance (PPA) high chief Peter Ameh said because of Supreme Court judgment on the Status of Mai Buni as National Chairman of APC, one could say that the judgment by extension has technically ruled APC out of Anambra November 6th, 2021 Guber election.
“It is a very simple logic to understand. He can not hold position of the Party’s National Chairman as an elected Governor so even if the APC wins, the election could be nullified on the grounds relating to section 183 of the Constitution of Federal of Nigeria 1999 as amended because you can’t put something on nothing and expect it to stand.
“Everything done under his leadership is now under constitutional question and also subject to litigation and could be reversed in court based on todays judgment of the supreme Court.”
“In fact I believe that the Supreme Court played a fast one on Ondo case for claiming that because he was not joined in the matter.
“Supreme court merely found a technical mechanism in the lacuna and exploited it as escape route to save ONDO STATE FOR APC. That case would have still been determined on merit without joining Buni.
My argument is centered on the point that he signed/approved all document and processes that will lead to placing the APC on the ballot for Anambra November 6th election.
“Section 183 is very clear and unambiguous. Any law that is inconsistent with the provision of the constitution of Nigeria 1999 as amended is voided automatically.
“The Provisions of the constitution shall have binding force on all authorities and persons throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Despite warnings, the APC, yesterday, said its July 31 ward congresses nationwide will hold as planned. The party, at a media briefing held in Abuja, told its members to ignore statements from some of the party leaders calling for the removal of the Buni-led caretaker committee.
Speaking to journalists about the slim victory from the apex court ruling, CECPC Secretary, Akpanudoedehe, faulted notions in some quarters that the court’s observations would affect the ward congresses scheduled to begin tomorrow.
While maintaining that the Supreme Court’s judgment had no bearing on the CECPC’s status and its membership, Akpanudoedehe urged party faithful and aspirants to disregard the speculations and come out en masse to participate in the ward congresses.
Making reference to Keyamo, he explained that in politics, one can win or lose, stressing, “A lot of people have seen that they are in a disadvantaged position in their communities and wards. They want to vent their anger by misinforming the public.
One of those giving party the confidence to go ahead one of APC’s lead counsel, Chief Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), gave a legal perspective to the implication of the apex court’s findings on CECPC’s chairman, as he condemned as erroneous the impression that the Buni committee lacks the powers to conduct the party’s congresses.
Akintola, who led the legal team of Governor Akeredolu, maintained that the positions of the CECPC chairman and secretary are sacrosanct, as such “our members should entertain no fears at all. Our candidate in Anambra is also on a firm ground.”
He stated: “The decision of the tribunal upholding the right of any party member, including those holding party offices remain sacrosanct. That position was affirmed by the Court of Appeal. The same position was affirmed by the majority judgment of the Supreme Court. None of the four justices that gave the majority judgment had anything to say concerning the holding of party office concurrently with political offices.
“I was part of the legal team, in fact, number two in the hierarchy of the team of lawyers that defended our party and candidate, the Ondo governor. A minority judgment remains what it is, it has no efficacy. The only value a minority judgment has is for academic and research purposes. You can’t even cite it as an authority.”
Keyamo who was projecting into the future and the wider implications of the Supreme Court decision, Keyamo said there is no doubt that the ruling affects APC, stressing that the party must halt all preparation towards the conduct of the nationwide congresses forthwith.
APC primary turns bloody in Nasarawa as majority leader, commissioner escape death
From Abel Abogonye, Lafia
Majority leader of the Nasarawa state house of assembly, hon. Umaru Tanko Tunga, and Commissioner for local government and chieftaincy affairs, Yusuf Aliyu , were nearly lynched by political thugs at primary election of All Progressive Congress, (APC)in Awe local council.
The primary election scheduled to produce chairmanship candidate in the forthcoming October 6 council election in the state turned violent when Tanko Tunga and Yusuf Aliyu disrupted electoral process insisting their candidate must win.
The violence erupted when supporters of the chairmanship aspirant Umaru Tanko Dan’Akano who was leading at the poll accused his opponent Usman Umaru of plotting the rigging of the election.
Yusuf Dogara, an aide to the immediate past chairman of the local government, told journalists that the assembly majority leader and the commissioner master minded the hijack of the peaceful and transparent election which earlier did not favor their preferred aspirant Usman Umaru.
Dogara in a telephone interview further alleged that the two politicians out of frustration that their preferred aspirant was obviously losing illegally shifted the election to Lafia, the state capital, against the electoral guidelines issued by the state Independent Electoral Commission.
Meanwhile Usman Umaru, the preferred candidate of the majority leader and the commissioner has been declared winner with the conclusion of the primary election which was moved from Awe local council to Lafia the state capital.
The result as announced by the electoral empire ndicated that Dr. Usman Umaru polled a total of 180 while his opponent Tanko Dan’Akano scored 86, an earlier result scored while in Awe.
