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We Won’t Be Surprised If Sheriff Joins APC – Makarfi |The Republican News

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PDP chairman, Ahmed Makarfi

The Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, speaks with TOLUWANI ENIOLA on the recent victory of the party at the Supreme Court, the reconciliation agenda of the party, the 2019 election and other national issues

What does your victory at the Supreme Court mean to the PDP?

The victory was celebrated across the length and breadth of this country, even beyond the Peoples Democratic Party. That shows you that the PDP, even in its present shape, is what Nigerians are really looking forward to having in power again. They can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We are wooing members from other political parties, even if they are not partisan, to join the PDP in order to return to power in 2019. Our victory has signalled the end of the crisis. Prior to this victory, the sign was there for all to see. Let us consider the Osun West Senatorial election where the factions in the PDP came together and buried their differences and eventually won. This is a state where the All Progressives Congress controls. Look at the margin between the PDP and the APC candidate. That was a warning shot to the APC. The Osun election victory shows the PDP will win in 2019 and that many Nigerians still love the party. This is the beginning of other victories yet to come. Governors like Nyesom Wike were in court and expressed happiness with the judgement. We have not heard any PDP governor coming out to deny the judgement or doing anything contrary to the unity plans. We are appealing to all aggrieved members to come and join hands with us and let us reform the party together. This judgement is good for democracy, good for Nigeria and also we should learn from our past mistakes and provide better leadership than we did before. It’s not as if we should not be proud of what we did before, what we did before surpasses what is being done now, but we need to do much better.

The sacked national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ali Modu Sheriff, said he was shocked by the Supreme Court judgement which affirmed the leadership of the caretaker committee headed by you. What is your take on this?

I don’t really know what he means. Only Sheriff can tell us what he means by being shocked. The fact is that, in pursuing justice anywhere in the world, you can’t be so sure of the outcome of your case in court for a number of reasons. Many technicalities can arise. Even when one has a good case, one can still lose in the court. That happens a lot. We pursued this case it to a logical conclusion because we were sure of our facts and we had a team of good counsel. Despite that, we could not say hundred per cent where the pendulum was going to swing. If one wants to predict the outcome of cases, then it means such judgements had been determined before the conclusion of the matter. Maybe that was what he was expecting but I don’t know.

Why do you think that Sheriff lost at the apex court, having won at the appellate court? Do you think there is a problem with the country’s judiciary?

The judgement of the Supreme Court is a 93-page document. I have not seen the full judgement not to talk of reading it. I believe the reasons for losing the case are contained in the document. For anyone to know why one has to get the total pages and the facts. This is the Supreme Court, the plenary must have reasoned through and analysed the facts before them. I don’t think we should question the judgement of the apex court. The jurists have done what is right.

Has Sheriff congratulated you?

He has not congratulated me personally. I don’t think he has reached out to any of us. But I have read in the news (papers) that he issued a statement congratulating the party. I read about that but I have not spoken with him.

The All Progressives Congress said it was not threatened by your victory?

If they felt threatened, of course, they won’t say so. They won’t say they are frightened. By saying they are not threatened, that shows you that they are really frightened. There are times when someone says no, he means yes.

What is your immediate agenda for the party?

We have plans to pursue a reconciliation and accommodation agenda immediately after the judgement. We are pursuing rigorously a genuine reconciliation of all aggrieved members. I have been talking to many of them. The fact that we disagreed politically does not matter. We intend to set up a small team of credible people to deal with that. Our reconciliation plans cover not only those who sided with Sheriff, but other aggrieved members who developed cold feet or moved to other parties as the case may be. We are also working on an aggressive campaign to recruit new members into the party.

After the judgement, has any strong PDP member who joined the APC reached out to you or planning to come back to the PDP based on the victory?

Yes. I would not want to disclose their identities. Some of them have been in touch. That is all I will say on that for now.

Will there be an expansion of the executive for now to accommodate other aggrieved camps?

