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PDP Submits Saraki’s Name To INEC As Its Senatorial Candidate For Kwara Central

                                 Senate President Bukola Saraki

•APC panel dismisses appeals, upholds automatic tickets

 

John Alechenu, Olusola Fabiyi

The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party has sent the name of the President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki, to the Independent National Electoral Commission as a senatorial candidate.

The name of Saraki was among the list of candidates submitted to the commission in Abuja on Thursday night.

Saraki, who represents Kwara Central District in the Senate, was among the 13 presidential aspirants of the party.

He came third at the party’s national convention which was held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

The PDP had held the senatorial primaries before that of the presidential primary.

While Saraki paid for the PDP nomination and expression of interest forms,  it was however not clear if he paid for that of the Senate as well.

Investigations by one of our correspondents in Abuja showed that Saraki’s name was used to replace the name of one Ope, whose name was initially filed as the PDP candidate for the senatorial district.

It had initially been speculated that the former governor of Kwara State was among the suspected presidential aspirants in the party who had another plan since they knew they could lose the PDP presidential nomination.

It was learnt that Saraki is being positioned to return as the President of the Senate in 2019 by the PDP, if former Vice President Atiku Abubakar wins the presidential election.

The source said, “Bukola Saraki’s name is there (in the list). He’s returning to the Senate on the platform of the PDP.”

Investigations by one of our correspondents in Abuja showed that Saraki’s name was used to replace the name of one Ope, whose name was initially filed as the PDP candidate for the senatorial district.

It had initially been speculated that the former governor of Kwara State was among the suspected presidential aspirants in the party who had another plan since they knew they could lose the PDP presidential nomination.

It was learnt that Saraki is being positioned to return as the President of the Senate in 2019 by the PDP, if former Vice President Atiku Abubakar wins the presidential election.

The source said, “Bukola Saraki’s name is there (in the list). He’s returning to the Senate on the platform of the PDP.”

Meanwhile, the tension among the All Progressives Congress aspirants heightened on Thursday as members who aspired for governorship and National Assembly seats inundated the party’s Director of Organization, Altai Abu-Bakr Kari, with calls in a bid to know their fate.

Kari, who led some party officials in an APC branded coaster bus held tightly to a bunch of files on one hand and struggled to answer calls to his mobile phone with the other.

It was gathered that aspirants for national assembly seats were especially eager to find out the outcome of their petitions to the Prof. Osariemen Osumbor-led APC Governorship and National Assembly Appeals Committee.

This was against the backdrop of the party’s last minute effort to beat the 12:00 midnight deadline set by INEC for the submission of the list of all party candidates for the 2019 elections.

A summary of the panel report document obtained by one of our correspondents in Abuja, on Thursday, indicated that all petitions against the Senate and House of Representatives primaries were rejected.

In Delta State for example, eight petitions were upheld by the committee which agreed with the petitioners who argued that they won the primaries but that their names were surreptitiously replaced.

Seven petitions were rejected for lacking merit.

In the South-West zone, six petitions were received and treated by the panel from Ekiti State. The petitioners faulted the conduct of the National Assembly primary held in the state but their petitions were thrown out.  A similar fate befell three petitions filed against the conduct of the House of Representatives primary in Osun State.

In Ondo State, the panel upheld three petitions for Senate, referred one to the National Working Committee; rejected two and upheld the five petitions for the House of Representatives.

The five argued successfully with documentary evidence that they won the primary but their names were substituted.

Of the two petitions received from Lagos, one was rejected for the Senate, while the one for the House of Representatives was upheld.

The panel also rejected two senatorial petitions from Ogun State and recommended that the third petitioner be adopted as the candidate, saying stakeholders of the party in the areas agreed to adopt him as a sole candidate.

The Osunbor-led APC panel equally upheld the disqualifications of some of the party’s aspirants by the Adams Oshiomhole-led NWC and its decision to grant automatic tickets to serving governors and some lawmakers.

Some of the prominent members disqualified are a former Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba, and the Political Adviser to the Kaduna State governor,  Mallam Uba Sani.

From the panel’s report and recommendations, it became obvious that pressure mounted by some state governors, especially the Kaduna State Governor, El-Rufai, as well as the wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, did nothing to influence the committee.

