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Kogi APC Primary: Bello Imposed His Cousin, Says Smart Adeyemi

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One of the four aggrieved aspirants at the just concluded governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress in Kogi State, Senator Smart Adeyemi, has accused Governor Yahaya Bello of imposing his cousin on the state.

Adeyemi, who was featured on Channels Television’s popular programme, Politics Today, on Monday, swore that contrary to the alleged forged result sent to the party’s national secretariat, no APC primary election was held in the state.

“The guy (Ododo) who was purported to have won this election is a cousin of Gov Yahaya Bello. There was no election. If we allow this to go on, a time will come when the governor will impose his son, on the state. This is the worst form of nepotism,” he said.

A livid Adeyemi on Monday described the entire process as a ‘rape of democracy.’

Recall that the Secretary of the election committee, Patrick Obahiagbon, had on Friday, announced the former Auditor General of Local Governments in Kogi State, Ahmed Ododo, as the winner of the governorship primary.

Ododo polled 78, 704 votes to beat six other contestants including Adeyemi who came seventh with 311 votes.

But the lawmaker representing Kogi West Senatorial District strongly expressed reservation, saying the entire process was a charade geared toward installing Bello’s anointed candidate as the next governor of the state.

He said, “Let me begin by saying that there was no election conducted at all in the whole state. What they did was a selection and manipulation of the people. What happened was that we were all at home and waiting. None of the INEC and APC officials visited my ward. None of the contestants voted anywhere. For almost six hours, nobody came. Nobody conducted the election. This is a rape of democracy. It is a treasonable offence. No, it is manipulation in the highest order. It is an ungodly act and undemocratic.

“As an aspirant for the state position, you have your coordinators all over the state waiting. No material was given to anybody. What they did was call the chairmen of the local governments’ areas and the chairman of the party and handed over materials to them. They took these materials to their comfort zones, fill up the forms and came back to the APC election committee that came. There was no election anywhere. The question is, why do they allow us to buy form if they have a system that will deny people to be voted for and to vote? Then that is not democracy. It is a betrayal.

“The video you saw was a stage-managed election with some residents and local government secretariats where they took people to. It was to create an impression that the APC primary took place when it didn’t.”

Reacting to the allegation, Kogi State Commissioner of Information And Communications, Hon. Kingsley Fanwo, defended his principal, saying the APC governorship election was not manipulated.

While accusing Adeyemi of being economical with the truth, Fanwo disclosed that all the video clips of the exercise are enough evidence that the election held.

He also admonished the four aggrieved aspirants contesting the outcome of the APC primary to get themselves acquainted with the party Constitution.

“His (Adeyemi) statement is quite unfortunate. Let me compare this issue to a very big balloon. A big balloon is a lie that a small pin is enough to bring down. That’s exactly what has happened because when you lie, there will be some level of inconsistency in what you say. Adeyemi said the election did not take place. But when he was confronted with a video of the election, he said the counting was faulty. I do not understand what he meant by state-managed elections. Those he saw there (in video) were party members of the APC, and they came out to vote.

“Meanwhile, our constitution made it very clear as to who is qualified to cast his vote. The fact that you belong to a party does not make you a full member of that party. You can’t be a nominal member of the party if you’re not taking any responsibility.

“Your membership in any party also comes with responsibilities. You must pay your dues, and when you pay your dues, you are issued with receipts. These are the things that qualify you to exercise your right as a party member. So those who came out and were able to vote were the financial members of the party in accordance with the Constitution of the parties.

“He said the primary didn’t hold anywhere. By showing videos of where the primary actually held, it has shown that all Adeyemi has been saying is not true.

“We are still investigating. There are complaints to the party right now that some fake membership scripts were issued to people that were not even APC members to come out and foment trouble that day.

“So what these people need to do is to go back to the Constitution of the party, get themselves abreast of the provisions. That will help them in their future endeavour,” he said.

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Gunmen Abduct Channels TV Reporter in Rivers, Demand N30m

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Gunmen have kidnapped a journalist and reporter with Channels Television, Mr Joshua Rogers, at his residence in Rumuosi in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State on Thursday night.

Rogers, who covers the Rivers State Government House for his organisation, was reportedly trailed after he closed from work to his residence.

The miscreants accosted him before he alighted from his car, pointed a gun at him and whisked him along with his vehicle off to an unknown destination at about 9 pm.

A source who said he doesn’t want his name mentioned said the reporter had earlier covered an event in Ndoni in the Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Government Area of the state where Governor Siminalayi Fubara, inaugurated a Primary Healthcare Centre.

The facility was built and donated to the state by the PAMO Educational Foundation, founded by former Rivers governor, Dr Peter Odili, on Thursday.

The source said, “Yes, he was kidnapped last night at his residence in Rumuosi and taken away in his car by some unknown gunmen.

“We are appealing to the kidnappers to release him immediately and unhurt. He is just a journalist doing his job and not a moneybags. So I don’t know the purpose of his kidnap.”

It was also gathered that the hoodlums had contacted his wife and demanded N30m as ransom before releasing him.

Efforts to reach the spokesperson for the State Police Command, Grace Iringe-Koko, for confirmation, were unsuccessful as she did not pick up several calls put across to her by The Punch.

Iringe-Koko has also yet to reply to a text message sent to her as of publication on Friday morning.

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Bobrisky Goes to Jail! Sentenced to Six months Term, with No Fine Option

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Cross-dresser, Idris Olanrewaju Okuneye popularly known as Bobrisky, has been sentenced to six months imprisonment without any option fine for abusing the Nigeria currency – naira. 

Justice Abimbola Awogboro of the Federal High Court, Lagos, in her sentence, said the judgment will serve as a deterrent to others who are fond of abusing and mutilating the naira.

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Odili Endorses Fubara As Rivers Political Leader

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A former Governor of Rivers State, Dr Peter Odili, has endorsed Governor Siminalayi Fubara as the political leader of the State, praising him for defending the interests of the people.

Odili, who served between 1999 and 2007, stated that Fubara, having secured his electoral victory both through the ballot and the courts, is now the political leader of the State.

Odili spoke on Thursday at the unveiling of a Primary Healthcare Centre donated by his PAMO Foundation in Ndoni, his hometown in the Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Government Area.

He emphasised the strategic importance of Rivers State, warning that if it sneezes, the entire nation catches cold. He urged Governor Fubara to act with this awareness in all his decisions.

Assessing Fubara’s performance in the last 10 months in office, Odili commended him for making significant strides in critical sectors within his first year in office, particularly focusing on the well-being of the people.

He noted that Fubara’s administration is in alignment with President Bola Tinubu’s agenda, especially in the health sector, following the recent launch of the Primary Healthcare Fellows scheme by the Federal Government.

Odili encouraged the governor to maintain this alignment with the President and his policies to attract Federal government attention and support to the State.

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