Osun: INEC Has Shown It’s Readiness For 2019 – CTA

Election observer group, the Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA) has said with the tremendous improvement shown by the Independent National Electoral Commission in Saturday’s governorship election, the Commission has proved it is now well prepared  for the 2019 general polls.

Addressing journalists in Oshogbo on its preliminary report of the election, CTA executive director, Dr Chima Amadi described as satisfactory the overall improvement of INEC in the Osun Governorship Election by being proactive and innovative.

According to him, the 120 observers deployed by his group observed that INEC for the first time deployed men and materials to various polling booths before 8 am.

He said the 100 % deployment achievement by INEC is a remarkable improvement in Election management, stressing that this time, INEC officials and materials were waiting for voters unlike in time past when the reverse was the case.

Dr Chima also described the voter turnout as impressive, both in the urban, semi urban and rural areas, adding that the election was largely peaceful.

He said, “For the first time in Nigeria, INEC introduced the use of tactile ballot for the visually impaired voters to enable the blind vote unaided. INEC also introduced the use of magnifying glasses to assist the visually impaired and those with cases of albinism. This promotes inclusion and for every bonafide voter to have a say in the election of his or her candidate of choice.

“Equally, INEC introduced an electronic App that citizens can download from Apple store and report issues directly from the field for immediate action by INEC.”

The CTA boss said the ongoing campaign to curb vote buying and selling may have yielded some positive results as it was not so brazen as it was in the case of Ekiti.

He said, “our observers noted that Politicians and voters have evolved different clandestine means of vote buying and selling. Party agents continue to entice voters and strategically monitor voters and the thumb printed ballot papers. The efforts at eradicating vote buying and selling will have to keep up with the evolving new methods of voter enticement in order for vote buying to be effectively addressed.”

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#OsunDecides: NSCDC Deploys Over 10,000 Operatives For Guber Poll

The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), has deployed a total of 10,073 operatives for election duties in Osun State.

Deputy Commandant General of the corps, Kelechi Madu stated this on Friday, during a chat with reporters in Osogbo.

According to him, 5,500 of the personnel would be deployed to man polling booths with the police, adding that the others would be assigned to other security duties in relation to the election.

Although some of the operatives had complained of poor remuneration ranging from N580 to N4,500 as against the N15,000 per personnel allegedly approved for them, Madu said all the personnel deployed for elector duty got their allowances approved for them by the government.

His words: “What the government approved was what was paid to them. What if the government said it was not going to pay anything? Would they not do their jobs?”

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Osun: Picturing Into The Future! By Abiodun Komolafe

It is a matter of days before the electorate in Osun goes to the polls to elect a successor toRauf Aregbesola, the outgoing state governor. 

 

Nature, they say, abhors vacuum. As Aregbesola’s administration is gradually but furiously winding down, it is incumbent on the people to access where they are coming from, with a view to picturing into what the future holds in stock. 

 

Flipping back to the last 8 years with the benefit of hindsight, Aregbesola had met a state at its developmental nadir. The governor met a rudderless state, where every facet of government was comatose. Worse hit were social infrastructure, education, health and commerce. The preceding government, overseen by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was profligate with the state resources owing to its misplaced priorities and astounding banality. Then enter Aregbesola who worked assiduously to change the state’s narrative. With a landscape littered with infrastructural edifices, ranging from landmark road networks to social amenities, the economy and commercial activities of the state jumpstarted from their dying ashes. This story of success may be a harrowing one but the fact remains that Aregbesola has done what ought to be done to rescue an ailing state.

 

With few days to Aregbesola’s handing over the flag to his successor therefore, where is the state headed in a way as to avoid a reversal of the gains of the last 8 years and who does the cap fit? Well, a peep into the profile of some of the contenders to the throne will suffice.

 

First is Adegboyega Isiaka Oyetola, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Born on September 29, 1954, Oyetola holds a Bachelors degree (B.Sc.) in Insurance and Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA) in Finance. He has served as Area Manager at Leadway Assurance Company Limited; Underwriting Manager at Crusader Insurance and Technical Controller at Alliance and General Insurance.

