2019: Igbo Land Will Never Be The Same By End Of My Second Tenure – Buhari


Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has told the Igbo ethnic extraction that the “Igboland will never be the same again” by the time his second term in office eventually comes to an end in 2023.

Buhari said his administration is not unaware that the country, especially the South East region, has many deficits in infrastructure but that he would ensure most of the deficits are taken care of before the end of his second tenure.

THE WHISTLER recalls that the South East had countless times accused the current administration of marginalizing the region in terms of development projects and federal appointments.

But the president, who was represented by his Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, made the promise of developing the region while flagging off the 5.5km road in Isieketa community, Isiala Ngwa South LGA, Abia State.

He said, “One thing that is dear to the heart of President Buhari is infrastructure, roads, railway, power, etc.

“Nigeria has a lot of deficits in infrastructure and President Muhammadu Buhari is determined to reverse that deficit.

“We will see that by the time this administration ends, Igboland will never be the same again. Igbo will be far better beyond where it has ever been before.”             (The Whistler)

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We May Boycott 2019 Elections, Says PDP |The Republican News


National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, Prince Uche Secondus

Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja

The Peoples Democratic Party has threatened that it may not participate in the 2019 general elections unless it gets the assurance that what happened in Ekiti State governorship election would not be repeated.

The National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, spoke in Abuja on Thursday when he granted audience to a joint delegation of International Republican Institute and National Democratic Institute at the party’s national headquarters.

Secondus accused the Independent National Electoral Commission and security agencies of being partial during the conduct of the Ekiti governorship election.

He said the main opposition party did not contest against the All Progressives Congress or any other political party in the state but contested against the commission and security agencies.

He said, “Our opinion is that INEC and security agents were directly involved in this manipulation.

“As a matter of fact, we did not contest against the APC; we contested against the security agencies and INEC. Nigerians and the international community are aware of this fact because of what happened in the state.”

Secondus disclosed that the PDP was consulting whether to participate in the 2019 general elections or not, “because you are participating against security agencies and INEC who have colluded to alter the figures even after you have voted. So, we are in a dilemma.”

According to him, if nothing is done to restore the confidence of ordinary Nigerians and other political parties, it may be difficult to accept the results of 2019 general elections, no matter what the outcome may be, noting that such may be a recipe for crisis.

He alleged that the state was militarised before and during the election, alleging that the leaders of the party were harassed and arrested and detained in the state.

He said, “Our members were harassed, arrested and detained overnight.”  (Punch)

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Live Update: Ekiti Guber Elections 2018 |The Republican News

Ismail Omipidan

Multiple voting in some polling units in Oye

Senator Ayo Arise voted at exactly 11.01 am in Ward 1, unit 1 in Oye council

In Odo-Ado, Oke-Ila, all in the state capital, thugs of one of the political parties are preventing perceived sympathisers of the other party from accessing voting centres, let alone allow them to vote.

Ballot box snatched at Itapa-Osin in Oye council. But security operatives were able to retrieve.

A member of the House of Assembly, Olayemi Omotoso alleged that APC chieftains were using security operatives to disperse their agents from polling units in Ido-Ekiti.

Paul Arkwright

Ekiti Guber: Fayemi says every vote must count
From Oluseye Ojo, Isan-Ekiti

The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the ongoing gubernatorial poll, in Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has said every vote must count in view of the reports he received that card readers did not work in some polling units, arrests and skirmishes in some places.

Speaking with journalists shortly after he cast his vote at Unit 009, Ward 11, not a front of A paths House, Ogilolo, he said the reports he received from the representatives of APC on the field stated that the election has been peaceful in many places.

According to him, “I was accredited without any difficulty and I voted. I have heard about the card readers problem in some places and that affected my wife too. But the officials have been cautious. They asked us to exercise patience. They could see her name on the register. So, there is really no issue of impersonation.

“Although, I have heard reports of skirmishes from some parts of Ekiti State. I have heard about a couple of arrests. I have heard reports of problems with some card readers in some units. But it is too early to make a definitive judgment about this process yet. I will plead with you journalists to give me more time to assess the situation before giving you a definitive answer on how the process has turned out. But every vote must count.

Wole Balogun, Ekiti

Poll update: APC alleges members were des enfranchised at polling units in the palace of Ogoga of Ikere

Poll update: APC alleges members were disenfranchised at polling units in the palace of Ogoga of Ikere

Ekiti elections u

Ekiti Guber: Fayemi says every vote must count

From Oluseye Ojo, Isan-Ekiti

The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the ongoing gubernatorial poll, in Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has said every vote must count in view of the reports he received that card readers did not work in some polling units, arrests and skirmishes in some places.

Speaking with journalists shortly after he cast his vote at Unit 009, Ward 11, not a front of A paths House, Ogilolo, he said the reports he received from the representatives of APC on the field stated that the election has been peaceful in many places.

According to him, “I was accredited without any difficulty and I voted. I have heard about the card readers problem in some places and that affected my wife too. But the officials have been cautious. They asked us to exercise patience. They could see her name on the register. So, there is really no issue of impersonation.

“Although, I have heard reports of skirmishes from some parts of Ekiti State. I have heard about a couple of arrests. I have heard reports of problems with some card readers in some units. But it is too early to make a definitive judgment about this process yet. I will plead with you journalists to give me more time to assess the situation before giving you a definitive answer on how the process has turned out. But every vote must count.

