Oshimili North Arise, a political pressure group, has urged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to provide level-playing ground for aspirants in its nationwide House of Assembly primary election last Saturday.
It particularly called on Delta Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, to ensure that fairness prevailed in the exercise in the state, especially in Oshimili North constituency.
The group made the call in a statement in Abuja on Sunday by its National Chairman, Dr Ndu Ojejeh and National Secretary, Mr Carl Enumah.
It reminded the governor of decades-long political domination of major parts of Oshimili North Local Government Area by only one community, Ibusa, which had continued to alienate other communities in the area, politically.
The group revealed that in the forthcoming primary election, the community’s political leaders, in collaboration with the local government chairman, had deployed blackmail and intimidation tools against Mr Frank Esenwah, the only aspirant not from the community.
According to the group, Ibusa’s ‘political community’ headed by Sen. Peter Nwaoboshi, wants the community to continue to occupy the constituency’s seat in the House of Assembly as it has been since 1999.
It said that since 1991 when Delta was created, Ibusa had occupied all political offices at all levels, available to the entire local government area, oppressing and marginalizing other communities.
The group, therefore, urged Ibusa political leaders and the local government chairman to eschew blackmail and threats to delegates for the primary election “and allow them freedom to vote fairly”.
“Let there be a free and fair primary so that any contestant who emerges from it will be seen as the people’s choice.
“The clandestine movements to ensure than Ibusa occupies the local government’s seat in the assembly in 2019, and for their lackey in the local government’s council to pick the slot in 2023, should stop.
“It is unacceptable and will be resisted. Let the democratic process of selecting a candidate fairly at the polls run its course in Oshimili North – enough of impunity, blackmail and intimidation.”
The group reminded the public that “all commissionership slots for the area had always been taken by Ibusa since the creation of Delta, save for the current holder. The same applies for chairmanship of the local government.
“Between 1999 and 2007, Dr Felicia Nwaeze, from Ibusa, was in the House of Assembly, and from then to date, Mrs Pat Ajudua, wife of Fred Ajudua, also from Ibusa, has been in the saddle.
“Currently, Mr Peter Nwaoboshi, also from Ibusa, who was commissioner in the two terms of James Ibori as governor, and later became PDP Chairman in the state, is the Senator representing Delta North District at the Senate.
“In spite of these cases of marginalization and brazen insensitivity, Ibusa is currently pushing with every might, for Ajudua or another person from the community to be in the Assembly in 2019.
“Ibusa is only one community out of others, including Okpanam, Illah, Ebu, Akwukwu-Igbo (Headquarters), Ukala-Okpuno, Atuma, Aninwalo and Ukala-Okwute, in the local government area.”
Recalling its earlier statement on the issue, the group said, “We are saying that for equity and justice, the House of Assembly position should go to any of the other communities in the area in 2019.”
“Besides, the current position of Nwaoboshi as senator suffices as huge political gain for Ibusa people as it dwarfs the positions of commissioner, house of assembly member and local government chairman, put together.
“Rather than be the arrowhead for perpetuating political disequilibrium and disharmony in the area, Nwaoboshi should show gratitude, magnanimity and transparent leadership by letting other positions go outside Ibusa in 2019.
“The senator should not hold the grudge against Esenwah over allegation that he did not get enough votes in Illah community in 2015.
“This is particularly so when the senator is pushing hard to return to the Red Chamber and everybody in the local government area has endorsed it and is in the vanguard for actualizing it.”
The group added that Nwaoboshi, like the governor, should show good political leadership laced with tolerance, justice, accommodation, selflessness and inclusiveness.
Rivers LGA Gets Substantive Female Chairman
Mrs Alaso Obi has been sworn-in as the substantive Chairman of Asari-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, following the death of the former Chairman, Chief Odiari Princewill.
Obi, who was the vice chairman of the council, was sworn-in on Wednesday by Governor Nyesom Wike at the Government House, Port Harcourt.
Wike charged the new council boss to use her new position to make a difference for the people to feel the council’s impact.
He said: “Go and put your local government together. Do not allow busybody politicians to distract you. Use this opportunity you have to make a difference.
