The crisis rocking the Ondo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC has thickened going by the ‘brickbats’ being thrown by the aides of the State Governor, Olawarotimi Akeredolu and supporters of other leaders of the party in the State.
The latest is the reaction of the chieftain of the party, Chief Olusola Oke, SAN to the statements credited to the aides of the governor, where he admonished Akeredolu to call his aides to order over the incessant attacks on the leaders of the party, which he alleged were based on the directives of the governor.
Following the query of the party’s National Working Committee, NWC, to Akeredolu over his role at the just concluded election, his aides have been attacking the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the South West Director General of the 2019 Buhari Campaign Council, Olusola Oke, former Deputy Governor of the State, Alhaji Ali Olanusi as well as the former chairman of the party, Isaac Kekemeke among others as regards their stance against the anti-party activities of the governor.
Recall that prior to the 2019 General Elections, Akeredolu had directed APC members in the state to work for the victory of candidates who contested under the platform of the Action Alliance, AA, following the failure of his anointed candidates to secure the APC’s National Assembly ticket.
The governor’s move which was termed anti-party was said to have affected the fortunes of the party at the Presidential and National Assembly polls with the party losing Ondo to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Based on this, the aides of the governor, particularly the Senior Special Assistant on Special Duties, Doyin Adebowale, Ilaje Caretaker Chairman, Otito Atikase and the Chairman, Ondo State Radiovision Corporation, OSRC, Kunle Adeniyi among others on various platforms and at different fora have been justifying Akeredolu’s move as they related his action to when Oke dumped APC for the Alliance for Democracy, AD over his failure to clinch the party’s governorship ticket in 2016 before decamping back to APC after the emergence of Akeredolu as governor.
But in a statement issued on Monday and made available to DAILY POST, Oke emphasized that the scenario that facilitated his movement from the APC to AD in 2016 was quite different from the action of Akeredolu in 2019.
The statement signed by Rotimi Ogunleye, the media aide to Oke and entitled, “MR GOVERNOR, CALL YOUR MEN TO ORDER,” reads in parts, “The deliberate silence of Chief Oke all this while is premised on the need for peace in the party. Moreover, being an experienced party administrator, Chief Oke understands the irredeemable havoc that internal bickering, gossips and power conflict can wreck on a political party, especially anyone in power.
“The writer of the syndicated interview made a futile attempt at burying the ghost of the 2016 primary election and also tinkering with the idea of trivializing the unfruitful stint some APC leaders had in the Action Alliance (AA) in the last election. We would have ignored Kunle Adebayo but for the need to protect the truth from the wicked shield of his narratives.
“For the records, Chief Oke and other aspirants protested the outcome of the 2016 gubernatorial primary election of the APC, which the aide of Governor Akeredolu refers to in the interview, on the ground that it was fraught with frauds.
“The grounds as contained in the petitions of all the aspirants that challenged the outcome are:
1. That the process of accreditation of delegates was not credible
2. That the delegates list was doctored and corrupted
3. That 300 delegate tags were issued fraudulently in line with the doctored delegate list.
“The National Appeal Panel upheld the above three grounds. Going further, because there was no any argument or probate evidence from the organizers of the nomination exercise strong enough to vitiate the grounds, the majority of the National Working Committee members of the APC (6 against 5 of the members) approved that the primary election be cancelled.
“Instead of justice, our protest was met with more unfairness and injustice. At the end, the minority overruled the majority. We lack the tolerance for that level of injustice where 5 was greater than 6, hence the resolve of Chief Oke and his supporters to exit the APC for the Alliance for Democracy (AD) voluntarily. He and his supporters did not stay in the party to throw dirts and undermine its effort.
“Just as the people have thought that the story of AD has become a part of history, the aides of the governor, in an attempt to defend the foray into the Action Alliance by those that are aggrieved, has unearthed the hitherto dead story. They have since resorted to making the case of Chief Oke’s defection to AD as a potent defense for the AA adventure.
He added that, “It should be noted here that referring to the movement of Chief Oke and his supporters across the state to the AD and using same as a celebrated basis for shifting the body of blame at this time defeats their claims to courage.
