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Ex-Oyo governor, Ladoja formally defects to Zenith Labour Party, gives reasons



Former governor of Oyo State, Senator Rasidi Adewolu Ladoja, on Thursday officially announced his defection from the state chapter of African Democratic Congress (ADC) to Zenith Labour Party.

Ladoja announced his official defection to Zenith Labour Party while addressing journalists at his Ibadan Ondo street residence Thursday morning.

DAILY POST had on Monday reported that last weekend instructed his loyalists to dump the ADC and join Zenith Labour Party.

The former governor, while address journalists, said his apprehension in ADC was that the party, the way it was going could not be able to win the gubernatorial election in 2019 and that most of the decision makers in ADC “were invisible”, adding that this made him to leave ADC and join Zenith Labour Party.

Ladoja, who was flanked by the gubernatorial candidate of the Zenith Labour Party in the state, Barrister Sharafadeen Abiodun Alli and scores of his supporters who throng his house as early as 7am, said that the way the ADC was going then, its leaders would not be responsible for the decision they made because “those who are making decision in ADC are invisible”.

He said the inability of the leaders of ADC to carry all the major towns, groups and zones in the state such as the people of Ibarapa geo-political zone, Kajola, Itesiwaju and Iwajowa along, was another reason for his defection from ADC to Zenith Labour Party.

He added that “Most people who are making decisions in ADC are invisible, they are not visible. You can’t see them. That means that they will not be responsible for the decisions they make”.

Ladoja continued, “I told you that my apprehension, my apprehension was that the way we are going we might not be able to win the elections because there are some areas that were not cater for. I told you about some areas in Ibarapa that were not cater for and we have been talking, so on the last day, the Zenith Labour Party, they decided that look, they can’t bear it any more and they decided that they are going to field Barrister Sharafadeen Abiodun Alli as the gubernatorial candidate of the party. They sought my consent.

“We are formally in ADC, I am now in Zenith Labour Party. We have been on it for the past three months. The crisis in ADC were unwarranted. The last broke was the choice of the deputy. When I got the information in the social media, I called Femi Lanlehin and he said he did not know anything about how the deputy was picked. I called Babalaje, Chief Koleoso, are you aware he said he was not consulted. And I said this cannot hold. It is just courtesy that if you are going to work with me I should be involved in your things.”

Ladoja, who said that he chose his deputy, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala in 2003 and not that he (Alao-Akala) was imposed on him, said it will be wrong to choose a deputy for a Governor to be, alleging that if a deputy was pick for a Governor to be, they will run a parallel government because they will be representing two interests at the detriment of the people.

He said, “I choosed Otunba Alao-Akala myself. So he was not imposed on me. I said the way we were going, if we are not very careful, we are going to run parallel government when we get there because your deputy emerged without your consent. So he will say I am representing my group, you are representing your group, so that is not good for governance.”

The ex-governor assured that the Zenith Labour Party remains the party to beat even though it is coming few months to the elections.

He said, “By the grace of God, we will win, you know that the candidate himself is not sleeping, me, you have the candidate and people of goodwill in the state. I still believe that by the grace of God, we will still win in this party.”

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2019 Polls: CSO Sets Threshold For Free,Fair and Credible Elections




Ahead of 2019 Polls,Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room (Situation Room) has set thresholds towards a free,fair and credible election.

The threshold document was released today during the unveiling of the Situation Room Hub for the elections, Situation Room outlined minimum expectations that the conduct of the 2019 elections must meet to pass the test of free, fair and credible elections.

The Convener of the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room,Clement Nwankwo, while outlining the conditions he said, INEC, security agencies, political parties and state institution must fulfil to give credibility for the 2019 General Elections to be credible.

Situation Room demanded that INEC must ensure that there is absence of multiple registrations, removal of under-aged and deceased voters in collaboration with the National Population Commission, ensure alignment between election data and demographic data; keep timely adherence to guidelines for display of Voter Register, give voters sufficient time to verify their details; and audit of PVC collection process and rates, uncollected PVCs, and protocol for storage and protection.

