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Why Leke Abejide’s victory is unsettling the political landscape in Kogi

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Why Leke Abejide’s victory is unsettling the political landscape in Kogi

By John Akubo

For the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kogi State, there is no gain saying that their quiver is full having conquered in almost all the contests in the 2019 general election which they planned to deliver 100% to the party.
Kogi West became their greatest undoing where they lost the senate seat to Senator Dino Melaye of the PDP, two house of representatives seats of Yagba Federal Constituency and Kabba/Bunu to Leke Abejide and Tajudeen Yusuf of ADC and PDP respectively.
In all other positions for contest in Kogi East and Central Senatorial Districts the APC won all elections.
For the Presidential election the APC also conquered the State, and the State House of Assembly election, it was all 25 seats for the APC.
However, the victory of Honourable Leke Abejide on the platform of the African Democratic Party (ADC) came as a bolt from the blues unsettling the ruling APC, bringing about some incoherent vituperation from their camp.
Against every permutations by the leading political parties (APC and PDP) the ADC candidate won the February 23, House of Representative election with 17,599 votes to deafeat his rivals APC, Deacon Henry Tuesday Abimbola
who scored 12,480 and PDP, Barrister James Bola Fabola who polled 11,679 to represent the people of Yagba Federal Constituency.
Hence the Ijumu APC leaders in explaining away their failure to win the Yagba Federal Constituency seat which they lost to a party, ADC that is barely known in the State, accused Honorable James Faleke member representing Ikeja Federal Constituency on the platform of APC at the lower chamber of anti-party activities in Kogi.

They accused him of engaging in anti-party activities in the state during the just concluded general elections.

Faleke who was running mate to the late Prince Abubakar Audu, the governorship candidate of the APC in the November 21st, 2015 governorship election, hails from Ekirin-adde in Ijumu LGA of Kogi State.
He had declined to continue as running mate to Governor Yahaya Bello after the party chose him to replace the late Audu with whom he had contested the 2015 Governorship election on a joint ticket.
He challenged the emergence of Bello as against himself being declared as Governor elect from the tribunal through the Appeal Court to the Supreme Court where Bello’s victory was upheld.
Since then he had transfered his voters card back to his Ikeja Federal Constituency where he has won a return ticket for the third time.
The allegation against Faleke was contained in an open letter addressed to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu and APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, a copy made available to the Guardian in Lokoja on Monday.

The letter which was jointly signed by Ijumu LGA APC Chairman, S.B. Abejide, Secretary, Mallam Yekini Agunbiade, Youth Leader, Ibitayo Kehinde and Ijumu LGA Administrator, Taufiq Isah accused Faleke of sponsoring House of Representatives candidate Leke Abejide under platform of African Democratic Congress (ADC) in Yagba Federal Constituency during the national assembly election.

The party leaders said they have “clear evidence” that Faleke is a strong backbone behind the activities of ADC in the state and equally worked against APC candidates from West senatorial district in the just concluded elections.

“We urge the APC in Lagos, National headquarters in Abuja to watch closely what goes on as we are happy this happened to erode every doubt about what we had already known because Faleke has been the sole sponsor of ADC in Kogi state.

“We therefore call on the leadership of the party to as a matter of urgency investigate according to the rules and regulations of the party in order to avoid future occurrence”, part of the letter said.

Reacting, Faleke described the allegations as “ranting of failed people”, saying the APC lost to other parties in the area because of its failed promises.

He urged the party executives to do a self-examination and find out the real reason the APC lost to candidates of other parties in the area.

“Was our contribution to APC victory recognized by the beneficiaries in the state? The so called Executives in Ijumu lacked capacity to think and mobilize the people because of failed promises.

“So, if the people voted for another party while I was busy campaigning for my elections in my constituency in Lagos, what is my business in APC Kabba Ijumu fed constituency. My shadows will continue to hunt them until the people are happy.

“May be I should remind them that when good governance eludes the people, the people revolt, just as it happened in so many states of the country in the just concluded elections and the pending rerun. When Govt takes people for granted, there is always a judgement day at the polls.