“This denial can only show lack of determination and attempt to evade responsibility. There is no perfect human anywhere. What defines us is our ability to accept responsibility for our actions and seek redress whenever we have gone wrong.
“The above history notwithstanding, Chief Oke after a broad-based reconciliation meeting brokered by Chief Odige Oyegun, the immediate past National Chairman of APC, and other reputable national leaders, has since returned to the APC fold with others that left the party.
“This is not uncommon with his experience as a good party administrator and understanding of the infertile game played by boys who seek relevance and patronage at the corridor of power.
“While Kunle Adebayo in his narratives attempted to heap a mountain of blames on the National Leaders of APC, he has quickly forgotten how the last congress of the party in Ondo state was subverted and party positions cornered by only a group within the state chapter from the state to the unit level.
“Hon D I Kekemeke, Senator Ajayi Borrofice, His Excellency, Alhaji Ali Olanusi, Dr Segun Abraham, Hon Dele Baderinwa, Hon Afe Olowokere and other prominent party leaders in the state including Chief Olusola Oke were schemed out.
Oke, however, maintained that it was not too late for Akeredolu and his “boys” to apologize to the party and its leaders, particularly that they toiled to build and solidify the party which the governor is benefiting from.
“The attempt to vent their anger on Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, a respected leader of the APC, through indecorous interviews and press statements by the aides of governor Akeredolu, is unbecoming of a party man who has benefited from the government of the party that Asiwaju and other prominent leaders of APC labored so hard to put in place.
“Chief Oke is of the firm opinion that as APC members of the southwest extraction, party elders, especially the one that has made huge sacrifices capable of making the platform of APC to endure and the national chairman of our great party, deserve respect and honour at all times.
“The fact of what led some “aggrieved” persons to AA is in the public glare. Its effect ravaged the party from the northern senatorial district to the southern senatorial district. No amount of flowery narratives can blur the image of its devastating effect from the memory of Senator Yele Omogunwa, Senator Ajayi Boroffice, Hon Mayowa Akinfolarin, Hon Bunmi Tunji Ojo, Hon Adeogun, all who were the APC candidates in the last National Assembly elections. Nothing kills a party more than the monster of anti-party.
“Chief Oke believes that we can rise above this level of blame trade by accepting the reality of our situation, offer a remorseful apology to the appropriate quarters just like the party and the government did before the State House of Assembly elections, and our party will be great again.
“Lastly, it is unacceptable that the aides of governor Akeredolu will continue to throw invectives at the leaders of APC in the state and the national level without any restraint. That it has attained a usual trend suggests that the governor approves of their invectives otherwise, the governor should call his aide to order,” the statement read.
Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s revelation of his conversation with United States President, Donald Trump, on the massacre of Christians in Nigeria, saying President Buhari was economical with the truth.
President Buhari had on Tuesday, revealed that at the heat of the bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria, the United States President, Donald Trump, unequivocally accused him of killing Christians.
Buhari said these in his closing remarks at the two-day ministerial performance review retreat held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.
At a point, the President digressed from his prepared speech and narrated his encounter with Trump on the bloody clashes.
He said he managed to explain to the American leader that the clashes were not about ethnicity or religion.
He said, “I believe I was about the only African among the less developed countries the President of United States invited.
“When I was in his office, only myself and himself, only God is my witness, he looked at me in the face, and asked, ‘Why are you killing Christians?’
“I wonder, if you were the person, how you will react. I hope what I was feeling inside did not betray my emotion, so I told him that the problem between the cattle rearers and farmers, I know is older than me not to talk of him. I think I am a couple of years older than him.
“With climate change and population growth and the culture of the cattle rearers, if you have 50 cows and they eat grass, any root, to your water point, then they will follow it. It doesn’t matter whose farm it is.
“The First Republic set of leadership was the most responsible leadership we ever had. I asked the Minister of Agriculture to get a gazette of the early 60s which delineated the cattle route where they used meager resources then to put earth dams, wind mills even sanitary department.
