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Kogi East Senate: A Two-Horse Race —– By Ibrahim Isah

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Online and offline, discussions on the forthcoming Senatorial contest in Kogi East have revolved around two economists and former bankers both with intimidating credentials, enthralling pedigrees but varying capacities to represent their people and deliver on campaign promises.

While Dr. Victor Alewo Adoji is running on the platform of African Democratic Congress (ADC), Alhaji (Dr.) Jibrin Isah is running on the platform of the All Peoples Congress (APC).

Earlier Senatorial contests, especially the last two have happened with little or no fuse about the candidates. It was majorly about the Party platform and it the quality or capacity of the candidate. Clearly, the allure form party supremacy had foisted minions and non-performers on the constituency and the constituents who are ultimately the net-losers.

With increasing political awareness, great access to information via various social media channels, escalating impoverishment and shrinking population of politically apathetic, political Parties realized they needed more than just the platform to win elections. It was for this reason that the APC leadership in the State and Kogi East, in particular, co-opted and worked tirelessly to ensure that Jibrin Isah emerged as its Kogi East Senatorial candidate.

It was not that rosy for Victor Adoji as his former Party, the PDP, chose to offer its ticket to the seating Senator, Attai Aidoko, without holding a primary election either in defiance or as an act of impunity.

The thinking is that considering the dismal performance of the APC in the State, anyone who gets the ticket of the main opposition Party in the State could be said to have won the Senatorial election. That has turned out to be a huge miscalculation considering the hundreds on PDP members who dumped the Party not necessarily to join the APC but in support of Jibrin Isah.

However, Victor Adoji’s emergence on the ADC platform re-channeled the hemorrhage of PDP members in favour of the ADC and some APC members. Those who have not openly moved have only stayed back to achieve two things one of which is to be beneficiaries of the largesse that has been touted by the divisional party chairman and promised by the PDP candidate, Senator Attai Aidoko.

In a survey of fifty (50) people each across the nine local governments of Kogi East, Ninety-Five percent (428 respondents) categorically said they would either vote for Victor or Echocho. Three percent (13 respondents) said they would vote for Amade Edime while less than one percent (4 respondents) said they would vote for Attai Aidoko.

When the question was reversed along Party lines, Fifty-One percent (229 respondents) said they would either vote for PDP or APC. Thirty-Two percent (144 respondents) said they would vote for the ADC, Five Percent (21 respondents) while another five percent (21 respondents) said they would vote for APDA.

Evidently, two variables (personality and party platform) would play significantly in how the electorates would make their choices in the forthcoming elections especially the Kogi East senatorial election. But, more than any other factor under consideration, the personality of the individuals would play a bigger role.

In the coming days, weeks and months, the involvement of the Igala elite class, various interest/pressure groups, affiliations, and accessibility will do a lot to either shift or tilt the balance in favour or against any of the two leading candidates. Issues like the quality of their manifestoes, their performances during the various debates that would be organized as well as the pedigree of influencers they deploy would count a lot in endearing them to the electorates.

There is also the waning influence of major stakeholders across the two leading Parties in the Eastern flank of the State. Findings from the survey also revealed that most of the youthful members of the parties see their elders as working only for themselves and their pockets and are not ready to take any orders from those they say have compromised hiding behind the doctrine of “Party id supreme” or in expectation of political appointment of contract.

While we could not get access to the membership registers of the two leading Parties to know the total members of both parties in Kogi East, we are told that the total number of Party members in both parties cannot be up to a hundred thousand. That is less than fifteen percent of the voting in Kogi East. Impliedly, most of those who decide the outcome of elections are not Party members but non-partisan voters. It follows therefore that the forthcoming election is going to be form, size and shape more about the personality and less about the Party platform.

In the final analysis, the Kogi East Senatorial election is a two-horse race between Dr. Victor Alewo Adoji of the ADC and Dr. Jibrin Isah of the APC and in the end, it comes down to the very little things beyond the scope of money, thuggery, window-dressing and godfatherism.

– Isah wrote in from Idah, Kogi State.

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APC Disclaims Suit to Foist Third Term On Buhari

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has dismissed a suit seeking an amendment to the 1999 Constitution to allow President Muhammadu Buhari to run for a third term in office, which was filed by one Charles Enya, whom it described as a self-proclaimed member of the party.

APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, in a statement yesterday said the party had initially chosen to ignore him but decided to disavow the suit to send a clear message to Enya and other troublemakers like him.

According to him, the president has said history would not be fair to party members if the APC collapses after his second term, stressing that what better proof is required of the president’s resolve to abide by the constitution on term limit than such a statement.

He said at the last National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the party, Buhari had assured party members that he would abide by the constitution and uphold the oath of office he took.

“The party is, however, by this statement sending a strong signal to such other busybodies like Charles Enya who may be contemplating testing the resolve of our government on our mission to work for the best for our country to be ready to face the law.

“We would follow this new enemy of our country, who is most likely being sponsored by the desperate and misguided opposition, every step of the way, using all legal means to thwart his devilish efforts to create chaos in our country.

“As a party, we would not take kindly to anyone or group causing an unnecessary distraction for this administration through anti-democratic actions. As a country, we are several years behind where we ought to be,” he added.

