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Okorocha Slams Oshiomhole: You Failed As A Governor |The Republican News

Stanley Uzoaru,Owerri

Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha, has challenged the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Adams Oshiomole to publish his achievements for the duration he was governor of Edo State.

This is coming on the heels of the APC chair’s verbal attack on the Imo State governor when he flagged off Senator Hope Uzodinma’s governorship campaign in the state.

Governor Okorocha in a press statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, said: “We won’t allow Oshiomhole to eat his cake and still have it.

And we start this way: Adams Oshiomhole was governor in Edo State for eight years. Rochas Okorocha has been governor in Imo for less than eight years. And we challenge Oshiomhole to publish his achievements in Edo State for the eight years he was governor and let Rochas publish his own achievements in Imo in less than eight years. And let Nigerians judge between the two who failed as governor.

“If Oshiomhole fails to accept this challenge, we won’t have any other option than to conclude that he is just a noise maker.

“Mr. Oshiomhole has been talking and working to fulfill his own part of whatever deal he has with Chief Hope Uzodinma. He is acting his own part and in doing that, he has thrown caution to the wind.

“A national chairman of a party who came for the campaign of a governorship candidate of his party would have used the opportunity offered by that event to market the candidate. But in this case, Oshiomhole talked about Governor Okorocha and carefully skipped because he knows where the problem lies with the candidate.

“All the media reports on what Oshiomhole said at the rally were all about Okorocha. He consciously avoided telling Imo people why they should opt for Chief Uzodinma at the poll in 2019 or why he chose him as the guber candidate of the party in the state.”

On the issue of salary owed workers Oshiomole talked about, the governor noted that the information had long been in the public domain that he paid the December 2018 salary in November 2018. And he had also given each of the workers N10,000 as Christmas bonus.

He added that just last week, he handed over a new office complex, furnished by the state government to the state chapter of NLC, insisting that all these gestures showed the harmonious relationship between the governor and the workers in the state.

Okorocha recalled that Oshiomhole admitted that he had owed Edo workers seven months salary arrears while leaving as governor and could not also pay the N18,000 minimum wage, maintaining that he was therefore not qualified to talk about payment of salary.

“The truth is that the APC National Chairman has resorted to noise making to see if that could help him out of the whole mess but all to no avail.”

He observed that at Uzodinma’s flag-off campaign, Oshiomhole spoke with anger. And that anger stemmed from the fact that the venue of the event was empty. And he decided to vent his frustration on Okorocha.

“The blackmailing Rochas in Abuja by few Imo born political hawks has nothing to do with the tick political followership Rochas enjoys in Imo.

“And it was the empty venue that prompted the false claim that the governor refused to give them the Dan Anyiam Stadium for the event, as a face-saving mechanism. Where would they have got the people to fill the Stadium? They had played safe by deciding to use Uzodinma’s campaign office on Okigwe road. Yet, the compound was empty.

“At a rally at the Dan Anyiam Stadium on Tuesday, July 3, 2018, Mr. Oshiomhole after seeing the mammoth crowd said, they had known who owned the land. He was referring to Governor Okorocha who organised the rally. And nothing has changed between that July and today. Rochas holds the ace of Imo grassroots politics. And there is nothing anybody can do about that,” the statement said.  (The Sun)

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Four Lawmakers, Four National Assembly Aspirants In Bauchi Dump APC |RN

               

Armstrong Bakam, Bauchi

 

Four members of the Bauchi State House of Assembly, including the Deputy Speaker, Abdulmumini Fanti, have dumped the All Progressives Congress for the Peoples Redemption Party.

Two senatorial and two House Representative aspirants also dumped the APC.

Member representing Bauchi Constituency, Mr. Abdullahi Shehu, disclosed this in an interview with journalists in Bauchi on Sunday evening.

Shehu claimed that he and his colleagues left the APC with over 300,000 of their supporters.

He said, “Three members of the Bauchi State House of Assembly and I have left the APC for good. The party’s injustice and mandate theft in the direct primaries conducted on October 7 are some of our reasons for dumping the party.

“Our people chose us to be candidates while the party leadership denied us the mandate. The next option for us is to opt out of the party.”

He listed other lawmakers who left the party with him to include Fanti, (Alkaleri Constituency); Ibrahim Katagum (Katagum Constituency); and Auwal Hassan, (Shira Constituency).

“Two aspirants who contested Bauchi South and Central senatorial tickets under the APC, Lawan Ibrahim and Bappah Misau, have also joined the PRP.

“Two ex-lawmakers (who are House of Representative aspirants), Abdulmumini Ningi and Dayyabu Chiroma have also defected to the PRP.

“We defected along with 300,000 supporters to the PRP to salvage the state from the APC,” he added.