” INEC must also publicise to all stakeholders, the reforms it has made regarding any malfunctioning of the Smart Card Reader (SCR), during the Accreditation and Voting procedure and make a commitment to a special audit in the event of a 5% card reader incidence failure”.

Situation Room also called on INEC to put a transparent results collation process in place, commit to publishing the collation process no less than 15 days after the election, and ensure unfettered access by accredited observers and all party agents to collation centres, as well as non-participation of security agents in collation process at any level.

Situation Room also called for efficient and accountable Election Administration of the elections asking that ballot paper designs exclude parties without any candidates; publicise and share plans for voting and security arrangements for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) around the country; and promote inclusiveness and enfranchisement for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs).

“political parties to comply with election laws and regulations, shun hate speech and violence during campaigns and avoid perpetrating fraud, malpractice etc. on Election Day. It also called on political parties to train and deploy polling agents to represent their parties and commit to every stage of the elections as well as commit to respecting the outcome of the General Elections”.

The Situation Room outlined minimum expectations for Security Agencies, namely Department of State Services (DSS), Nigeria Police and the Army to comply with, including ensuring that all security deployment must be under the operational directive of INEC and that security agencies make a public declaration of neutrality before, during and after the elections, and that no restrictions are placed on the campaigns of any candidates in any part of the country. Security agencies must also not instigate violence or intimidate voters, candidates or polling agents.

The group called on agencies to comply with section 29(3) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), which gives INEC the responsibility of requesting the deployment of security personnel necessary for the elections.

Situation Room called on governments at state and federal levels, to ensure that all parties have access to public facilities during the campaigns, that there are no restrictions of their movement and ensure that State institutions are not used to intimidate or harass candidates and avoid the resort to clamping down on the opposition candidates or parties based on spurious charges.

The group said the credibility or not of the 2019 General Elections will be on the basis of these outlined thresholds because Nigerians deserve free, fair and credible elections, and Situation Room expects that all stakeholders will deliver on these expectations.

Situation Room is made up of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) working in support of credible and transparent elections in Nigeria

The 2019 election is scheduled for February 16 and March 2 this year.

The event was attended by civil society leaders, diplomats, election stakeholders and the media.

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2019 presidential race: Save our party from destruction – Kogi SDP beg national leaders



Jerry Gana

Jerry Gana

The G19 Presidential Campaign Team of Prof. Jerry Gana of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) has called on credible leaders and teeming members of the party to arise and rescue SDP from the hands of traders, merchants and transactionalists who are bent at destroying the party.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Secretary of SDP, Kogi State Cha, ter Barrister Paul Abraham which was made available to newsmen in Lokoja on Tuesday.

The statement wondered why the leadership of the SDP refused to obey the Court Order by forwarding the name of Prof. Jerry Gana to INEC as the presidential candidate of the party as directed by the law.

According to the statement, ”Without any ambiguity, the matter of the presidential candidacy of the SDP in the 2019 election ought to be fully rested by now, given the subsisting judgment of the FCT High Court.

“Unfortunately, the mishandling of this weighty matter, and the open bias displayed by the National Chairman of the Party, Chief Olu Falae in the face of a clear Order of a Court of competent jurisdiction, remain incomprehensible and his motives and integrity questionable.

“It has now become very clear that the National Chairman and the National Secretary of the party Alhaji Shehu Musa Gabam, without recourse to other members of the NWC have continued to act as though the party is a private venture.

“We state categorically that it has always been obvious, and we say so on good authority, that the duo have a script other than the interest of the party, which they have manipulated thus far and would henceforth continue no more.

“Otherwise, how does one explain their stand on this matter, in spite of the fact that majority of NWC members, State Chairmen and party faithful across the country, have continued to cry and shout, insisting that Prof Jerry Gana’s name be submitted to INEC, Instead of acceding to the demand of the majority, the duo have resorted to direct threats, intimidation and suspension of members who dare to speak out”

The statement further pointed out that SDP is not a fascism organisation where people are forbidden from speaking their minds, stressing that freedom of expression is one of the pillars of democracy and as such, social democrats members shall no longer be caged.