Ekiti Guber: European Union wants to see continued consolidation of democracy in Nigeria – Karlsen
From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan

The European Union Ambassador to Nigeria and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Mr Ketil Karlsen, who is leading a group of international observers in monitoring the governorship election in Ekiti State, has described the exercise as a stepping stone on the road to the general elections in 2019.

In an interview with journalists in Ifaki-Ekiti, the hometown of the former governor of Ekiti State, Segun Oni, Karlsen said the European Union wants to see continued consolidation of democracy in Nigeria.

He continued: “We have a number of diplomatic observers in Ekiti State today. Of course, we came together with colleagues from the international community. So, this is a reflection of the huge engagement of the EU in supporting democratic governance in Nigeria.”

He explained that the EU has been sending observers to Nigeria to monitor elections since the 1999 general elections in the country, saying: “We have had observers here non-stop since the democratisation in 1999 general elections. So, this is an important day, a stepping stone on the road to the general elections in 2019.

“For us, democracy is the best, and the only way to secure development, to secure security and to make sure that there is a stable society,” adding that the EU was eager to see more democracies for the people, and democracies “for leaders that have only one thing in their minds, which is to find the best solution to the challenges that people face. So, this is what we hope to see today reflected in Ekiti.

“As the international community, we don’t have any preferred candidate, or any preferred party or ideology. Our only preference is the continued consolidation of democracy and hearing the voice of the people by the end of the day.

“So, this is what a lot of people behind me (electorate) have come out to say that they want to have a choice in selecting their leadership for the next four years in Ekiti and hopefully in that same spirit, we will see similar processes also moving on to the general elections in 2019.

Wole Balogun, Ekiti

Poll update: poll snatching by suspected thugs prevented in Olobe area of Ado Ekiti, the polling unit of PDP deputy governorship candidate, Ayodeji Ogunsakin.

Thugs numbering up to about 400 were prevented from snatching ballot boxes in Olobe area of Ado Ekiti as youths resisted the snatching of ballot boxes. (The Sun)


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2019 Election: PDP, ADC, R-APC, Others Plan Against Buhari |RN



Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday signed a memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with 38 other political parties to form a grand alliance to unseat the All Progressives Congress (APC) in next year’s presidential poll.

The grand alliance christened Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) would field a single presidential candidate in 2019.

Former minister of External Affairs, Chief Tom Ikimi, who read the terms of the MoU, said before it was signed by the national chairmen of the 39 political parties, another MoU on how the presidential candidate would emerge will be signed at a later date.

Speaking at the event, the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, said the grand alliance marked the beginning of concerted efforts by leaders of opposition political parties to rescue the country from the grip of the APC in the 2019 general elections.

Secondus said they were not afraid of whatever the government might do to scare them, noting that their resolve was strong. He urged Nigerians to take their destiny in their own hands and rally round the alliance.

“The grand alliance will be the beginning of efforts to rescue the country. The conquest of APC is known
to Nigeria. We are not afraid. Fear has disappeared. We are ready to go on until salvation is attained. It is time for us to come together. It is time to drop personal interest. My leaders, don’t worry about them, they will fail. Let them come to arrest. History is recording their actions. They have the federal might but we have the almighty God. We want to assure our people that we are coming stronger. We are ready for all elections, except they are not ready,” the PDP leader said.

He called on President Buhari to ensure that the Ekiti State governorship election scheduled for this weekend is free and fair, warning that, “if you rig Ekiti, there would be no election in 2019, I bet you.”

Secondus added that Nigerians were tired of the killings going on in various parts of the country. He urged the President to take actions to end the killings.

The leader of the R-APC, Buba Galadima, who said the MoU would send shivers down the spines of leaders of the ruling party, expressed optimism that leaders of the coalition would do things transparently, rally round one presidential candidate, rescue the country and provide a future for the citizens.

However, he warned that defeating President Buhari would not be an easy task.

“What we are about to do will send shivers not only to those on the other side of the coin but to the whole world. Diplomats keep wondering whether they are men and women of courage to face the monster.

“Since we made a declaration of the formation of the R-APC, we have received unprecedented messages of support all over the world. I am confident that if we do things transparently and bring up one man or woman, we will save this country. We will provide a future for our children and grandchildren.

“This is not going to be a tea party. The man we will be facing is a military general. But we know him. If I were his adviser, I will advise him not to contest. If others know what I know, not only will Buhari lose his election, he would also lose his deposits.

“Since the day we declared R-APC, a lot of people received threats. Some of us are old soldiers. And as history says, old soldiers never die. We are ready to take up this fight, in spite of any deprivation or even torture.

“They can use the big stick. Whatever they choose to do, we are prepared to lay down our lives. They have said so many things. They said we are inconsequential. They say we don’t matter. If we are inconsequential, why are they running helter-skelter?” Chairman of the nPDP,

Kawu Baraje, who led some PDP members, including the Senate President, Bukola Saraki; Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; five governors and several members of the National Assembly among others out of the opposition party in 2013 admitted that they went astray.

“I want to thank the PDP for accepting and taking us back,” he declared.

He recalled that when he led members of the nPDP to join other parties to form the APC, former Senate President, David Mark had warned him against the move.

On his part, former Osun State governor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, who spoke on behalf of the ADC said the MoU was unprecedented in the country. According to him, the alliance is “a watershed to redirect the affairs,” of the country.