 

In 1991, Oyetola founded Silvertrust Insurance Brokers Limited, a firm he has successfully managed until he was appointed as Chief of Staff in 2011. He was also Chairman, Ebony Properties Limited; Executive Vice-Chairman, Paragon Group of Companies; and Director, Pyramid Securities Limited.

 

Oyetola served as Aregbesola’s Chief of Staff until his election as APC governorship candidate. A certified Insurance Broker by training, the quiet, modest and witty APC flag-bearer is said to be among the founders of the now-rested Alliance for Democracy (AD) in 1998 and has since then remained a notable figure in Osun’s political scene so much that when the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, birthed, he was one of the party’s notable chieftains.

 

He is a loyal, pronounced technocrat, result-oriented progressive and philanthropist par excellence whose capacity for generosity remains endless. As a matter of fact, no fewer than 400 students have benefitted from his scholarship grants in the last 25 years. He is married with children who are doing fantastically well in their chosen fields of endeavour.

 

As fate would have it, his deputy, Benedict Olugboyega Alabi, also holds a Masters degree in Economics which makes the team a perfect combination. 

 

Next is Ademola Adeleke of the PDP. Reports have it that he is a secondary school dropout, whose candidacy has been dogged by controversies. As we speak, many court cases, bordering, principally, on certificate forgery, are hanging on his neck, all which are making the coast unclear for his candidature. 

 

With the benefit of hindsight, Adeleke is an accidental politician who was shot into limelight following the sudden death of Isiaka, his elder brother. The concern in some quarters is how the son of a former senator missed the golden opportunity of acquiring the best education that money could provide. Unfortunately, the PDP standard-bearer seemed to have learned nothing from the rise and fall of Salisu Buhari, Nigeria’s former Speaker of the House of Representatives. As he now parades “badly-damaged” credentials, the candidate is seen more as a spoilt brat who is being pushed by his immediate brother’s humongous wealth. In any case, it is yet to be seen if he will survive the allegations against him in a court of competent jurisdiction. In my considered opinion, a vote for the Ede, State of Osun-born candidate, popularly referred to as Ajobiewe, will be a vote for emptiness and untoward setback as the 58 year-old candidate has shown himself as having nothing to offer.

 

Moshood Adeoti is the governorship candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP). Adeoti is the immediate past Secretary to the Government of the State of Osun (SSG). Born on February 27, 1953, Adeoti defected from the ruling party and resigned his appointment as SSG to protest the choice of Oyetola as the candidate of the party in an election that was adjudged free, fair and credible. 

 

A Bachelor’s degree (B.Sc) holder in Business Administration, the ADP candidate was at various times the Councillor, Secretary and Chairman of Iwo Local Government before becoming the Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) which eventually metamorphosed into APC. Aside from his appointment as SSG, the only known place the Iwo-born politician seemed to have had a ‘cognate’ experience was in the Sawmilling industry where he served as Manager.

Last but not the least is Iyiola Omisore. A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) holder in Infrastructure Finance, the veteran governorship candidate has at one time or another served the state as Deputy Governor and Senator representing Osun East Senatorial District. However, despite Omisore’s claim to sound academic acquisition, he is perceived more as a man of slothful pastimes and unstable whims whose dangerous schemes cannot do the state any good. It is believed that his desperation may not be for the genuine interest of the masses after all. As such, his victory at the polls may translate into converting our collective patrimony into personal use. Remember: the Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate still owes Nigeria a huge sum of money, part of which he has been struggling to refund through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

 

May the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant us peace in Nigeria!

 

*KOMOLAFE writes in from Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State, Nigeria (ijebujesa@yahoo.co.uk)

 

abiodun KOMOLAFE,

O20, Okenisa Street,

PO Box 153,

Ijebu-Jesa, State of Osun.

