Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ondo Election: ……is Mimiko coasting to victory?

Ondo Election: ……is Mimiko coasting to victory?

Ayodele Samuel, Akure

If the forth coming Ondo gubernatorial is to be judge by crowds  witness at various political rallies by political parties in the state, Labour Party (LP) Candidate and incumbent Governor Olusegun Mimiko might few steps away from victory.

 Mimiko endorsement for another term cut across political boundaries and ideologies , from chieftain of the  Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Community  Based organization  and several Civil Societies had openly declared their support for Iroko, as he's fondly call.

Mimiko recently while expressing confidence that the people will vote for him in the October 20 governorship election based on his track record of performance and longstanding relationship with them.

Mimiko who spoke at his hometown in Ondo during one of its overcrowded mega  campaign tour of the ancient city said that he was the most qualified amongst all the contenders for the position having identified with the people, worked for them and above all having brought the State on the path to sustainable development as Governor.

The Governor also described the two opposition candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and that of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Olusola Oke and Rotimi Akeredolu respectively as not only political neophytes but strangers and stooges of political godfathers only out to milk the state of its resources.

"The people of Ondo State will vote for me because they know me and I live with them. In the last three and a half years, we have been working for the people and we have delivered on our electioneering promises. If you vote for me again, I will continue to work for you. You all know me, I am not a stranger in your midst; I have been your commissioner and when I was your commissioner, I did well for you; I was your Secretary to State Government (SSG); when I was SSG, I did well for you. I was a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and when I was there, I did well for you so you all know my antecedents unlike some people who want to now govern you out of the blues," Mimiko said.

 "Let me ask the people of Ondo State: Is it a governor you want or a district officer? If the answer is yes, that you want a real governor as I can hear say; then cast your votes for me on October 20 because I am one of you.

"Because you know me; because I have always worked for you; because my heart is with you, I won't take your money abroad. Rather, I will use your money to work for you so that hunger, want, deprivation will be banished from our land. "

While Residents of about100 coastal communities, mainly oil-producing areas in the State, joined by artisans and local traders  has vowed to work assiduously for the re-election of Mimiko.

The state representative on the governing council of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mr. Dele Omogbemi  said the entire oil-producing communities in the state would work for the victory of the governor in the forthcoming election so that the laudable programmes designed for the people in the area would not be abandoned

The former NDDC chief hinged  the support on  the role played by the governor when he was secretary to state government in ensuring that oil companies operating in the area paid compensation to their host communities was a major reason why the people endorsed his re-election.

While Action Congress of Nigeria Governor, Edo State Comrade Adams Oshiomole  had said "Unlike other Governors, Governor Mimiko and myself, giving the circumstances of our assumption of office, the whole of the people of Nigeria look up to us for a change and I am happy that here in Ondo State, Governor Mimiko is making a difference. He is showing that there are Governors and there are Governors. I think Mimiko has more than justify the sacrifices made by your people in defense of the popular mandate. In Ondo State, we have seen Governance in action. This is Governance working according to the wishes of the people. He has shown that in democracy, only the people matters."

The Convener of the Save Nigeria Group (SNG), and CPC chieftain Pastor Tunde Bakare on his part said "Mimiko has taken care of the needs of the Ondo grassroots people as Mimiko and the Labour Party have demonstrated that they have the capacity to give dividends of democracy to the people in the grassroots.The governor has discharged his responsibilities well and deserved a second tenure. I do not speak for any political party. It is time people know that leadership is not by might or inheritance but by living right as Mimiko has done. This is not about political party but performance. If every state in Nigeria works like Mimiko and Fashola of Lagos, the nation will change. I only met Mimiko for 10 minutes during the presidential election campaign in 2011, saying the endorsement was a support to good governance. Members of the Save Nigeria Group that are on ground assessing the performance of governors in all the states have attested to Mimiko's performance." I therefore advise the Ondo electorates to be vigilant and to defend their votes against rigging or any form of electoral manipulations"

While an Abuja based opinion and survey agency, Pollstar, however predicted that the candidate for the PDP, Chief Olusola Oke, maintained his leading position over the other candidates, Pollstar Executive Director (Special Projects), Mr. Obi Benedict Ekene said  "Oke for the third consecutive week, topped the chart with 29.5 per cent with the Labour Party candidate, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, in the second position with 21 per cent while the Action Congress of Nigeria candidate, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu,  came third with 19 per cent.

The scores of other candidates as released by Pollstar are: Oluseyi Ehinlanwo of Congress for Political Change five per cent; Adeyemi Bolarinwa of All Nigeria Political Party, four percent; Oladipo Bolanle Lawrence of National Conscience Party, three per cent; Omoreghe Olatunji of Progressive Party Alliance, 1.6 per cent and Abikanlu James Olusola of Nigeria Social Democratic Party one per cent

The results of the POP however sparked outrage  as the LP  and ACN rejected it. They described the result as unscientifically conducted because it does not represent the reality on the  ground. If all this praise singing will determine Mimiko Fate at the poll Octobers 20 is just few days away.



Thursday, October 11, 2012

Suntai ‘pocketing’ Taraba House of Assembly (politics features)

As  Suntai  'pocketing' Taraba House of Assembly

In this report AYODELE SAMUEL in Lagos, takes a look at intrigue and politics behind the impeachment process against Taraba State Deputy Governor Alhaji Sani Abubakar Danladi by the State House of Assembly

Recently Former Minister for Defense and Elder statesman General Theophilus Danjuma  at a pubic function lamented the pocketing of State Houses of Assembly , Judiciary at the state level   by the governors .