Oyinlola added that Nigerians had high hopes in 2015 that the APC will take the country to the “Promised Land,” but the ruling party “failed and failed tragically.”

He appealed to leaders of the coalition to respect the terms of the agreement.

Similarly, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Chief Olu Falae, who spoke on behalf of the SDP, said the coalition was the only alternative to rescue the country.

The former SGF noted that a lot of Nigerians were distressed because of the terrible state of the country, stating that “we remain poor because of incompetence.”

He urged leaders of the opposition political parties to ensure that individual ambitions did not derail the objective of the group.

Earlier, former PDP National Secretary, Chief Ben Ndi Obi had said the coalition will usher in a Government of National Unity in

2019, that will pull back the country from the brink and put an end to ineptitude and nepotism that have characterized the APC administration.

“Since assuming office, the APC has totally messed up the economy. We are here to reverse that trend. The parties have resolved to elevate public interest against private interest. We are here to send a strong signal to the government that we are set to take over. It is a war between light and darkness. And the light shall prevail for the benefit of all Nigerians,” Obi stated.

Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, assured that the coalition would rescue Nigeria and restore her on the path of democratic freedom, joy, security and development.

He said: “For three years, what I see on the faces of Nigerians is frustration and anguish. But for the first time, ItellyouthatIsawjoy.Isaw people laughing and smiling for the first time in three years.

“Those our brothers and sisters, and investors, who left Nigeria in the last three years are also rejoicing with you because, by this time next year, they will all be back.

“Those factories that were closed are going to come back alive by this time next year and Nigerians will rejoice. The people of the South East whom the programmes and practices of this government are forcing them to have a rethink on their membership of this country, today will rejoice and be happy that a new country that will be fair to all is coming; a country that they will be proud to be part of and continue to contribute to her development.”

The 39 parties are Action Alliance (AA), Alliance for Democracy (AD), Africa Democratic Party (ADC), Action Democratic Party (ADP), All Grand Alliance Party (AGAP), Action Peoples Party (APP), Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD), Better Nigeria Progressive Party, Democratic Alternative (DA), Democratic Peoples Party (DPC), Grand Democratic Party of Nigeria (GDPN), Green Party of Nigeria (GPN), KOWA Party, Labour Party (LP), Mass Action Joint Alliance (MAJA), Masses Movement of Nigeria (MMN).

Also included are the National Conscience Party (NCP), New Generation Party (NGP), National Unity Party (NUP), Nigeria Intervention Movement (NIM), Peoples Alliance for National Development and Liberty (PANDEL), Peoples Progressive Party (PPP), People for Democratic Change (PDC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Providence People’s Congress (PPC), Reformed All Progressive Congress (RAPC), Restoration Party of Nigeria (RPN), Social Democratic Party (SDP), Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), All Grassroots Alliance (AGA), National Interest Party (NIP), Nigeria Democratic Congress Party (NDCP), Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), and Young Democratic Party (YDP). (The Sun)

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Card Reader: Fayose Confronts INEC, DSS, Police With Video Evidence


Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose

Kamarudeen Ogundele, Ado Ekiti

The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, on Tuesday, confronted the Independent National Electoral Commission with video evidence of pre-loading of card readers in the state.

The challenge came a day after a National Commissioner with INEC, Mrs Aminat Zakari, challenged the governor to prove allegations that she had conspired with three others to pre-load card readers, supply faulty card readers and provide ballot papers for stuffing of ballot boxes,

Fayose also tackled the Commissioner of Police, Mr Ahmed Bello and the Director of the Department of State Services, Mrs Promise Ihenacho, for allegedly deploying security aides of former governor Kayode Fayemi to Ekiti State to rig the July 14 governorship election.

The governor pointed out that Fayemi’s ex-Chief Security Officer, Hakeem Abiola,  and former Aide de camp, Adeyemi Ajayi, were already in the state to coordinate indiscriminate arrest of the members of the opposition.

Fayose spoke at a town hall meeting organised by the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room for governorship candidates in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday.

The Chairman on the occasion, Mr Clement Nwakwo, said the essence of the meeting was to extract assurances from INEC, security agencies and candidates that the coming election would be credible.

He said, “We are going to hold INEC accountable for whatever happens and that is why it is good for the security to be helpful and we know they won’t default in this regard.”

The governor tendered video evidence of people allegedly pre-loading card readers in Akure ahead of the July 14 governorship election to the National Commissioner in charge of Ekiti, Osun and Oyo states, Mr Solomon Soyebi.

Fayose said, “This is the evidence of people pre-loading card readers in Akure. Any officer who is seen to be biased should be relieved of any sensitive assignment.”

But dismissing the video, Soyebi said the card readers to be used for the election were already in Ekiti and had not been configured.

“I know the information will come to you, but they are fake. The card readers will only start working on the day of the election. A lot of people will be giving you information, a lot of them will be fake,” he said.

Also, the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakub, described the governor’s allegations as untrue and baseless.

Yakub in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Rotimi Oyekanmi, stressed that it was impossible for anyone to rig the election in favour of any candidate.

Rather than malign them at press conferences, Yakub urged the governor to make any evidence of wrongdoing available to the Commission for appropriate action.”

“We wish to emphasise that it is impossible for the Commission’s officials, any individual or group for that matter to pre-load the Smart Card Readers or provide ballot papers for stuffing as alleged,” he said.

Yakub explained that the SCRs performed three functions: identifying, verifying and authenticating the voter and the PVC, adding that it could only function on the election day.