The focus now is the immediate reconciliation plans and to get a calendar for a convention where people will freely elect their permanent leaders for the party, at least for the next four years. Our tenure as the caretaker committee is limited and temporary and we don’t plan to stay beyond the period.

How soon will the PDP convention take place?

Only the national executive council (NEC) has the powers to decide that. That is beyond the caretaker committee. But NEC has not decided on that yet. I am sure they will soon meet to determine that.

Will you step aside or contest the party chairmanship during the convention?

I am not going to contest any elective position in the PDP. That has never been part of my ambition.

What if the NEC asks you to be the chairman?

There is no such plan. There is nothing like the imposition of candidates again. The position of the chairman is an elective position. The party members will decide who will be their next national chairman at the convention. To contest is a personal decision. I wouldn’t consider myself as the best to administer the PDP. The caretaker committee was an emergency response to save the party. I am happy I did my best.

Based on allegations of financial misappropriation, will Sheriff be probed?

We have no reason to probe Sheriff. There is absolutely no reason to probe anybody. We are not a vindictive set of leaders. We are refined set of leaders. Our plan now is to unify the party and make it stronger.

Has the agreement to cede the national chairmanship to the South-West changed?

Don’t forget that the national chairmanship was zoned to the South, not the South-West specifically. If the South, in general, deems it fit to cede it to any of the geopolitical zones in the South, no problem. The zoning structure of the PDP runs based on north or south.

The battle for victory was a prolonged one. What lessons have the victory taught you and other PDP leaders?

The lessons we learnt through the crisis is the need for an amendment of our constitution to make it more authentic. We need to block certain loopholes so that anybody who has a little disagreement with others won’t hold the party to ransom. We have learnt our lessons and will deal with the issues that would facilitate and encourage in-house resolution of conflicts without going to court.

Who are the prospective presidential candidates of the party for 2019?

It is an open race. Any card-carrying member that meets the electoral requirements is free to contest. You cannot exclude anybody; it is for the party members to say this is who we want.

Will the PDP woo back the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, and other strong PDP members who defected to the APC?

We don’t really have to woo anybody. It’s a personal choice. If they make up their minds to join us, we will accept them. Of course, there will be no special condition or treatment for those planning to come back to the PDP. I can assure you that there will be no preferential appeal to anybody or group of persons. The appeal will be general. We will reform the party and make it more democratic, thereby creating level playing fields.

Don’t you think the PDP needs bigger politicians in its fold?

We have many big people in the PDP already. We don’t lack big people. It’s not a matter of big people. Even if you are small, but you have the capacity, you should be given the chance. We are not going to do anybody a favour or give special treatment to any contestant, whether Saraki or Atiku if they defect and meet the party’s conditions, they can contest.

The PDP constitution has stipulated conditions to be the party’s flag bearer, no one can deny anyone that if you meet the position.

You talked with great assurance that the PDP would come back to power in 2019.With an almost collapsed structure, how will this be possible?

We are more serious about the restructuring of the country. Remember that the PDP was the first to address a world press conference as a political party and talked about restructuring, the kind of restructuring we need and to design modalities on how to go about it. It was after the press conference that series of conflicting statements started emanating from different parts of the country. We have set the pace on this. We know that restructuring means different things to different people. The number one thing to do in such a situation is to sit down together, to discuss and agree on the restructuring we want. Restructuring can be political, territorial, economic or others.

Already we are looking ahead. We have set up the Jerry Gana committee made up of over 250 people. We have a report that covers all aspect of reforming the party so that internal democracy is established. Now that we have victory, we are in a position to hold regular NEC meetings, and the NEC would consider the Gana report. Whatever the NEC approves, if it requires a constitutional amendment, administrative guidelines, in order to effect the needed changes, I am sure they will be addressed.

Do you think Sheriff will join the APC?

Remember that Sheriff came from the APC. We won’t be so surprised if he joins them. If he returns to the APC, we will also pray that those who left the PDP should return to the PDP. The equation will be balanced.

How can you quantify the loss of the party during the legal tussle?

