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2019: NLC, Labour Party Reject Mimiko As Presidential Flagbearer

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Nigeria Labour Congress has rejected the plan by former National Chairman of the Labour Party, Abdulkadir Abdulsalam, to adopt former Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko, as the party’s presidential flag bearer for the 2019 general elections.

Ayuba Wabba, NLC President, and Ebere Ifendu, the National Publicity Secretary, Labour Party, stated this at a joint news conference on Thursday in Abuja.

According to Wabba: “This is very important for labour to make its position clear for the 2019 General Elections.

“It is not possible for Mimiko to run under the Labour Party and we want to say no to that.

“As Mimiko has no business as a member of Labour Party.

“The party is registered by the NLC and the Trade Union Congress, Market Women Association, students, we registered the party and the certificate of the party is with the NLC General Secretary.

“Therefore, bringing money to buy the party or the structure will not work; we do not share in the same ideology with him.

“It is a party with a difference.

“Therefore, I want to call on Mimiko once again to make sure he hands off the party.

“Therefore, A.A Salam cannot continue to function as the chairperson of the party.

“Labour Party is not a place for any candidate to join when the condition is favourable and when you arrive at your destination, you abandon it.”

Ifendu also warned Nigerians and political aspirants to disregard the purported party convention slated for September 13 in Abuja.

Ifendu said: “It has become necessary for the leadership of the Labour Party to draw the attention of the general public to the fraudulent collection of Expression of Interest and Nomination Form fees from innocent and unsuspecting political aspirants.

“That is for those who desire to contest various elective positions under the Labour Party through Alhaji A. A. Salam, the former national chairman of the party.

“It would be recalled that A. A. Salam was removed at the special national convention of the party held on 3rd October, 2017.

“This illegality was also confirmed by the Independent National Electoral Commission report, presented by the three INEC officials that were detailed to supervise its conduct.”

Ifendu also disclosed that the party’s counsel, Femi Falana, has served INEC, A. A. Salam and Julius Abure the Court contempt summon, hence warned them not to proceed with the illegal party convention otherwise they risk arrest.

She said: “Credible information reaching us revealed that A. A. Salam has concluded arrangements to pull a rented crowd to declare Olusegun Mimiko as the Labour Party’s Presidential Candidate.

“This illegal event is scheduled to hold in Abuja on Thursday, 13th September.

“This is a total violation of Article 27, section 1, subsection i and ii of the Labour Party’s constitution.”

Ifendu said the party constitution stipulates that ‘aspirants for presidential election shall be nominated as the candidate for the party at the national convention.

She said: “Where the National Executive Council identifies a credible and nationally acceptable person, it shall nominate and present such a person for ratification only at the national convention as the party’s presidential candidate.

“The same rule applies to the nomination of a gubernatorial candidate in section 3, subsection i & ii, in the case of which the state Congress is saddled with the responsibility of pronouncing their gubernatorial candidate.”

Ifendu called for caution in the light of the above violations and open disregard to the constitution of the party.

She called on all Labour Party National Working Committee members, State officials in the 36 state, FCT, among others to disregard the illegal gathering being summoned by A. A. Salam and Julius Abure.

Ifendu said: “The law enforcement agencies have been adequately notified of this illegal gathering and they are poised to take legal action against any person or group of persons that attend this illegal gathering. To be fore-warned is to be fore-armed.

“That all intending aspirants and candidates, willing to contest elections under Labour Party, should desist from dealing with A. A. Salam and Julius Abure on election matters. Those who make payments to them does so at their own risk.

“Consequently, the party hereby disowns and rejects Olusegun Mimiko as its presidential candidate, since neither the national executive council nor the national convention has been notified, as provided in the party’s constitution referred to above.

“Be informed also that a court contempt proceeding has been served on A. A. Salam and his gang leaders.

“Any attempt by them to convene an illegal NEC convention or any gathering of such similitude will amount to a court contempt and a total disregard for the rule of law.”

Ifendu maintained that the Nigeria Labour Congress, which is the Founder, custodian and promoter of the party, had intervened in the fracas that almost tore the party apart.

It would be recalled that Mimiko won the race to the Government House of Ondo State on the platform of the LP.