"The most stifling concentration of power is not in the central but at the state level, The governors almost all the governors are sole administrators. The first thing they do when they get to power is to pocket the state Houses of Assembly, neutralize the judiciary and abolish the local government" these are words from the  retired General.

By  providence , little did the 'wise' T Y Danjuma knew that his home state House of Assembly his suffering from the same virus from its Chief Executive.

Danjuma is from Taraba State, where its Governor Danbaba Suntai has mandated its House of Assembly to commence impeachment of its Deputy , Alhaji Sani Abubakar Danladi .

it  began early last year when   Suntai allegedly declared at one of the State Executive Council meetings in Government House that he had lost confidence in most of his principal officers, including his deputy governor.

Since then, Governor Suntai was said to have severally accused his deputy of holding clandestine meetings with his political opponents in the state , Abuja and of lately Saudi Arabia where he performed lesser Hajj.

Suntai  was allegedly to have told his  deputy that he will personally supervise his impeachment after accusing him that  he Abubakar, the PDP national chairman,   Bamanga Tukur, Senator Jummai Aisha Alhassan, Senator Abubakar Tutare and   Abdulmumini Vaki, past state chairman of PDP, held another meeting in Abuja and resolved to kill him [Suntai] so that his deputy could succeed him.   

Few days after the allegation, the Taraba State House of Assembly initiated impeachment process against Danlandi was moved in the assembly by deputy speaker Abel Peter Diah. The motion was signed by 21 out of 23 members in the state legislative body.

The lawmakers, who accused the deputy governor of using his office to acquire a business venture worth billions of naira, resolved to give him a two-week ultimatum to respond to allegations or face removal from office.

In the motion, Danladi was accused of diverting a Millennium Development Goals project to his private school, Yagai Academy, which houses his other business ventures like Yagai Water, Yagai Printing Press and Yagai Restaurant.

The legislators said locating the MDG ICT Centre and the sinking of motorised boreholes in Yagai Academy are gross misconduct as the school is a private venture of the deputy governor and the facilities sited there cannot be accessed by the public.

They also alleged that Danladi used his influence to acquire "a large expanse of land in Jalingo on which he built Yagai Academy (together with all other multi million naira business ventures sited therein like Yagai Water, Yagai Printing Press and Yagai Restaurant) an institution which is worth about a billion naira which your total emolument as a deputy governor cannot justify and in doing this you have not only breached the code of conduct for public office holders which requires you to show transparency in the act of governance."

Danladi is also accused of undue interference in the postings and transfers of indigenes of his local government area, Karim Lamido, and has been working against the interests of other stakeholders of the local government area.

Danladi in his response to the House of Assembly on the allegation says the Yagai Cybercafe was an initiative of Ishaka Bawa, Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Constituency and Member Repesenting Wukari and Ibi Constituency.

 He said the project was carried out by MDG projects for Yagai Academy and that the Yagai Academy did not request or solicit for either in writing or orally.

According to him, the projects have MDG Logo to indicate that it is the contribution of the MDG to the development of the school, saying Yagai as a profit making body could sink a borehole from its profits.

 He added that the contract for solar light at Yagai and street light were not awarded by his office adding that all the contracts were awarded by the State Government after being subjected to due process.

He also said his office was not assigned the responsibility of monitoring and supervising the contract and he could not be held responsible for the diversion of such projects.

The Deputy Governor also presented a Document to show how he acquired build the Yagai Academy from various individuals and evidence of a bank loan from the Zenith and First Bank where he collected facilities to develop the Yagai Academy.

He pleaded with the members of the House of Assembly to be objective in their deliberations and promised to be more committed to the party and the people of the State.

However political stakeholder believe that there's  political undertone to all the allegations, accusing the lawmakers of doing a hatchet job for Governor Danaba Suntai 

They viewed that how does one perform as deputy governor without the active support and cooperation of the governor? Who approved the sitting of the MDG ICT Centre at Yagai? and Who gave approval and signed the Certificate of Occupancy for the Yagai parcel of land?


As the impeachment threat rages, pertinent posers for the lawmakers and the judicial panel expected to be set up over the allegations are: How does one perform as deputy governor without the active support and cooperation of the governor? Who approved the siting of the MDG ICT Centre at Yagai? and Who gave approval and signed the Certificate of Occupancy for the Yagai parcel of land?

The Speaker of Taraba state House of Assembly Istifanus Gbana at a solidarity rally   in support of the impeachment move staged by PDP supporters in the six local government that made up the northern zone with majority of the people from Dalandi hometown Karim Lamido,   restated the house commitment   to impeach embattled Dalandi.

 Gbana denied that house is not working under anybody directive in the process to impeach the deputy Governor, its only carrying out constitutional duty to checkmate excesses of the executive arm.

Also chairman of the House Committee on Information, Mr. Daniel Ishaya Gani, said the impeachment process was not initiated by forces outside legislative chamber, saying members were genuinely concerned about the 'gross misconduct of the deputy governor.

Special Adviser to the Governor on media, Istifanus Giwa however refused to responds to question pose to him by Peoples Daily correspondent on phone insisting that "the matter is purely legislative"

However the state Commissioner of Information Emmanuel Bello argued that  "Governor Suntai doesn't meddle in what legislators are doing. He is a firm believer in the rule of law and separation of powers. This is purely a legislative matter. So count him out of this."

Political watchers and indeed residents of the state are eagerly waiting to see the end of the impeachment process.