There was not much loss. Is it not just to pay legal fees? Legal fees were contributed by party men and women who have the party’s interest at heart. We are grateful to them.

The PDP was broke and could not complete its new national secretariat, when will it be completed and how will it be funded?

Party men and women will contribute towards that. Well-meaning Nigerians willing to contribute are invited to donate.

What will happen in 2019?

Only God knows. But from what I can see, the most likely outcome is that the PDP will return to power.

Have you reached out to former President Olusegun Obasanjo since the Supreme Court victory?

We cherish the legacies of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. He is a father to many of us. Whether he is in the PDP or not, we will continue to honour him and hold him in high regard. We will never forget his legacies and the services he rendered to this country, not just as president but as a party leader.

What next for you in politics after relinquishing your position as caretaker committee chairman?

I never aspired to be the chairman. I am not the kind of person with a personal agenda. I am a party man. After this position, I will continue to contribute my quota to my party.

A former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, said the president will never come back alive. Do you think so?

I am not God. Nobody should play God on President Muhammadu Buhari’s health. He may come back, he may not come back. I am not in a position to say. I cannot play God. If anybody chooses to play God, that is their personal decision.

Should the president resign?

That is his personal opinion. I don’t know his current state. I cannot advise him based on what I read. He knows his state of health. Those in government should know better.

Should he declare his health status?

If Buhari declares his health status, what difference will it make? The fact is that there is an acting president in power, just as the Constitution has provided for. He has the full powers to perform the functions and duties of the president. If Buhari chooses not to declare his health status, that is his own business. The only thing I have against the government is its habit of giving excuses why things don’t work. This has been a government of excuses. We tend to be gullible and follow. As far as we are concerned, Osinbajo is there to do his work. The APC is a party of all kinds of contradictions. Right from day one, their contradictions surfaced. There was no effective communication between the party and National Assembly members. That lack of communication is affecting the national parliament up till now. We hear that there are many camps within struggling to get one thing or the other. There is no cohesion, there is division. They should finish their tenure and see what happens in 2019. (Punchng.com)

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Nigerians Still Believe In PDP, Says Jonathan |The Republican News

 

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Former President, Goodluck Jonathan

 

Former President Goodluck Jonathan said Nigerians still believed in the capacity of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to lead the country.

Jonathan stated this at the expanded National Caucus of the party held on Monday night at Wadata House, Abuja.

He said that this was demonstrated with reactions by Nigerians to the Supreme Court judgment on the party’s leadership crisis on Wednesday.

He urged that all our efforts by PDP members and supporters within this period should be channelled towards building the party.

“Nigerians still believe in the PDP because when the Supreme Court judgment was given, I was so surprised because some of the people called and sent text messages to me.

“They are not even politicians but they are so happy that PDP has come on stream because they were worried that PDP will go down.

“So, if people who are not even members of PDP are so happy that PDP has now gotten a platform to operate in spite of the negative propaganda against us, it means people still believe in PDP.

“PDP is a party that Nigerians still believe in,” Jonathan said.

He appealed to party members to rebuild it, assuring that many people who stepped aside from the party as a result of its leadership crisis would return.

“The first thing we need to do is to rebuild the party because when the party is strong, everything will be added to that.

“Whether you have individual or group interest, as a politician, you must serve. These are very basic things, but first and foremost, we must strengthen the party.

“Let us cooperate with the Caretaker Committee and make sure that PDP is very cohesive. And when that happens, people who stepped aside may step back.

“We may not even need to go on a voyage of discovery to discover people. But they, themselves will come back because a strong party acts like a magnet.

“It will attract all the people that are interested,” he said.

On his part, Chairman of the PDP National Caretaker Committee, Sen. Ahmed Makarfi, said only a miracle would stop PDP from regaining power in 2019.

Makarfi said the meeting was convened to chart the way forward for the party.

“We call this caucus before the meeting of other organs. You are our party leaders.

“Immediately judgment was delivered, I said no victor nor vanquished, and we mean it.