“In addition to the results sheets that we issue to party agents at the Polling Units and at every level of collation, the Commission also deliberately introduced Form EC60E to show election results at the Polling Units, which is the most important level. This form is posted at every Polling Unit after collation,” he added.

INEC reiterated its resolve to conduct a credible, free and fair election that would be a model for other elections in Nigeria.  (Punch)

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Corruption, Stealing Under Buhari’s Gov’t Unprecedented – Turaki, PDP Presidential Aspirant

Uche-Secondus-with Turaki

Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin-Kebbi

The former minister of Special Duties, Labour and Productivity under the immediate past President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, and a presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Kabiru Tanimu Turaki (SAN), has said that the stealing and corruption being perpetrated under the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) government was unprecedented in the country’s political history.

He also revealed how the anti-graft war under the APC is one-sided. He spoke on other issues.

How far have you gone with your presidential aspiration?

I have met stakeholders in Kebbi State including State Executive of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from wards, local government and other leaders of the party concerning my ambition. We had discussed how I am going to get a ticket of my party to contest the 2019 presidential election. I decided to come home first, to seek the support of my people, discuss with them strategies to be adopted and their advice. We had a good discussion and their overwhelming support had boosted my moral. Also, I have met our traditional, religious leaders, different stakeholders across the country and their responses and support was a clear indication for me that Nigeria needs an experienced person as their President. I asked them political question whether they think it was worthwhile for me to go into the presidential race and I got a resounding positive feedback that I should also join the race.

So, with their approval, support, I think the stage is now clear for me to declare publicly before over 180 million Nigerians to seek their mandate to be elected as the president of this famous country in the world.

What should Nigerians be expecting from you that would be different from the past, and present Presidents that have governed Nigeria?

This ambition, I mean my presidential ambition is not just about me. It is all about PDP reformed programmes which other presidential aspirants in the party are equally aware of. So if anyone among us finally gets the ticket, the person will implement them. As many Nigerians are aware, my party had an opportunity to rule this nation for almost 16 years and we have looked into areas where we made mistakes. We have learnt our lessons and we are going to do better. Beyond that, there are many key issues that my party are mostly concerned about. These issues include our economy, corruption, insecurity, Niger-Delta unrests, kidnapping across the country, herdsmen/farmers’ crisis among others.

Many Nigerians would all recall that PDP brought Nigeria economy to be the fastest growing in Africa. Our nation was the number one hub for investors from the different part of the world. Then, these investors have confidence in our nation because there was a conducive environment for their investment to strive, yielding quick returns within the shortest time. Through that processes, many jobs were created for teaming Nigerians. But today, many of these investors have sold off their assets and liabilities after relocating from our country. I wonder what is our economic role now among the African nations?

Today in Nigeria, there is fear everywhere. No security especially in the North-Eastern part of Nigeria. Everybody knew how Nigeria was before 2014-2015 elections. Nigeria and Nigerians were all well secured under PDP before the election. I have a rare opportunity and privilege to be among the Presidential Committee saddled with the responsibility to dialogue with insurgents in the North-east and I knew the progress we made and how our efforts crippled the wings of the group.

We succeeded in having those that wanted to dialogue with government dialogue, which brought relative peace to that region. But this government especially those people that surrounded them are not sincere about the fight against insurgents. They are telling Nigerians that they have degraded insurgents; yet, this group still kill innocent people every day.

Again, the issue of kidnapping has spread all over Nigeria. Beyond that, there is also the herdsmen-farmers crisis, bandits attacked towns and villages have become normal scenarios in our country. All these insecurity symptoms have culminating effects on Nigeria’s projects, be it economy or sociopolitical development. Today, under APC government, our country is under siege, we are not safe in our houses, on the streets, places of works and one would wonder what sort of country is this? Many investors have gone. Instead of APC government to preserve our nation’s heritage, the ruling party’s leaders are behaving on the contrary.

Again, on the issue of corruption, in the history of Nigeria since the amalgamation of this country over 100 years ago, I have not witnessed the kind of corruption going on under APC government. Never in our history as the political entities, have we seen the kind of corruption and stealing being perpetrated under the APC administration. It is so open and done without decorum. No arm of government under APC that is free of corruption. It is free for all. If the so-called war against corruption that this APC government is saying they are championing is real, then, why is it one-sided to the extent that even ordinary Nigerians on the streets know that there is no fairness, no credibility, no integrity in what they are doing.

I can go on and on, but let me say here that we in PDP have a close relationship with Nigerians. Nigerians know us; we know Nigerians and they understand our administration. It is just like a senior wife, a husband can have many wives, but there would be specific uniqueness about the first wife. That is, she will be the best wife that would have a better understanding of their husband. Therefore, in the political dispensation, PDP is the senior wife in Nigeria.

So, how are you going to solve all these problems you have mentioned?

Like I said, I would draw inspirations from PDP manifestos and constitution to serve as my guide. On the issue of corruption, if we get back to the government our anti-graft war will not be selective. We shall start corruption war from our party so that opposition party will not accuse us of witch-hunt like what is happening under APC today. I know many political office holders serving under APC who were accused of corruption, but since they are in the ruling party, they become saints and innocent. Their properties were not seized and were allowed to enjoy the freedom and to enjoy their looted funds. So, tell me how many APC members accused of corruption that are undergoing investigation today? None! So, our corruption war will be holistic, honest, done with integrity, not selective.

