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Sanwo-Olu Celebrates Abiru’s Victory, As Governor Hosts APC Candidates For Lagos Bye-Elections [PHOTOS]

Peter Okunoren

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Hours after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the winner in the Saturday Senatorial bye-election held in Lagos East district, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu hosted the Senator-elect, Mr. Tokunbo Abiru, at the State House, Marina, to celebrate the victory of All Progressives Congress (APC) at the poll.

The State House erupted in jubilation, as State party chairman, Hon. Tunde Balogun formally presented the Senator-elect and the APC candidate who won Kosofe Constituency II bye-election, Hon. Femi Saheed, to the Governor.

Abiru polled 89,204 votes in all the 16 local councils in Lagos East district to defeat his major challenger, Mr. Babatunde Gbadamosi of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who got 11,257 votes.

Also, Saheed received 12,494 of the 15,124 total votes cast to win the Kosofe Constituency II seat.

The candidates were accompanied on the meeting with the Governor by the chairman of Tokunbo Abiru Campaign Council, Ashipa Kaoli Olusanya, party leader, Chief Bode Oyedele, women leader, Hon. Jumoke Okoya-Thomas, and other party stalwarts from the district. Also, there were members of the House of Representatives from Lagos East district, including Hon. Jimi Benson, and Hon. Rotimi Agunsoye.

Sanwo-Olu described the APC’s triumph in the bye-elections as “two-fold success”, saying the results indicated the party remained the first choice for Lagosians. He said Lagos residents would always reckon with APC, given the party’s progressive credential and responsible leadership.

Sanwo-Olu said the outcome of the elections, should be seen as a result of the huge popularity, which the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu enjoys in Lagos, as well as a demonstration of faith and loyalty to Tinubu’s progressive ideas, which had transformed Lagos in physical development and economy.

He said: “For us a party, we always see our success at the polls as acceptance of our progressive governance. With almost 90 percent margin in the Senatorial bye-election, it goes to show that APC remains the party of the first choice in Lagos State. I thank our leaders and party members for supporting Abiru on this journey and delivering the victory. I particularly congratulate Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his vision, his ability to diagnose challenges and pick talented individuals that will efficiently tackle the challenges.

“The victory of our party in both elections is for the people. This is a big deal for all Lagosians because Abiru won’t be a senator for the APC members alone; he is going to do the representational duty for all his Lagos East constituents and by extension, all Lagosians. The same goes for Hon. Femi Saheed. This success goes to show there’s something our party is doing well and for which it is being rewarded by the people. We won’t take this for granted; we will buckle up and show more commitment to programmes that will make Lagos greater.”

Sanwo-Olu praised Tinubu and party elders for the choice of Abiru for the senate seat, pointing out that the lawmaker-elect possessed the requisite experience and career profile, which stood him out as the best candidate for the assignment.

The Governor urged the elected lawmakers to see their victory as a call to serve the people and be good ambassadors of the party in the legislative chambers.

Sanwo-Olu hailed all APC members for working together to deliver victory for the party.

Abiru, the immediate past Managing Director of Polaris Bank, described his victory as an attestation of APC’s acceptance at the grassroots despite the recent occurrence, appreciating Sanwo-Olu for mentoring throughout the electioneering.

He said: “I have accepted this assignment with modest accomplishments both in the public and private sectors. The assurance I want to give the people is that I will bring my experience to bear performing my roles and giving quality representation. I will always be faithful to the party and make myself accountable to the people.”

Abiru restated his commitment to his campaign promises, pledging to galvanize support for a special status for Lagos and restructuring.

The lawmaker-elect disclosed he would be setting up a personal endowment platform for the empowerment of unemployed youths and aged people in his constituency.

Balogun said APC’s victory demonstrated members’ dedication and loyalty to the party vision. He said Lagos voters used the bye-elections to show their confidence in APC, stressing that the party defeated PDP at every polling unit across areas where the protesters’ elections were held.

“Gbadamosi’s loss is a rejection of the PDP for supporting hoodlums in the violence at the end of EndSARS protests. Our victory in these bye-elections showed the support people have for our Government in Lagos. We thank you, Governor Sanwo-Olu, for your leadership, support, and dedication to the cause of the party,” Balogun said.

NEWS

2020 US Election: What Defeated The Incumbent? Any Take For Nigeria? By Abdulmumin Jibrin

Peter Okunoren

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We cannot just watch the US crisis and laugh. We must learn from it and act to avert such from happening in our country that is far more vulnerable to such dangerous anti-democratic manipulations that can throw a country into anarchy.

We are not immune to having any president in the future that may react like the incumbent president of the US. So what measures can we put as a matter of urgency in our laws to tighten the screw, strengthen our institutions and system against such if at all it ever happens?

I disagree with the opinion that the US has lost its leading role globally in advancing democratic culture because of the 2020  election saga and specifically the unusual refusal to accept defeat by the incumbent. The principal actors in the crisis did all they could to subvert the will of the people, but it was the strong  INSTITUTIONS and  SYSTEM that defeated them.