“It does not mean taking what belongs to people and giving to a few people.”

On his part, Mr Ayodele Fayose, Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ekiti State, urged party members and leaders to return to the “home” and mobilise Nigerians at the grassroots.

“If this party must win, if PDP must get the confidence of Nigerians, if this party must be restored, our leaders must go back home and work,” Fayose said.

The Deputy President of the Senate, Mr Ike Ekweremadu, said that the Lord gave PDP the victory because He loved Nigerian.

He said that the time had come for the party to work together and deliver good governance to the country.

“Time to work is now; we must go back to the drawing board. We must not disappoint Nigerians. It is time for fence-mending and reconstructing Nigeria for real change.

“We all believe in the party that was why we stayed. We need everybody in this party to re-build the party,” Ekweremadu said.

The Board of Trustees Chairman, Alhaji Jubril Walid, said it was time for the party to build a new Nigeria.

Walid, who was represented by Mr Aminu Wali, said “this is a new PDP. It is going to have a new beginning, a new start, by the grace of God.”

Present at the meeting were David Mark, Remi Bakare, Stella Omu, Godswill Akpabio, Nyesom Wike, Sule Lamido, Ahmadu Ali and also Uche Secondus.

Others were Olisa Metu, Jonah Jang, Jerry Gana, Grace Bent, Gabriel Suswam, Emmanuel Udom, Sen Ifeanyi Okowa, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu and Darius Ishyaku

The other persons were Jonah Jang, Tom Ikimi, Vincent Ogbulafor, Ahmadu Ali, Jim Agbaje, Solomon Ewuga, Liyel Imoke, Ibrahim Mantu, Emeka Ihedioha, Dimeji Bankole.

Meanwhile, the former Chairman of the Party, Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff was absent. (NAN)

 

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Buhari Must Not Die, He May Not Be Stable Until End Of His Term- Primate Elijah Ayodele

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Primate Babatunde Elijah Ayodele

• SAYS, ‘KANU WILL NOT LEAD BIAFRA’

By Olakunle Olafioye

AS a follow up to his earlier prediction on why Ali Modu Sheriff must be stopped as PDP chairman, foremost Nigerian seer and cleric, Primate Babatunde Elijah Ayodele, in this interview reacts to last week’s Supreme Court verdict, which returned the Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee as the lawful leadership of the party.

He also speaks on the agitation for Biafra being championed by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) among other boiling issues.   

In your predictions published on August 14, 2016, you alluded to the fact that only the faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by Ahmed Makarfi could revive the party. Now with the Supreme Court having ruled in favour of the former Kaduna State governor, is that an indication that the party will bounce back?

We have just started. With Makarfi back in the saddle, PDP will be on its way to gradual recovery if they take the right steps. As it is PDP needs proper cleansing. Makarfi can still bring the party back but if the party brings the wrong person for the presidential election in 2019 the party may not win. Then, APC will now have crisis with Makarfi returning except they are able to put their house in order and re-strategize if the party is to retain power. At end of the day, it may neither be APC nor PDP that will get central if they fail to present sellable candidates.  I don’t want to talk about candidates now; at the appropriate time, I will reveal that.

What I am saying is that Makarfi can still stabilise PDP. What happens in Osun does not mean that PDP is back. They should reorganise the party properly and do the right thing in the party. At the same time, APC is cracking. If APC wishes to retain the Presidency they should also ensure they put their house in order. Then the vice president’s life is in danger but God will see him through. Many things will still be exposed to the plots against him. There are so many things we don’t see now; the vice president is struggling against the cabal. As it is now the villa is vacant.

What do you mean by this?

We still need to pray very well for Buhari to recover quickly. He may not be stable until the end of his term. I am also seeing a big referendum coming in Nigeria but I cannot see when or how it will come because God did not show me that. Honestly, Buhari needs prayers. His family needs to pray very well for him. I am not saying the medical treatment he is receiving will not work, but it is not the lasting solution. It is only God that can sustain his life. Buhari must not die because if he dies it will affect a lot of things in the North. But I see the national flag being flown at half mast but I don’t know where that is coming from. Oyegun’s seat is shaking. His position will be in crisis if Buhari fails to continue.

