***vows to challenge outcomes of election
The Senator representing the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Philip Aduda of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday expressed concern for voters in FCT for voting for the Labour Party Senatorial candidate, Ireti Kingibe who is 70 and old enough to be his own mother
The Senator also alleged that the election in FCT was marred with irregularities with over-voting in many units adding that even areas election were canceled and repeat election being awaited were overlooked as results were declared prematurely.
INEC had declared Ireti Kingibe winner with 202,175 votes while Philip Aduda of the PDP came second with 100,544 votes. Angulu Dobi of the APC placed third with 78,905 votes
The Senator who addressed a press conference in Abuja said
“I believe I have done very well and if the FCT residents feel that voting an old woman of about 70 years old and giving her capacity as against a 53 year old young man and bringing in somebody who is old enough to be my mother, I think something is wrong.
“Even the presidential candidate of the Labour Party Peter Obi spoke against old politicians who are supposed to retire at the age of 70 and she is just beginning to represent us at 70
“I am very close to Peter Obi when he was in the PDP,, we share a lot of friendship together, he has assisted me in the past and I have assisted him.
“She rode on the popularity of Peter Obi, ordinarily if she faces me in an ordinary contest I will trash her any day.
“We have had this type of contest before she was in the PDP, we have been contesting against each other, she knows me and I know her, I am not going to join issues with her and dwelling so much on this, because this is all about the representation for the FCT.
“By God’s grace we are still there and this will not deter us in the remaining months that we have to represent the people with the fear of God Almighty and we will continue to do the best that we can.”
While responding to allegation raised by the FCT senator-elect that he lacks capacity to represent FCT, he said rather ‘it is the person coming to represent the FCT that has no capacity because if she has the capacity common Google will show her what he (Aduda) has done.
“It will show you that I led a protest to this place over mayoral status for FCT, “On the floor of the Senate I had raised a motion to discuss about this issue of Naira redesigning and so on.
“I moved that motion and I brought that to national consciousness and discuss. “We have a road we are constructing in Kubwa, Over N1b, another one in Nyanya, over N1b, we have the ones we are doing in Bwari, if I don’t have the capacity and can not represent the people I don’t think I would have been able to attract those projects ro rhe various communities or Area Ciuncils.
“I am not talking of Gwagwalada or Kwali or Kuje, I am only talking about the urban center, the environment here. “Apart from the bills I sponsored and were passed which President has assented to, Like the Federal college of Education Zuba that has been there for over 17 years without graduation until we passed that bill befire they were able to conduct their convocation.
He challenged Kingibe to show any Corporate social responsibility in terms of projects to FCT before now
“If you want to contest election you want to endear people to yourself you will at least build one small borehole here and there, may be she will tell us what she has done as community service to the people but unfortunately or fortunately we had a situation apart from the fact that there was over voting elections were canceled in AMAC and were supposed to be rescheduled, you heard it, you saw it, from nowhere we heard that results were declared.
He raised a fundamental issue that concerned the people of the FCT on the fact that while other Nigerians will be going to their respective states on Saturday to elect their governors and state houses of assembly members, the FCT people will be at home watching them.
“This wouldn’t have been so if the federal government had yielded to calls for the democratization and second tier government for the people of the FCT.
“Over the years, we have made concerted calls and pursued the institution of a second tier government in the FCT so as to address injustices as this but to our surprises, there are still some people who feel that It is not an injustice and this disenfranchisement of the people of the FCT should continue unabated.
“The advocacy for the democratization of the FCT & institution of second tier government has been a call for the improvement of political leadership in the FCT & to cater for the seeming population influx into the city.
“But we are praying that; the judgement of the court of appeal delivered in January 2018 and the recent interpretation and judgement of the supreme court describing the status of the FCT as a state be implemented by the federal government.
“The people of the FCT ought to be treated as an integral part of the nation by allowing them to exercise their right to vote and produce their political leaders at that level.
“This concern forms our periodic advocacy for a mayoral status for the FCT. But unfortunately for us, when the Mayoral Status Bill was presented on the floor of the Senate, some senators voted against it probably because I was the only senator among 108 members advocating for such amendment.
“Despite the FCT ranking as one of the fastest developing cities around the world and naturally ought to be conferred with such status, just like New York City in the US and London in the UK. “Again, that will go down , as another lost opportunity, to make a meaningful impact on the lives of the indigenes and residents of the FCT.”