By CLIFFORD NDUJIHE
The registration of the All Progressive Congress (APC) by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is historic and symbolic in many respects. It is the first time that strong political parties are shedding their identities and merging into one party in the history of electioneering in Nigeria. It is also the first time the coalescing groups cut across the major political divides of the country.
Nigeria’s political history is replete with failed alliances and mergers. In the First Republic, the United Progressive Grand Alliance (UPGA), consisting mainly of the National Council for Nigerian Citizens (NCNC) and the Action Group (AG), attempted to form an alliance to stop the Northern People’s Congress (NPC). The effort died before it could bear fruit because UPGA leaders could not sink their ambitions and differences and so could not present a joint presidential candidate to tackle then Prime Minister, the late Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.
In the Second Republic, the Nigerian People’s Party (NPP), Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), People’s Redemption Party (PRP) and the Great Nigerian People’s Party (GNPP) formed the People’s Progressive Alliance (PPA) which also failed to click against the National Party of Nigeria (NPN).
In 1999, the Alliance for Democracy (AD), which had swept the South-west in earlier polls, aligned with the All Peoples Party, APP, that dominated elections in the North with the intention of beating PDP at the presidential poll. It gave the PDP a good fight but failed to win the election.
In 2007, about 15 parties came together and formed the Action Congress, AC, but the party made little or no impact in the presidential election.
Before the 2011 elections, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) attempted to join forces in order to field a joint presidential candidate to challenge President Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP. The move fell like a pack of cards when the parties could not reach agreement on who to field. While the CPC fielded Major General Muhammadu Buhari, ACN handed its ticket to Nuhu Ribadu. Before then, Buhari had pulled out of the ANPP on which platform he contested the presidential seat in 2003 and 2007.
After the 2011 elections, leaders of the merging parties kick-started another move and set up various committees. The highlight of the moves was when 11 progressive governors, drawn from the six geo-political zones, stormed Lagos in February in support of the merger efforts and vowed to rescue Nigeria from the PDP.
Having successfully jettisoned their identities and differences to merge, the APC is now saddled with the onerous task of succeeding where previous attempts failed.
Will merger work this time?
Given past failures, the polity has been awash with debates on whether or not the current move would stand the test of time and achieve results. Proponents of the merger said that they have the political wherewithal and public support to sink the ship of the PDP. They also boasted that they would avoid the pitfalls that derailed similar exercises in the past.
For instance, the main drivers of the process, such as Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu of ACN and veteran presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari of the CPC, have pledged to sacrifice their ambitions for APC’s collective good. Buhari is known to have always contested the presidential election on the platform of any party he joined since 2003, twice with ANPP and once under the CPC banner. Speaking on a Kaduna-based Desmin Independent Television (DITV) recently, Buhari said he would offer himself for the next presidential race if the APC members and his supporters gave him the opportunity again, adding that only death would stop him from aspiring.
However, he said APC would follow due process in selecting candidates for elective positions.
His words: “Many people, especially from my party, are really disturbed. The joyful thing is that I didn’t say I quit politics. I will never quit politics as far as I am live. I only said that I will not present myself to contest but if my party members said they want me to remain in the race. I will.
“Since I am in the new party as a member, if, after consultations, they included me among their aspirants, I will not reject their offer. This is what I want people to know. I want people to be patient with what we are doing now. They should allow the merger to succeed first. I am sure the new party leaders will know those that are relevant and sellable to the Nigerian electorate.”
Culled from Vanguard
Pastor Adeboye Leads Protest to End Killings in Nigeria
Pastor Enoch Adeboye, General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, discarded his hitherto conservative and conciliatory disposition and took to the streets to lead thousands of his members in a protest march against insecurity and killings of Christians across the nation, especially in northern states.
The action is sequel to an earlier directive by the leader of one of the most influential Pentecostal churches in Nigeria that its members should conduct the protest nationwide, with him starting his own action at exactly 11am at the RCCG National Headquarters in Ebute Metta, Lagos.
The Assistant General Overseer (Admin and Personnel) of the church, Pastor J.F Odesola, in a circular dated January 29, 2020, addressed to all regions and provinces of the RCCG, parishes of the church were asked to end their service not later than 11am on Sunday to enable members “march round their immediate environment, praying for God’s intervention in the ongoing situation in Nigeria.”
The protests are at the instance of the RCCG General Overseer, Pastor Adejare Adeboye.
The circular, read: “The Christian Association of Nigeria, the umbrella body for all Christians and Christian organisations in Nigeria, has made a clarion call for prayers and advocacy to all Christians in Nigeria in response to the inhumane acts against Christians in the country.”
Profile of Chuka Umunna,his career and work.
Chuka Umunna was born 17th of October, 1978 to a Nigerian Father and English-Irish Mother, he was educated at Hitherfield Primary School in Streatham, south London, at the voluntary aided Christ Church C of E Primary School (Cotherstone Road) in the Brixton Hill area of Streatham,and at the independent secondary school St. Dunstan’s College in Catford in south-east London. He obtained a 2:1 degree in English and French Law from the University of Manchester and then studied at the University of Burgundy in Dijon in France, and Nottingham Law School in Nottingham.
Education, equality, and community and youth engagement.