If you observe this APC government, they lack integrity, so disgusting and dishonest
in the so-called war against corruption and insurgency. PDP will resuscitate our economy for the benefits of our dear nation if we get back to power.

Most state governments collected Paris Refund from the federal government, yet, they could not pay workers their salaries. Many states today still owe civil servants their monthly salaries, pensioners’ gratuities thereby subjecting them to unnecessary hardship. How would you address workers plights if elected as President of this country?

To start with, many Nigerian workers know me very well as being workers friendly. I had the privileges of being a minister of Labour and Productivity for nine months. While I was appointed to supervise the Ministry of Labour and Productivity, there were 14 outstanding strikes in both public and private sectors. Within nine months as the Labour Minister, I was able to resolve these strikes before I handed over to the substantive minister. So, if I become Nigeria’s President, I am not only going to approve new minimum wage for Nigeria workers, my government will give workers befitting salaries that would be sufficient for them, to take care of their families and move them away from any sort of corruption.

I have a track record as student unionist, youth activism, and Bar Unionist. So I understand the importance of paying workers their salaries promptly. It is only a wicked leader that would not pay workers their salaries promptly. It is very unfortunate that APC government do not care about workers’ plights, instead, they are mismanaging our resources. It is not that we are a poor country, or we don’t have resources, the resources are there, but they are being mismanaged.

How would you rate the APC administration in the last three years?

I will leave the rating to Nigerians and electorate because whatever I say here will be seen as opposition views.

What is your position on nPDP returning to PDP from APC?

They are PDP members and we have been saying it at different fora that they are our friends. They are orphans in APC and the best option for them is to return to their family house. They will be welcome back anytime they are ready to return. They are PDP members who went on the discovery mission. Now, they have seen it all over there that there is nothing to discover in APC, nothing again. They will be welcome back because our doors are open not only to them but to other Nigerians in different political parties, any Nigerian who want to contribute their quota to the developments of this nation. Though we are all human being and bound to make mistakes, now in PDP, we have reviewed our constitution which allows both old and new members to seek elective positions contrary to the old constitution which did not allow new members to seek elective positions until they are two years old in the party.

What are the lessons your party learnt during the prolonged leadership tussle?

You see, if not because PDP is strong and deeply rooted, the ruling party, APC would have succeeded in sending us to an untimely grave. We are having a ruling party which do not tolerate opposition party. They are trying to plant different crisis in our party. Look at Ali Modu Sheriff for instance; after he had lost at the court to remain as PDP national chairman, he has gone back to APC which was using him to cause confusion in PDP. If you read the interview he granted recently, he claimed he has succeeded not only in denying PDP from losing Edo and Ondo states gubernatorial elections, he said he had indeed created factions, schemes among party’s members. So, it is now left to Nigerians to judge him and APC. That is why we have remained consistent in telling Nigerians that Ali Modu Sherrif was planted in PDP by APC to create the crisis.

But today, PDP has come out from the crisis strong and able to stand from 2015 to date. We have succeeded in holding our national convention. But look at APC today common ward Congress; they could not organise it without violence, what a shame!   (The Sun)

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INEC: Southern, MiddleBelt Forum Push For INEC Boss Sack, CSOS Intervenes


Iheanacho Nwosu, Abuja

Key Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) recently took up an unusual task. They elected to weigh in for the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu whose job was recently called to question by Southern, Middle Belt Leaders Forum.

In fact, the leaders in their parley in Abuja asked President Muhammadu Buhari to relieve him and the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris of their appointments. Among those who attended the conference were Chief Edwin Clark, representing the south-south; Chief Ayo Adebanjo, south-west; Chukwuemeka Ezeife, south-east; Retired Air Commodore Dan Suleiman, Middle Belt; and Nkanga Idongesit, South-South. Yinka Odumakin was the spokesman.

The leaders accused INEC under Yakubu of not being in a shape to deliver free and fair elections in 2019. They claimed that “the bug of nepotism and sectionalism which they alleged this administration is renowned for has also eaten up the leadership of the commission.”

Idongesit, the chairman of the Pan Niger Delta forum, who delivered the group’s position, argued that retaining the service chiefs who ought to have retired and keeping Yakubu as INEC chairman were suspicious.

He contended that what is playing out was in tandem with the narrative that the INEC leadership and the Service Chiefs would play partisan roles in favour of the president.

“From 1960 till date, only President Muhammadu Buhari has been audacious to pick only people who are either his relations or of the same ethnic stock with him to lead the electoral body,” he said.

“The Balewa government headed by a northerner appointed Eyo Ita-Esua from the south, who was in charge of the federal electoral commission from 1960-66; Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, a Yoruba, set up the federal electoral commission under Michael Ani from 1976-1979.

”When Dr Goodluck Jonathan came in from the south-south, he appointed Prof. Attahiru Jega from the north-west from June 2010-Oct. 2015,” the group noted, insisting that it was only Buhari who appointed his relation from the north-west, Amina Zakari, as the acting INEC chairman when he became president in 2015.

Certainly, the Forum’s call has irritated not just the INEC staff but some democratic circles. Surprisingly, there has not been any formal reaction from the commission. But a counterpoise to the elders’ demand recently came from CSOs and human rights activists.

Senator Shehu Sani representing Kaduna Central was the first to fire a salvo. A respected human rights activist and a nonconformist, Sani, disagreed with the Forum that Yakubu has committed grievous sins that should attract a sack.

