By Olasunkanmi AKONI, Lagos
Former Lagos State governor, Senator Bola Tinubu, has advocated a code of ethics which must be binding on all stakeholders towards next year’s general elections.
Relatedly, Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has stressed the need for Nigerians to be concerned about the success of the elections, especially with the theft of Direct Data Capture, DDC, machines at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, last week.
They spoke at the state congress of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, in Lagos yesterday.
According to Tinubu, “we should all pray and work hard for free and fair 2011 general elections in addition to the code of conduct.”
He also canvassed for better pay for INEC officials in order not to be corrupted or be influenced by corrupt and desperate politicians.
Gov. Fashola, in his brief comments, urged Nigerians to be extra- vigilant before, during and after the election.
According to him: “the assumption that things will work regularly must be put aside and efforts must be put in place to ensure that it works regularly.”
He stressed that the missing DDC machines was enough reason to be vigilant and concerned
Meanwhile, the Lagos chapter of ACN, yesterday, returned unopposed the entire members of the state executive council led by its Chairman, Chief Henry Ajomale, for another four-year term.
The Exco members were ratified by the delegates of the party at the state congress at the party’s Secretariat, on Acme Road, Ikeja.
Ajomale described the exercise as successful and commended the entire ACN members for their understanding and cooperation throughout the ward and state congresses.
He stated that there were 2,280 delegates all over the state, which include members of the National Assembly, state House of Assembly, local government officials.
Ajomale, while acknowledging the fact that there could not be 100 per cent success, stressed: “but we are better off than most of the political parties. Honestly, we have not done badly despite the fact that we have complaints in two local governments areas.
Commenting on the chances of ACN in the federation in the 2011 general elections, he said the party would do more to pursue its agenda: “ACN will retain Lagos and even go further to win federal, we have everything that it takes.”
On the chances of Fashola in Lagos, Ajomale said the party has not received any written letter of intent but commended the achievements of the governor, adding that he has done well. “You do not change a winning team,” he added.
Mean time, reports across the federation indicated that state congresses of the party in some states including Oyo, Ogun, Lagos and Abia, yesterday were peaceful.
The congress in Edo State was postponed because of the death of Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s wife, Clara.
At the Ogun congress, the former governor of the state, Chief Olusegun Osoba, said the party would give the 2011 elections its all to ensure the polls are not rigged.
The Oyo congress was attended by all the party’s governorship aspirants while all the state officials of the party were returned unopposed.
The Abia and Plateau officials of the ACN were also re-elected at the congress.
ÁCN will win 2011 polls — Osoba
Addressing the Ogun congress of ACN at its secretariat in Abeokuta, the state capital, Osoba said his party would win the next elections by all legal means.
He said, “We will give 2011 all what it takes. We will resist any attempt to rig the election or subvert the will of the people. We will win the next elections by all legitimate means.”
The former governor challenged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to ensure a free and fair election.
Osoba, at the congress where the Ogun ACN chairman, Alhaji Tajudeen Ola Bello and members of his executive were re-elected, pleaded with governorship aspirants jostling for the party’s ticket to cooperate with each other, adding that the party leadership nationally had decided that it would look into the issue of candidature at all levels.
Adesina accuses Akala
Our correspondent reported that the Oyo State congress of the party in Ibadan went peacefully and with the full participation of all governorship aspirants in the state.
The governorship aspirants in attendance were Chief Olufemi Lanlehin, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, Dr. Adebayo Adewusi, Professor Wale Oyemakinde and Mr. Soji Akanbi, among others.
Though, the congress which was fixed for 10 a.m. started two hours behind schedule, it was hitch-free.
All the officers were re-elected unopposed with the representative of INEC, Mr. Kunle Folami, in attendance to monitor the process.
On the occasion, the state leader of the party, Alhaji Lamidi Adesina, alleged that Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala had kept four armoured personnel carriers, APCs, wondering why the governor was keeping the weapons of war for himself instead of giving them out to security agencies.
Adesina claimed that the weapons were initially kept behind the presidential lodge but have now been moved to somewhere in the Oke-Ogun area of the state.
But, responding to the allegations, Alao-Akala, through his Special Adviser on Public Communication, Prince Dotun Oyelade, dismissed them with a wave of hands.
He said none of the previous governors could match the achievements recorded by Akala, calling on the people of the state to ignore this baseless alarm raised by the former governor.
The ACN congress in Abia State took place at the Eastern Comfort Hotel in Umuahia, where delegates elected their leaders.
Chief Agwu Uke was elected the chairman while Chief Uche Kanu became the deputy chairman.
The congress in Plateau State was held with the election of new officers to run the affairs of the party.
All the officers emerged unopposed but their election was affirmed through a voice voting by delegates.
The former state chairman, Chief Amos Gizo, who until now was acting in a caretaker capacity, was re-elected for a four-year term with Hon J.D Haruna emerging as the deputy state chairman.
In his speech, Gizo stated that the peaceful election witnessed in the congress was a proof of the party’s ability to bring peace back to Plateau State.
But, in Bayelsa State, for the second consecutive week, the ACN congress could not hold following its postponement.
The party secretariat complex was devoid of activities when Sunday Vanguard visited the place.
It was learnt that the postponement of the exercise was sequel to the decision reached at the National Executive Meeting (NEC) of the party in Lagos on December 1, 2010.