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#OsunDecides: President Buhari Canvasses Votes For APC’s Gboyega Oyetola

President Muhammadu Buhari, has called on the people of Osun State to vote overwhelmingly for candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Gboyega Oyetola, in the Saturday September 22 gubernatorial election.

President Buhari spoke in Osogbo, the Osun state capital at the campaign rally.

The President noted that he was a personal witness to the performance of the APC administration in Osun, urging the people to vote the party’s candidate for effective consolidation on the gains of the past eight years in the state. 

 In his presentation, the Governor of Kaduna state Mallam Nasir El Rufai described the APC mega rally as a celebration of the progress made by the outgoing Aregbesola administration in the last eight years. 

 The Chairman of the APC Osun governorship campaign committee and the Governor of Kano state, Alhaji Abdulahi Ganduje stated that the Osun people were unanimous in their desire for the continuation of the progressives in the government of the state. 

 In a remark, the National Chairman of the APC, Mr Adams Oshiomole maintained that evaluating the work the Aregbesola administration had done in the state, the only assurance of improved development is for the people to vote Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola as the governor of Osun State, come Saturday. 

 The rally was attended by thirteen state governors, Ministers and leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress

 

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Osun 2018: The Streets Are Watching! By Abiodun Komolafe

Once upon an administration in the State of Osun, a people groaned in the rough of aches and moaned in the tumble of pains. Then, hunger begat hunger, poverty took the place of affluence and it was as if the gods were angry! Under the criminal grip of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), governance became a satanic blend of “dumb horse-traders” and “perpetual complainants who do nothing about their complaints apart from moaning and moping.”

Eight years ago, Osun reclaimed its destiny from a rapacious, visionless and pretentious clique. Thanks to Rauf Aregbesola for rescuing the state from the PDP’s singularity of purpose and complete insensitivity to the people’s plight. As Osun prepares to elect Aregbesola’s successor, hopes are high that the state’s democratic destiny would never again be left in the hands of misfits and pretenders whose previous outings was an eloquent reflection of how deep we had sunk as a country and a people.

I have long argued that September 22, 2018 would be a battle between the “Oligarchy of Intellect” and the “Oligarchies of the Purse”; between the ‘power of performance’ and the ‘forces of politics.’ At a time good governance is being misconstrued for a Dead Virtue by enemies of progress, this date in the life of Osun will be a fine specimen of political liberty over commercial prosperity; between national integrity and national cake. Against this backdrop, those who wish Osun well should pick themselves up more so as the exercise shouldn’t be about dwelling in the past which in my considered opinion has become a bucket of ashes.

Pretensions aside, we must all “come together”, “think together”, “speak together” and “act together” in order to prevent a relapse into the political violence, ethnic competitions and economic barrenness that once defined dear state. Let all men of goodwill go out there with a view to replacing those lies being peddled by “desperate political parties”, “dullards” and men of scant consolation acting the sycophancy script with the true position of things. At a crucial time like this, lovers of democracy must endeavour to understand and work in agreement with the changing dynamics of the electorate. After all, individual success is a combination of individual efforts.

But what then does Osun want? Where is the state headed and who fits the bill? Fact remains that Aregbesola’s government has set the pace for a knowledge-driven economy. It has helped a great deal in shaping values through morals. Its ‘O’ Series and Social Protection initiatives, among other laudable programmes and policies, have positively impacted lives. Without doubt, its interventions in the Agriculture sector have not only repositioned the state as the food hub of the Southwest, they have also gone a long way in cushioning the bitter, biting effects of the economic recession that was recently unleashed on Nigeria.

With a loyal and competent successor like Gboyega Oyetola therefore, Osun has no reason to fear! Unlike candidates who either paint the pictures of men of fancy speculations and unstable whims or politic for individualistic innuendos, Oyetola as an advocate of Due Process will deploy his vast experience in finance management, business and public administration as the needed balm to permanently heal the state’s economic wounds. Fiercely loyal to his principles, the All Progressives Congress (APC) flag-bearer is a pious technocrat and an astute politician whose political vivacity has continued to uplift many Nigerians in all facets of their endeavours. His character, his courage, and, above all, his desire to serve a cause greater than himself are a demonstration of his resolute commitment to greater good above personal interests.

