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Crisis Hits Lagos PDP As Jimi Agbaje Allegedly Sidelines Party

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With about six weeks to the conduct of the governorship elections, crisis is currently rocking the Lagos State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as its governorship candidate, Jimi Agbaje, and the state executive members, led by Dr. Adegbola Dominic, are believed to be working at cross-purposes instead of uniting to forge a common front against the All Progressives Congress (APC).

A chieftain of the party, who spoke with Daily Independent on Wednesday on condition of anonymity, said since his emergence as the party’s flag bearer, Agbaje had been running a one-man show, believing that he could do without the leadership of the Lagos PDP or party elders in the state, such as Chief Olabode George, a former Deputy National Chairman of the party.

He said while Agbaje had been running his governorship campaign with the team he set up without carrying the state PDP along, he also picked his running mate, Mrs. Haleemat Busari, without consulting the party leaders.

According to him, many party leaders who only heard of Busari’s choice in the media were angry and made attempts to kick against the decision but were prevailed upon by the party’s leadership to refrain from doing so in order not to create the impression that the party was disunited.

The source said: “The reality is that there is no unity in Lagos PDP and this may mar our chances in the forthcoming governorship election. Jimi Agbaje and the state exco of the party are not working as a team.

“If you remember, majority of the state exco members are loyalists of Chief Bode George and, as such, they don’t like Agbaje whom they see as a traitor for daring to contest against his benefactor for the national chairmanship of the PDP.

“Agbaje himself has not helped matters. Since becoming the governorship candidate of the party, he has constituted his campaign team and neglected the leadership of the party who are the key drivers of the party.

“Can you imagine Agbaje never consulted the party before picking his running mate, Mrs. Busari? Many of our party members and leaders were shocked when they heard about the news in the media.

“You can imagine the anger of many party members on account of this. The issue would have gone out of hand but for the appeal by the leaders of the party such as Chief Bode George who implored them not to make the issue public so that the APC will not capitalise on it.”

When our correspondent contacted Adegbola Dominic, the state chairman, on the allegations that Jimi Agbaje was not carrying the party along in his campaigns, he said: “That is not exactly correct. It is true that there may be some intra-party differences, but we are resolving that. We are working together and we will achieve victory in 2019.”

Similarly, Agbaje denied the allegations, saying he enjoyed a harmonious working relationship with the Dominic-led executives.

Speaking through Felix Oboagwina, his spokesman, Agbaje said he notified all the party leaders before choosing his running mate but added that what some complained against was that she was not a prominent member of the party who was known to all.

“It is not true that party leaders and state exco have not been carried along. When the deputy governorship candidate, Haleema Busari, was chosen, all stakeholders were carried along.

“Before the announcement was made, everybody who was a chieftain of the party knew about her. All they can complain about is the fact that she is not a frontline member of the party.

“Before her announcement and final selection was made, several names had been bandied and then she was zeroed in upon. Of course, it is normal that it is only one person that will be picked at the end of the day.

“From the day she was picked, she became a product of the entire party. On the issue of party excos and leaders not being carried along, we don’t know where that is coming from.

“There is a structure that the national leadership of the party has put in place in all the states that are holding elections in 2019. The structure is called the Campaign Council and the instruction is that it should be headed by the governorship candidate of the PDP in the state while the state PDP chairman will serve as the vice-chairman.

“In Lagos, the PDP Chairman, Dr. Adegbola Dominic, fills that role and he is doing it very well. He is being carried along and they hold regular meetings.

“There are about 10 people in the Campaign Council in Lagos State and because of the structure that was in place somebody like Rahman Owokoniran, a very close lieutenant and confidant of Jimi Agbaje, who was the last Director-General of the campaign, had to drop from the council to accommodate every other member of the party who are part of the structure.

“According to the structure that PDP is using, the campaign structure is also duplicated at the local government area level where a prominent member of the party in the local government area heads the council in the local government area.

“The same is also replicated at the ward level. At all these levels, the candidates for Senate, House of Reps, and House of Assembly are part of these structures. So, all these talk about disunity is the handiwork of mischief makers who want a divided party before the elections,” he said.

POLITICS

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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POLITICS

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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BIG STORY

BREAKING: APC Factions ‘Suspend’ Oshiomhole, Obaseki, Others

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The crisis in rocking the Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress got messier on Wednesday as factions of the party rectified suspension of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Governor Godwin Obaseki, and others.

At a meeting of APC leaders at the party secretariat, the suspension of Oshiomhole and some party local government chairmen were upheld.

The suspension of Obaseki, his Deputy, Philip Shaibu and others were carried out at the residence of General Charles Airhiavbere by the Edo Peoples Movement, a pressure group within the APC.

Details shortly…

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