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Ekiti APC Primary Crisis: Bamidele drops the option of going to Court

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Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele
Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele
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…………Pledges not to defect

One of the seven aggrieved Governorship aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, has dropped his plan to challenge the outcome of the January 27th primary election in court.

Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele,
the chairman of Southern Senators Forum and Senate Committee on Judiciary, in a statement made available to Newsblast on Friday, also declared that he along with his supporters will not defect from the APC.

According to the statement the decision was to avoid preparing the ground “for reactionary beneficiaries to take advantage of seeming lack of capacity to manage our affairs as a ruling party in the state.”

He, however, reiterated his position that the APC primaries was manipulated in favour of Governor Kayode Fayemi’s anointed candidate, Biodun Oyebanji.

Senator Bamidele had alleged that the primary election was hijacked with the distribution of election materials a day before, changing of collation centres and arbitrarily appointment of officials to do Oyebanji’s biddings to compromise and subvert the will of the people.

He narrated how campaign managers, sponsors and promoters of Oyebanji were appointed and saddled with the responsibility as Returning Officers in the 16 LGAs for the exercise.

Senator Bamidele said he is not giving up on the ongoing struggle for justice and internal party democracy in Ekiti State.

The statement reads: “Today, Friday, 11th February, 2022; I choose to break my temporary silence and release a short statement with respect to the current crisis in which our party, the All Progressives Congress, is embroiled in Ekiti State.

I am doing this because I am not unaware that a lot of Stakeholders, including many of my supporters, kinsmen, friends, family members, colleagues and associates within and outside Ekiti are expecting to hear from me regarding the next political move, especially in response to the manner in which I (like six other Governorship Aspirants) was treated.

“The need to widely consult in situations like these cannot be overemphasized and it is in that respect that I had spent the last ten days engaging in broad spiritual, political, legal and personal consultations and I remain entirely grateful to all those who had given quality time and attention to my matter in the course of the consultations.

“As it is today, whatever I decide to do and in whichever direction I choose to go, it is clear that I cannot possibly respond in a way that will satisfy all the shades of opinion or make all the tendencies, with varying and sometimes conflicting perspectives, simultaneously happy.

I, therefore, choose this day to take some final decisions based on my personal convictions and accept responsibility for them. Sometimes, leadership is also about standing up to posit even when such positions may not be popular with some or even majority of our admirers and supporters at the very beginning and in the face of initial and raging anger and disappointment.

“Has my position changed on the fact that what took place in Ekiti on the night of Wednesday, 26th and the morning of Thursday, 27th January, 2022 in the name of Governorship primaries was a charade and sheer impunity?
No.

I still strongly hold the position that it was a mockery of democracy that should be condemned by all means. Am I happy with the present political situation in Ekiti? Not at all.

Am I hurting like many genuine Democrats are doing in Ekiti today? Yes.

Am I convinced that failure or any further hesitation on the part of the national leadership of APC to specifically and decisively address the current and previous crises in Ekiti State would amount to playing the Ostrich and waiting for a DOOM’S DAY? Yes.

Am I giving up on the ongoing struggle for justice and internal party democracy in Ekiti State? Never.

“Yet, in spite of my strong convictions as expressed above, I have come to some irreversible conclusions and these are the messages I need to pass on to all and sundry today as I temporarily break my silence on the way forward.

One is to say that I have chosen to drop the option of going to Court to sue the party.

The other is to make it crystal clear to everyone that both my supporters and I will not defect from APC.

“Details of the reasons which informed these choices will be communicated at a later date when my supporters and I address Ekiti people and Nigerians at large.

It is not just about me. It is about the unity and progress of Ekiti State and her politically undermined and economically afflicted people.

It is also about ensuring that the ground is not prepared for reactionary beneficiaries to take advantage of seeming lack of capacity to manage our affairs as a ruling party in the state.

I also must coordinate and lead my own aspect of this popular struggle in a way to ensure that my supporters and stakeholders who had been isolated from the mainstream of the party become relevant again, for anything short of that can only be a highway to nowhere.

“We have all contributed so much to building this party in Ekiti State and the management as well as its decision making process cannot be an exclusive preserve of a few.

That is the new reality that those in control, including our national leadership must accept OR it becomes a popular subject matter of a struggle around which a popular movement must be built. This is where I stand!”

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Politics

APC Picks Ondo Gov Candidate Apr 25, Pegs Form At ₦50m

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Ahead of the November 16, 2024 governorship election in Ondo State, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has released its timetable and schedule of activities leading to the party’s selection of a candidate on April 25, 2024.

The APC timetable released late Monday was signed by the party’s National Organising Secretary, Sulaimon Argungu.

According to the party, the sale of nominations, expression of interest and delegates forms for contestants will begin on April 3 and end on April 10, 2024, while primary election is slated for April 25, 2024.

