Politicians Extend Outreach To Rural Communities

THE extension of the 2015 general elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has turned out to be blessing in disguise for candidates, political parties and the electorate, who are judiciously exploiting the opportunity ahead of the poll.

  Though the shifting, which the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega adduced to security reasons, was widely criticised, it has however done a great service to politicians and the people at the grassroots who are at present toasts of the candidates.

 One critical gain for the candidates is that the shift gives them fresh window to woo the electorate via community-based projects. For the electorate, especially those expecting their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), it affords them adequate time to collect their cards from INEC.

  Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun in the last two weeks had to re-strategise his campaigns as he embarked on visits to some hinterland communities in the state. As at last week, he was at Imeko-Afon, one of the areas, allegedly marginalised by previous governments.   

  Also, President Jonathan used the window to hold consultations with traditional rulers and other stakeholders across the country. He recently held a meeting in Lagos with traditional rulers, Yoruba Council of Elders, trade unions and clerics, appealing to them to support his re-election.

  He also took his consultation to the palaces of the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III; the Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Oladunni Oyewunmi Ajagungbade III; and the Alara of Ilara Epe, Oba Akeem Adesanya.

   Just last week, after commissioning the Olorunsogo II Power Station 750MW Nigerian Integrated Power Project, Papalanto, Ogun State, he met with some traditional rulers from the state.

  The traditional rulers at the Olorunsogo meeting, numbering about 20, were led by the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Oyebade Lipede, who is also the Chairman of the Ogun State Council of Traditional Rulers.

  Others at the meeting included the Akarigbo of Remo, Oba Michael Sonariwo; and the Olowu of Owu, Oba Adegboyega Dosunmu.

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