He trained at Herbert Smith the large “Magic Circle” City law firm: about his decision to join the firm he said “I wanted to join Herbert Smith because they were a big international firm, very much at the heart of the City, business and finance. Having entered thinking I wanted to be a hotshot corporate lawyer, I ended up wanting to become an employment lawyer because employment relates to people and their relationships. In 2006, he moved to the central London law firm, Rochman Landau, where he mainly acted for individuals and small and medium sized companies. As an employment lawyer, Umunna often spoke in the media on employment issues.
He is “Labour through and through” and says the Tories aren’t serious about equality, “despite what Cameron tries to say with his spin and presentation” and says the BSS is a very positive development, long overdue. But he warns that although Labour has traditionally represented Blacks: “We are in danger of falling behind on that if we don’t increase representation in the future. It’s not just about representation, it’s also about increasing out communities’ general participation in the political process. That’s something we must work on.”
Influence and motivation
At 27 Chuka Umunna has been in main street politics, Influenced by his father who is a died when he was 13. Chuka recalls moment with his father saying “It had a huge influence on my life. I had to grow up very, very quickly.” He added: “Politically my father had a big influence on me. He spoke out against the corruption in Nigeria, for better governance and got involved in politics in Anambra state. He narrowly missed out on winning the governorship of that state shortly before he died in a car crash. He lost because he refused to bribe anyone and was standing on an anti-corruption ticket.
Also motivating were his experiences while growing – In my youth I also often visited my father’s native Nigeria and came face to face with the extreme poverty one sees in Africa in the heart wrenching appeal videos produced by the likes of Oxfam and Comic Relief every year. I simply could not understand why some had so much, whilst others had so little. From there sprung a desire to do something about it and the other challenges we face.
he is presently a School Governor of Sunnyhill Primary School and sits on the Board of Sunnyhill Children’s Centre, both in Streatham Wells. He lives on Streatham High Road.
In addition, he sits on the Board of Generation Next, a not for profit social enterprise which provides activities for young people in London, and has been involved charitable youth work in Lambeth too.
He is a patron of Latimer Creative Media, a social enterprise which trains young people in digital media and a supporter of Cassandra Learning Centre, a charity raising awareness and working to stop domestic violence.
Prior to becoming Labour’s parliamentary candidate in Streatham, Chuka was Vice Chair of Streatham Labour Party from 2004 to 2008 and had held a variety of positions throughout the local party.
In the May 2010 general election, Chuka was elected to represent Streatham having received 20,037 votes, with the number of votes received by Labour rising from 18,950 in the previous general election in 2005. Turnout in Streatham increased by 11.5 percentage points at 62.8% compared with 51.3% in 2005.
He is a member of the GMB and Unite trade unions and sits on the Management Committee of progressive pressure group, Compass.
Since becoming an MP, he has been elected on to the Treasury select committee and become Ed Miliband’s parliamentary private secretary.
In October 2011, Chuka was appointed to the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, replacing the Rt Hon John Denham MP who announced his resignation from Shadow Cabinet.
In this role, Mr Umunna leads the Opposition Shadow Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) team, leading for the opposition on a wide range of issues including business, enterprise, science and universities.
3a Mount Ephraim Road, Streatham, London, SW16 1NQ
Tel: 020 8769 5063
Spotlight on Gbenga Elegbeleye’s contribution
“Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye was recently appointed as a Member of the CAF Disciplinary Board. He is a member of IBB Golf Club and a recipient of several awards”
Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye motivated by the desire to serve his people in higher capacity, resigned his appointment as Chairman Ondo Waste Management Board in 2006, to contest elections into the Federal House of Representatives.
- Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Sports
- Member House Committee on Defence
- Member House Committee on Appropriation
- Member House Committee on Works
- Member House Committee on Environment
- Member House Committee on Rural Development
- Member House Committee on Inter-parliamentary Affairs
- Member House Committee on Solid Minerals
As a member of the House of Representatives, he attracted several projects to his Federal Constituency. These include:
- Neighbourhood Sports Centre Iye road, Arigidi
- Sports Stadium at Oyinmo St, Ikare
- National Library Ikare
- Extension of electrification poles to Ojeka camp road; Odo Irun electrification, Oyimo, Ogunsusi road, Ilepa Ikare
- Erosion control and school furniture in Ogbagi
- Block of classrooms in the following schools, St George’s Pry School, Okeagbe, Salem School, Ekan Ikare, AUD School V Ishakunmi, Ikare, AUD School 2, Iku, Ikare, Local Govt Pry School Ajowa, Ebenezer Pry School Okorun, Ikare
- Several boreholes in most towns and villages, among many others
After serving as Director General, National Sports Commission, Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye was recently appointed as a Member of the CAF Disciplinary Board. He is a member of IBB Golf Club and a recipient of several awards and honours. These includes, Fellow of the Nigeria Institute of Local Govt and Public Administration; Fellow, Chattered Institute of Public Administration; Fellow African Business School; Fellow, Certified Institute of Sales Management; Patron, SWAN, FCT; Patron SWAN, Ondo State; Patron NUJ, Ondo State; Gold Personality Award by Skye Sports; African Film Academy Award for Sports Development; National Youth Council Award for National Development; City People Award for Excellence in Politics; African Leadership Award for Sports Development among several others.
Hon Gbenga Elegbeleye is happily married to Solape, they are blessed with four children
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