The state Chairman of PRP, Alhaji Shehu Ningi, confirmed to journalists that the former APC members had joined the party after they were “cheated and denied tickets” in their former party.    (Punch)

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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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Cole, Abe Emerge Winners In Rivers As Explosions Rock APC Parallel Primaries |RN

                   Senator Magnus Abe

Chukwudi Akasike and Sampson Itode, Port Harcourt

TWO candidates, Mr Tonye Cole and Senator Magnus Abe, emerged winners of the parallel governorship primaries conducted by both factions of the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State.

Cole came out victorious in the indirect governorship primary held in Port Harcourt on Sunday when he polled 3,329 votes while his closest rival,  Dr Dawari George, got 491 votes.

Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs came a distant third with 38 votes while Abe got one vote.

Eighteen votes were declared void by the Jafar Isah-led Rivers Governorship Primary Committee.

It was, however, a different story at the primary held by the APC faction loyal to Abe as the senator was declared the winner of the Sunday’s direct governorship primaries conducted in the three senatorial districts of Rivers State by the APC.

The returning officer, Dr Chigbo Sam Eligwe, made the announcement in a press conference at its Secretariat in Port Harcourt on Sunday.

Abe who won with 144,929 votes followed by Dumo Lulu-Briggs who got 3,344, Dawari George getting 1,606 and Tonye Dele Cole 882 votes.

Meanwhile, there was tension in Rivers as the APC in the state held two parallel governorship primaries in different parts of the state.

While the Rotimi Amaechi-led APC conducted an indirect primary on the Igboukwu field in D-Line, Port Harcourt, the Magnus Abe faction adopted the direct governorship primary across different local government areas of the state.

Earlier before the exercise in Port Harcourt by the Amaechi-led APC, there were explosions near the secretariat of the party at about 12.30pm.

The last explosion scared supporters of the Amaechi-led APC as most of them rushed out to have a glimpse of what happened less than 50 metres away from the party secretariat.

However, the exercise went on peacefully as of the time of filing this report.

Before the primaries, a governorship aspirant on the platform of the APC in the state, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, accused the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, of trying to impose his preferred aspirant, Tonye Cole, on the party.

Lulu-Briggs also claimed that certain persons had been handpicked from various wards as delegates to the primary in breach of the party’s constitution and guidelines.

He explained that names were being added and deleted from the delegates’ list.

Lulu-Briggs, however, called for the postponement of the governorship primary in the state, saying this was necessary in order to enhance transparency.

“When the NWC reached the decision that indirect primaries be adopted for the governorship primary in Rivers, as a loyal party man, I accepted the decision in good faith despite the fact that there are pending litigations in various courts, which might vitiate and truncate the process.

“I thus ramped up my campaign, but soon discovered that our party structures from the state executive committee, local government and ward excos across the state have been directed by Rotimi Amaechi, leader of our party in the state, not to allow me access to our party faithful and delegates, but to only support the aspiration of his preferred aspirant, Tonye Cole.

“It is clear from the foregoing that the minimum standards to guarantee a free and fair primary today (Sunday) are nonexistent and any primary held today will be a mere sham and a perfidious travesty.

“To this end, I, Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, most graciously appeal to the National Chairman of our great party and  the NWC to, as a matter of utmost urgency, postpone the governorship primary for Rivers State so as to correct the anomalies herein complained of because the current arrangement falls short of the minimum standards stipulated by the Electoral Act and our party constitution.”

Reacting, the state APC Publicity Secretary, Mr Chris Finebone, dismissed Lulu-Briggs’ claim, saying, “It is not correct.”

However, a source close to Amaechi urged governorship aspirants to leave the minister alone and face the primaries.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, maintained that the leadership of the party would meet with all stakeholders after the governorship primary in the state.

In another development, a faction of the APC in Rivers State, led by a governorship aspirant and lawmaker representing Rivers South-East Senatorial District, Senator Magnus Abe, conducted its governorship primaries across the three senatorial districts of the state.

The polling officer in Omuanwa, Ward 7, Ikwerre LGA, Eleonu Ndidi, said voting was peaceful.

He said “We started accreditation started by 7.30am, voting started 8.00am and the entire process ended by 12.30pm. The entire election was peaceful and the turnout was impressive. We are packaging all votes, which will be taken to the local government collation centre.”

Also, voting was peaceful in Ward 3, Elele, Ikwerre LGA, where Chidi Wihioka, a lawmaker representing Ikwerre/Emohua Federal Constituency exercised his franchise.

Wihioka maintained that delegates were currently non-existent in Rivers State as the State High Court had annulled the earlier state congresses held by a faction of the party.

He insisted that National Executive Council of the party had approved direct primary for the APC in Rivers.

But vote counting was ongoing in Port Harcourt at about 7 pm, even as two of the governorship aspirants, Abe and Lulu-Briggs, were absent from the place, where an indirect pattern of voting was adopted.