“We never thought that Chief Odiari Princewill will die but as God will have it, he is dead and we have to abide by the Constitution.
“That is why you, as the deputy, has to step in as the substantive chairman of Asari-Toru Local Government Area today.
“In choosing your Deputy, you must consult widely with all the stakeholders of the Party. As election is coming up next year, you have an opportunity to sell yourself.’’
Wike also used the occasion to direct the closure of the accounts of the Joint Account Allocation Committee from banks that allegedly gave unauthorised loans to some local government chairmen in the state.
He also directed the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice to take legal action against the affected banks.
According to the governor, both the banks and local councils will “suffer the consequences of the illegality’’.
He noted that the banks should not seek refund of the loans because they contravened extant laws of the state.
“We have taken a decision that for all those loans taken without approval, the affected accounts must leave the defaulting banks.
“I have told the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice to take necessary steps.
“The banks cannot go and seek for refund from the local governments. When you default the law, you suffer for it,” Wike said.
Edo Assembly: Buhari Pushing Nigeria Towards 1983 Crisis – CUPP
The Coalition of United Political Parties, CUPP, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress, to stop pushing Nigeria towards the 1983 crisis that led to collapse of democracy.
Describing Adams Oshiomhole as a disgraced former APC factional Chairman, the coalition said Buhari must call the former Governor to order before his actions instigate electoral violence that will consume democracy.
CUPP said the attempt to use former members of Edo State House of Assembly whose seats have been declared vacant to take over the House is an invitation to anarchy and an act of treason.
The Coalition urged the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki to mobilise the citizens to resist political bandits using provision of Section 20 of the criminal code.
CUPP praises Obaseki for showing maturity in the face of unwarranted provocation but says the red line must be drawn.
In a statement signed by Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, the spokesman for the Opposition Coalition and made available to our source, yesterday, CUPP said it was disturbed by the news of forceful takeover of the Edo State House of Assembly by men of the Nigeria Police Force.
“Opposition Coalition views this development taking place in a democracy as an affront to all our past and present heroes who fought hard for the enthronement of democracy in the country,” the statement added.
“The attempt to use former members of Edo House of Assembly whose seats have been declared vacant to take over the House is an invitation to anarchy and an act of treason.
“We, therefore, call on President Muhammadu Buhari and his men to halt all actions and inactions capable of pushing the nation towards a crisis like the 1983 crisis that led to collapse of democracy.
“We also urge the President to call the disgraced former factional chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole and his desperate followers, to order before his actions in Edo State instigate electoral violence that will consume the nation and its hard-won democracy.
“The CUPP also calls upon the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, to mobilise the citizens of the state to resist these political bandits.
“In doing so, the governor is urged to invoke the provisions of Section 20 of the Criminal Code and mobilise the citizens to exercise their constitutional right to stop people flouting the laws or carrying out criminal activities in their presence
“We however praise the governor for showing maturity so far in the face of unwarranted provocation. We advise him that while he is displaying maturity, the red line must be drawn,” the statement added.
INEC To Clear Materials For Previous Elections
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has directed that used and unused materials for 2019 general elections be disposed of the commission’s stores nationwide.
Yakubu spoke with our source in Nasarawa when he inspected election materials for the Nasarawa Central State Constituency, bye-election.
He told the National Commissioner, Mohammed Haruna, to find a way in ensuring the materials were properly disposed of.
He said there was need to clear the materials for the previous elections since there was no longer litigations on them.
Yakubu in a sideline interview said that there was need to clear them to create space in the commission’s offices.
”It has been part of the traditions of INEC that after elections, we have a large number of election materials from the elections.
“So, after litigations, we normally clear these materials. That is a protocol.
“Not only the unused materials or some of the used materials like ballot papers, but ballot sheets are preserved for eternity.
”Unused materials lying in the INEC offices and those in the state branches of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) around the country. We have a protocol for disposing these materials.
“That is why when I saw the heaps of such materials used for the general elections in Nasarawa State, I said that they should find a way of disposing them. Not only in Nasarawa but across the nation.
“Otherwise, our stores will be filled up with used and unused materials from previous elections,” Yakubu said.
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