‘My election can’t be annulled like my father’s’

(m) at 10-01-2011 11:23AM (9 years ago)

(1374 | Gistmaniac)

ECHOES of the June 12, 1993 election reverbertated in Abeokuta, Ogun State on Sunday with one of the daughters of the winner of the poll, Lola, vowing that no one would truncate her bid to represent Ogun Central district in the Senate.

She made the vow just as three governors – Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Timipre Sylva (Bayelsa) and Jonah Jang (Plateau State) – emerged victorious in the Peoples Democratic Party governorship primaries.

Abiola-Edewor and Iyabo Obasanjo – Bello, contested the senatorial primaries under two factions of the PDP in Ogun State on Saturday.

Abiola-Edewor won the primaries conducted by a faction said to have the sympathy of the state governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, while Obasanjo Bello emerged victorious at the other primary carried out by the faction led by Dayo Soremi.

A few days before Abiola-Edewor, a former member of the House of Representatives spoke, Obasanjo, a former president had stormed the PDP national secretariat last week to complain about the conduct of the primaries.

He was said to have threatened to quit the PDP if the perceived anormalies in the exercise were not corrected.

A source in the Ogun State Government House had told one of our correspondents in Abeokuta that the governor was under pressure from the Presidency to declare Iyabo-Obasanjo the winner of the senatorial primary election.

“There has been much pressure from Abuja on the governor to intervene in ensuring that Iyabo Obasanjo emerges as the senatorial candidate for Ogun Central,” the source said.

But Abiola-Edewor told journalists on Sunday that she decided to speak out because “there is a rumour that the powers that be want to annul the election that was conducted by the National Working Committee of our party and witnessed by the Independent National Electoral commission officials from Abuja.”

She expressed surprise at what she described as another attempt to perpetrate electoral injustice against the Abiola family and wondered why the family should always be a victim of injustice.

Abiola-Edewor said, “When Senator Iyabo Obasanjo Bello wanted to attend the screening, she came to the authentic party secretariat headed by Chief Joju Fadairo to get screened but on her own volition went to the illegal faction’s secretariat headed by Dayo Soremi to contest.

“Nobody can annul my election the way they did to my father. When the act of injustice was done against my father, he sacrificed his life and if needs be, I am ready to do same. I am not a coward.

“My father’s blood that was sacrificed for democracy allowed Iyabo Obasanjo’s father to be President. You cannot sacrifice me again,” Abiola-Edewor said.

In the PDP primaries conducted in the PDP faction headed by Daniel, Abiola-Edewor scored 567 against a member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Kayode Amusan, who polled 483.

Meanwhile, results of the governorship primaries held on Sunday started trickling in on Sunday afternoon with Sylva of Bayelsa State emerging victorious in the exercise that was witnessed by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Sylva scored 420 votes to defeat 12 other aspirants. His closest rival, Chief Francis Doukpola, polled 10 votes, followed by a former chairman of the party, Chief Fred Agbedi, who scored eight votes.

After the announcement of the result, Jonathan again called on Nigerians to guard their votes in the April elections.

The President was the first person to vote from his Ogbia Constituency among the 471 delegates that took part in the exercise conducted amidst tight security.

Jonathan said he decided to attend the primary in the state to demonstrate his belief in one man one vote, which he had been preaching.

“Many of you will be surprised that I am here. Everybody knows we are preaching one man one vote, one woman one vote, and one youth one vote. I came to vote, and I sat down all through to defend my vote. That was why I did not leave before the end,” he said.

The President said the era of ballot box snatching was over and challenged Nigerians to must defend their votes by ensuring that they were counted.

“You must vote and stay to the end and watch your vote. The era of ballot snatching ballot papers is gone,” he said.

Jonathan congratulated Sylva on his victory and advised him to work harder to ensure victory for the PDP in the April election.

“It was a landslide victory, it shows that your people still want you to lead them,” the President said.

In Rivers State, Amaechi also won by scoring 1,139 votes to beat Mrs. Dennisada Ben-Fiabeme, who polled only one vote.

Two other aspirants, Chief Celestine Omehia and Dr. Moore Oja Chinda, did not score any vote.

Though, Omehia was absent at the venue of the election, members of the election panel agreed that he was part of the race.

Speaking after he was declared winner, Amaechi called for the reconciliation of all the aggrieved aspirants in the state.

Amaechi’s counterpart in Plateau State, Jang was elected as the PDP candidate in a poll where he was the sole candidate.

Jang had 756 of the 763 votes cast by the delegates. Seven votes were voided.

Seven former aspirants had dumped the PDP for the Labour Party and Action Congress of Nigeria.

They included the state deputy governor, Mrs. Pauline Tallen, former governor Fidelis Tapgun, Messrs Jimmy Cheto, Pam Dung Gyang and Damishi Sango.

Jang, who thanked members of the party for voting for him, said the journey had been a trying one.

More results of the senatorial primaries particularly in Imo and Akwa Ibom State showed surprises as some heavy weights in the National Assembly were roundly defeated.

In Imo, for instance, Senators Chris Anyanwu and Osita Izunaso representing Imo East and Imo West senatorial districts lost their bids to Mrs. Kema Chikwe, a former Nigerian ambassador to the Republic of Ireland and Iceland, and Chief Hope Uzodinma, a member of the PDP Board of Trustees.

While Anyanwu polled 931 votes, Chikwe, scored 1,084. Izunaso got 891 votes while Uzodinma scored 2,147 votes.

Another big name loser in the state was Chief Cosmas Iwu, the younger brother of the immediate Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Maurice Iwu. He lost to Ambassador Matthew Nwagwu in the race for the Imo North Senatorial seat.