“Before I came to Kogi in 2015, I had not played politics in the state before, but within three months, we turned things around in favour of APC. Today, it is certain the people are not happy, they decided to go back to their original party which was PDP before 2015”, he said.
However, the media consultant to the House of representatives member elect, Jacob Ajekaiye could not hold back on the allegations that Abejide, the popularly elected representative of the people of Yagba Federal Constituency was sponsored by Hon. James Falake.
According to him,
He said, “Honourable Leke Abejide is too profound to be sponsored by anybody”
In a statement which was signed by Jacob Ajakaye and made availlable to the NationalUpdate, he said “Honourable Abejide’s, attention has been drawn to a mischievous document in circulation authored by some individuals purported to be leaders of the All Progreasive Party (APC) in Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State, entitled “APC accuses federal lawmaker of anti-party activities in Kogi.
He said Honourable Abejide, ordinarily does not see any reason to join issue with the group of lowly rated, disgruntled and jobless individuals parading themselves as politicians in Ijumu or any other place in Kogi state.

However, he submitted that the member elect is too profound and successful in all facets of life to be sponsored by anybody within and outside Nigeria.
“The African Democratic Congress (ADC), which he nurtured from inception to a position of strenght which cummulated in its victory over established political parties in Kogi state, has no relationship whatsoever with Hon. James Falake or any other person (s), for that matter.
For avoidance of doubt, he indicated that Abejide a very successful businessman is capable of sponsoring himself adding that he sponsored/inaugurated the party ADC in Yagba Federal Constituency, single-handedly sponsored all other State Assembly Candidates of the party in Yagba land.

“Hon. Abejide has always enjoyed the goodwill and support of Yagba Federal Constituency through his over six(6) years unprecedented empowerment programs for widows, less privileged, students, youth and the aged spread across Yagba land and that alone earned him the landslide victory at the last National Assembly Election In Yagba land.
“The sponsorship allegation at its best can be described as the figment of imagination of some few demented souls in Kogi APC who are already jittery of their diminishing popularity occasioned by failure of governance of APC in the state.”
He pointed out that rather than become a beneficary of anybody ‘s sponsorship, it is an open secret that before now, Honourable Abejide has been one of the major financiers of APC in Kogi state at a point when the present governor of the state, Alhaji Yahaya Bello was still in the Labour Party of Nigeria.
“Abejide is too big to be sponsored by anybody, his election was facilitated chiefly by the Supreme Being, and the solid and steady relationship he has cultivated over time with the good people of his constituency, and from others walks of lives, through his numerous active -public -spirited programmes.
“It is only individuals suffering from grand illusion that will attribute his hard earned electoral victory to Faleke, who hails from Ijumu KABBA/Bunu/Ijumu Federal constituency where ADC lost to APC.
“It is known fact that Honorable Abejide is from Yagba Federal Constituency where APC lost to ADC with a wider margin so where is the correlation in this illogical arguments from the errant boys of the government of Kogi State?”

“Hon Abejide is reminding the group of lamentors in the APC in Ijumu, who are threntened about the growing profile of ADC in Kogi state that he earned his victory based on his commitment to the people.”

Ajakaiye said they are only openly expressing their failure to stop his sweet victory at the poll, adding that the link between him and the good people of his Constituency is solid and cannot be broken by opportunistic politicians.
“I can assure them that If he contests 10 times he will definitely win 10 times”
For most of the electorates who voted for Honorable Abejide against others, it was not surprising that he won because of his track record as a philantropist even before his foray into the murky waters of politics.