The US democratic institutions and system have proven to be stronger than any individual or group and in this case, rose above even the incumbent President. That, in my opinion, supersedes other considerations. Beyond the razzmatazz of negative individual behavior in the 2020 election, the strong US democratic institutions will continue to be a lead point globally.

In contrast, in many countries around the world including Africa and Nigeria, individuals are still stronger than the institutions and system. That has always been the foundation of our problem. So long as our institutions and system are not strong enough to overpower individual interest or ambition, we will continue the endless search for answers to many of our problems that can be solved easily.

Knowing when to let go is one of the fundamental pillars of democracy. A leader must be smart enough to know that letting go and at the right time may compensate for whatever loss he suffers. He can also ride on that to salvage his career, or at least retain some respect.

Now, the major problem of the defeated incumbent in the US election is no longer how to stop the winner from being sworn in, it is how to get out of the present dilemma of violence and insurrection he is being accused of having instigated and which had led to the desecration of the pre-eminent symbol of democracy, the Capitol, and the death of 4 people. Many Americans are demanding that the president must be held accountable. Who knows where it will end, with investigations, panels, etc, that are like to follow?

Narrowing it down to power transition, I remember during one of our think-thank meetings of the speakership campaign in 2019, the then-candidate and now Speaker,  Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, raised serious concern about the lack of proper and detailed transition laws from incumbent to incumbent and from an incumbent to a non-incumbent whether of the same party or not. He wanted a bill to that effect as part of the 9th assembly agenda.

We didn’t consider his foresight necessary at the time. I am guilty of that as well. Now, I can see why we need a law with clear details and timelines of activities specifically for power transition and severe consequences for whoever breaches the law.

Some of the issues include announcing the winner, accepting victory, conceding defeat, and timelines for constituting transition committees from both the incumbent and the president-elect. Details of the kind of briefings from the outgoing and the president-elect, including timelines for announcement of cabinet members and many other details that can ensure power transition or transfer is done peacefully and continuity of governance is not halted in any way.

This is the time for the National  Assembly to look at this matter and act with urgency.

Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin Kofa
Bebeji, Kano
7th January, 2021

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NEWS

BREAKING: Reps Suspend FG’s 774,000 Jobs Scheme

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The House of Representatives has called for the immediate suspension of the controversial Special Works Scheme of the Federal Government.

The National Assembly and the Federal Ministry of Labour, Employment, and Productivity had clashed over the recruitment of 774,000 workers for the scheme.

At the plenary on Wednesday, the House asked the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning not to fund the scheme, which is billed to take off in January 2021.

The National Assembly had appropriated N52bn for the exercise in the 2020 Appropriation Act. It was to begin in November.

The House also faulted the removal of the Director-General of the National Directorate of Employment, Dr Nasiru Argungu, who had backed the parliament in the controversy.

The House urged the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to reverse himself on Argungu’s sacking.

The Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, had since appointed Argungu’s replacement in the order of the President.

Details later…

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BIG STORY

NDLEA Arrest Brazil Returnee With 14.4kg Of Cocaine At Abuja Airport

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Special Area Command, Abuja, have arrested Elechi Kingsley (39) for attempting to smuggle cocaine from Brazil.

The suspect, who is planning to marry in January 2021, was promised N3 million for the job.

Kingsley was arrested during the inward clearance of Ethiopian Airline flight Et 911, according to NDLEA’s Principal Staff Officer (Public Affairs), Jonah Achema.

Achema said Kingsley, an indigene of Umulolo Local Government Area of Imo State, has lived in Brazil for 13 years.

“I am an adult and I am fully aware of what I was going into. I agree that somebody gave it to me but I offered to carry it,” Kingsley was quoted as saying.

A 23-year-old Brazilian, Da Silva Mailson Mario, was also arrested for being in possession of a suitcase containing cocaine during the inward clearance of the same flight.

According to Achema, Mario, who spoke through an interpreter, decided to be silent on all questions put to him. He was only inquisitive about the jail terms his offense may attract in Nigeria.

Achema said 14.4 kilograms of cocaine were seized from both men.

The statement reads: “In the first operation, the command intercepted four packets of chocolate sweets of white substances which tested positive to Cocaine, weighing 7.2 kilograms, while 12 parcels of cellophane wrappers with whitish substances, which also tested positive to Cocaine, and weighing 7.2 kilograms, were recovered in the second operation.

“The first operation involved Da Silva Mailson Mario, a Brazilian (23), who was arrested with a suitcase containing packets of chocolate sweet during the inward clearance of Ethiopian Airline ET 911 which originated from Brazil en-route Addis Ababa to Abuja. The second operation involved Elechi Kingsley (39) who was arrested with a bag containing cellophane bags during the inward clearance of the same flight.”

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