The APC standard bearer is the best among the candidates, the best for the job; and the best pill for Osun’s ailments. Following in the footsteps of Aregbesola, the witty, disciplined, teachable, dependable, responsive and skilfully-artful Oyetola will continue in the tradition of changing the face of Osun into a state looking ahead to the future. His unblemished accomplishments, passion for functional education, accessible healthcare and radical approach to urban renewal projects is awesomely thorough. The interesting part of his life is that he is unshaken in courage and undimmed in vision.

Oscar Wilde captured the mood of the moment when he defined democracy as “the bludgeoning of the people, by the people, for the people.” For many years, civilized Romans left politics in the hands of their kings and Chiefs. Greeks once destroyed its own democracy. In Prussia, it was the people who willingly subscribed to autocracy. Ditto for Louis Napoleon’s France! Even, America, world’s acclaimed symbol of democracy never had it smooth. But since they value popular participation, they have since learnt relevant lessons from their past. Again, how come Rwanda suddenly became the epicenter for everything chaotic, tribalistic and genocidal?

How did she gravitate into a metaphor for the sad, the bad, the ugly and a habour for hatred? Expanding the horizon, how did the “substantial” violence which characterized the fall of the House of Hohenzollern come to be and what was responsible for the rise of the Weimar Republic through the German Revolution of 1918–1919? Coming back to Osun, what could have prompted a major opposition party into relishing in a silly, reckless theatrical charade of insulting our collective intelligence in an election as important as governorship, unless some extraterrestrial forces have so counseled? If they ever did, what are the presumed intentions and likely implications?

Evil prevails when good people do nothing! Basically, it is the unrepentant rebelliousness and the fanatical gluttony on the part of Nigeria’s leaders that has led us into this petty, pitiable pass. Greed makes a man think only of himself without thinking of what becomes the lot of others. It is greed which makes Nigeria’s leaders work against the interest of Nigerians that has absurdly malformed Nigeria’s elite into a blend of opportunists looking for ways to further impoverish the populace.

Threateningly, greed has even turned our traditional rulers into traditional riggers and our religious leaders into prayer contractors. Isn’t it laughable that a political party which claims to be working in the interest of the people will be working towards turning Bola Ige House into a ‘Dance Hall’?

The streets are surely watching!

May principalities and powers, assigned to rubbish our leaders’ efforts, backfire!

KOMOLAFE writes in from Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State, Nigeria (ijebujesa@yahoo.co.uk)

abiodun KOMOLAFE,

O20, Okenisa Street,

PO Box 153,

Ijebu-Jesa, State of Osun.

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Osun Election: Alafin of Oyo Describes Ganduje As Great Achiever Home, Away

Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, the Alafin of Oyo, has described the governor of Kano state, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje as a great performer, who achieved commendable feats as a governor and who is set to make All Progressives Congress (APC) emerges victorious in the forthcoming gubernatorial election slated for 22nd of this Month of September.

According to the highest ranking traditional ruler of the Yoruba land, “Ganduje has performed wonderfully well and is still performing as a governor of Kano state. I think it is proper to suggest that, he should be given another chance to continue performing.”

“Let him complete what he started. He is doing extremely well in championing the good policies enunciated by the APC. His educational policy, his health care policy,

his infrastructural development policy, his agricultural policy and many other policies of his administration tally with that of the APC. In fact he is effectively implementing the good and people-oriented policies of APC, ” he emphasised.

The Alafin made the disclosure at a special meeting between the governor, who is the Chairman of Osun state Gubernatorial Campaign Council, appointed by APC national headquarters and Kabiyesis of Yoruba land ahead of the gubernatorial election.