Like its governorship primary in Edo State which produced Monday Okpebholo as the flag bearer, the APC pegged the price for the Expression of Interest and Nomination forms at N10m and N40m respectively for Ondo.

The party said female aspirants and persons living with disabilities are to pay for Expression of Interest while the Nomination Form is free.

“Youths from 25 to 40 years are to purchase Expression of Interest forms with a 50% discount on Nomination Forms,” the APC stated.

Some of the top contenders for the APC ticket in Ondo include Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa, former Ondo deputy governor, who succeeded the late Governor Rotimi Akeredolu after the latter’s death on December 27, 2023. A former Commissioner for Finance in the state, Wale Akinterinwa; as well as Senator representing Ondo South, Jimoh Ibrahim, also want the party’s ticket.

Ondo and Edo are two of the eight states where governorship elections are held off-season due to litigations and court judgements. The others are Anambra, Bayelsa, Ekiti, Imo, Kogi and Osun.

Already, political gladiators are squaring up in the two states where governorship polls will hold this year. 19 political parties are expected to field a candidate each but the polls, like previous ones, will turn out as two-horse races or at best three-horse races.

 

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Edo Guber Poll: Uzodinma Heads APC Primary Election Committee 

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Chairman of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) Hope Uzodinma is to head the seven-man All Progressives Congress (APC) Edo Gubernatorial Primary Election Committee.

A statement late Tuesday night in Abuja announcing the names of various committee members by the party’s National Organising Secretary (NOS), Sulaiman Muhammad Arugungu showed that the committee will be inaugurated on Thursday by the National Chairman, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje by 4 pm.

His committee is to conduct the party’s shadow election on Saturday, February 17 in the 193 wards of Edo State to determine APC gubernatorial flag bearer in the September 21 governorship election.

Cross River Governor Bassey Otu will serve as Deputy Chairman of the committee while Alh. Rabiu Suleiman is appointed as Secretary.

Other members are former Osun Deputy Gov Mrs Titilayo Laoye-Tomori; Plateau 2023 APC governorship candidate, Dr. Nentanwe Yilwatda Goshwe, Hon. Umar Hassan and Lawan Garba.

The party also announced Barr. C. C Udenwa as Chairman of the five-man Election Appeal Committee while Alhaji Yunusa Mohammed will serve as Secretary.

The APC cleared all the 12 aspirants jostling for its ticket to contest the September Edo governorship election.

The 12 aspirants are: Prince Clem Agba; Senator Monday Okpebholo; Lucky Imasuen, Hon. Anamero Sunday Dekeri; Pastor Osagie Andrew Ize-Iyamu; Engr. Gideon Ikhine; Col. David Imuse (Rtd.); Gen. Charles Ehigie Airhiavbere (Rtd.); Prof. (Sen.) Oserheimen Osunbor; Blessing Agbomhere, Hon Dennis Idahosa and Ernest Afolabi Umakhihe.

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Fresh Crisis Hits Labour Party  Over N3.5bn

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A fresh crisis is brewing in the Labour Party (LP) over the 2023 general election finances.

The National Treasurer, Mrs. Oluchi Oparah, has demanded accountability from the National Chairman, Julius Abure, over N3.5 billion realized from sales of forms and other donations to the party.

Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Monday, February 12, 2024, Opara said that LP has been plagued with financial mismanagement and corruption.

She alleged that Abure owns several houses and property.

Oparah said: “I stand before you today with a heavy heart and a sense of duty to the principles of transparency, accountability, and justice. With great reluctance and deep concern, I am compelled to publicly address the media regarding the egregious financial mismanagement and corruption that have plagued our beloved party under the leadership of Mr Julius Abure, the current National Chairman.

“As national treasurer, I am constrained to come before you and the public today because the internal mechanisms of our party have failed woefully to bring Mr. Abure to account for his brazen abuse of office and misappropriation of party funds.

“His appetite for power has grown unchecked, and he has deliberately undermined my duties and authority as stipulated in the party’s constitution.”

Meanwhile, the party has dismissed the allegations.

The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, said: “With the exception of the National Treasurer whose tenure is about to end in few weeks’ time, and who has served for 8 years as National Treasurer without a single record of party accounts, no other member of the national working committee has raised any issue of embezzlement against our National Chairman who made a pledge on assumption that the party has to be revamped.

Evidence is our proactive outing in the 2023 general election as the party presented for the first time a very good presidential candidate.

“Let it be said that the Labour Party has not earned N3.5 billion as claimed and that the National Chairman has not embezzled any money that belongs to the party as alleged.

 The records are there, except that Ms Oluchi Opara don’t even understand simple accounting even as a treasurer. An External Auditor is engaged by the party and our account is under constant scrutiny of INEC or other regulatory bodies.

“Abure does not own several houses and property as spuriously alleged by our estranged National Treasurer, even though no law prohibits him from owning properties.”

 

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