In the North-West, the panel upheld the automatic ticket given to Senator Shehu Sani (APC, Kaduna Central), after rejecting petitions filed by Senator Mohammed Saleh, Usman Ibrahim and Samsuddeen Giwa challenging the decision of the APC NWC to disqualify them from contesting the primary.

It also threw out a petition by Dr Abba Ibrahim who cited irregularities in the party’s decision to grant Sani an automatic ticket.

For Kaduna North, the APC panel threw out the petition filed by Senator Aliyu Lawal who also complained about alleged irregularities in the conduct of the primary in the area.

A petition filed by Ahmed Munir, who contested the Lere Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, asking the panel to declare him as candidate was upheld.

Munir had petitioned the panel alleging that the aspirant who won the contest was indicted by a court of competent jurisdiction for an unspecified offence in 2008.

The panel found merit in his petition and declared the petitioner as the party’s candidate.

A petition filed by Ahmed Shuiabu Adda’u who contested the party’s ticket for the Makarfi/Kudan Federal Constituency challenging his alleged wrongful disqualification, was thrown out for lacking merit.

Another aspirant, Rufai Chanchangi, who contested the Kaduna South Federal Constituency, petitioned the panel, citing irregularities but his petition was equally rejected.

For the Sokoto State governorship, petitions filed by two aspirants, Senator Abubakar Gada and Faruk Yabo, citing the refusal of the APC election committee to follow guidelines for the conduct of the exercise were also rejected.

The Osumbor-led panel also held that the petition filed by a Kebbi State governorship aspirant, Alhaji Ibrahim Mera, challenging his exclusion from the contest was “not competent.”

Similar petitions by senatorial aspirants for Kebbi Central and Kebbi South, Aminu Shamaki and Sule Sami respectively, were also dismissed.

The panel also dismissed a petition filed by Abdullahi Sura who contested the Sum/Bagudo Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives.

It, however, referred a petition by Abdullahi Faruk , the member representing Birnin Kebbi/ Kalgo/ Bunza Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, whose petition was a “Plea for fulfilment of promise of automatic ticket for loyalty to the party,” to the APC NWC.

In Jigawa State, the panel dismissed petitions filed by Hashiru Yusuf and Allhaji Hashimu against the conduct of the governorship primary on the grounds that the petitions had been overtaken by INEC’s guidelines for the conduct of fresh primaries.

Former IGP, Suleiman Abba, who petitioned the panel to protest the removal of his name from the ballot in the contest for the party’s ticket for Jigawa South Senatorial district also failed to gain the panel’s sympathy.

The case of Abdullahi Gumel, a sitting senator who lost the primary was referred to the NWC for further action after he petitioned the panel, citing irregularities in the conduct of the primary which he lost.

In Kano, the case of the Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (House of Representatives), Suleiman Kawu-Sumaila, was also referred to the NWC for further action.

Similar cases referred to the NWC included those involving Suleiman Halilu, Laila Buhari and Senator Isa Zarewa who contested the Kano Central Senatorial ticket.

Petitions against the conduct of the governorship primary in Katsina State were also referred to the NWC. The two petitioners were Alhaji Garba Sani and Abubakar Isa.

The panel also dismissed petitions by a senatorial aspirant for Bayelsa Central, Barry Indutimi.

It also dismissed appeals by Mr John Odey, Chief Edem Duke and Chief Eyo Nyong, who demanded a fresh governorship primary in Cross River State.

The panel also held that the petition filed by Prof. Pat Utomi challenging the validity of the governorship primary in Delta State had been overtaken by events.

It, however, upheld an appeal by Halims Agoda who won the primary for Ethiope Federal Constituency but had his name replaced.

For Rivers State, the appeals by Senator Magnus Abe and Chief Dumo-Lulu Briggs against the conduct of the governorship primaries were rejected.

For Akwa Ibom State, appeals by Bassey Dan-Abia, Senator James Udo-Udehe and Dr Edet Efefuei against the conduct of the governorship primary were similarly thrown out.

It, however, upheld the appeal by Robinson Uwak who won the primary for Oron Federal constituency but was denied victory. Similar petitions by Iquo Inyang and Mrs. Glory Ekpo who contested and won the primaries held for Ikono/Ini and Etinam Federal Constituencies were also upheld.

The party’s primaries held across the country were marred by allegations of irregularities and disqualification of aspirants.

