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‘AC Can Do Without Princewill’

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The Rivers State Chairman of Action Congress (AC), Suage Badey finally took up the gauntlet  by saying that the defection of Prince Tonye Princewill to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was a blessing.

  He made this known with other critical issues affecting the political landscape of the state during an exclusive interview on phone with The Tide on Sunday. He confirmed that the Action Congress (AC) has in recent times experienced massive defection of its prominent members including the party’s governorship candidate in the 2007 election, Prince Tonye Princewill with his supporters to the  (PDP) in the state.

 Mr Suage Badey said the defection of Prince Tonye Princewill  to the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was a blessing and natural, stating that people should be allowed to defect to parties of their choice.

Mr Badey stated that AC in Rivers State was united and strong to face the challenges of 2011 elections in the state, adding “it is mere speculations that Action Congress as a registered political party is weak in Rivers State rather defection should be better viewed that an individual can move to any political party of his choice”. He further stressed that such individual movement would not negatively affect the electoral fortune of the party.

The Action Congress chairman emphasised that defection would not be an issue because dynamism and changes remained constant in human life, and therefore, to him “the defection of Prince Tonye Princewill is a good omen for the Action Congress to actually reorganise and reposition itself to face the challenges of good governance and internal democracy within the party.

Mr Suage Badey said that Action Congress remains resolute as the only party out to deliver good  governance, accountability, transparency and implement people oriented policies for Rivers people and Nigerians, stressing that “the mere fact that Action Congress is a registered political party means the party is also governing  the people of Nigeria.

On the issue of state creation, especially creating another state out of the present Rivers State, Mr. Suage Badey added that the Action Congress believes that Rivers State is ripe for an additional state to be created out of the present conglormerate of ethnic groups called Rivers State.

He said, “I support the agitation for another state out of the present Rivers State be it Bori State or Orashi State, but the obvious is Bori State because of the margnalisation of the people and the devastation of the environment”.

He further added that the Action Congress leadership will support the creation of a viable state that can economically sustain itself, not state created to satisfy a particular political unit without economic sustainability and resources.

The Action Congress chieftain added that Nigeria should emulate how states are administered in other countries before any consideration of states creation, saying that “states are better administered in South Africa and Ghana and I expect Nigeria to learn one or two lessons from these countries before creating any state in the future”.

Action Congress believes in purposeful, result oriented and transparent leadership with a clear vision of expanding the infrastructure for the social welfare and security of the people and not leadership that sees state creation as an opportunity of bringing state resources closer to them for mismanagement and self aggrandisement.

On the issue of 2011 general election, the Action Congress chairman added that the party was prepared to challenge the ruling party in the state with purposeful programme and policies to better the lives of Nigerians, he said AC is always prepared and remained committed to transparent leadership, people oriented politics to take Nigeria to economic sustenance among the comity of nations.

Mr. Badey appealed to Rivers people and the Nigerian electorate to be more proactive. “Nigerians must ensure that their rights are not trample upon, people should come out and ensure their votes count in determining their elected representatives and candidate.

On the issue of the new Electoral Law recently passed by the National Assembly, the Action Congress Chairman said that AC is yet to hold its NEC meeting to examine the Electoral law 2010 in relation to the forthcoming general elections and provision for emergence of candidates with the financial implication for campaigning during the elections.

“Therefore, I believe that more can be done to improve the Electoral Law and enhance democracy in Nigeria”.  

 

Philip Okparaji

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Obi: You Can’t Speak For Afenifere, Tinubu Campaign Slams Adebanjo

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The All Progressives Congress APC Presidential Campaign Council has slammed Afenifere leader, Pa Ayo Adebanjo for attempting to turn the pan-Yoruba sociocultural association into his personal estate and using same to canvass support for the Labour Party LP presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi.
Director, Media and Publicity of the council, Mr Bayo Onanuga in a statement on Saturday titled “Our Reaction to Baba Ayo Adebanjo and his new Ohanifere Venture”, said “Papa Adebanjo does not speak for Afenifere”.
According to the council, Pa Adebanjo is free as an individual to support anyone he likes, in furtherance of his democratic rights.
“We know for a fact that Baba has turned Afenifere into his personal estate as Acting Leader. We are also certain that there was nowhere Afenifere, as we know it, met and took a decision to adopt Mr. Peter Obi as a candidate for 2023 presidential election.
“We respect the age of Baba Adebanjo but he can not turn Afenifere into his personal franchise for any political alliance.
“We are very much aware that Baba Reuben Fasoranti, the real leader of Afenifere had stated clearly that Pa Adebanjo has always been speaking for himself on many national issues using the name of the group.
“It is our well considered position that Pa Adebanjo cannot appropriate Afenifere. Baba is just an individual who is free to support any politician of his choice. As an individual, he cannot equate himself with the socio-cultural and socio-political organisation”, the council stated.