As part of the strategic meetings to have peaceful conduct of the election. The meeting took place at Government House, Osogbo, Osun, in the presence of the governor Ra’uf Ogbeni Aregbesola, Monday.

After commending governor Ganduje, for being a worthy leader back home, he assured Osun people that, Ganduje’s choice to chair the guber campaign committee, is apt and timely.

Adding that, “As a complete gentleman, we are sure the governor would try as much as he can to see to the free, fair and credible election in Osun state.”

“We are absolutely sure that, Ganduje’s presence will automatically bless the outcome of this election. Which Osun people decided to gear it towards continuity and sustainability,” says Alafin.

In his brief remarks, governor Ganduje assured that all machineries were put in place to see to the conduct of free, fair and credible election come 22nd September, 2018.

“From the experience I gathered as the Chairman of the National Campaign Council, on the state of Osun gubernatorial election, I reach a conclusion that, our great party, APC, is fully on ground in Osun state, just like in other parts of the country,” he encouraged.

He said “We are here to ensure peaceful, free and fair election in the state of Osun. We must do our best to build very strong democracy. We are very lucky that the governor of the state of Osun has delivered very well for the state.”

Ganduje further explained that the Campaign Council was in Osun to put finishing touches for the conduct of the election.

While urging Osun people to conduct themselves peacefully during the conduct of the election, he called on them to acknowledge that, “…when somebody did well, what you need to do is to gear all your efforts towards sustainability.”

Governor Aregbesola, after describing Ganduje as a senior colleague and commending the Alafin alongside other Kabiyesis, he called on the electorate to aimed at sustainable development for the state, which he started.

 

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#OsunDecides: IGP Deploys DIG, Eight Commissioners, 300 Patrol Vehicles

Ahead of the Osun State gubernatorial election scheduled to hold on Saturday September 22, the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has approved the deployment of eight Commissioners of Police, including two helicopters, 30 armoured personnel carriers, and 300 patrol vehicles.

Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, announced this on Sunday, adding that the exercise would be coordinated by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Operations), Habilah Joshak, and would be helped by an Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG).

“The IGP deploys adequate police personnel for the Osun State September 22 governorship election. This security arrangement would be implemented by the Deputy Inspector General of Police (Operation) and would be assisted by an Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) and eight commissioners of police,” he said.

Moshood reiterated the commitment of the police in providing adequate security to residents of the state before, during and after the election.

The personnel comprises the Police Mobile Force, Counter-Terrorism Unit; the Special Protection Unit; the Anti Bomb Squad; conventional policemen; the Armament Unit, personnel of Federal Investigation and Intelligence Department, IGP Monitoring, IGP Intelligence Response teams, the Sniffer dogs section and the Mounted Troop.

The police spokesman also warned against vote buying, saying that anyone caught buying and selling will be dealt with according to the law.

 

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Osun Govt Disburses N19.8bn For Salary Arrears, Leave Bonuses

Osun State Government has disbursed a sum of N19,8 billion for payment of four months arrears of salary and 2016 leave bonus to all categories of the state workers.

The information was contained in a statement signed by Mr Bola Oyebamiji, the Commissioner for Finance in the state.

The release said the decision was taken at the meeting of the Fund Apportionment Committee led by Mr Hassan Sumonu with labour and government representatives in attendance.

It explains:“In line with labour unions’ demands and current financial position of the state, government of the State of Osun led by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has authorised payment of four (4) months salary arrears and 2016 leave bonus to its workers.

“In line with its agenda and fulfillment of its promise to the State workers regarding prioritisation of their welfare above others, the government of the State of Osun has commenced payment of full salary and arrears in line with available resources.”

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Osun 2018: Court Dismisses Suit Challenging Adeleke’s Eligibility

An Osun State High Court has dismissed another suit challenging the candidacy of Senator Ademola Adeleke in the September 22 governorship election in the state.

Justice David Oladimeji struck out the case on Monday following the withdrawal of the suit by the plaintiffs, Mr Oyetunji Suredi and Mr Olagboye Adedamola.