With his victory the Okun people of Kogi West senatorial district could be adjudged to be the hereos of democracy in 2019 general election in the State having delivered in an unprecedented manner for the candidates of their choice in the face of intimidation and threats.
Most of the elderly women who came to cast their votes had only one important issue dear to their heart; to vote for that man who paid their WAEC fees of their children.
At least it was their own way of saying thank you to the man that has brought a big relieve to them with expectation for greater dividends of democracy.
Honorable Abejide, through his foundation had paid the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) fees for 1,397 indigent students in public secondary schools across Yagba land; 420 students from Yagba West local government benefit from the intervention, while 738 and 237 students from Yagba East and Mopamuro local governments respectively also benefited.
Over N40m had been committed to that gesture even as he promised to continue to make his contribution to the educational development of his constituency a yearly affair for the next four years.
After all his efforts were not recognized in his former party the APC, hence he became the sole financier of the ADC in Kogi State.
He had a bitter experience while in the APC which prompted him to seek an alternative in the party that gave him victory.
Though he was a former staunch member of the APC he had to quit with a mass of other members when it became obvious that they could no longer call APC their home.
They were aggrieved because they worked with late prince Abubakar Audu the then candidate of the party in the 2015 election which they won by defeating an incumbent, Governor Idris Wada,
However, Audu gave up the ghost while coasting to victory polling an unassailable lead in the election.
The party leadership zeroed in on the first runner up in the primary for the 2015 election in Yahaya Bello to replace and inherit late prince Audu’s votes.
Bello’s emergence rather than unite the party created divisions and Since then, APC in Kogi had not been the same as those who worked for the party’s victory were sidelined. Funny enough, the people who now control the party and government in Kogi State were not part of the struggle for that popular victory.
Worse still, they did not recognize the contributions of the people who made it happen. Hence Elder Abejide and his supporters decided to move over to credible alternative, a gap ADC has filled.
With the foregoing, his victory did not come on a platter of Gold.

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Politics

When home coming is dangerous

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When homecoming is dangerous


Reviewing the Assassination of Ogacheko Atanu and a Warning to Nigerians in Diaspora on the State of Insecurity in Nigeria

By Frank Tietie

Ogacheko Atanu, an Idah born, world acclaimed and Saudi Arabia based drilling engineer was assassinated by unknown gunmen on Saturday, 9th of January, 2021 while holidaying in his country home in Idah, Kogi State of Nigeria. He was scheduled to travel back to Saudi on the morning of the next day before he was killed on that night in his hometown.

Ogacheko had such a brilliant career while he was at Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Nigeria. It was his sheer brilliance and distinction while at Shell that got him headhunted by Saudi Aramco, the world largest oil company based in Saudi Arabia, where he worked until his assassination in his house in his hometown of Idah.

Homecoming for Ogacheko has had a bad history. Some years ago, after he started work at Saudi Aramco, he decided to visit his hometown and in course of the journey, on his way to Idah, he had a terribly fatal car accident which broke his limbs. Saudi Aramco did not take chances regarding the treatment of one of its best executives. So the company flew a special air ambulance (a chartered plane equipped with specialised medical equipment) into Nigeria and evacuated Ogacheko for treatment in Saudi Arabia. That’s how valuable he was to the company. And it didn’t matter whether he was a Nigerian and a non-national of Saudi Arabia.

So why would Ogacheko choose to come to his hometown under the present circumstances and be brutally murdered in his country home in such a wicked manner? Reports say he was asked by the gunmen to say his last prayers and despite offering them so much money, probably in dollars, they shot at him several times and he died instantly. Why?

Shouldn’t Ogacheko have taken the state of affairs in local security seriously enough to stay away from Nigeria at this time? With his status, he had enough money to arrange armed private guards or special police protection but why didn’t he do that? He also had the means to obtain a licence to own guns with which he could have repelled the assassins or defended himself. Why would uneducated, barbaric, unskilled hoodlums just kill an expatriate of that repute just like that without any resistance? Ogacheko was helpless even in his hometown; he was murdered mercilessly in his country home. Why?

