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How Politicians Put Me Under Pressure To Extend My Stay In Office – Abubakar

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How Politicians Put Me Under Pressure To Extend My Stay In Office - Abubakar

Former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, has explained how he was put under pressure by politicians to extend his stay in office.

Abubakar said that his transition programme to civilian rule about 22 years ago would have been truncated if he had succumbed to pressure from some notable politicians.

Abubakar had promised to hand over to a democratically elected civilian government after nine months in the office which he did.

Answering questions from journalists in his residence in Minna, Niger State, the former Head of State said there was no pressure from any quarters to hurriedly hand over to the civilians but rather, pressure was mounted on him to elongate his stay in office.

“There was no pressure on me to hand over to the civilians from any quarters but on the contrary, some Nigerians especially the politicians were asking me to prolong my stay because at first when I said we were going to hand over, nobody believed where the military was going but when they realised that we were leaving and because their fingers had been burnt twice because that was not the first time the military would be saying it was going so the politicians hesitated to participate in the political activities.

READ ALSO: PDP Governors Approve Party Chairman For North

“However, it was when they saw that we really meant business that they now came and they were saying why don’t you prolong your stay so that we can now be part and parcel of the upcoming democracy in the country.

“So we were not pressurised besides the normal agitation of the then various groups who were asking the military to go,” Abdulsalami declared.

According to him, “I have no regret to have handed over to the civilians but rather, I am fulfilled by handing over power to a democratically elected government because today, Nigeria is being asked by the international community to safeguard democracy especially when the era of coup is gradually coming back into West Africa and Africa as a whole”.

“It is possible for some to say this is not the democracy we want but again I will say nation-building is a continuous process and I believe that as we go on, our politics will change.

“I want to believe that our electorate are now better informed and I pray and hope that in the next election, they will not sell their voters cards, they will not sell their dignity to allow their voters’ cards to be bought and thus allowing democracy to further flourish,” he declared.

On the frequent agitations across the country especially on secession, General Abubakar called on the present administration to look into their demands and bring everybody on board.

“There should be equity, fair play and equal representations of all the regions in governance in order to allow all Nigerians have a sense of belonging in the country and by so doing, the various agitations will be killed”.

 

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Ekiti SSG Oyebanji Resigns From Cabinet, To Contest For Governor

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Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has accepted the resignation of Secretary to the State Government, Biodun Oyebanji, from his cabinet.

The resignation which was conveyed in a letter to the governor, dated December 3, 2021, takes effect from Tuesday, December 7th.

According to a statement by Yinka Oyebode, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Oyebanji had cited his decision to contest the forth-coming governorship election in the state for his resignation as Secretary to the State Government.

Governor Fayemi in accepting Oyebanji’s resignation, thanked the former SSG for his remarkable contribution to the administration since inception in 2018 and wished him well in his future endeavours.

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Ekiti 2022: Fayemi Gives Dec 18 Deadline To Governorship Aspirants To Resign

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Ekiti 2022:Fayemi Gives Dec 18 Deadline To Governorship Aspirants To Resign

Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has directed anyone serving in his government who would like to contest the governorship primaries to tender his or her resignation latest by December 18th.

The directive was contained in a statement by the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Yinka Oyebode, in Ado-Ekiti on Wednesday.

READ ALSO: Insurgency Has Declined Under Buhari – Fayemi

The development, according to the statement, became imperative in order to ensure cohesion and excellent service delivery – two major hallmarks of the administration- remain uncompromised.

In compliance with directives of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State has slated the governorship primaries for January, ahead of the June 2022 governorship election.

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Court Affirms Election Of Soludo As Anambra Governor

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Court Affirms Election Of Soludo As Anambra Governor

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Wednesday declined to nullify the election of Prof. Chukwuma Soludo as the governor of Anambra State.

The court, in a judgement that was delivered by Justice Taiwo Taiwo, dismissed a suit that sought to invalidate Soludo’s election on the allegation that he supplied false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC).

The Plaintiffs, Adindu Valentine and Egwudike Chukwuebuka, had in their suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/711/2021, alleged that Soludo lied in the affidavit (Form EC9), which he submitted to INEC.

They claimed that Soludo, in the said affidavit attached to his nomination form, stated that he was contesting the Aguata 2 Constituency seat, when, in fact, he was contesting the governorship seat.

More so, they told the court that an affidavit Soludo’s running mate and Deputy Governor-elect, Onyeka Ibezim, also submitted to INEC, contained false particulars considering that he stated that he was vying for Awka 2 Constituency seat.

Cited as defendants in the suit were the INEC, the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Soludo and the Deputy Governor-elect, Ibezim.

The plaintiffs, through their lawyers, , A. O. Ijeri and Kelvin Okoko, argued that having indicated the wrong seat on the form, Soludo, violated extant legal provisions and ought to be disqualified.

“The constitution has made a state a constituency in relation to the governorship election, but in this case, the third defendant (Soludo) named Aguata 2 as the constituency he is contesting.

“The cause of action in a pre-election matter, by the provision of Section 285(9) of the Constitution, is determined by the date of the occurrence of the event, a decision or action complained about in the suit by the plaintiff.

“And in the instant suit, the cause of action of the plaintiffs arose on July 6, 2021, when the 3rd Defendant’s (Soludo’s) Form EC9 was submitted by the political party (the 2nd Defendant)”, they argued.

However, counsel for APGA and Soludo, Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, queried jurisdiction of the court to entertain the matter which he maintained was statue barred.

Aside from contending that the suit was filed outside the 14 days period stipulated by the Constitution, Ikpeazu, argued that error in an affidavit could not be a basis to disqualify a candidate from an election.

He argued that the false information claimed by the plaintiffs was not among the grounds stated in the 1999 Constitution for the disqualification of a candidate.

READ ALSO: Supreme Court Affirms Soludo As APGA Governorship Candidate For Anambra Poll

“False information, as envisaged in Section 31 of the Electoral Act is criminal in nature. Section 31 does not deal with error, but a deliberate effort to steal a match and to misrepresent”, he added.

On its part, INEC, through its lawyer, Bashir Abubakar, said it would leave the issue to the discretion of the court.

Meanwhile, in his judgement on Wednesday, though Justice Taiwo dismissed the preliminary objection challenging the competence of the suit and jurisdiction of the court to hear it, he however held that the plaintiffs, failed to establish that they had a reasonable cause of action.

Justice Taiwo held that the plaintiffs failed to convince the court on how the alleged false information both Soludo and Ibezim supplied to INEC, misled them.

The court held that since the allegation by the plaintiffs was also criminal in nature, it ought to be proved beyond reasonable doubt.

It held that the suit was filed in bad faith and a good example of cases that are not geared towards strengthening of the tenets of democracy in the country.

“I am yet to come to terms on the purpose for which this suit was filed. I am saying this because I am not convinced that this action is reasonable”, Justice Taiwo added.

Consequently, the court awarded N2million cost against the plaintiffs, in favour of the APGA, Soludo and Ibezim.

 

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