Several of these issues led to a series of meetings between the party leadership, some aggrieved governors and President Muhammadu Buhari.

The president’s wife who felt slighted by the party for failing to support the emergence of her brother, Mahmoud Halilu, as governorship candidate in her native Adamawa State, took to her twitter handle to register her displeasure.

She tweeted, “It is disheartening to note that some aspirants used their hard earned money to purchase nomination forms, got screened, cleared and campaigned vigorously yet found their names omitted on election day, these forms were bought at exorbitant prices.”

However, aspirants whose petitions were not treated voiced their opposition to the panel’s handling of their petitions.

One of such aspirants, Mr Adaze Wilson Imafidon, who was seeking the party’s ticket to contest the Orhionmwon/Uhunmwonde House of Representatives Federal Constituency seat, submitted a petition to the appeals committee through his lawyers, describing the purported primary election held in the constituency as a sham.

He said any attempt to present any of the aspirants to INEC as the winner of the botched APC primary election of 6th October 2018 “would be illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional.”

Party supporters from Benue State, under the aegis of Benue South APC Justice and Equality Movement, protested to the party headquarters, on Thursday, asking the NWC to caution the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, for allegedly substituting the names of elected candidates with those who did not participate at the primary.

The coordinator of the group, Mr Akor Ikwuocha, told newsmen that they were surprised that after the emergence of a winner from the party primaries and names submitted to the approximate authorities by the electoral committee, “the minister allegedly called a meeting of a few persons while overseas and announced that he was substituting names of most of the candidates because they were not his choice.

“Today, there is no single campaign billboard of President Muhammadu Buhari in the whole of Benue South Senatorial district, despite the fact that the Benue South has a cabinet member in the person of Chief Audu Ogbe.”

The protesters said the attempt to change the names of elected candidates across Benue South may put the APC at a serious disadvantage in the zone.

The protesters appealed to the NWC to caution the Minister and ensure that all those candidates that won the primary elections are allowed to go for the general election as party’s candidates.  (Punch)

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PDP Bigwigs Behind Oil Subsidy Scam, Says Keyamo |The Republican News

Director of the Buhari Campaign Organisation Mr. Festus Keyamo (SAN) has alleged that most bigwigs in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) were involved in the oil subsidy scam which dogged former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
He said this on a Lagos-based national television programme, yesterday.

Keyamo also disclosed President Muhammadu Buhari is not paying oil subsidy as it was with past administrations.

He did admit, though, that the Buhari-led government is only paying “premium.

“What happened under the PDP government was that they were paying for products that did not land at all. That was the scam that was happening. It was fraud, the greatest stealing in the history of this country happened under them.

“All the PDP bigwigs were all involved in this subsidy scam. Then, you saw that many of them refunded money. As I said, they were paying for products that did not land at all, they will tell you they have brought product and you have to pay subsidy on those products.

“The NNPC officials knew, everybody knew that the products did not come at all. What did Buhari do when he came? He said he wanted to cleanse that industry, he said NNPC should take complete charge of importation.

“The government wanted to eliminate subsidy at that time, but, as the price of crude went up, the price of production went up, the price of the by-products also went up; its normal.”

He said at the point when oil was $28 to $30, government was not paying subsidy, but “the difference occurred when oil prices went beyond $43 per barrel, because that was the benchmark. As it rose beyond $43, the delta started, not subsidy. We started to pull away from N145.

“So, the landing cost came to N203/N205 and we are still selling for N145 and the president said you cannot suffer the masses. Now, how do they cover it? Not subsidy.

 

“The NNPC Act allows the NNPC to make refunds to the Federation Account. In other words, they can spend money and return the balance to the federation account, by law.”

Keyamo also described Nigeria as the best-performing economy in Africa.

“I need to remind Nigerians about the Gross Domestic Product growth. Of the 11 countries that went into recession around the world, Nigeria has exceeded all of them, in terms of GDP growth. None of them has crossed 1.4 to 1.5 percent, Nigeria is doing close to two percent GDP growth right now.

“Let us get that one clear. Forbes Africa has rated Nigeria as the best-performing economy in Africa. The results came out two-three weeks ago; we are the best-performing economy in Africa,” he reiterated.

But, the PDP fired back.

PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, accused Keyamo of defending acts of corruption.