Some Nigerians in diaspora get so accustomed to their host countries which have secure environments that they underestimate the Nigerian security situation. These members of the diaspora should seek proper travel advisory before coming home for holidays and other purposes. But they are usually overconfident in their belief that Nigeria is their original country where they started. So they don’t feel so threatened as if things are not as bad as when they were once here. No! Things are no longer as they were. The security situation in Nigeria seems to be deteriorating by the day. Those of us who live here know the daily risks we face and we trust in God in unusual terms, everyday for our security. Why do you think many Nigerians say crazy prayers using terms like ‘fire and die’ and ‘Holy Ghost fire’?

The Nigerian government needs to do more to assure Nigerians in diaspora and indeed all Nigerians that there is enough security before certain travels can be made in our country.

In the meantime, all Nigerians in diaspora, especially the successful ones who are popular for their generosity, should weigh carefully all their travel plans to Nigeria. A direct advice is for them to stay away completely until the security situation improves or they should be prepared to learn and adopt the needed skills together with resources required to survive in Nigeria, in these precarious times of insecurity, whenever they visit.

Frank Tietie
Human Rights Lawyer
& Executive Director, Citizens Advocacy for Social & Economic Rights (CASER),
Writes from Abuja

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2023: Okorocha expresses disdain for APC for putting Nigeria in dire straits

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2023: Okorocha expresses disdain for APC for putting Nigeria in dire straits

Senator representing Imo West Senatorial district, Rochas Anayo Okorocha on Monday expressed disdain for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for putting the country in dire straits

He therefore called for realignment ahead of the 2023 General election among only the good people in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).


Speaking at the commissioning of the Rumuche/Rumuakunde/Ohna Awuse Link Road in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State, on Monday, the lawmaker, who did hide his disdain for APC government said, Nigeria is in a serious predicament.

The lawmaker and former Governor of Imo State said people of like minds must stop complaining and be interested in rescue operation

He said: “In this dispensation, there are many bad people in APC, many bad people in PDP.

“I think the good people of APC and good people of PDP must come together for the purpose of making Nigeria great.

Okorocha wished that he join forces with governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, pleading with the governor to assemble good people and make Nigeria great.

He continued: “What brought me here today is not a party. What brought me here today is love and friendship. I am not PDP, I am APC. But the time has come when we must break the jinx of party division and begin to embrace brotherhood and friendship and be able to state what is good and what is bad. A bad man is a bad man, even if he is PDP or APC.”


Responding, Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike counselled all members of APC in Rivers to jettison politics of bitterness in the interest of Rivers people.

Wike berated Rivers State APC Chairman, Senator Andrew Uchenna for not attracting projects to his community in those years he represented them at the lower and upper Legislative Chambers.

Wike said, “I came here, I told you that I will do this road, I give God the glory that I have done it using one of the best construction firms in Nigeria.”

Meanwhile, former Senate President, Pius Anyim is billed to commission the Rumuekini-Aluu Road traversing Obio/Akpor and Ikwerre Local Government Areas on Tuesday, January 12, 2021.

This was contained in a statement issued by the State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim on Monday.

Rochas Okorocha is a member of APC, Imo State.

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While APC is party of Tinubu and Buhari, PDP is party of the Nigerian people, says Lamido

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While APC is party of Tinubu and Buhari, PDP is party of the Nigerian people, says Lamido

The former Governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Sule Lamido, has described the All Progressives Congress (APC) as a party built around Bola Tinubu and President Muhammadu Buhari unlike the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that was built by the people and for the people of Nigeria.

Lamido who spoke yesterday in Dutse, Jigawa State after the successful conduct of the PDP state Congress said that is the reason for the collossal failure of the Buhari led administration in almost all facets.
The Jigawa State PDP Congress was enmeshed in crises when a faction led by the former Governorship candidate of the party in 2015 and 2019, Aminu Ibrahim Ringim went to court to challenge the Sule Lamido Led faction with a court injunction preventing his faction from continuing with the party’s local government congress.

However a high court sitting in Dutse presided over by Justice Musa Ubale had rescinded its earlier order restricting the Sule Lamido led faction from conducting the local government and state congress elections.
In a fresh court order, Justice Musa Ubale struck out the case and ordered the faction of the defendents (PDP and Lamido) to go ahead and conduct the party’s congresses.