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2023 Polls: IPC Begins Training Of Media Monitors

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The International Press Council (IPC), last Friday began the training of 12 Media monitors in Lagos to prepare them for the monitoring of the coverage and reportage of the electoral processes and the 2023 elections by the print and online media.
The essence of the 18-month monitoring that will commence on October 1, 2023, is to assess the level of compliance with professional and ethical standards by newspapers, including online ones, being selected for the exercise.
Among others, the monitoring will be done within the context of the expectation of the Nigerian Media Code of Election Coverage, which spells out the responsibilities expected of journalists and other media professionals at elections.
The Media Election Code was endorsed by umbrella media professional bodies and associations, and close to 300 individual media outlets in 2018.
It enumerates what journalists and media management should do to ensure social responsibility and integrity; equitable access for parties and candidates; media access for disadvantaged groups including women, persons with disability and youths; conflict sensitivity and the avoidance of hate speech.
The training of the monitors is one of the activities under component 4 (Support to media) of the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria-Phase 2 (EUSDGN II) project, being implemented by IPC, along with its partner, the Institute for Media and Society.
The overall goal of the media component is to “Support the consolidation of democracy in Nigeria with the media (broadcast, print and online media) helping to facilitate the key ingredient of credible elections through engagement and professionalism in coverage and reportage of the electoral processes.”
The specific objective is to ensure that, “The Media, including New and Social Media, provides fair, accurate, ethical and inclusive coverage of the Electoral Process.”
The two-day training , the first day of which was facilitated by Mr. Edetaen Ojo, Executive Director of Media Rights Agenda (MRA) and Mr. Sanmi Falobi, Project Manager of IPC, aimed to build the skill of the monitors on the processes and methodologies of media monitoring.
“Against the background of the prevalence of misinformation and disinformation especially by political actors, all we are seeking to achieve is for the Nigerian media to contribute to the credibility of electoral information before, during and after the 2023 elections”, said the Executive Director of IPC, Mr. Lanre Arogundade.

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2023: ‘Same-Faith Ticket, Blunder Laced With Hidden Agenda’

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The Christian Awareness Initiative of Nigeria, CAIN, last Saturday night, said no amount of blackmail would stop a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, and an erstwhile Secretary to Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, from publicly condemning the decision of the All Progressives Congress, APC, for fielding a same-faith presidential ticket.
The Spokesman of CAIN, Yusuf Kanhu, who said this in a statement he personally signed accused supporters of the APC of hiring mercenaries to tarnish the image of the duo.
Kanhu in the statement made available to journalists in Abuja described the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the APC as a “blunder”laced with “hidden agenda”
He explained: “The decision by Nigerian Christians through the umbrella Association to reject the same faith ticket was not against any particular party but advice to all political parties. Sadly the presidential candidate of APC ignored the advice and picked his vice from the same faith.
“The Christian Umbrella body came out in the first place to reject the idea and challenge Christians in APC to tell their party and Candidate to do what is right and good for the unity of the country.
“Hon Yakubu Dogara and Babachir Lawal respected the call of their leaders and proved that they are not going to betray the position of CAN just to satisfy their belle.
“Interestingly, the APC candidate and some of his supporters instead of making an honest effort to convince Christians and especially those Christians in their party about the reason for their action have chosen to recruit faceless people and are creating unknown groups with funny names to castigate the Christian body and the courageous Christians from their party that are telling them the danger and implication of their ill advised decision.
“We wish to inform the APC candidate that blackmail will not stop Dogara, Babachir, and others from telling them the truth.
“Nigerian Christians know the difference between fake Christian groups from genuine groups such as Northern Christians Youth Initiative with her faceless coordinator Hon. Mike Msuaan Msuaan.
“We can go on to name many hungry people who have not attended any church service in the last 10 years but are cashing on the desperation of the APC candidate to show that he has Christians’ support to start none existing Christian groups to enable them to get their share of the cake in circulation.
“The church in Nigeria and especially in the North knows the voices and names of their genuine leaders fighting for justice which is different from the newly born and newly introduced names that are only speaking to get money from their sponsors.
“Sponsoring fake people and groups to insult others will not correct your big blunder and will only make more Christians accept the fact that the decision has a hidden agenda.”

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