Only Senator Aloysius Etuk was able to revalidate his ticket among the three senators representing the three senatorial districts in Akwa Ibom State.

Senators Bob Effiong was defeated by Obong Ita Enang while Eme Ekaette was beaten by Mrs. Helen Esuene, wife of Housing and Urban Development Minister.

In Rivers State, Senator Wilson Ake, was declared the winner in Rivers West senatorial district.

A former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, who contested against Ake, Chief Chibudom Nwuche, however, claimed to have won the ticket.

He has already taken his protest to the leadership of the PDP through a petition to the party’s National Chairman, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo.

In the petition copied Jonathan, he alleged that non-delegates were allowed to vote in the primaries. Nwuche also said that the state chairman of the party, Chief Godspower Ake, paved the way for his (Ake) blood brother, Wilson, to emerge victorious.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Privatisation, Senator Ayo Arise, and his Drugs, Narcotics Financial Crimes and Anti-Corruption counterpart, Senator Sola Akinyede won in Ekiti North and Ekiti South senatorial districts.

The primary election in Ekiti Central Senatorial District, however, failed to produce a winner due to irregularities .

Our correspondent in the state gathered that a senatorial aspirant allegedly duplicated ballot papers used in the election. A delegate, who made this known, added that the aspirant bribed some of his colleagues to vote for him,

The delegate said, “ The aspirant’s delegates were able to fraudulently vote by proxy for other delegates in Ado-Ekiti, Ijero, Irepodun/Ifelodun but he was exposed in Efon-Alaaye.”

The aspirants seeking the ticket in the district are Mr. Femi Kila, Chief Reuben Famuyibo, Mrs. Fatima Raji-Rasaki, and Mr. Obafemi Oye.

The Director of Communications and Strategy of the PDP in the state, Mr. Jackson Adebayo, confirmed the irregularities during a telephone chat with our correspondent.

He said, “There were some identified irregularities and the result of Ekiti Central Senatorial District were cancelled.”

Adebayo said that a new date would be announced for the conduct of the primary election.

In Plateau Central senatorial zone, the younger brother of a former Head of State, Mr. Dawuda Gowon, won the primary while in Kogi, State, the PDP Electoral Panel, said Mr. Muhammed Idris, the son of the state Governor, Ibrahim Idris, did not win the primary for Ankpa/Olamaboro/Omala Federal Constituency.

The panel also clarified that no election was conducted in Kogi-West Senatorial District, where an incumbent Senator, Mr. Smart Adeyemi, is seeking reelection.

In Abia State, Senator Uche Chukwuemerije, Nkechi Nwogu and Enyinnaya Abaribe were returned to contest the senatorial seats in Abia North, Central and South districts. No hitch was recorded in the state.

The Deputy Governor of Bauchi State, Babayo Gamawa, won in the Bauchi North senatorial district by beating Alhaji Aminu Ahmed-Yapeco.

Three persons were feared dead in Enugu State on Sunday when people suspected to be thugs tried to dirsrupt the primary by a faction loyal to the PDP National Chairman, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, in Nkanu East and Nkanu West Local Government Areas.

A stalwart of the party in Enugu , who didn’t want his name in print, told THE PUNCH, that Nwodo’s supporters had converged on Amagunze, the headquarters of Nkanu East around 12 noon for the exercise when the gun-wielding thugs attacked them.

He said, “The thugs fired sporadically and caused stampede in the entire area, with party members scampering for safety. At least two persons reportedly lost their lives in the process, while scores of others sustained injuries.”

In the Nkanu West incident, one person was said to have been killed , another group of thugs led by the managing director of one of the state-owned companies, allegedly attacked Nwodo supporters at Agbani.

Efforts to get the police’s reaction proved abortive as the Police Public Relations Officer, Enugu State Command, Mr. Ebere Amaraizu, did not respond to text messages sent to his telephone.

However, a source in the camp of the Enugu State governor dismissed the purported primaries as a ‘’vain exercise’’, just as Governor Sullivan Chime was seen boarding a private jet for Lagos.

Chime’s trip to Lagos was about 24 hours after he hosted Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola and his Ekiti State counterpart, Mr. Kayode Fayemi.

In Anambra State, the two factions of the PDP in the state elected different candidates for the Anambra South senatorial district.

While one faction nominated a former Special Assistant to Obasanjo on Domestic Affairs, Dr. Andy Uba, as its candidate, the other faction elected Mr. Nicholas Ukachukwu.

But the state Resident Electoral Commission, Prof. Chukwuemeka Onukogu, said INEC would work with Uba because he was produced by the state executive of the PDP recognised by a court.

At Anambra Central senatorial disrict, Senator Annie Okonkwo, Mr. Chudi Offordile and Dr. Jerry Ugokwe are laying claims to victory in the exercise.

In Akwa Ibom State, the spokesman of the House of Representatives, Mr. Eseme Eyiboh, was defected by the PDP legal Adviser in the state, Mr. Bassey Dan-Abia.

Eyiboh, who represents Eket Federal constituency was polled only 179 votes against Dan-Abia’s 586.

conakry (m) at 12-01-2011 04:47PM
(220 | Upcoming)

The foundation for credible election in April 2011 would be laid if level playing field is provided for all aspirants.  Interference in the results of the primaries to favour particular candidates is not ideal and undemocratic, hence should be discouraged.
kessybee (f) at 12-01-2011 04:48PM
(823 | Upcoming)

Chei! 2 long men...
charles637 (m) at 13-01-2011 02:03AM
(114 | Upcoming)

adams933 (m) at 13-01-2011 11:14AM
(2255 | Gistmaniac)

Best essay competition student 2011