Tanko Dan’Akano said he refused to participate in the already marred and illegal process hijacked by the majority leader and his accomplice commissioner of local government chieftaincy affair.
All effort to reach the Majority Leader Umaru Tanko Tunga, on the alleged plot proved abortive as he neither picked phone calls nor responded to text massages sentto him as at the time of filing this report.
PDP governors maintain, electronic transmission of election results not negotiable
Opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors have maintained the stand that the National Assembly cannot but approve electronic transmission of election results, which the upper legislative chamber had earlier rejected when they considered the report on the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2021.
After their six-hour meeting, which deliberated on the state of the nation in Bauchi State, the opposition governors expressed their full support for the electronic transmission of election results in the Electoral Amendment Act.
They also urged the National Assembly, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), National Communication Commission (NCC) and other relevant agencies to do everything possible for the seamless deployment of the process before the 2023 general elections.
They also reviewed the deteriorating state of the country’s democracy, the economic and security situation in the country and the state of the PDP as the main opposition platform in Nigeria.
In a 10-point communiqué at the end of the 11th meeting of the Forum, Chairman of the PDP Governors’ forum and Sokoto State Governor, Waziri Tambuwa, said: “On the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, the governors identified the need for free, fair and credible elections in the country and called on the National Assembly to entrench electronic transmission of results of elections in the nation’s electoral jurisprudence.
“We requested INEC, the only body empowered by the Constitution to conduct elections, to deploy appropriate technologies necessary to ensure that the votes of every Nigerian are counted and made to count.
The meeting called on NCC, especially the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF), Nigerian Communications Satellite Ltd (NIGCOMSAT), Telephone Companies (Telcos), and all relevant stakeholders to ensure that universal access and service of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are provided especially in rural, un-served and under-served areas of the country before the 2023 general elections.”
The meeting condemned the attempt to force all political parties to adopt one method of conducting primaries, that is, by direct method only, through the Electoral Act Amendment Bill. The governors noted that the method is prone to massive rigging, as evidenced by a situation where Buhari scored about 15 million votes in 2018 All Progressives Congress (APC) direct primaries only to score 15 million votes from the entire country in the 2019 general election.
The governors advised that political parties be allowed to decide whether to use direct or indirect methods of conducting primaries as part of internal democracy in political parties.
The Governors reiterated the need for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other revenue-generating agencies of government to strictly abide by the Constitution, by remitting all their revenue less cost of production into the Federation Account as provided for by S.162 of the Constitution.
“The meeting condemned the use of underhand tactics to arm-twist some PDP governors and other stakeholders to join the APC, a political party that has wrecked Nigeria’s economy, turned Nigeria into a killing field, and has nothing to offer Nigerians but misery and bad governance.
“Also, the governors condemned Mr. President and APC for turning the Presidential Villa, that belongs to all Nigerians, into the new APC headquarters, where coerced PDP members are being paraded at intervals.
“On the economy, the meeting admonished the APC Federal Government to collaborate more with state governments to stem the unemployment scourge affecting the youths of Nigeria, through technology and increased production in all fields of endeavour, reiterating that government should stop paying lip service on the ease of doing business, as foreign direct investments have continued to fall partly due to obstacles placed on foreign companies wishing to invest in Nigeria. A glaring example is that of Facebook who insisted on investing in Nigeria rather than Ghana and is being frustrated by regulatory authorities.”
On the security of life and property, in addition to their earlier recommendations, the Forum said it was time to bring the activities of bandits, kidnappers, and terrorists to an end, through increased use of military equipment, traditional means of conflict resolution, and technology for surveillance and the development of the political will to flush them out.
“Kidnapping, banditry, and terrorism are not business ventures as claimed by APC but heinous state crimes that are destroying the Nigerian economy, the educational and social future of our children and causing significant social upheavals in society,” the PDP Governors admonished.
The PDP Governors enjoined all Nigerians of goodwill to take advantage of the ongoing registration of voters by INEC to register to vote, thereby arming themselves with the necessary tools in the struggle to rescue Nigeria from the APC maladministration.
The 13 PDP governors that attended the meeting in Bauchi included, Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto); Nyesom Wike (Rivers); Godwin Obaseki (Edo); Seyi Makinde (Oyo); Ahmadu Fintiri (Adamawa); Darius Ishaku (Taraba); Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta) and Okieze Ikpeazu (Abia).
Others are Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom); Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu); Samuel Ortom (Benue); Douye Diri (Bayelsa); and the host governor, Bala Mohammed (Bauchi). The Deputy Governor of Zamfara State was also in attendance.
At its last meeting in May, this year at Ibadan, Oyo State, the Forum said ranching must be adopted as a permanent solution to herders/farmers clashes in the country, while also reiterating the call for restructuring and for President Muhammadu Buhari to summon a meeting of the Nigerian Police Council and devolve more powers to states to douse the tension in the country and curb insecurity.
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