Dr Sina Fagbenro-Byron, a lawyer, has been elected to represent KOWA Party at the 2019 presidential election.
Fagbenro-Byron was elected through a multi-channel voting system of party members across the 28 states in a direct primary witnessed by the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) during the party’s national convention in Abuja on Saturday.
He contested with Prof. Remi Sonaiya, who was the party’s presidential flag bearer at the 2015 elections, and veteran actor, Mr Ayo Lijadu, who ran a very strategic national grassroots recruitment campaign.
Mrs Habiba Balogun, National Publicity Secretary of the party, in a statement on Sunday in Lagos, said that Fagbenro-Byron emerged after he surmounted vigorous competition from his fellow presidential aspirants.
”KOWA Party takes great pleasure in announcing that Dr Adesina Fagbenro-Byron (SFB) emerged victorious as Kowa Party’s Presidential Candidate for 2019.
”KOWA Party subjected its aspirants to a rigorous process.
”They were formally screened including security clearance, then they submitted to a written examination on Friday. Sept. 28, answering multiple choice questions posed by experts from diverse fields, and writing an essay on a topic of national interest.
”The aspirants participated in a presidential debate moderated by Mr Soji Apampa, the founder of Integrity Group, during the convention, ” she said.
Balogun said that the party adopted a multi-channel voting system for its national primary to promote inclusiveness.
”In keeping with our spirit of inclusiveness, the party used a combination of paper, online and sms voting.
”The system was accessible to all members, even those in rural areas could participate, including those without smart phones and who could not travel to the state convention ccentres that the party set up in 28 states.
”Indeed some members who were unwell were still able to cast their votes from their sick beds.
”The online voting system was first successfully piloted at our Lagos State Congress in May 2018 and was witnessed by INEC, ” she said.
Balogun said the party pride itself as being the credible alternative to the traditional political parties.
”The party’s slogan is ‘Together, we make a difference’ and it aims to avoid the traps that have bedevilled the big parties in Nigeria.
”We cling strongly to our founding principles of transparency, inclusiveness, people-centred development and meritocracy.
”Our aspirants run based on their state of residence, not their state of origin.
”Women, youth and people living with disabilities are not considered token or minority members, they are welcomed and embraced as full members and officers of the party at national and state levels, and are well represented at decision-making levels, ” she said.
Fagbenro-Byron is also a former Governance Adviser with the British government, Department for International Development (DFID), an economist, teacher and an Information Science technologist.(NAN)