The leader of the party in the state, Amaechi; Director-General of NIMASA, Dakuku Peterside; and a former acting MD of NDDC, Ibim Semenitari, were at the voting centre in Port Harcourt.  (Punch)

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Wike Has Become Sole Administrator, APC Mocks PDP |The Republican News

               Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike

John Alechenu, Abuja

The All Progressives Congress has alleged that the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has become the sole administrator of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.

It said it was now obvious that the governor had become the party’s defacto National Chairman, spokesperson and sole administrator, who determines what happens in the PDP.

The APC said this in a statement signed by the acting National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, in Abuja on Sunday.

He alleged that since Nigerians rejected the PDP which ruled the nation for 16 years, it had become obvious that there was nothing democratic about PDP’s policies and practices.

“As events has shown, it is a misnomer to call the party, Peoples Democratic Party as there is nothing democratic about its policies and practices.

“The PDP to all intents and purposes has become the theatre of the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike. Since assuming office after the disputed 2015 Rivers Governorship election, Wike has assumed the role of de facto PDP National Chairman, sole administrator, spokesman, organising secretary and BoT Chairman.

“Recall Governor Wike’s imposition of an erstwhile PDP National Chairman without a formal convention and the leaked telephone conversation of Governor Wike (allegedly) threatening to kill INEC officials he had paid to rig the rivers rerun election in favour of the PDP.” Nabena said.

The APC also alleged that the governor recently threatened to teach the PDP presidential aspirants, including the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, the APC spokesman said. (Punch)

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APC Won’t Present Opportunists Like Saraki, Dogara – Oshiomhole |RN

John Alechenu, Abuja

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, has vowed that the party will not field people he described as opportunists who seek to use the party’s platform to pursue their selfish interests.

He said the party had learnt from its past mistakes and was prepared to make amends by ensuring that “bread and butter politicians” were not given the party’s tickets to contest the forthcoming general elections.

Oshiomhole said this while addressing members of the APC Governorship and National Assembly screening committees in Abuja, on Monday.

Although Oshiomhole didn’t mention the names of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, who dumped the party for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, events he mentioned relate to the actions taken by them.

The APC national chairman said, “We do not want to field opportunists who are simply seeking a political vehicle for some selfish purposes.

“What has happened in recent past is enough for us to begin to look at the character of those who are seeking office in the APC platform.

“If before now we have taken for granted the powers of the National Assembly, how those powers can be used for national goals and how it can also be misused to undermine national progress.

“The current situation we are facing here, where two principal officers have chosen to put their personal interest over and above the national interest.

“Refusing to consider budget meant for physical infrastructure. Budget meant to re-order the way our budget is executed, to move money away from consumption, which recurrent expenditure represents, to capital projects, which will benefit our people.”

He also said it was sad that the National Assembly was delaying the passage of the budget of the Independent National Electoral Commission for the 2019 elections.

Oshiomhole explained that the party would henceforth ensure that only persons with the intellectual capacity to articulate issues on the basis at which laws and bills were considered as well as those with the capacity to carry out oversight functions to ensure that Nigerians get value for money would be those considered worthy of the party’s tickets.

This is even as he said the party would not abandon the 57 senators who remained faithful to the party during the trying times.

He said, “For us as a party, we have chosen to learn from the positive lessons from this development so that we do not repeat those mistakes by selecting people who as far as human capacity is we can assess and predict that if elected, they will remain faithful not only to our party but more importantly to the Nigerian nation.

“As we speak, I am proud that we have 57 senators who have refused to be induced or misled or otherwise manipulated into moving to other parties or reward for juicy positions.

“It will be ungodly for us as a party not to reward those who believe in the party and the government of the day led by President Muhammadu Buhari.”

The former Edo State governor equally expressed regret that the party’s National Working Committee was still grappling with the “fraudulent” state congresses conducted by the previous party executive.

He said, “In many of the states, we had challenges arising from the way congresses were conducted. Many of them were quite fraudulent; that has been the challenge we have been trying to resolve since we came.

“Screening of aspirants is not a formality. That is why we tried to search for men and women of integrity who cannot be compromised.”

Some aspirants seeking the party’s ticket to contest for the Senate and House of Representatives seats have expressed apprehension over the comments made by the chairman.

One of those who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution said, “This goes to confirm some of our fears.

“My colleagues and I were discussing the news that the party leadership has a list of preferred candidates and this whole screening thing is meant to give legitimacy to their scheme. We are watching and waiting.”   (Punch)

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2019 Election: PDP Panel Grills Saraki, Atiku, Makarfi, Others On Thurday |RN

                                     Saraki, Atiku and Tambuwal

Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja

The Peoples Democratic Party Board of Trustees panel set up to discuss the possibility of having a consensus presidential candidate among the aspirants will meet with them  (the aspirants) and also screen them on Thursday, The PUNCH has learnt.

