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Politics

APC: of mergers and alliances

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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.

Buhari and TinubuNigeria’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

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Emerging Markets and Personalities

Profile of Chuka Umunna,his career and work.

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Chuka Umunna

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.

 

Chuka Umunna

Chuka Umunna

Interest

Education, equality, and community and youth engagement.

Career

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.

 

Contact

 Address

3a Mount Ephraim Road, Streatham, London, SW16 1NQ

Tel: 020 8769 5063

Email: chukka.umunna.mp@parliament.uk

Website: www.chuka.org.uk

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Politics

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”

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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.

Gbenga Elegbeleye NSC DGBetween June 2007 and June 2011, Hon. Elegbeleye was a member of the Federal House of Representatives representing Akoko North East/North West Federal Constituency of Ondo State, where he served as:

  • 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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Leaders

HON. GBENGA ELEGBELEYE – OTOLORIN

“Further motivated by the desire to serve in higher capacity, he resigned his appointment as Chairman Ondo Waste Management Board in 2006, to contest elections into the Federal House of Representatives. Between June 2007 and June 2011, Hon. Elegbeleye was a member of the Federal House of Representatives representing Akoko North East/North West Federal Constituency of Ondo State, where he served as Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Sports;”

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Hon. Gbenga Otolorin Elegbeleye, popularly called “Otolorin” by his admirers was born in Ikare, Akoko North East Local Government Area of Ondo State. His educational background is made up as A.U.D Primary School, Ikare, St. Patrick’s’ Secondary School, Iwaro-Oka, University of Ife (Now Obafemi  Awolowo University) Ile Ife and  Ondo State University, Ado-Ekiti.

He obtained the following qualifications in his educational sojourn:

  • Primary School Leaving Certificate
  • West African School Certificate
  • B.A. (Ife), Ile-Ife
  • MPA (UNAD), Ado-Ekiti
Elegbeleye, Vice Chairman, House Committee on Sports

Gbenga Elegbeleye

As a result of his exemplary leadership qualities, in the Nigeria Youth Service Scheme, Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye was made the Administrative Officer of the Federal Road Safety Commission, Zone RS3 Kaduna, between 1988 and 1989, from where he ventured into private business.

Motivated by the desire to serve humanity, Hon. Gbenga in 1997 contested and won election as the youngest Chairman, Akoko North East Local Government Council in Ondo State.  As a Local Government Chairman, he was also a member of Board of Ondo State Primary Education Board between 1997-98. Before this period, Hon Gbenga Elegbeleye was the Assistant State Secretary of the National Republican Convention, NRC for the old Ondo State between 1990 – 1993.

Impressed by his achievements as Local Government Chairman and his successful exploits in other areas of human endeavour, the then Governor of Ondo State, Late Chief Olusegun Agagu in 2003 appointed him Chairman, Ondo State Waste Management Authority, and under his erudite leadership, Akure was adjudged by the then Federal Ministry of Inter-Government Affairs, the second cleanest State Capital in Nigeria, after Calabar, in 2004.

Further motivated by the desire to serve in higher capacity, he resigned his appointment as Chairman Ondo Waste Management Board in 2006, to contest elections into the Federal House of Representatives. Between June 2007 and June 2011, Hon. Elegbeleye was a member of the Federal House of Representatives representing Akoko North East/North West Federal Constituency of Ondo State, where he served as Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Sports; Member House Committees on Defence, Appropriation, Works, Environment, Rural Development, Inter-parliamentary Affairs and Solid Minerals. As a member of the House of Representatives, he attracted several projects to his Federal Constituency. These includes the following: 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

Hon. Elegbeleye was a member of the Ondo State Football Association between  1998 and 2000, Chairman Ondo State Table Tennis Association (2004-2007), Vice Chairman Ondo State Sports Development Committee (2005-2009) and Chairman Rising Stars Football Club, Akure  from 2004-2007, Proprietor, Ikare United Football Club, Member, NFA Fair-Play Committee, from 2004-2007, President Youths Sports Federation of Nigeria, Ondo State Chapter from 2003-2009. He also served as a member of the Ministerial Committee on the Reform of Football Administration in Nigeria between August and November 2011 and Member, Board of Directors, Abuja Investment Company between 2011 and 2013.

On May 15th 2013, the then President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Dr. Goodluck  Ebele Jonathan, found his rich credentials in Sports Administration irresistible and appointed him, the Director General of the National Sports Commission. President Jonathan made the announcement during the Federal Executive Council meeting of May 15th, 2014.

During his stewardship as the Director General of the National Sports Commission, the Commission has experienced a change in fortune as Nigerian athletes, sportsmen and women have been winning international laurels across the globe.

On Friday 8th November 2013 at the Mohammad Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria defeated Mexico 3-0 to win the FIFA U- 17 World Cup a record fourth time having won it in 1985, 1993 and 2007 to emerge as the most successful country in the competition up to date.

This was also followed by another laudable achievement in the 2013 Commonwealth weightlifting game tagged Malaysia 2013 where the Nigerian female lifters won the women’s category of the competition with 8 golds, 3 silvers and 3 bronze medals in the competition held in Malaysia in November 2013. This was also followed up with a 3rd placement of the Home based Super Eagles in the African Nations Championship (CHAN) held in South Africa. Nigeria had never qualified for the competition, but the Eagles not only qualified but went as far as winning the bronze medal of the competition after beating hard-fighting Zimbabwe 1-0 in the 3rd place match decided at the Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town on Saturday February 1st, 2014.

He was Head of Delegation, Nigeria U-17 African Youth Games in Botswana, tagged “Gaborone 2014” where Nigeria gathered a massive 41 medals the best outing so far against the record of 10 medals, to emerge overall 3rd best in the Games after winning 19 gold, 10 silver and 12 bronze medals.

Still under the leadership and stewardship of Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye, also as Head of Delegation, Team Nigeria also finished strong in  the Glasgow,  Commonwealth Games  in Scotland. It was Nigeria’s best outing in the history of the Commonwealth , winning 11 golds, 11 silvers and 14 Bronze medals in the 20th edition  of the Games held between July 23 and August 3rd, 2014. Team Nigeria also emerged the best team at the 2014 Marrakech Africa Athletics Championships held in Marrakech, Morocco in August, 2014. The Super Falcons beat all African countries to emerge Champions of Africa Women’s Championship (AWC) held in Namibia in October 2014.

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 married to Solape, they are blessed with four children

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