He said, “The recent call for the removal of INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, made by the Middle Belt and Southern Leaders is unnecessary and uncalled for. The incumbent INEC chairman has not in any way demonstrated inclination or proclivity to unfairness or injustice in his conduct and his leadership of the electoral umpire. The INEC chairman has kept to the credible standards of transparency in Edo and Anambra governorship elections and subsequent by-elections. “

He continued “The leaders have the fundamental right to raise issues and observations in any of the activities of INEC and demand redress. Nigerians are now more awakened and conscious of their electoral rights.

“The track record of the chairman and his pedigree is enough assurance and guarantee to give him the benefit of the doubt to lead INEC through the next elections.

“It is impossible for the INEC chairman to bow to any form of pressure from any quarters to undermine the 2019 polls. And President Buhari, I believe, will not tamper with the duties of INEC. The President that openly called on Nigerians to vote for whoever they want has raised the bar of assurance in the credibility of the electoral process.

“In 2019, Nigerians will vote for the vehicle to take them to the future, either by trucks, tractors, trains or ambulances.”

Sani was not alone in this line of thought. A coterie of CSOs equally stepped out to tackle leaders of Southern, Middle Belt Forum over their demand. They insisted that the call was not backed with cogent and verifiable reasons. The groups advised that rather than seek the removal of Yakubu, Nigerians should pay more attention to the activities of Resident Electoral Commissioners in various states to ensure that they discharge their duties diligently and constitutionally.

The groups that spoke at a news conference include Independent Service Delivery Monitoring Group (ISDG), Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP); Network of Police Reform in Nigeria; National Democratic Alliance; Yoruba Revolutionary Assembly, Public Interests Lawyers and Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice.

They were represented by Mr Ledum Mitee, former President of MOSOP; Okechukwu Nwanguma, of the Network of Police Reform in Nigeria; Ezenwa Nwuagwu of Partners for Electoral Reforms; Faith Nwadishi, Director, Contact Mobilization, ISDMG, and MacDonald Ekemezie of Kyenum Immllah Foundation. Others include Mr. Aminu, Public Interests Lawyers, Akin Lawson, National Democratic Alliance; Yoruba Revolutionary Assembly and Comrade Sherri Mulade of Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice Dismissing the call as misplaced and uncalled for, Executive Director, ISDMG ,Dr. Chima Amadi, who was first to speak contended that the demand of the elders as it affects the INEC chairman had no basis.


Although he agreed that no stone should be left unturned in ensuring a free and fair election in 2019, he insisted that the preoccupation of all Nigerians at the moment should be monitoring and supporting INEC to succeed in conducting an acceptable election.

The ISDMG boss charged President Muhammadu Buhari to ignore the call which he further described as the way out of line. He drew the attention of those calling for Yakubu’s removal to the elections the commission under Mahmood had conducted, insisting that those elections were credible and transparent.

He argued, “INEC is a creation of Section 153(1) (f) and 154 (1) of the 1999 Constitution, while the qualification for appointment is set out in Section 14(1), Part 1 of the Third to the Constitution.”

Amadi stressed that the same group of elders who made the call for Yakubu’s sack were also the same faces who raised a similar alarm against the former INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega, adding that the fact that Yakubu comes from the same ethnic group like President Buhari does not make him less qualified and incapable of discharging his responsibilities.

He contended that those calling for INEC Chairman’s sack at this time were seeking to endanger democracy adding that many election observer groups have condemned the call for Yakubu’s sack.

Amadi further explained that though the Coalition does not hold the fort for the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, they are compelled to respond by stating the facts as they are.

He said: “For us, the claim suggesting that the INEC Chairman will rig the 2019 elections in favour of President Muhammadu Buhari is not only stupid but silly. If there are accumulated indications, they point to those successful governorship elections conducted in Bayelsa and Rivers States respectively by the same Professor Mahmood Yakubu and won by the opposition parties.

“Will these elders tell us that they are oblivious of the numerous elections conducted by the current INEC which produced different outcomes for different political parties irrespective of incumbency at both the federal and state level?

“The latest is the Ibarapa East state Constituency by-election in Oyo State in which the opposition party in the state won the seat. This is significant against the background of the Local Government election in the State three weeks earlier in which the ruling party in the State won every Chairmanship and Councillorship constituency.

“Of course, the Anambra State governorship election is still fresh on our minds in which the candidate of the ruling party lost in every Local Government Area to the extent that even the Ohanaeze commended INEC for its transparency in conducting the elections? Two months later, the same INEC successfully concluded the Anambra Central Senatorial election after staying the course in a protracted legal battle.

“The Ondo governorship election was also a watershed. For the first time, the outcome of the election was not challenged in court because of its transparency, although the three leading candidates were senior lawyers. This is significant given the fact that a number of previous governorship elections in the state were in fact determined by the courts.”

He queried the claim that INEC Chairman was working for Buhari, adding that the man would have simply handed the states recently won by opposition parties to the APC if that were to be true.

He said that the fact the INEC Chairman was presiding over a clean process ensured that the ruling party did not secure victories in the by-elections held in Dukku North constituency in Gombe State, Ardo Kola in Taraba and Osun West Senatorial Zone won by the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP). The outspoken politician, Dr Ezekiel Izuogu, also does not see the merit in the call for the removal of the INEC boss.