However, after staining power, Mimiko dumped the party for the Peoples Democratic Party.

He lost the bid to have a candidate of the PDP replace him as governor of Ondo State.

He rejoined the LP after quitting the governor’s seat.

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BIG STORY

I’m Ready For APC Primaries, Not Stepping Down For Anyone —- Jide Sanwo-Olu

Peter Okunoren

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Lagos governorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Babajide Olushola Sanwo-Olu, has reacted to reports that he has withdrawn from the race.

The former commissioner has the backing of Mandate Movement, a group loyal to APC national leader, Bola Tinubu.

He had also been endorsed by the 57 chairmen of local government and council development areas, top party chieftains, PSP operators, and most recently all 337 ward chairmen in the state.

In a statement on Monday, by Comrade Sesan Daini, Director of Media, Babajide Olushola Sanwo-Olu Campaign Organisation (BOSCO), said the claim that the aspirant won’t contest in Saturday’s primaries was false.

“We hereby state unequivocally that the purported press statement did not emanate from our Principal, Babajide Olushola Sanwo-Olu, rather it is the handiwork of jittery members of the opposition to malign our Principal and mislead members of the public.

“For the umpteenth time, Mr. Babajide Olushola Sanwo-Olu has not and will not withdraw from this race and he is ready for the party primaries slated for Saturday, 29th of September, 2018.

“BOSCO is not oblivious of the fact that these cheap attempts to mislead and hoodwink members of our party and the general public will be made by these disgruntled elements but we will continue to repeal their falsehood with facts.

“Our Principal remains committed to his campaign while still consulting with party leaders and members and would not be distracted by cheap blackmails like this.

“We want to use this opportunity to urge our teeming party faithful to troop out en masse on Saturday, 29th September of 2018 to cast their votes for Babajide Olushola Sanwo-Olu to be the Flagbearer of our great party, All Progressives Congress (APC), in the forthcoming general elections in 2019.”

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POLITICS

Osun: PDP To Strike Deal With Omisore, Others

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There were indications in Abuja on Sunday that the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party might strike a deal with a former Deputy Governor of Osun State, Senator Iyiola Omisore, in a bid to win the state rerun governorship election slated for Thursday, investigations by our correspondent have revealed.

Omisore is the governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party in the election in which the candidate of the PDP, Senator Ademola Adeleke, came first with 254, 698 votes while the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Mr Gboyega Oyetola, came second with 254,345 votes.

The Independent National Electoral Commission has, however, said there would be rerun in some polling units where elections were cancelled.

The units, which were listed by the commission, are two in Orolu Local Government Area, one in Ife South Local Government Area, one in Ife North Local Government Area and one in Osogbo Local Government Area.

It was gathered that the PDP had already initiated discussions with Omisore towards winning the two units in his stronghold of Ife.

Apart from Omisore, the PDP was said to be planning to meet with candidates of other political parties that had what a source described as a “worthy outing” during the election on Saturday.

Such candidates, it was gathered, are African Democratic Congress’ Fatai Akinbade and Action Democratic Party’s Alhaji Moshood Adeoti.

Already, it was gathered that a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, had spoken with Omisore on the need for the latter to support the PDP candidate in the rerun.

Fani-Kayode, who is also from Ile Ife like the former deputy governor, confirmed that he had spoken with both Omisore and Adeleke on the issue.

The former minister told our correspondent that there was a need for the parties to come together and “bury the ruling party in the state on Thursday.”

He said, “Yes, it is true that I have spoken with my brother, Senator Omisore, and our (PDP) candidate, Senator Adeleke, on the issue.

“I can tell you confidently that both of them are receptive to the idea and I can tell you that we are going to meet together to discuss working relationship before Thursday.

“We are not talking about any condition. We are doing all these for the love of our party and our people. We need to liberate the state from the vultures and invaders of our commonwealth. By the grace of God, we shall do it.”

It was gathered that a former Governor of the state, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, would be involved in a discussion with Akinbade.

Oyinlola, it was learnt, would prevail on Akinbade, who served as the secretary to the state government while the former military administrator was the governor of the state, to support the deal.

Besides that, it was also learnt that the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, would personally speak with Akinbade, who was also a former state chairman of the PDP while Secondus was also chairman of the former ruling party in Rivers State.

