From Bimbola Oyesola and Gyang Bere, Jos,Tony John, Lateef Dada, Osogbo Port Harcourt, Zika Bobby, Gabriel Dike and Tony Osauzo, Benin
The Nigeria Union of Local Government Employee (NULGE) has warned the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against giving their presidential tickets to aspirants opposed to local government autonomy.
It spoke against the backdrop of the aspiration of some former governors, alleged to have mismanaged local government funds in their states to contest the 2023 presidential poll.
President of the union, Akeem Ambali, said such aspirants would bring bad luck to their political parties if given the ticket.
“We are warning political parties going into their primaries not to give their tickets to aspirants, who openly opposed local government autonomy as such candidates will bring bad luck to their political parties at the polls. It is regrettable that those who held sway in their states but pilfer and plunder local government allocation during their tenure, which is the only selfish reason they openly oppose passage of Local Government Autonomy Bill, are now jostling to become the president of Nigeria.”
Ambali said such leaders were not only unpatriotic but are anti-people, hence Nigerians must not allow them to be victorious in the poll. He said granting autonomy to local government councils was imperative if the myriads of problems confronting Nigeria like insecurity, poverty, joblessness, infrastructural decay, women and youth empowerment, agriculture and rural economy is to be addressed.
Meanwhile, the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) has advised Christians and indeed Nigerians to vote competent, credible and God-fearing leaders.
Its president, Rev. Amos Mohzo, gave the advice at the opening of the 101 General Church Council (GCC) of the Church in Jos, yesterday.
He said Nigeria face myriad of challenges ranging from insecurity, economic, political among others, hence the need to vote in credible and God-fearing people into political positions.
“We are once again faced with the serious matter of leadership recruitment and regime change in our country. Activities by our electoral body and political parties leading to the general elections in 2023 are proceeding with full speed. This is why I am calling on Nigerians and the Church in particular, to vote God-fearing, credible and competent leaders in the forthcoming general elections,” he said.
Mohzo also called on Christians to get involved in politics, insisting that “when the righteous are in power, the people rejoice.”
He called on Christian religious leaders to mobilise and encourage their members to vie for political positions and get involved in the political processes.
“May I reiterate that the Church is the conscience of the nation and custodian of morale of the people; we must gather our momentum and courage to come out of our hiding cliff to lead the people,” he said.
COCIN president promised that the church would support any credible candidate to make the desired change that would bring about a better society.
Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong represented by his deputy, Prof. Sonni Tyoden said: “What is happening in this country needs the intervention of men of God at all levels. As you can see, the political tempo is increasing and the Church needs to be involved so as to help in giving direction that will make this country better.”
•APC implosion imminent –Farouk
APC chieftain in Bauchi, Alhassan Farouk, has said the ongoing plot by the national leadership to retain power in the north could implode the party.
Farouk, in a statement, said “unless drastic interventions are made, next year’s general election may prove the final straw for Nigeria’s 62-year experiment as a highly combustible union of disparate ethnic groups each with an unyielding aspiration to determine its own destiny and a shared suspicion of a nursed domination agenda ”
He said President Muhammadu Buhari who is from the North West has received widespread criticism from several segments of the society for what has been termed a lopsided appointment policy in Nigeria’s security architecture and several MDAs where the North has been unduly favoured.
“With the recent spate of insecurity, banditry, herders-farmers violence, IPOB disruptions, and separatists group agitations in the South-West, it is apparent that the nation has never been more divided. The fallout of the recent melee in Sokoto following the killing of Deborah Samuel where several Igbo traders and other Southerners were harassed as young residents demanded the release of those who perpetrated the killing of the young student is a clear instance of the delicate religious and ethnic balancing act that needs to be upheld in Nigeria. With a fractious polity where ethnic and religious strife has seen sectional violence come to the fore in the North Central, South-East, South-West, the South is eager to stake a claim to the presidency to sooth frayed nerves across the country. Nigeria’s fragile unity is indeed at stake,” he said.
Farouk said the apparent mismanagement of the party processes due largely to the greed and megalomania of vested interest in the North who do not care about the region but their personal aggrandisement and were terrified by the prospect of life without the cover of federal power and immunity, may drive Nigeria to the brink and cause an implosion that could break the country and set on course a new scramble by the global powers of Europe, America, and China – a project some may well say is underway, especially in the case of China, with boobytrap loans and investments.
•244 PDP aspirants jostle for 68 elective positions in Lagos
No fewer than 244 aspirants are jostling for 68 elective positions in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State.
The 68 elective positions are governorship, one; senate, three; House of Representatives, 24 and House of Assembly, 40.
Giving the breakdown, Lagos Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Hakeem Amode, said 140 aspirants were contesting for the party’s tickets for the 40 seats in the state House of Assembly, 85 for the 24 House of Representatives seats, 13 aspirants for the three senatorial districts and six for governorship.
Dates for the House of Assembly primary is May 21 while primaries for the House of Representatives and senate are fixed for May 22 and 23 respectively. The governorship primary is slated for May 26.
•87 APC aspirants vie for 26 Osun Assembly seats
The screening committee of APC said 87 aspirants have obtained forms to contest the 26 Osun State House of Assembly seats.
Addressing the press in Osogbo, yesterday, chairman of the committee, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, said the large number of aspirants showed how popular the party is in the state.
He said the aspirants have been tutored on the requirements to present for the screening, assuring that there would be fair and equal in treating all the aspirants.
“There are constitutional requirements and there are party requirements but basically, we want to be sure they are Nigerian citizens. We want to see local government certificates, they must be party members, they must be voters, and we also want to know their age, we want to see their educational qualifications, if you claim to be a doctor, you must provide a certificate to prove it.”
•Group kicks as Imansuangbon’s name varnishes from Edo delegates’ list
A socio-political pressure group, Esan South East for Justice, yesterday, condemned the removal of Kenneth Imansuangbon’s name from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National delegates’ list of Esan South East Local Government, describing the action as criminal and undemocratic.
Imansuangbon had last weekend at a congress conducted at Ubiaja, the administrative headquarters of Esan South- East Local Government Area and supervised by INEC officials, won with 156 votes against his opponent Giwa Agbomherere, who scored 50 votes.
While appealing to Governor Godwin Obaseki to intervene in the matter, the group also called on INEC, police and DSS to investigate and ensure that those behind the act were exposed.
It also called on the Iyorchia Ayu-led National Working Committee to call to order the state chairman of the party. It said the present position amounted to disenfranchising the former PDP governorship aspirant.
But Edo State Chairman of the party, Tony Aziegbemi, said: all questions about the conduct of the adhoc congress should be directed to the National office of the party as the exercise was not a state affair.