October 13, 2018

NORTH CENTRAL: Smooth coasting for Lalong, Useni, Ortom, Jime; Dina Melaye survives in Kogi

False Assassination Charge: Court acquits Dino Melaye

Dino Melaye

By Peter Duru, Makurdi, Femi Bolaji, Jalingo, Marie-Therese Nanlong, Jos, Boluwaji Obahopo, Lokoja

BENUE  Ortom vs Jime

The quest for the Benue State Government has begun in earnest between the incumbent, Governor Samuel Ortom of the PDP and Mr. Emmanuel Jime of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

Dino Melaye

Though the Social Democratic Party, SDP, also threw up Mr. Hinga Biam, a retired Permanent Secretary, as its gubernatorial candidate, no doubt the contest will be a two-horse race between Ortom and Jime.

Governor Ortom who rejoined the PDP after three years of sojourn in the APC, took a bold step by defecting from the ruling party to the opposition PDP after much prompting by the large majority of the people of the state.

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His decision to dump the APC obviously jostled the ruling party and also created panic and and initial revolt among the aspirants of the PDP who felt his reentry was a threat to their ambition.

In the APC, Mr. Emmanuel Jime, the former Managing Director of the Nigeria Export Processing Zone Authority, NEPZA emerged as it gubernatorial flag-bearer.

Jime emerged after much horse-trading and persuasion compelling the preferred candidates of the party, who were in control of the party’s structures, delegates including former Adviser to the Governor, Mr. Titus Zam, former Majority Leader of the State Assembly, Benjamin Adanyi and businessman, Asema Achado to step down.

The choice of Jime almost tore the party into shreds following the resistance from other aspirants who were piqued by his choice supposedly by powerful forces in Abuja.

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The development left the party in dilemma for a number of days forcing the scheduled primaries of the party to be put off severally when it was sensed that if the aspirants were subjected to an open primary election, the three aspirants who had firm control of the APC delegates would steal the show.

Conscious of the noxious outcome of any primary election vis-a-vis the directive from Abuja to have Jime emerge as candidate of the party, the leadership of the party had to compel other leading aspirants to forgo their ambition while party delegates who had waited for several days to exercise their franchise were directed to elect the former federal lawmaker through an affirmation vote.

Gov. Lalong

Taraba:  PDP, UDP, APGA, ABP opt for consensus, APC goes for Direct Primary

The race for the governorship position in Taraba state ahead of the 2019 general election was different strokes for different folks as five candidates emerged from five different political parties.

While the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, United Democratic Party, UDP, All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA and All Blending Party, ABP produced their candidates through a consensus, the All Progressive Congress, APC ticket was keenly contested by 10 aspirants   through direct primaries.

The candidates to fly the flags of the different   parties at the governorship poll include incumbent, Darius Ishaku of the PDP, Sani Danladi APC, Aisha Alhassan UDP, Kefas Sule ABP and Adamu Ibrahim APGA.

While less intrigues resulted from the primary elections of the PDP, APGA, ABP, and UDP, the APC election has plunged the party into another crises with the emergence of Sani Danladi, as nine other contenders rejected the result of the process which if not contained may affect the chances of the party at the polls.

Aisha Alhassan who dumped APC for UDP which already had a governorship aspirant,   Abdul Razak Gidado prior to her defection was immediately accommodated with the later abandoning his ambition for her quest.

However, the fight for the state number one seat by many is said to be between the incumbent, Darius Ishaku, former minister of women affairs and social development, Aisha Alhassan and ex acting governor of the state Sani Danladi who are seen as political bigwigs with large support bases.

Plateau  Smooth coasting for Useni, Lalong

In April, 2018, at the All Progressives Congress, APC stakeholders meeting held in Jos, the Plateau State capital, the Member representing Jos South/Jos East federal constituency in the National Assembly, Edward Pwajok moved a motion to “compel” the incumbent Governor, Simon Lalong to declare his intention to run for a second term in office.


Gov Samuel Ortom

At that meeting, all stakeholders including the Party Chairman, Latep Dabang who were present adopted the Governor as their sole candidate, but shortly after, Dabang said the unanimous adoption may look undemocratic and urged anyone who has interest in contesting the seat to go ahead but such a person would “only waste his/her time and resources.”

From that period to the time the Party held its governorship primary election on the 30th of September, 2018, no aspirants showed interest in the seat hence, Lalong was the sole aspirant for the Party. He was unanimously affirmed by about 3,000 delegates.

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP which had 13 aspirants vying for the governorship seat has also not recorded any rancour after the September, 30th primary election.

The over 2,000 delegates overwhelmingly voted Senator Jeremiah Useni as the Party’s governorship candidate and the 12 aspirants had since sent congratulatory messages to the flag-bearer.

Kogi  Dino Melaye survives many intrigues

The emergence of Senator Dino Melaye as the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, flag-bearer for Kogi West senatorial axis for the 2019 general election was marked by many.

There was a twist in the primary as four other contenders in the race were banned by the party National Working Committee from participating in the exercise, while two others stepped down for the Senator who just returned from the APC to the party.

Those who stepped down for Melaye were former commissioner for Local government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Tolorunjuwon Faniyi and the current Reps member representing Kabba/bunu/ ijumu federal constituency, Hon. Tajudeen Yusuf.

Those banned from the primary were; Sunday Karimi, member representing Yagba federal constituency; former acting governor of the state, Clarence Olafemi; Henry Ojuola and Ganiyu Salaudeen all from the Yagba federal constituency who believed it was there turn to produce the next senator going by the party rotational arrangement across the three federal constituencies in the district.

The development paved way for the senator to be the only aspirant left in the race; giving room for his affirmation on Tuesday, October 2 as the party candidate for next year general election.


First Fuels Chief Executive, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq flies the APC flag while Abdulrazaq Atunwa, a member of the House of Reps is the APC gubernatorial candidate.