- Dr Adesina Fagbenro-Byron has emerged the presidential candidate of KOWA party
- Fagbenro-Byron defeated a former presidential candidate of the party, Professor (Mrs) Remi Shonaiya in the contest
- He expressed confidence that the KOWA party will have an impact in the 2019 elections
A development expert; Dr Adesina Fagbenro-Byron, has emerged as the presidential candidate of the KOWA party.
Fagbenro-Byron, 59, a former member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), emerged the candidate of the KOWA party during the party's special national convention presidential primary in Abuja on Saturday, September 29.
Fagbenro-Byron defeated the presidential candidate of the party in 2015, Professor (Mrs) Remi Shonaiya and Mr Ayo Lijadu to clinch the presidential ticket in a free and fair contest observed by NAIJ.com.
He scored 59.5% of the total votes cast, while Shonaiya scored 16% and Lijadu scored 5.5%.
Delegates of the party not physically present at the convention, voted via SMS and online, which was vetted by the convention committee.
Addressing party members after he was declared winner and handed the party's flag, Fagbenro-Byron vowed not to betray the trust reposed in him by the party members ahead of the 2019 general elections.
His words: “You have picked me up without anything, based on trust. That is one thing that has registered today, it is not as if one is better than the other candidates, but as God will have things, this is the direction that God wants us to go now.
“There is a reason we are here and we are going into victory. We are going to the 2019 election with determination.
“We have some shortcomings, but we have some strengths. The kind of strengths the KOWA party has, the other parties with all their monies, they can not buy it and we are going to prove it to them.”
He admitted that there is a lot of work to do towards the election, noting that “we have to strategize, plan, set up committees, we have to set up our bank accounts, our structures.”
He commended Professor Sonaiya and Mr Lijadu for their sportsmanship, vowing to carry them along in his campaign.
Speaking later to journalists, Fagbenro-Byron stated that he is a founding member of the KOWA party, stressing that “the party is designed in such a way that it would address and provide solutions to national problems.”
He continued: “We are a modern party, we are an innovative party, we will approach this election in a way that Nigerians have never seen before and will never believe. We are going to provide a compelling case that will make other parties coalesce with us and as a matter of fact, that is why we are in the Coalition of United Political Parties.
“These other parties-particularly, the All Progressives Congress, is a trader in poverty. They keep people poor deliberately - look at their nomination fees, it is like you keep somebody poor for a sufficient time so that by the time you come with your extra money, it gives you influence. Such a party will never wish you come out of poverty.
“Any political party which distributes money during elections will never pray for people to get out of poverty. The day people rise out of poverty is the day that money given out as handouts will become useless. The day poverty is dealt with in Nigeria is the day that you won’t be able to bribe people to vote for you.”
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Earlier, the national chairman of KOWA party, Alhaji Saidu Bobboi informed the party members that the presidential aspirant screening committee did a thorough job before the convention by subjecting the aspirants to a written exam.
He noted that the exam and the the debate which the presidential aspirants were subjected to at the convention were “landmark achievements and the first of its kind in the history of electoral processes of any political party in Nigeria.”
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