The agitation for the state of Biafra is still on. What is your view on it?

Nnamdi Kanu’s life is at risk especially because of the way he talks, his misuse of words. Forget about all he is doing, let him continue to pray to the dead souls. Kanu will not lead Biafra. Biafra vision may be actualized in the nearest future, he will not lead the Igbo to actualize the vision. He is taking some wrong steps that will fail him to actualize his dream as a leader of Biafra. Then the Igbo should not expect the Presidency in 2019. Their time has not come. I am talking as a prophet, not as a politician. Kanu is still going to face a lot of challenges and if he is not careful enough, he may miss it. He must be careful so that he doesn’t lose his life in the cause of this struggle. He needs to be extremely careful and watchful.

There will be election in Anambra although there will be crisis. If the governor remains steadfast with his party APGA God can help him to sustain that seat but he if he attempts to take wrong steps, he will see the other side of the voters. In a nutshell Nigeria is sitting on time bomb.

No party can do it. That is why I said Buhari should leave the issue of corruption because if we continue to play money politics, the fight against corruption will continue to be a mirage, even the EFCC cannot effectively fight corruption under the current arrangement until we stop money politics.

The Badoo crisis in Ikorodu seems to defy security solutions and many people believe it is more of a spiritual challenge. What is your view on this?

Let me say that the police have been trying their bit. They are not spirits, the residents are also doing their bit but the step they are supposed to take is to continue arranging prayer programmes involving churches and mosques and pray to God to arrest those behind the Badoo killings. I said it in 2013 that terrorism is coming to Lagos. This is part of the terrorism. Yet we still need to be more security conscious in Lagos.

There are other things that will follow. The security operatives just need to be ready to contain it. Christian association needs to come together, organize vigils for three days to make sure that Badoo is rooted out of Ikorodu. I am telling Lagosians that very soon those behind it will be exposed and Ikorodu will be free from this crisis. (The Sun)

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Makarfi Resumes Work At Wadata House, Says No Victor, No Vanquish |RN

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National Chairman of PDP, Ahmed Makarfi

…Says, ‘No victor,  no vanquished’ 

From: Ndubuisi Orji,  Abuja

Chairman,  National Caretaker Committee of the  Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP),  Sen. Ahmed Makarfi, on Wednesday afternoon, resumed at the party’s national secretariat, in Abuja, after the Supreme Court validated the sack of Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff as the party’s leader.
Makarfi arrived the secretariat in the company of members of the committee and other top notchers of the party few minutes after the apex court quashed the judgment of the Appeal Court,  Port Harcourt Division that declared Sheriff as the ‘authentic’ national chairman of the PDP.
Party chieftains present at the Secretariat included Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ike Ekweremadu, former ministers, among other party stalwarts.
Addressing a crowd of party faithful that thronged the Wadata House,  Makarfi said the Supreme Court judgment was a victory for all members of the party, noting that there was ‘no victor and vanquished’.
He said the legal battle the caretaker committee fought in the last was a battle for the sustenance of democracy in the country.
The PDP leader extended a hand of fellowship to members of the sacked National Working Committee (NWC) led by Sen. Sheriff,  noting the caretaker is committed to reconciliation in the party. However, he noted that the reconciliation must be based on equity and justice.
According to him:”The battle we fought was not a battle for PDP alone. It was a battle for democracy, it was a battle for supremacy of party men and women to decide their destiny. And it is a battle to do away with dictatorship in political parties and this will never repeat itself.
“There is no victor, there is no vanquished. We must be open to reconciliation. But there is a caveat: reconciliation does not mean we take what belongs to people and give it to you. Reconciliation must be based on equity, equality and values.
“With this caveat, we should be prepared and willing to reconcile with everybody. Anybody that can meet these criteria, we should be willing and open to reconciliation with such a person no matter where they are. ”
Makarfi said the caretaker committee will consult with the relevant organs of the party within the next two days and come up programmes on how to move the party forward.
On his part,  the National Legal Adviser of the party, Hon Dave Iorhemba told journalists that the Supreme Court judgment is a victory for democracy in the country.
“It is a victory for democracy.  It is not only a victory for the PDP.  It is a victory for all political parties.  This judgment has enshrined the supremacy of the convention of every political party.  It is  a victory for all of us”, he stated  (The Sun)