However, he disagreed with those pelting the Forum leaders with stone on account of their demand. He insisted that everybody, in a democracy is free to express his opinion on any issue.

To a large extent, those picking hole in the sack call is not wholly wrong. Elections conducted under the leadership of the current INEC have not attracted many tirades or legal challenges. In fact, INEC’s handling of Anambra governorship election and the recall moves against Sen. Dino Melaye elicited some accolades too.

President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nina Nwodo after the Anambra election said “the security personnel deserve congratulations for the secure atmosphere in which the election was held. INEC, so far, appeared transparent and must be given a pat on the back”.

Although Nwodo can always change his position and tackle the commission if it is observed that it has begun taking maladroit decisions that are hurting the electoral process, Izuogu and Amadi believe that the INEC chairman has not derailed yet. (The Sun)


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Why APC Will Get A Second Term – Orji Uzor Kalu |The Republican News

By Wale Elegbede and Temitope Ogunbanke reports


The former governor of Abia State and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, believes that the ruling party has so far done well and would be re-elected in the 2019 general elections. In this interview monitored on Channels Television, he also spoke on the planned probe of the power sector and other issues. Wale Elegbede and Temitope Ogunbanke reports


You recently met with President Muhammadu Buhari to discuss the state of your party. What exactly is the state of the All Progressives Congress (APC)?

The APC is in a very good state. The party is doing well. In every democratic process, there must be agreement and disagreement. I am sure Nigerians are watching. The APC is only three years old. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was in power for 16 years. I don’t see anything that is happening in the APC that does not happen in civilised democracies. Since all of us are not from the same father and mother, we are bound to disagree to agree. But, we are on course, there is no problem.

You are likely to be the only one that thinks the APC is doing well. There were parallel congresses in many states and members of the National Assembly and the state governors are in disagreement. Also, members of the nPDP are currently threatening to leave APC. Are you saying that all is well with all these?
I think there will be a lot of dialogue because, in a democracy, people must dialogue to agree and disagree. That is why we are in a democracy. If you are in a democracy and there are no challenges, you would not move forward. I was a member of the PDP. I know what we went through. There were disagreements here and there. In a democracy, no one man or woman can say, ‘I am totally right.’

When such disagreements happened in the PDP, there were breakaways and some people joined other parties. Do you see an implosion in the APC?

I read about that in the papers, but I don’t think anybody is going to leave the APC because of any problem. There will always be problems anywhere there are different people. Even the Democratic Party and Republican Party in the United States have problems. But their members always come together and settle. That is part of what our party’s hierarchy is talking about today because it is right to settle the problem in order to have adjustments in our party.

You were governor for eight years during the time of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Do you think it is fair now to probe what was done during that administration regarding funding of electricity?

It is not only electricity that should be probed. There are many things that should be probed in terms of what people in government did. There were many things that government did. Import licenses were issued to people that didn’t deserve them and a lot of money was given to different businessmen, which was not accounted for by that government.

Do you think it would be easy for the Buhari government to probe Obasanjo’s administration?

If anybody is probing, he should know that other people will probe him. If Obasanjo’s government deserves to be probed, then it should be probed. I don’t see anything wrong in probing any government when money is involved. The money does not belong to Buhari; it belongs to the Nigerian people.

Critics say the anti-corruption crusade of this administration is simply a witch-hunt and that when some people like you cross over to the APC, they are no longer ‘sinners,’ they become ‘saints’ overnight. How correct is that assumption?

I’ve never been one; I went to Abia and served my people with all sincerity of purpose. Even in the PDP, when Obasanjo ran for president, I gave them the first N500 million in 1998 and I also gave him N500 million to stand as a candidate. Some people came into office with N20,000 and today they are billionaires and have all kinds of mansions. It is not acceptable. Some of the probes may look like witch-hunt but some are not. The government that left power a few years back is a PDP government. They cannot come and probe me as a private businessman. It is the class of people leaving office at a particular time that will be able to answer questions about governance and things that have to do with governance at the time.

Do you think there was corruption in the power sector during the Obasanjo administration?

There was huge corruption, not only under the Obasanjo administration. I remember I wrote him a letter when he said all the governors were corrupt. I wrote him a letter and said ‘I am an exception.’ I can re-publish that letter, which was carried in the national newspapers at the time. Nigerians remember how our national assets were sold, they were not properly done; they were ‘dashed’ out to people loyal to Obasanjo.

What exactly is the problem with electricity in Nigeria, is it an impossible task to attain stable power?

It is not an impossible task. You will remember that when Obasanjo was there, we had only about 3,000 megawatts, but today, we have gone up to 7,000 megawatts and nobody is talking about that. It is unfortunate that we are still talking about electricity; electricity should be a thing of the past. South Africa generates approximately 58,000 megawatts. At 7,000 megawatts, which is far above what Obasanjo generated, we are still far behind.

The Nigerian Coalition Movement (NCM) formed by former President Obasanjo has fused into a political party, African Democratic Congress (ADC). Are you not worried that they could take power from APC?

No, I’m not afraid because Obasanjo always serves himself and not the people. Nigerians don’t know this; Obasanjo is only thinking about himself and not the masses of Nigeria. I know him better than most Nigerians. He knows I know him. Anything Obasanjo is not good for Nigeria. I saw a clip where my friend and in-law, Femi Fani-Kayode, was talking about former President Umaru Yar’Adua and the electricity projects of Obasanjo. Those are not true; Fani-Kayode is not a student of history, because I know for a fact that $16 billion was earmarked for electricity by Obasanjo. There was no project done with that money; the money was shared among people loyal to Obasanjo.