The court’s judgement stated that,” the matter deals with the congress of the PDP to choose or elect it’s leadership in the ward, local government and state levels in Jigawa which is purely an intra-party dispute and thereafter not Justiciable”, it stated.

The PDP state congress which took place on Sunday may have put to an end the lingering crises between the Sule Lamido led faction and that of Aminu Ibrahim Ringim.
Lamido while speaking to the media said,
“PDP is the only party which has the kind of capacity to lead Nigeria and Jigawa State because it is a party that is owned by the people not a party that is built around one personality.
“In APC there are only two persons, It is only Buhari and Tinubu, then after Buhari and Tinubu, they have nothing, but in PDP wherever you go, you see PDP family, a party which is owned by the people, whoever leads the party will know he has to serve the people.
“It has produced so many leaders, Presidents, Governors, Parliamentarians, ministers, commissioners including contractors. “Remove the PDP’s virtue in Nigerian history there would be no Nigeria because PDP is Nigerian History.
“Today, Nigeria like America is going through some turbulence; insecurity, poverty, division, hate and what have you.
“We can not have a country where there is no mutual trust because in the absence of mutual trust there is no stability. “If there is no stability there would be no development. PDP has this advantage over every other party in Nigeria because we believe in one another, we love one another therefore trust is our watchword.
“Mutual respect, firm believe in one another. Only PDP can restore Nigeria. Jigawa chapter of the PDP is going to be one of the building blocks to restore Nigeria to what it was 8 years ago, when there was security, stability, fuel, power, there was infrastructure development, stability, love, mutual respect, there was everything.”
He asked the new executives to convey the party’s appreciation to the working committee and the NEC for taking the pain to go through the court processes which he said has been laid to rest.
The chairman of the congress lectoral Committee Dr Umar Ardo,said  “From what we have seen here from yesterday those who contested the elections of the state executives of Jigawa State PDP, were unopposed, that is to say there was consensus in the contests and that is the best for democracy. “But in conformity with the laws of the country we have allowed candidates to cast their votes and we inspected each and every ballot box to ensure that each office is contested for and we have ascertained that.
“In view of that we are going to declare the candidates who have emerged victorious in this election.
He declared Honorable Babandi Ibrahim, as the State chairman of the party, Deputy chairman, Honorable Ali Idris Diginsa, vice chairman 1 Honorable Isah Zakari, 2nd vice chairman honorable Idris Ilyasu Danlawan, third vice chairman Honorable Muhammed Zagin Kafin Hausa, State Secretary honorable Isah Bello Gwadayi, State Assistant Secretary Abba Soja Dutse, State assistant secretary, Muhammed Mujitaba Abdullahi, State Assistant secretary Abba Ana’s Adamu. State treasurer Saleh Yahaya KO, State assistant treasurer Awaisu Hudu Sakwaya, State assistant secretary 2 Alhaji Danyaro Maiwelder, State Assistant Secretary Alhaji Aminu Ahmad, State assistant treasurer Yakubu Adamu Danmaliki, State legal Adviser, Alhaji Ado Dunari, assistant legal adviser Honorable Ubale Kiri, State Assistatant financial Secretary Alhaji Alhassan Babandi, State Financial secretary, Isah Alhassan Koriyel.
Others are State publicity secretary, Honorable Ubale Kiri, State Assistant financial secretary, Garba Galau, State assistant publicity secretary Muhammed Nabakindogo, State auditor, Garba Liman, State assistant auditor, Babangida Muhammed State Organizing secretary, Basiru Usman Galadinma, state Assistant organizing secretary, Sumaila Sule, assistant Organizing secretary, Baba Tambale, State organizing secretary, Hajia Nadia Birninkudu, State women leader, Hajia Siham Aliyu, State assistant Woman leader, Hajia Tabal Wabichi, etc.
The new Chairman appreciated everyone and promise to carry everyone along. He assured of delivering Jigawa State to PDP in 2023.

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