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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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POLITICS

INEC Releases Guidelines For Conduct Of 2019 General Elections

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday released the regulations and guidelines for the conduct of the general elections.

The 33 pages document obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said Smart Card Readers (SCRs) and Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) would be used for the forthcoming elections.

It reads, “Voting shall be in accordance with the Continuous Accreditation and Voting System (CAVS) procedures as specified in these Regulations and Guidelines, the Election Manual and any other Guide issued by the Commission.

“No person shall be allowed to vote at any Polling Unit/Voting Point Settlement/Voting Point other than the one at which his/her name appears in the Register of Voters and he/she presents his/her permanent voter’s card to be verified by the Smart Card Reader (SCR), or as otherwise determined by the Commission.”

It added that each voter shall cast his/her vote in person at the Polling Unit/Voting Point Settlement/Voting Point where he/she registered or was assigned, in the manner prescribed by the Commission.

It also stated that separate queue shall be created between men and women, where the culture does not allow the mingling of men and women.

It added that Presiding Officers would also create a separate queue for People Living With Disabilities (PWDs).

According Section 10 (b) of the guidelines, “accreditation and voting shall commence at 8.00am and close at 2:00pm, provided that all voters already on the queue by 2:00pm shall be allowed for accreditation and voting.

“(d) The accreditation process shall comprise reading of the Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) and authentication of the voter’s fingerprint using the SCR; checking of the Register of Voter.”

Section 11 (v) of the guidelines also requested a voter to remove his/her cell phone or any photographic device before proceeding to voting cubicle.

Also section 11(c) stated that “where a voter’s PVC is read but the name of the voter is not on the Register of Voters, APO II shall refer the voter to the PO or APO (VP) who shall politely request the voter to leave the Polling Unit”.

Section 11(d) also states that: “In the event that the PVC fails to be read by the Smart Card Reader, the APO I shall refer the voter to the PO or APO (VP) who shall politely request the voter to leave the Polling Unit.’’

Subsection (e) added that “where a voter’s PVC is read and the SCR shows the details of another person, rather than the details of the cardholder as printed on the PVC, the APO I shall:

“(i) Refer the voter to APO II to confirm that the details of the voter in the Register of Voters correspond to those on the PVC;

“(ii) APO II if satisfied that the holder of the card is on the Register of Voters, shall record the phone number of the voter in the appropriate box on the Register of Voters; and

“(iii) Proceed with the accreditation of the voter.

“(f) In all cases from 11(b) to 11(e), the Presiding Officer shall fill the appropriate forms in the PU booklet and make a report.

“Affected voters in 11(b) and 11(e) qualify to be issued ballot papers after consultation with Polling Agents.”

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POLITICS

Suspected APC Thugs Attack Saraki’s Ilorin Family Residence, Injure 11, Damage 50 Vehicles

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For the second time in four days, political thugs allegedly loyal to the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Kwara State on Sunday attacked the Agbaji Ilorin family residence of the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

The rampaging APC thugs opened fire on residents of the area, wounding at least 11 persons in the process, a statement by Saraki’s media team alleged on Sunday.

They also destroyed about 50 cars parked at various locations within Agbaji Quarters.
It would be recalled that the alleged APC thugs had on Thursday unleashed violence on the people of Agbaji, Adewole and Pakata areas of Ilorin metropolis.

Four members of the Peoples Democratic Party were injured during Thursday’s mayhem.

The development eventuated a press conference that was addressed by the Senate President in Abuja, where he raised an alarm about threat to his life and those of his family and supporters.

Sunday’s incident, according to residents of the area, started at about 11:30am when fully armed thugs stormed their area and shot sporadically into the air to scare people away.

According to the President of Agbaji Development Association, Alhaji Musa Olanrewaju Yusuf, the rampaging thugs were allegedly led by Yahaya Seriki and Musbau Esinrogunjo.

Yusuf said 11 people, who sustained injuries from gunshots, were taken to General Hospital, Ilorin and a private medical facility for treatment.

He said: “The APC thugs came around 11:30am and shot sporadically into the air. In fact, they were provided cover by the DPO Adewole Division of Police.

“At least, 11 people received injuries from gunshots while about 50 cars including that of Imam Aliagan were destroyed.

“The thugs also carted away four motorbikes and stole money and jewelry from shops deserted by their owners.”

The statement said the APC thugs spread the violence to Ajikobi and Omoda areas of Ilorin metropolis.

Commenting on the development, the Director General of the PDP Campaign Council in the state, Prof. Suleiman Abubakar, said the orgy of violence was being perpetrated by the APC leaders in the state to instill fears in the minds of residence ahead of the coming general elections, having discovered that Kwarans have rejected them.

Prof. Abubakar called on security agencies in the state to within 48 hours arrest and prosecute the perpetrators of both Sunday’s and Thursday’s violence in Ilorin.

The state Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Tunde Ashaolu, said Sunday’s incident had validated the alarm raised by the Senate President on threat to his life and those of his family and supporters, “which the police made futile efforts to debunk”.

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POLITICS

Sanwo-Olu, Agbaje, Badamosi Slug It Out At Lagos Governorship Debate

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Lagos Gubernatorial debate put together by The Platform has ended with four governorship aspirants airing their varied opinions on how to move the state forward.

Partaking of the governorship election were Mr Bababatunde Badamosi (Action Democratic Party), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (All Progressives Congress), Mr Jimi Agbaje (Peoples Democratic Party) and Owolabi Salis (Alliance for Democracy).

The debate, on Sunday, had the aspirants speaking on issues ranging from gridlocks in the Lagos metropolis to power, down to the educational sector and to health.

While the candidates differed on the methods with which they will take Lagos to a higher echelon, they agreed that technology will play a key role in driving the process of transformation in the metropolis.

As regards gridlocks, Mr Badamosi said the traffic nightmare that Lagosians have contended with for years can be solved by focusing on three things – rail transport, use of barges and devolution of powers.

The candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) said, “There are a number of ways to tackle this problem. The most obvious one is rail. Secondly, barges to lift containers from the actual wharfs and take them to lighter terminals all around Lagos, and, thirdly, devolution of powers. It’s time we started this discussion about the devolution of power.”

On his part, the PDP gubernatorial candidate, Agbaje said the key is to “get the local governments working again” adding that the grassroots play a great role in making state function optimally.

Agbaje said planning ahead is crucial if Lagos must overcome its problem with traffic jam.

He said town planning is very important in addressing the issue of gridlocks in Lagos.

“The idea is to have even development across Lagos state so that you are having less of movement from one end of Lagos to the other,” the pharmacist said.

Sanwo-Olu on his part promised to tackle the problem of traffic jams if elected into office.

The APC candidate vowed to make the gridlock in the Apapa axis of the state a thing of the past in less than four months.

“First on the list, I will tackle the traffic problem of Lagos frontally,” Sanwo-Olu said during ‘The Platform’s debate which held on Sunday in Lagos.

Also speaking on the traffic congestion in the state, Mr Owolabi Salis said he will revive the train system which has been “abandoned for 15years by the FG” adding that the government is not paying the necessary attention.

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