The 12-man panel, which is headed by Senator Walid Jibrin, is expected to first meet in the morning of Thursday before inviting the aspirants for the screening.

Authoritative sources within the board told our correspondent in Abuja on Monday that all the 13 presidential aspirants had been contacted for the screening.

The aspirants are a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar; Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal;  Governor of Gombe State, Ibrahim Dankwambo;  a former Governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso;  and a former Governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa.

Others said to have been invited are President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki;  a former President of the Senate, David Mark;  a former Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations, Tanimu Turaki  (SAN); a former Governor of Plateau State, Jona Jang;  and a former Governor of Kaduna State, Ahmed Makarfi.

Others expected at the meeting are a former Governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Sule Lamido; Dr Datti Baba-Ahmed and Usifo Stanley.

It was gathered that the aspirants would be persuaded to have meetings among themselves and see if they could agree on a consensus candidate.

Jubril, who will chair the meeting, confirmed to our correspondent that the board would meet with the aspirants.

“We will meet them on Thursday in Abuja, but I will not tell you the location.

“We are talking with the aspirants and I have hope that they will all work together for the progress of our party which will make us win the presidential election in 2019,” he said.

It was gathered that the aspirants had, however, made up their mind not to drop their ambition.

A member of the BoT said that the aspirants “do not want to hear anything about consensus or stepping down for anybody at all.”

But another board member said that the aspirants could still strike a deal among themselves before the October 5 and 6 dates for the presidential convention.

Investigations by our correspondent showed that the PDP is looking for a presidential candidate that will be able to deflate the support base of President Muhammadu Buhari in the northern part of the country.

A member of the National Working Committee of the party, who spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity, said the party would prefer a candidate that would break Buhari’s popularity in the north.

He said, “We are praying to have a candidate that will be loved by the entire country; a nationalist, who will see the entire country as his base.

“We also want a candidate that is loved by the north, where we have zoned the ticket to. We need someone that can break the support base of President Buhari.  That is just it.”

‘Killings, kidnappings caused by injustice’

Meanwhile, Lamido, on Monday alleged that heinous crimes such as killings and kidnapping were increasing due to injustice in the country.

Lamido spoke with journalists after he met with the forum of Southern and Middle belt leaders in Abuja at the residence of an Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark.

He said, “The culture of governance is deteriorating because of the absence of justice, which should be the anchor of governance but it is not in Nigeria anymore.

“That is why you are seeing all these kidnappings, Boko Haram attacks, killings in Taraba, Adamawa, Zamfara, Sokoto and all over Nigeria.

“This country is not being run according to law and order; there is nothing like justice in Nigeria. Therefore, Nigerians feel that this country is not good anymore.

“This government is trying to bury the contributions of our founding fathers; integrity and honesty are not new in our vocabulary.

“Before Buhari there was integrity; there was Tafawa Balewa, Obafemi Awolowo, Aminu Kano and Nnamdi Azikiwe. These are people of honour and integrity. He (Buhari) has never for once paid tributes to our founding fathers.”

He regretted that President Buhari had breached the constitution by openly declaring that he would favour those that voted for him more than an area where he had fewer votes in 2015.

Lamido said, “More than anything, we are going through a period of injustice. In other climes, he (the President) will be impeached because he said he would work in favour of where he got 95 per cent votes and do less where he got five per cent”

“What is happening now is because this country is sick; we are looking for justice. We want a Nigeria where everybody will feel a sense of belonging, not nepotism anymore.”

The President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nwodo, spoke on behalf of the forum.

He said, “Our people are deeply upset by the state of affairs in the country. Our country is at a crossroads where leadership is critical; so we have invited you here to tell us what you have for Nigeria.

“We seek restructuring of Nigeria to address the problems confronting us. We seek answers to how your policies will address all these.”

Mark seeks Abdulsalam’s blessing

Also, a former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar (retd.) on Monday received Mark, who asked for his support for his presidential ambition.

Abdulsalam said Mark remained one of the capable hands needed to lead the nation out of the woods.

He said Mark had over the years demonstrated unwavering commitment to his fatherland.

He said, “Both as a military officer and politician, Senator Mark has proved to be a reliable and competent administrator.

“The nation would benefit from his wealth of experience if given the mandate to be President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

Abdulsalam said he was pleased to note that the PDP was putting its house in order and playing the role of an opposition party, hoping that the 2019 elections would be free, fair and credible.

He counseled political parties, aspirants and supporters to play the game according to the rules, adding that only the wishes of the people would endure.

Earlier, Mark told his host that he was prepared for the contest believing that his track records of meritorious services to the nation had put him in a better stead to lead the nation.

The meeting later went into a closed door that lasted for about two hours.  (Punch)

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