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BREAKING: Supreme Court Declares Makarfi Authentic Chairman Of PDP

By Ike Offor

 

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Chairman PDP party, Alhaji Ahmed Makarfi

 

The Supreme Court has declared Ahmed Makarfi the authentic chairman of PDP.

The legal case that has dragged on from the lower courts through to the Appeal Court and finally to the Supreme Court has finally ended in favour of Makarfi faction of the party.

The five-man Supreme Court judges panel came to a unanimous decision in their verdict and that seals the fate of the party, as it declares Ahmed Makarfi the real chairman of the party.

This is now the end of the road for Ali Modu Sheriff’s faction of the party. He has exhausted all his chances and the apex court of the land has made its decision.

There is wild jubilation in the Supreme Court in Abuja right now.

This could be the comeback that PDP needs since APC has proven to be a failure in all ramifications and has lost the goodwill of many Nigerians.

Now, the party could put its house in order or be the old party and blow their chances in elections ahead.

DETAILS LATER………..

The Republican News
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PDP Wins: Ademola Adeleke Defeats APC Candidate In Osun Bye-election |RN

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FEMI MAKINDE

The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Osun West Senatorial District by-election, Ademola Adeleke, on Saturday defeated the All Progressives Congress candidate, Senator Mudashiru Hussain, with total votes of  97, 480. Adeleke won nine out of the 10 local government areas.

Hussain, who was Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s anointed candidate got 66,116 votes.

In Iwo Local Government Area, Adeleke had 12,547 votes as against Hussain’s 12,205. While in Ejigbo Local Government Area, Hussain’s stronghold, the PDP candidate with 9,723 votes trailed his opponent who polled 12,229 votes.

Again, the former APC member, led with 9,096 votes with Hussain having 8952 votes in Irewole Local Government Area.

In Ayedire Local Government Area, Adeleke had 5,789 votes while Hussain trailed him with 5,360 votes.

It was a similar result in Olaoluwa Local Government Area as Adeleke led with 5,618 votes to Hussain’s 5,316.

The PDP candidate with 18,559 votes, led by a wide margin in Ede North Local Government Area as the APC candidate polled 2,784 votes.

It was a similar result in Ede South Local Government as Adeleke polled 13,406 votes while his opponent had 2,096 votes.

In Ayedaade Local Government Area, PDP had 9,061 votes while APC polled 7,179.

Hussain, who polled 4,768 votes in Egbedore Local Government Area, lost to Adeleke who had 7,142; while in Isokan Local Government Area, the PDP candidate led with 6,539 votes, with his APC counterpart polling 5,227.

Our correspondent observed that the by-election was peaceful in many places as security agents including soldiers were present at various points to prevent any breakdown of law and order just as the police on Saturday arrested three people.

The individuals were accused of attacking voters as they attempted to snatch ballot boxes.

Our correspondent gathered that the hoodlums invaded Igbokiti Unit Ward 10 in Okinnin, Egbedore Local Government Area and attacked some voters, who prevented them from snatching the boxes.

One of the voters, Olusegun Ige, who spoke with SUNDAY PUNCHsaid, “Some political thugs invaded our unit and attempted to hijack ballot boxes and stuff them with their own ballot papers but they were prevented. They injured some of the people who stopped them. But they were eventually overpowered and arrested by security agents.”

However, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Fimihan Adeoye, when contacted on the telephone said three persons were arrested but not arrested in connection with the election.