Ologbondiyan told Daily Sun that rather than the PDP, leaders of the opposition party are actually responsible for fuel subsidy scam.

“If, indeed, he said that, Festus Keyamo is speaking off the charge. Is it PDP leaders that put N58 tax on Nigerians for a litre of PMS? How much were we buying PMS before and how much is it sold now? So, it is totally off the charge to say that PDP leaders are responsible for subsidy scam.

“Didn’t they tell Nigerians that there was no subsidy in 2014?

“How much have they paid on subsidy; between 2015 and this year. And, how many did they claim are the number of vehicles using PMS, today, in Nigeria?

“The government that Festus Keyamo has come to defend, apart from being inept, is totally and absolutely corrupt and, as such, he is defending acts of corruption.”            (The Sun)

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Marafa Backs INEC, Says APC Has No Candidate In Zamfara |The Republican News

                                          Senator Kabiru Marafa

Leke Baiyewu, Abuja

 

The lawmaker representing Zamfara-Central Senatorial District, Senator Kabiru Marafa, has expressed his support for the position of the Independent National Electoral Commission that his party, the All Progressives Congress, does not have candidates for the 2019 general election in Zamfara State.

Marafa, who is a governorship aspirant on the platform of the APC, stated that no primary was held and there was no consensus arrangement reached among the party’s aspirants in the state.

Fielding questions from journalists in Abuja on Thursday, Marafa said, “I read the letter from INEC where they quoted sections of the law that influenced their position. I also read the response made by the APC National Chairman (Adams Oshiomhole). I want to believe the chairman has been misled by the APC’s electoral committee that went to Zamfara. But as a stakeholder who was present and witnessed the whole process that happened, there was no election in Zamfara on Saturday, October 7, 2018.

“Also, there was no consensus from anybody or by anybody. So, the election committee reported in the contrary. I think that was absolutely wrong. I always stand by the side of the truth. I want to say the truth even if it is against me.”

Marafa, whose running battle with Governor Abdulaziz Yari led to the polarisation of the APC in Zamfara, stated that he was still a member of the ruling party but that if the party did anything wrong, he would not hesitate to point it out.

He said, “I’m an APC member to the core, and I’m still with the APC, notwithstanding that the chances are becoming bleak, maybe for me as a politician. But I believe in the party. If the party does anything wrong, I should have the courage to say this thing is wrong. If the party has any way within the law to fill in any candidate, I will be happy, but not when the issues are based on a wrong foundation. So, let us address the issues the way they are.

“We are going into elections and the desire of every party is to win and win without any litigation, divert attention and waste resources. I would not want to see one happening to me. So, by and large, the only thing I saw wrong in the letter is the assertion that there was a consensus.  There was no consensus. We are governorship aspirants but some people stepped down.

“For the remaining five aspirants, there was no consensus till the end of the exercise. The truth of the matter is that the APC electoral committee tried to achieve a consensus among the aspirants for the governorship and senatorial aspirants, but the two factions of the party could not agree.

“If you force any consensus or you claim there was one, there is going to be a revolt that there was no consensus, and anybody and some have the right to go to court. But if under the law, the APC has the right to field candidates, they can go ahead to do it without recourse to either election or consensus. Let us get one thing clear and correct. That there was no election, no consensus.”  (Punch)

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Buhari Hasn’t Run Any Successful Business Ever – Atiku |The Republican News

Buhari-Atiku2

Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Preisdent Muhammadu Buhari

Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja

 

The 2019 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of never being a successful businessman.

In a statement from his media office in Abuja on Tuesday, Atiku said, “The open, democratic and free and fair election (something alien to the APC, according to Buhari’s own wife) on Sunday of His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar, as the Presidential candidate for the PDP has clearly left the APC in a state of panic and confusion.

“On Sunday, the Buhari Campaign Organisation launched the first weak salvo. And on Monday, the APC’s National Publicity Secretary unleashed his own knee-jerk reaction, accusing Atiku of being desperate.

“Our response to the APC is to ask who is desperate between a Muhammadu Buhari who said, ‘If what happened in 2011 should again happen in 2015, by the grace of God, the dog and the baboon would all be soaked in blood’ and an Atiku Abubakar who said, ,‘Love and peace should not only be preached, but must also be put into practice for the sake of sustaining the peace in our land’?