“So, any cattle rearers that allowed his cattle to go to somebody’s farm would be arrested, taken before the court. The farmer would be called to submit his bill and if he couldn’t pay, the cattle would be sold, but subsequent leaders, the VVIPs (very important persons) encroached on the cattle routes. They took over the cattle rearing areas.
“So, I tried and explained to him (Trump) that this has got nothing to do with ethnicity or religion. It is a cultural thing.”
However, CAN’s Vice President and Chairman of the association in Kaduna State, John Hayab, was not impressed with Buhari’s submission, saying “Buhari and his government will never stop from amusing us with their tales by moonlight because what is happening in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Birnin Gwari, Southern Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau and others cannot be described as a cultural thing.
He told Punch correspondent in an interview: “President Buhari’s weak story about his conversation with President Donald Trump further confirms why his government does not care about the killings in our country by calling them cultural things.
“Just this (Tuesday) evening, I received a report from the Kaduna Baptist Conference President about the number of their members that have been killed by bandits in Kaduna State from January 2020 to date to be 105 and our President will call it a cultural thing? All we can say is may God save our Nigeria.”
CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers
The Catholic Bishop of Nsukka, Most Rev. Godfrey Onah, has blamed Christians in the National Assembly (NASS), for the passage of the 2020 Companies and Allied Matters Bill (CAMA), signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.
Bishop Onah, said in a remark during the Sunday Mass that if Christians in NASS had opposed the bill, it would not have been passed into law.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Aug. 7, signed the CAMA bill into law, giving provision for religious bodies and charity organizations to be regulated by the registrar of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and a supervising minister.
“The question many Christians have been asking is, where were Christian legislators during the debate of this bill and its passage in the National Assembly?
“Because, if they had opposed this bill on the floor of the house, it would not have been passed and sent to the president for assent.
“I blame Christian legislators for doing nothing and allowing the passage of the 2020 CAMA Act,” he said.
“When I say that Christians are too divided and too selfish, don’t forget that the second in command in this country is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a professor of Law and a pastor.”
Onah, however, wondered what the Federal Government wanted to achieve in monitoring how the finances of churches in the country are managed when it contributed no dime to the church, NAN reports.
“Government should focus and monitor its ministries, agencies and other government institutions where it budgets billions of Naira annually and not church offerings.
“Had it been that the government gave allocations to churches and decided to monitor its usage, nobody will question the government,” he said.
Nigerians spit fire over fuel, electricity prices hike
Anger and condemnations, across the country, have continued to trail last week’s take off, of new increases in pump price of petroleum products and electricity tariffs, as directed by Federal Government.
Recall that the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) official, D.O. Abalaka announced on Wednesday September 3, on behalf of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that the new price of petroleum is now N151.56k per litre instead of N149 – N150 per litre which it was previously.
The new electricity tariff which the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) tagged “Service Reflective Tariff” has also come into effect. It requires consumers to pay N53.87 – N66.422 per kwh of electricity.
Outraged consumers of fuel and electricity have therefore warned government to get ready for collision with the masses if it fails to rescind these new prices.
Those who have expressed outrage over the new prices regimes include, the Organized Labour, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Nigerian main opposition political party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).
Others are: Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce (NACCIMA).
The NLC said, “The frequent fuel price increase will no longer be accepted. We will not allow Nigerians fall victim of government ineptitude and negligence to make the country self-sufficient in terms of refining petroleum products at home.”
On its part, the PDP has described the price hike as “callous, cruel and punishing” and demanded an immediate reversal to avert a national crisis.
The All Industrial Global sees the incessant increase as a confirmation that deregulation means just price increase.
“This is unacceptable! Under a pandemic, we should put money in the pockets of citizens to revive collapsed livelihoods and preserve lives.” In its reaction, NECA said it has always urged Federal Government to adopt deregulation policy in the oil and gas downstream sector.
The MOMAN in its statement insists that monthly price variation of fuel was no longer sustainable. It urged PPRA to adopt quarterly price mechanism which would save the market the hassles of price volatility. The statements by IPMAN and NACCIMA also followed along the same line that the hike “…serves only to increase the severity and duration of the looming economic recession.”
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