The plaintiffs had approached the court seeking the nullification of the choice of Senator Adeleke as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate and the declaration of Akin Ogunbiyi as the authentic party flagbearer in the poll.

Justice Oladimeji, in his response, said all other issues could be taken care of while the instruction of the plaintiffs should be effected.

On his part, Senator Adeleke’s counsel, Mr Nathaniel Oke, welcomed the decision to withdraw the case and urged the judge to dismiss the case.

Giving his ruling in Osogbo, the state capital, Justice Oladimeji dismissed the case and awarded N50,000 against the plaintiffs.

He also asked the plaintiffs to go back to their party for internal unity.

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Defections Won’t Affect APC’s Victory At Osun Gov Poll, Says Aregbesola

Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has said that the recent defections of some party members to opposition parties in Osun State will not affect the victory of the governing All Progressives Congress in the September 22 governorship election.

The Governor stated this while speaking at a rally, organised by the Speaker, State House of Assembly, Mr Najeem Salaam, in his Ejigbo town.

In a statement by the media aid to the Governor, Mr Sola Fasure, Aregbesola said party members were committed and united, regardless of gale of defections from the party.

“This defection has made us to know those that are genuinely with us and those that are not with us.?

“We have known friends, enemies and cunning individuals among us by this defection but we are not afraid of their antics as we remain united, strong and committed.

“We are confident of victory. We know God is on our side and we believe in Him; we believe He will lead us to victory,” he said.

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Osun Govt To Provide Free Train Ride At Eid-El-Adha

As usual, indigenes of Osun in Nigeria willing to travel home during Eid-el-Adha festival will have free train ride from Lagos to Osogbo, the State capital.

The Commissioner for Industries, Commerce and Cooperatives, Mr Ismaila Jayeoba-Alagbada said the move remains part of government commitment to’ welfare of the citizens.

In a statement, Jayeoba-Alagbada said the train first trip is expected to leave the Iddo Terminus of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, Lagos, on Sunday August 19, for Osogbo.

The second trip will leave Lagos for Osogbo on Monday, August 20.

The commissioner said, on the return trip, the train would leave Osogbo for Lagos after the celebration on August 26.

Jayeoba-Alagbada explained that the free train service was in continuation of the good gesture of Governor Rauf Aregbesola-led administration since 2011.

“The Aregbesola administration had been doing this in the last eight years to facilitate easy movement during festivities.

“We, therefore, urge the people to make the best use of the opportunities the free train offers to come home and enjoy the celebration with relations,” he said.

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Osun 2018: APC Calls For Probe Of PDP Over Alleged Cloning Of PVCs

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), has called on security agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to urgently probe the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), over alleged cloning of Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) for use in the forthcoming Osun governorship election.

In a Press Statement signed by the APC’s Acting National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Yekini Nabena, he said the call for probe is in reaction to  to a Press Statement by the PDP where the PDP said starting with the forthcoming Osun governorship election, it would contend with the APC, “head to head, means for means, scheme to scheme, shenanigas for shenanigas, in all ramifications and magnitude, to discomfit them in all coming elections in the country.”

The APC said that the PDP’s statement which shows a public plan to rig elections poses a threat to Nigeria’s democracy.

“Perhaps the PDP needs to be reminded that our democracy is maturing and its crude election rigging methods such as ballot box snatching (recently displayed during last weekend by-election in Kogi state), announcement of concocted election results and other anomalies are no longer acceptable in our elections.”

“We are confident that the good people of Osun will resist the PDP’s deployment to takeover Osun State by force. The people’s will; the people’s vote is supreme. It must be respected and defended. That is democratic, progressive and the right thing.”

“We conclude by reminding the PDP of new realities as succinctly captured by President Muhammadu Buhari, ‘…the old Nigeria is slowly but surely disappearing and a new era is rising…’. Unlike undemocratic practices under past administrations, elections under the APC administration are increasingly freer and fairer — a very significant feat in our march for lasting and representative democracy” the statement reads.

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