“It is left for Nigerians to judge, but even a blind person can see that Nigeria has been ‘soaked in blood’ ever since she was unfortunate enough to have fallen under the leadership of a man whose words are destructive and never productive.”

In his response to the APC’s demand for Atiku’s scorecard in public office, the statement said, “Some of Atiku Abubakar’s achievements as Nigeria’s Vice President are that as head of the National Council of Privatisation, he superintended over the GSM revolution that saw Nigeria go from 50,000 to 100 million GSM lines, has added 500,000 direct jobs to the Nigerian economy and attracted $27bn to our GDP. Our question to President Buhari and the APC is how many jobs have they created?

“Another of Abubakar’s achievements is the successful privatisation of many public enterprises that hitherto consumed government resources without yielding a profit. In response, we ask President Buhari how many loopholes in public expenditure has he plugged? The spectacular failure of the 419 Nigeria Air is still fresh in the memory of Nigerians.

“Finally, the APC spokesman had the guts to question His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar’s source of wealth.

“We wish to remind APC’s National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, that Atiku Abubakar is not like President Buhari who has never run a successful private business throughout his life.

“Unlike Muhammadu Buhari, Atiku Abubakar is an expert job creator who has founded many successful and thriving businesses including the American University of Nigeria, Yola; a microfinance bank that has moved 45,000 families out of poverty and Rica Gado, a livestock feed company that has significantly reduced instances of herdsmen/farmers clashes by providing a business-friendly solution instead of asking Nigerians to give up their lands for cattle ranching or face death, as the Buhari government did.”

The statement added that unlike President Buhari, Atiku does not believe Nigerian youths are lazy. “How could he when 25,000 out of his 50,000 employees are youths,”? he asked.

It urged the Buhari Presidency and the APC to mention even one successful private endeavour that the President had successfully run.

“And by private enterprises, we are not referring to 150 cows that never increase in number, year in year out,” the statement added.    (Punch)

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Reasons For Lack Of My Support For Adeleke During Osun Rerun – Omisore |RN

                                                 Iyiola Omisore

Femi Makinde, Osogbo

 

The governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party in Osun State, Senator Iyiola Omisore, has said that he opted to support the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola,  in the rerun election in the state because the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state said they did not need his support.

Omisore said this in Osogbo on Thursday during a meeting with members of the SDP from across the 30 local government areas of the state.

Omisore, who defected from the PDP to the SDP some months before the election, said that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar wanted to come and discuss with him before the rerun when he came to Osogbo but he (Atiku) was prevented from coming by the leadership of the PDP in the state.

A former Nigerian Ambassador to the Philippines, Dr Yemi Farounbi, had said this while narrating why Omisore decided to work for the APC candidate in the rerun supplementary poll held on September 27.

Farounbi said the same thing and Omisore, while addressing the party members, said he adopted everything the former envoy had said.

He said the party opted to support the candidate of the party that was ready to implement the manifestos of the SDP because the party was for the best interest of the majority of the people.

Omisore said, “I want to adopt all what Dr Farounbi said. We gave them (APC and PDP) our manifesto. We dwelled on payment of arrears of salaries, pensions and gratuities, on local content, employment for our youths and the reorganisation of the educational system, among others.

“We went to negotiation with a clear mind that Osun must be free and thank God our coalition has produced a new future for the state.

“In addition to what Dr Faroumbi said, the National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomole, said clearly that our discussion was devoid of any financial commitment. He said they were ready to work.”

Speaking earlier, Farounbi had explained that the SDP leaders decided to support any political party that was ready to put the people of the state first, saying Omisore earned his respect more because he was selfless in arriving at who to support.

He said the issue of arrears of salaries, pensions and gratuities which had impoverished workers and pensioners was given priority. The reorganisation of the education sector and local content were also prominent on their agenda.

Farounbi said, “Apart from these, we also said the state must return to 6-3-3-4. That contracts and services must be given to Osun indigenes; that infrastructural development and food security must be given priority because our people must not be hungry and they agreed.

“The Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, was the first to come and he came from the airport to Ile-Ife with some senators and Dr Doyin Okupe. We gave him our manifesto and we waited for 24 hours but no response. We heard that they were saying that we wanted to reap where we did not sow.   We heard that they said they would win without us and all that.