Are you confident that Nigerians will not vote out APC in 2019?

The answer is total no! I say so because the party has done well. Mind you, APC came to power only three years ago, when there was a major drop in the price of crude oil and when the party leaving power, looted the treasury. Even foreign countries knew that the treasury was looted. There was no money to start the government and nobody has asked questions as to what happened.

Does the APC deserve to be returned in 2019?

Absolutely! APC has done well. Look at the security issues; when Boko Haram was bombing churches, I told people that they would extend it to the mosques. If not for the way Buhari confronted Boko Haram and provided weapons for the military, Nigeria would have long ceased to exist.

The PDP is getting itself together once again. Do you think the party can return to power in 2019?

PDP cannot return to power in 2019. It is going to be very difficult. The PDP has not shown the right reason it should return to power because going back to power means returning to power to open our treasury for them to continue the looting.                      (New Telegraph)

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BREAKING: Dayo Adeyeye Decamps From PDP To APC, Vows To Help Fayemi Win |RN

By Agency Report



Prince Dayo Adeyeye, an aspirant for the governorship ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ekiti State, has defected from the party to the All Progressives Congress.

Adeyeye, a former spokesperson of the PDP, announced his defection and those of his supporters to the APC on Tuesday.

Adeyeye, who was former Minister of State for Works during the PDP regime of former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, lost the primaries of the party to the Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Prof. Kolapo Olusola-Eleka.

He accused Governor Ayo Fayose of having given undue advantage to Olusola-Eleka.

Adeyeye’s defection is coming despite his promise before the primaries to support whoever emerges as the candidate.

The promise was made to the reconciliatory team sent by the party and headed by former President of the Senate, Dr David Mark, to ensure harmony.

Fayose also said he had called Adeyeye twice after the primaries but was insulted by the former spokesman of the PDP.

One of the aspirants for the primaries, Senator Biodun Olujimi, had also pleaded with Adeyeye not to leave the party.

Olujimi, who stepped down for Adeyeye during the primaries, said this was the time for the PDP to bond together and give the APC a good fight.

Adeyeye said he left to support the candidate of the APC, Dr Kayode Fayemi, in the bid to rescue Ekiti State from the maladministration of Fayose.  (New Telegraph)

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Economic Saboteurs Have No Love For Nigeria, Says Buhari |The Republican News

By Agency Report



President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday said those who mismanaged Nigeria’s economy in the past, through fraudulent electricity projects and misuse of revenue earnings from oil, had no love for the country.

The president stated this when he received members of the Buhari Support Organisations (BSO) led by the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

President Buhari urged Nigerians to remain vigilant and ensure that only ‘‘people of conscience are in-charge of governance at all levels’’, as the nation prepared for general elections in 2019.

He said: ‘‘I challenge anybody to check from Europe, America and Asia; between 1999 and 2014, Nigeria was producing 2.1 million barrels of crude oil per day at an average cost of 100 dollars per barrel and it went up to 143 dollars.

‘‘When we came it collapsed to between 37 and 38 dollars and later was oscillating between 40 and 50 dollars.

‘‘I went to the CBN Governor, with my cap in my hand, and asked if we had savings. He told me we had only debts, no savings. Some of the roads were not repaired since the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) days.

‘‘I don’t care the opinion you have about Abacha but I agreed to work with him and we constructed roads from Abuja to Port Harcourt, Benin to Onitsha and so on. We also touched education and health institutions.

‘‘One of the former Heads of State was bragging that he spent more than 15 billion dollars on power in Nigeria. Where is the power?’’ the President said.

On the mismanagement of the economy by previous administrations, President Buhari noted that the perpetrators lacked imagination and plans for the development of the nation.

‘‘Sometimes, I wonder about those who can afford to send their children abroad for studies and yet continue to sabotage the economy, I wonder what kind of Nigeria they want their children to return to and work. There is a lot of lack of imagination.

‘‘If you are working for the country, then you shouldn’t be misappropriating and misapplying public funds the way people did,’’ he said.

The President noted that under his watch, the 2016 and 2017 budgets recorded the highest appropriation and releases in capital projects, with over N2.8 trillion disbursements in two years.

The President urged Nigerians to reject those bent on dividing the country along religious and ethnic lines, warning that “they do not mean well for the country.

‘‘I have said severally that we do not have any other country than Nigeria and we will remain here and salvage it together.

‘‘We have nothing to regret. Absolutely nothing. God has given Nigeria everything. We are rich in human and material resources. Let us keep on praying to God to put people of conscience in-charge at all levels.’’

On the activities of the support group, President Buhari apologised for not rallying them before announcing his intention to seek re-election in 2019 during a meeting of the National Executive Committee of the All Progressives Congress on April 9, 2018.

He thanked members of the group for their resolute support to him as a Presidential candidate in 2015 and all through his term in office, adding that their voluntary sacrifices were an indication of their trust and belief in the great future of the country.

In his remarks, Ali said the group and majority of Nigerians are passionate about a second-term for President Buhari because of his integrity, honesty, love and patriotism.

He noted that President Buhari had entrenched fiscal discipline and prudent management of resources, improved the nation’s security and delivered on his promise to revamp agriculture, as a major revenue earner for the country.


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