Speaking on the poll, Adeleke had said, “The process is going on well and I am very optimistic that with God on my side, I shall be victorious.”

The candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Osun West Senatorial District, Senator Mudashiru Hussain, who eventually lost the election had also said he was confident of emerging the winner of the poll.

He said, “I want to laud INEC for their arrangements and also want to want to laud the electorate for their enthusiasm. I am very optimistic of victory.”

Accreditation and voting started at 8 am in many polling units with voters trooping out early to exercise their franchise in all the 10 local government areas which make up the senatorial district.

Security was tight in Ede North, Ede South, Egbedore, Ejigbo, Iwo and other local government areas, while most roads were barricaded by soldiers. (Punchng.com)

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Sheikh Gumi Declares Buhari, APC As Failure Urged Nigerian To Reject APC , PDP In Next Election

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Sheikh Gumi and President Buhari

Sheikh (Dr) Ahmad Abubakar Gumi has declared the President Muhammadu Buhari APC-led administration as a failure. The Islamic scholar said this in his assessment of Buhari and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the last two years.

He noted that the general assessment of government’s performance was below the expectation of Nigerians, and urged Nigerians to reject both the APC and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) if they really desire a new lease of life.

His words: “The problem is that no matter how good you are as a leader, you should have a team. If you put Maradona in a bad team, no one will pass the ball to him in order to score a goal. The APC government has failed for lack of a team”.

“Every failure has reasons. When a patient dies in the hospital, there is usually a post mortem examination to determine the direct cause of death. We have symptoms but they may not be the cause of death.

“The widespread suffering in the country is a symptom of an underlying disease afflicting the nation that needs to be tackled. But if the government has been listening all along, it could have alleviated the problem or it could have done more than it is doing.

“I can imagine somebody who has nothing. How is he surviving? How is he paying his children’s school fees? How can he treat his children when they are sick? How can he feed? So, when you look at all these indices, you will know that it is a miracle that we are still existing.

“So, if we want to do a post mortem on this government, you have to look far beyond the inception of the administration. Like I said, they inherited some of the defects and the solution would have been to manage Nigeria as a critically ill patient”.

Gumi, a medical doctor, also stated that Nigeria is not united. He said the APC took over a divided country and that what political scientists needed to do at that time was to design a template without dividing Nigeria.

“Now, there is too much hostility and bad blood in the country. All I know is that all Nigerians are one. What we need was someone to correct us”, he said

“This is the time to bring people together, the kind of leader that Nigeria needs at this critical time is the one that can pacify. Not one that will show that he is clean and the other person is dirty. No. He should show that we are all dirty, let us all come and clean ourselves.

“So, the so-called clean party which has the broom, who is it trying to sweep? It is so antagonistic. It is so provocative that it has divided the country. If your house is also dirty, you cannot clean someone’s house. People thought that change is coming when it was not possible to effect that change.

Gumi fumed that top officials were getting away with stealing and corruption and cited examples.

“The allegations of corruption are already been made against the (suspended) Secretary to the Government of the Federation, of a government that is fighting corruption. And the government cannot do anything besides suspension.

“The present administration came to rule Nigeria using the slogan of war against corruption and this is disrupting the unity of the country. The unity of the country is more important than the money that people stole; more important than the current underdevelopment that we are witnessing”.

Asked the way out of Nigeria’s problems, Sheikh Gumi advised that before 2019, politics has to change completely and drastically.

“No more APC or PDP”, he declared, adding that “once they continue, Nigeria’s problems will continue. What I am saying is that they should metamorphose, they should change. When you see a butterfly, there was a time when it was a larva.

“The parties have to change; PDP has to change, APC has to change or it will break because it is an alloy which is not well moulded. We want these parties to change because of the future of our children.

“The major defect of APC is that it is a party which was grown by the power of individuals; Buhari in the North and Tinubu in the South West. And there is danger in this kind of politics. Look at Mugabe now, he has suppressed and pinned down everybody in Zimbabwe and he has been winning elections in quote.   (The Daily Times)

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