“Also, former Ogun State Governor, Gbenga Daniel, who is the director general of Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Organisation, called and said they were in Osogbo and they would come to see us. But they did not come.

“But former Vice President Atiku Abubakar called and expressed his regret for not being able to come. He said he wanted to come but the leadership of the PDP in Osun State said they should not come because they didn’t need us. That we should go and do anything we liked.”  (Punch)

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Buhari Meets Tinubu Ahead Of Lagos APC Governorship Primary |The Republican News

Buhari-meets-Tinubu
                                Buhari meets Tinubu

Sesan Olufowobi, Olalekan Adetayo and Oladimeji Ramon

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday met behind closed doors with the National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

The meeting which was held inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja, came barely 24 hours before the APC governorship primary for the state slated for Tuesday.

It was gathered that the state Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, was, however, not part of the meeting Buhari had with Tinubu.

A Presidency source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed the meeting to one of our correspondents.

“There was a meeting. But I don’t know what the meeting was about,” the source said.

Tinubu and other critical stakeholders in the party in the state had adopted Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu as their preferred choice for the party’s governorship ticket despite the fact that the state governor had expressed his intention to seek re-election.

The party leader had accused Ambode of deviating from the development blueprint prepared for the state.

While confirming the meeting between Buhari and Tinubu, another source in the camp of the former Lagos State governor, however, said nothing has changed.

He said, “You know that Asiwaju meets regularly with the President. They discuss party and the nation’s matters regularly. So there is nothing unusual about this meeting.”

When asked if Buhari had succeeded in resolving the matter, he replied, “What issue will be resolved when tomorrow (Tuesday) is primary?

“There is nothing to resolve. The people will elect their candidate at the primary on Tuesday.

“Asiwaju is back in Lagos from Abuja. Everybody is preparing for the primary.”

Ambode meets NWC panel, insists on credible primary

However, Ambode on Monday met with the panel appointed by the National Working Committee of the APC to conduct the primary in the state, insisting on a level playing field for all aspirants.

The governor, who spoke when he received members of the panel led by its Chairman, Mr Clement Ebri, said it was important that the election was free, fair and credible.

Ambode said he had no doubt that the panel would deliver a credible process, adding that such would go a long way to determine the future of Nigeria and the greatness of Lagos in particular.

“This is a star studded election team; the members are distinguished Nigerians in their individual and collective rights. There can’t be any better team than these distinguished personalities.

“I must tell you that what you have taken up may look like a political assignment, but history is on your side. You are being called upon to discharge a selfless service that would determine the future of this country and the greatness of this state.

“I receive this election team as being acceptable and credible to me enough to discharge its civic responsibility to the best of its ability; and to also say that whatever it is that is the outcome of the primaries, your presence has shown that this will be credible and this will be acceptable by me,” he said.

The governor, who recalled that he had gone through the same process with 12 other aspirants to emerge as the governorship candidate of the APC in 2014, said it was not out of place to have other aspirants contest for the same ticket.

“But all I seek is credible primary, transparent primaries and a level playing field.

“There were issues that we have raised and they have been put in form of a letter which I will pass to the chairman and I believe the committee will look into it judiciously,” Ambode said.

Earlier, Ebri, a former governor of Cross River State, said the panel deemed it fit to pay a courtesy visit to the governor as the number one citizen in the state.

“We have come to intimate you that this exercise is going to take place in the next few hours. The process we are laying out will ensure and guarantee transparency and credibility.

“We have people of integrity in this panel and I can assure you that we have the experience to conduct this exercise. We assure you of our sincerity and transparency and we seek your cooperation,” the chairman said.

He said a stakeholders’ meeting had been fixed for Monday evening at the party secretariat in Acme to enable aspirants and other stakeholders exchange ideas concerning the primaries in accordance with the democratic principles of the party.

Other members of the panel are Alhaji Ahmed Mahmud Gumel (Secretary), Mr Nze Chidi Duru, Chief Clever Egbeji, Senator Clever Ikisikpo and Ambassador Jerry Ugokwe.

‘Address Ambode’s allegations against Sanwo-Olu’

Meanwhile, activist lawyer, Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has challenged the APC to come clean on the image and personality of one of its governorship aspirants in Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

Adegboruwa’s challenge followed the allegations by the governor, that Sanwo-Olu, who sought to unseat him, was unfit to govern Lagos State because he had a criminal record.