“Given that our presidential candidacy is on the platform of the SDP we deliberated resisted commenting publicly on these sordid manipulations, but we discovered that the more we keep quiet the more the public is misled into accepting lies as truth, propaganda as reality, minority way as majority view and playing mischief with serious matters of nation building.

“We understand that Chief Falae’s preferred candidate, Mr. Donald Duke did not come to the SDP with the intention of really contesting for the Presidency. We say so for a number of reasons.

“There is no trace of evidence nor record anywhere in the custody of the Party to show that he paid for his nomination forms; whereas Prof. Gana paid N11million as and when required. Yet, there was an insider-dealing to dash him the Party’s nomination form while others had to pay.

“This is not about Prof. Jerry Gana, it is about right versus wrong! It is about the destiny of millions of Nigerians whose lives are dependent on putting in place a better leadership alternative based on competence, capacity, character, and courage.” the statement noted

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2019: Igala group tasks candidates on Development…



Major Gen. Patrick Akpa ( Rted)

Major Gen. Patrick Akpa ( Rted)

By Atabo Julius, Lokoja

Toward effective representation by her representatives in the forthcoming general elections, Ukomu Igala , the apex platform for all socio cultural organisations of the people of kogi East has tasked candidates of the various political parties to sign an article of faith on the development agenda of the zone as a prelude for earning their support .

The candidates who were drawn from the three Federal Constituencies that make up the zone were asked on their plans and programmes for the kingdom , while advising them to avoid acts of violence during electioneering and to ensure brotherliness through out the elections.

Speaking at the Interactive session held at Anyigba in Dekina LGA on Saturday, the president of Ukomu Igala Major Gen. Patrick Akpa ( Rted) noted that the event was a modest contribution to the proactive leadership recruitment that could bring functional development to the zone.

Akpa, stated that the group has to commission some of the best minds to design a development agenda document which has just been unveiled to guide those seeking to represent them assured that the people will rely on it to interrogate the representatives when come back for reelection.

The president, Ukomu Igala stated that the past representatives could not attract needed development from the state and federal governments to the zone which necessitated the development of the blueprint as guide for the potential lawmakers.

He lamented that the Igala kingdom which is acclaimed to be the ninth largest ethnic nationalities in the country could not boast of her sons and daughters in the highest policy making organs of the Federation.

He bemoaned the acute shortage of infrastructural development, access to qualitative education, healthcare delivery, adding that the zone which boast of abundant arable land for agriculture still remained in poverty for lack of investment into the modern method of farming by the governments and well to do citizens of the area.

He called on the candidates to hold on to the Development Agenda as the scripture of their office stressing that they can only get the support of the people by their strict compliance with the Kogi East Agenda.

While restating the need for politicians to be committed to the development of their communities, the lead moderator, Mrs Eugenia Abuh, former Executive Director NTA, charged them for a paradigm shift to wrestle all facets of development from the center to the zone.

The Director who was elated by the responses of the respondents said given need encouragement the crop of new generation leaders of the zone could change the narrative of poverty to prosperity.

She warned participants to desist from using words capable of inciting violence saying in a competition of this nature only one person will win hence both the presumed winners and losers should work in synergy to give the people dividend of democracy.

She urged those who were not present at the event to study carefully the “Development Agenda document”to guide them when eventually they win the polls.

Abuh said gone are the era where politicians would do whatever they want without recourse to the people hinted that the people will be waiting for them when they come to seek their support for re-election.

A participant, Hon. Abdullahi Ibrahim , a former Assembly member and Candidate for Ankpa / Olamaboro/Omala federal constituency said his aspiration is to give voice to the youth and the vulnerable adding that his antecedents speaks volumes for him.

The lawmaker said the role of the political parties is to present candidates for election, he however charged candidates to be aware of their responsibilities to the people who voted for them expecting good things of lives from them.

He urged his colleagues to play the game by the rules declaring that his aspiration does not worth the blood of any man hence thuggery and other vices associated with electioneering should be condemned.

Meanwhile, the Development Agenda document contains priorities of Agriculture, Education, Healthcare; Infrastructures, political and language developments which was signed by participants drawn from the PDP, APC, ADC; SDP, YDP NCP etc as a guide for their elections.

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