The party spokesman noted that the Buhari-led administration is focused on the onerous responsibility of delivering good governance, revamping moribund infrastructure, growing the economy, fighting corruption, creating the right environment for teeming youths to deploy their creative energies and providing adequate security for all.

“We have tried to find out the status of this character claiming to be a member of our party. If he turns out to be our member, we would ensure the party organ that has the responsibility to act on this matter promptly commence the process of expelling him,” he stated.

Issa-Onilu said APC as a progressive party would not tolerate anti-democratic forces and charlatans.

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Bayelsa Decides: INEC Declares APC’s David Lyon Winner With Over 200,000 Poll Margin To PDP’s Flag Bearer

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate David Lyon was, early this morning, declared Bayelsa State governor-elect by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Lyon, 49, will succeed outgoing Governor Seriake Dickson, who has ruled the state since 2012

The APC thus ended the 20-year political dominance of the oil-rich Bayelsa State by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Returning Officer Prof. Faraday Orumwense, the vice-chancellor of the University of Benin, declared Lyon winner with 352,552 votes in Saturday’s election. He won six of the eight local government areas

PDP’s candidate Senator Duoye Diri, who came a distant second, polled 143,172 votes. He won in two local government areas.

There was jubilation in Yenagoa as soon as the Returning officer declared Lyon winner at the Prof. Mahmood Yakubu Media Centre, INEC Office, in Yenagoa.

Many people trooped to the streets of the state capital in celebration.

Southern Ijaw which is fondly called the Kano of Bayelsa state, gave the APC candidate the boost with 124, 803 votes as against the 4,898 recorded by the PDP.

The APC got 21,489 votes in Ekeremor Local Government Area of the state, while PDP scored 18344.

Senator Douye Diri, also recorded massive win in the home council of former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, Ogbia Local Government Area of the state with a total of 58,016 as against the vote of PDP of 13,763. The outcome according to political analysts is based on the open disrespect by the Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson against the former President.

Also massive was the 83,041 votes recorded by the APC in Nembe Local Government Area as against the PDP votes of 874. But the PDP had its share of massive vote at the home council of the State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson in Sagbama with 60,339 votes and APC recorded 7,831.

At the Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Council, where the PDP flag bearer hails from, the PDP defeated the APC with 15,360 votes as against the 8,934 votes recorded by the APC.

In Brass Local Council Area where the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva hails from, the APC defeated the PDP with 23,831 as against 10,410 votes.

Declaring the winner, the returning officer of the 2019 gubernatorial elections in Bayelsa state, Mr. Faraday’s Orunmwense, stated that with the power bestowed on him, David Lyon, after scoring the highest number of votes is returned as the winner of the election.

But the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in a press briefing earlier on Sunday night addressed by its flag bearer, Senator Douye Diri accused the Nigerian Army of conniving with the All Progressives Congress (APC) to rig the polls in parts of the state.

According to Senator Diri, though results collated by the party agents showed that the PDP has won the Governorship election, ”members of the PDP were terrorized and arrested by soldiers on the orders of the General Officer Commanding the 6th Division of the Nigerian Army, General Sarham Jamil”.

Senator Douye Diri, who spoke in company of the National Chairman of the PDP Campaign Council and Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed and National Vice Chairman of the Party, Elder Emmanuel Ogidi, noted that what is playing out in Bayelsa confirms the earlier red flag the PDP had raised days to the election about plots by the APC to use Gen Sarham, who had since been transferred to the Nigerian Defence Academy to defy his posting to supervise the state election.

According to the PDP candidate, critical stakeholders of the party were harassed and prevented from accessing the collation centre in Ogbia, which is former President, Goodluck Jonathan’s Local Government Area.

Senator Diri said the Chairman of the Council, Hon Ebiyon Turner and a serving member of the state House of Assembly representing Ogbia Constituency Two, Hon Gibson Munalayefa were all arrested and detained by the Army operatives up till the time of the briefing.

In Southern Ijaw, he noted that PDP members who were travelling to their communities for the election including Dr Michael Amaegberi were also apprehended by soldiers at Ogboinbiri while their APC counterparts were allowed to go scot-free.

Senator Diri who commended the Independent National Electoral Commission and the media for their show of professionalism in the conduct and coverage of the election, however, urged them to maintain the tempo for the sake of democracy.

He called on the international community and lovers of democracy to prevail on the Nigerian Army to respect the rule of law and for democracy to thrive in Bayelsa and Nigeria in general.

His words, “The collation centre in Ogbia is under siege by the Nigerian Army and as we all know, this is against the laws of our land. It is an anathema because the Army has no business in determining who goes into a collation centre.

“Information available to us indicates that the General Officer Commanding, GOC, 6th Division has ordered officers and men from 6 Battalion, 343 Artillery, 5 and 29 Battalions were carrying out certain security functions to withdraw from the venue in Ogbia because they have failed to rig the election in Ogbia for the APC. It is totally unacceptable. For there to be peace, there has to be justice.”

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BREAKING: APC Has No Candidate In Bayelsa, Court Rules 2 Days To Guber Election

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The Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State has ruled that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has no candidate for the Saturday governorship election in the state.

Details shortly…

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