Top sources in the PDP confided in our correspondent that the President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki, who also heads the party’s 85-member governorship campaign council in the state, would be involved in the negotiations.

It was generally believed that Saraki’s efforts at bringing the runner-up in the party’s governorship primary in the state, Dr Akin Ogunbiyi, with Adeleke, helped the party on Saturday.

The source said, “We will involve Saraki in our meetings with these men. We cannot afford to lose the election in the state.

“Then, don’t forget that we have a working relationship with all the opposition political parties under the umbrella called Coalition of United Political Parties. We will invoke the spirit behind that.”

Secondus, who also spoke with our correspondent on the matter, appealed to the aspirants to cooperate with the PDP to “rescue the nation, starting from Osun State, from the grip of a party that is not sensitive to the plight of the citizens.”

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POLITICS

Saraki Reacts, Blasts INEC For Declaring Osun Election Inconclusive

Peter Okunoren

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President of the Senate and Chairman, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Council on Osun State Gubernatorial Election, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has faulted the declaration by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that the election results were inconclusive.

Saraki, in a statement personally signed, expressed dismay over the decision by INEC to declare as “inconclusive” an election in which a candidate won the highest number of votes and fulfilled the condition for the geographical spread.

“In my lay man’s opinion, the INEC was wrong in declaring the election as inconclusive because the votes in certain polling units were cancelled. The decision of INEC to cancel the election in those areas after voting had taken place means INEC had already excluded the votes in these areas from the election process and therefore those units should have no place in the overall results. My opinion would have been different if the election in the affected units did not take place at all, maybe as a result of malfunctioning of the card reader machine or unavailability of the electoral materials. Since the voting took place and was cancelled, only the courts could reverse the initial decision by INEC to cancel the votes in these areas.

“That is why I call on our party and its candidate to seek a further legal interpretation on this decision by the electoral body. One cannot but wonder whether if the places were reversed and the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is the one leading in the election; the INEC will take the same decision it has taken now.

“At this point, it is necessary to also call on INEC to display courage, boldness, independence, neutrality and patriotism so as to send signals to the world at large that Nigerian electoral system has come of age and that our democracy has matured. The electoral body needs to reassure all and sundry that the 2019 election and other elections will be free of manipulations and undue interference.

“The INEC should note that the Osun gubernatorial election is not only about that South-western state. It is about our country and the entire world is watching. Our national interest is at stake. The integrity of our electoral system is at stake. The reputation of the electoral body is at stake. The future of our democracy is on the line. The way INEC conclusively handles the Osun election will determine global expectations from our political process. It should, therefore, ensure that the wishes of the Osun State electorate eventually prevail.

“I praise the dedication and hard work of PDP supporters and the candidate of the party, Senator Ademola Adeleke. They have remained steadfast, resilient, focused and determined.

“Let me also commend all the other contestants in yesterday’s election for their gallant efforts because it is clear they are all working for the same objective from different perspectives and platforms to ensure that the era of misgovernance, pain, injustice and insensitivity to the plight of the common people comes to an end. It is our hope that they will all co-operate with Senator Adeleke to ensure that Osun State witnesses a development-oriented era.

“Let me remind our party supporters and the good people of Osun State that this INEC decision constitutes only a delay of the victory of Senator Ademola Adeleke and the PDP in Osun Gubernatorial election, as our triumph will come either through the judiciary or a further balloting.

“I thank PDP supporters and the general public in Osun State and note that we got to this point after many months of hard work, determination and focus. We should not despair and not lose our focus and determination to ensure that the final results reflect the will of the Osun people.

“Our party is ahead, despite the irregularities. Our people must remain resilient to see this through to the finish. Now is the time to re-strategize, reach out to all the other candidates and their supporters, build on our lead, and bring this election home.

“Our supporters and the entire people of Osun State should remain calm and maintain peace as we move forward to see the successful completion of the electoral process.

“Once again, I thank all supporters of the PDP and the people of Osun State who stayed up all night, both physically and on social media to monitor the numbers and protect our votes. We remain undeterred, and we all remain determined to ensure that Senator Ademola Adeleke becomes the next Governor of Osun State,” Saraki stated.

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