Ambode had during a world press conference on Sunday alleged that Sanwo-Olu was once arrested and detained in the United States of America for spending fake dollar bills at a nightclub.

Ambode added that his challenger had undergone rehabilitation at the Gbagada General Hospital and was therefore unfit for governance.

In a statement on Monday, Adegboruwa said Ambode’s allegations against Sanwo-Olu were too weighty to be ignored by the leadership of the APC.

He argued that Nigerians deserved to know the true status of whoever would govern Lagos State.

He said, “Nigerians and Lagosians, in particular, deserve to know the true status of anyone aspiring to public office; not just in relation to health, but also his preferences, his financial status and all other areas of common concern. It is not proper to just wish this away.

“The APC, as a party, owes a sacred duty of disclosure. A sitting governor will not just wake up one day and be throwing allegations of mental instability against his opponent, who he knows very well, just for the sake of winning an election.

“The import of any serious health challenge for any person aspiring to the position of the governor of the largest economy in Nigeria is that of capacity.

It then raises the issue of a lame duck governor installed only as a figure head, but in truth not capable of governance.”

Crisis in APC, blessing for Lagos – Oyeniji

A governorship aspirant in Lagos State on the platform of the Alliance for New Nigeria, Mr Oluyinka Oyeniji, on Monday described the wrangling in the Lagos APC as a blessing to the people.

According to him, the crisis has provided an opportunity to dislodge “a few individuals who have for nearly two decades” ruled the state without accountability and transparency.

Oyeniji lamented what he described as uneven development in the state, arguing that under the current political arrangement, no governor in Lagos State could work independently.

The aspirant, who said the education and health sectors in Lagos State had been left in shambles, said, if elected governor next year, he would immediately declare a state of emergency in the two sectors.

He spoke ahead of ANN primaries in Lagos this week, according to a statement on Monday.

He decried the systematic dismantling of public institutions in the state and insisted that this could not have been the dream of the founding fathers of the state.  (Punch)

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PDP Berates Buhari, APC Of Posting Fake Presidential Primary Results |RN

Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja

 

The Peoples Democratic Party has accused President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress of posting what it called fictitious figures as votes secured by the President at the APC Presidential primary.

It said the plan behind the huge figure was to hoodwink Nigerians and create an impression of massive support for President Buhari ahead of the 2019 presidential election.

The PDP said the alleged resort to the allocation of figures had shown that Buhari and the APC had lost hope of winning genuine votes in the 2019 general elections and want to rely on the allocation of fake votes to attempt to rig the main election.

The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, claimed in a statement on Sunday, that the Presidency forced the direct primary on the APC because of its determination to conjure figures ahead of the general elections.

He said, “Nigerians will recall that the PDP had alerted of intelligence reports that the Presidency forced a direct presidential primary on the APC so as to ‘eliminate delegates accreditation and pave the way for the allocation of millions of conjured votes, which they intend to use as a basis to authenticate the fictitious votes they intend to declare for President Buhari at the general elections.’

“The PDP had also alerted of how ‘very senior officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission including a blood relation of the President, who is in charge of the commission’s data centre, masterminded and pushed the plot.

“It is, therefore, ludicrous that 29 days after our statement, the Presidency and the APC staged a circus show in their party’s state secretariats, in the name of Presidential primary and came up with fictitious figures as votes secured by President Buhari.

“Nigerians were thoroughly amused as they see through the lies in APC’s allocation of fictitious 2.9 million votes in Kano, 1.9 million in Lagos, 802,819 in Katsina, in addition to other conjured figures in other states.”

Ologbondiyan added that what the APC and the Presidency failed to note was that Nigerians were already aware that no ballot allegedly took place and that such figures could not be tallied through mere voice vote involving few members of a derelict and disorganised party.

According to him, what counts in a general election is the participation of registered voters with Permanent Voter Cards and not fictitious figures from a padded party register or party members, many of who do not exist or hold PVCs.

Moreover,  he said that the APC did not have the number of members it was posting as having participated in the “circus”.

“We want the APC and INEC to know that our party is already privy to the polling centres in certain states which they are planning to use to allocate fake votes for President Buhari in the 2019 general elections and that we have also devised legitimate strategies of exposing and dismantling such plans ahead of the elections, just as the PDP did in Osun State,” he added.  (Punch)

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