The Director-General of the Progressives Governors Forum, Dr. Salihu Lukman, has warned the All Progressives Congress (APC) not to admit former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, into the party.
This comes after pictures of a meeting between the APC National Chairman, Governor Mai Mala Buni; Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello; and Fani-Kayode emerged.
It had led to rumours that Fani-Kayode might be preparing to dump the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the ruling party.
“Do we want to reduce our party into one in which everybody is welcome?
“Can we for instance in anyway or form contemplate having an Nnamdi Kanu or Abubakar Shekau as a member?
“At this rate, Nigerians will just wake and see some of our leaders presenting Mr. Fani-Kayode to President Buhari as a new member of our party.
“Although, we can confidently argue that President Buhari will not approve such deranged possibility, it is important to caution that such consideration will be stretching the trust of party members beyond acceptable limits,” the statement read in part.
Fani-Kayode had earlier claimed his meeting with the APC chieftains was to discuss national issues and party politics.
The PDP chieftain also noted that Nigerians must set aside their differences, because the country was heading towards a civil war. (Daily Post)
The Peoples Democratic Party had said the allegations by the Presidency, that certain Nigerians, particularly the elite, are waging a smear campaign against the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), shows that the Buhari regime “is being haunted by the shadows of its own failures”.
The PDP in a statement titled ‘Smear campaign: Nobody but your failures are after you, PDP Mocks Buhari Presidency’, by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, advised Buhari to stop his “new-found pleading with Nigerians to award him an unmerited pass mark”.
The PUNCH reports that the Presidency had on Friday raised the alarm over what it called planned orchestrated smear campaign against Buhari, using some online newspapers and blogs.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, made the claim in a statement titled “Unrelenting plot to wage smear campaign against President Buhari.”
The fresh alarm is Adesina’s second in about one month having issued a similar statement in December 2020 in which he alleged plan to smear the image of the President and portray him as not being in charge of the affairs of the government.
But PDP warned the presidency to stop assaulting the sensibilities of Nigerians and stop blaming elite for Buhari’s failure.
Part of the statement read, “It is clear that the Buhari-led APC administration is plagued by all-round failure in governance. If indeed it has any record of success in any sector, Mr. President would not be begging Nigerians, even in his home state, Katsina and among his party members, to award him a pass mark.
“It is rather appalling that instead of facing reality, the Buhari Presidency is threatening Nigerians and overheating the polity will allegations of plots to wage a “smear campaign” against President Buhari in unnamed online newspapers.
“Such allegation is only symptomatic of a failed administration that is looking for who to blame for its woes. This is more so as any fair appraisal of the Buhari-led APC will only present a litany of failures and woes
“We however hope that this allegation is not a ploy for a renewed clampdown on the media and dissenting voices, particularly those now arising among well-meaning APC leaders, who are completely disenchanted by the incompetence and corruption inherent in their party and its administration.
“In any case, President Buhari and his APC should know that Nigerians have moved on and cannot be swayed again by false performance claims and unfounded propaganda.” (Punch)
By Olalekan Adetayo, John Alechenu, Friday Olokor and Adelani Adepegba
THE Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said despite the security challenges being witnessed in parts of the country, security situation under the current regime is better than the situation in 2015 when the regime came on board.
Mohammed made the claim at a press conference in Abuja.
This is as the Peoples Democratic Party, Youruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, the Middle Belt Forum and security experts dismissed the minister’s claim, saying the country has never experienced the level of insecurity across the country.
Speaking further, the minister said, “I have no hesitation in saying yes; that the security situation in the country is better than we met it in 2015. Nigeria today is facing security challenges but it is by far better than what we met.
“What do I mean? Prior to 2015, bombings, suicide bombings by Boko Haram were taking place in at least 12 states of the federation. They were Plateau, Kano, Kaduna, Bauchi, Yobe. Not even Abuja was spared.
“And if you look at the number of lives that were lost before then and today, there is no doubt that yes we have challenges but we are much better than it was.”
Earlier, while reading from a prepared text titled, ‘FG makes progress in war against terror, banditry’, the minister claimed that the nation’s security agencies were winning the war against insecurity.
He said, “Since the beginning of this year, which is barely three weeks old, the Armed Forces of Nigeria have neutralised 158 criminal elements across the country. This is in addition to scores of other terrorists and bandits killed during air strikes.
“Some 52 criminal elements were arrested, with scores of arms, ammunition and equipment recovered. Troops have also rescued a total of 17 kidnapped victims across the country.”
Mohammed added that 684,856 barrels of stolen crude oil, 1,724,000 litres of stolen Automotive Gas Oil and 500,000 litres of Dual-Purpose Kerosene have been recovered this year.
While saying the successes recorded by security agencies did not come cheap, Mohammed regretted that some of the troops paid the supreme price in the course of the operations.
He said 118 bandits were killed in the North-West with 11 kidnap victims rescued and 11 arrests made; and 30 suspected terrorists killed in the North-East with arms and ammunition recovered.
Nigerians no longer buying Buhari’s propaganda, says PDP
Reacting, the Peoples Democratic Party on Monday said Nigerians were no longer subscribing to the propaganda being dished out daily by the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, said, “With due respect to the minister, Nigerians are no longer buying the tissues of lies laced with propaganda being dished out by this Buhari regime on a daily basis.
“We had a successful election in Borno State the epicentre of the Boko Haram insurgency in 2015, results were collated and announced, and not a single local government was in the hands of the terrorists.
“Yet, this regime which was a beneficiary of that election is today telling Nigerians that Boko Haram was in control of territory. Nigerians are counting months to the next election to vote out the APC and all its represents.”
Security experts disagree
Also, a security expert, Ben Okezie, disagreed with the minister, saying the security situation in the country had deteriorated.
He stated, “Everybody knows that people are living in fear; so, it is not true that the security situation is better. The insurgents are daily attacking and abducting people.
“Consider what is happening in Oyo State where herdsmen are killing and abducting the residents. And to worsen the situation, the IG deployed a female commissioner of police without much experience to handle the crisis.”
A security consultant, Kabir Adamu, says if the minister used conventional metrics, he cannot say security was better.
He added, “If he (Mohammed) is being fed with information by the military, they will tell you security has improved. The police will tell you the same thing and that is what they are telling the President and by extension, the minister of information.”
Afenifere, Middle Belt Forum too
Speaking, the National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, said, “These people now believe their own low quality lies and it is unfortunate for the country. We know that things are far worse today than when the President came in, but apostles of falsehood will make just any claim to justify their pay.”
Similarly, the National Publicity Secretary, Middle Belt Forum, Dr Isuwa Dogo, described the assertion that the nation’s security situation had improved compared to the pre-2015 period as an incontestable lie too glaring for anyone to debate.
“Just last year in 2020, the death toll from the killing spree unleashed by these bloodthirsty herdsmen hit over 1,400 in Kaduna State alone, especially in the southern part.
“The Federal Government should stop this self-deceit that the nation’s security situation is better compared to the pre-President Muhammad Buhari’s administration,” Dogo said.
The Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, told the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party in Abuja on Tuesday that he was leaving the party.
He said he would join the ruling All Progressives Congress which he claimed would protect the interest of the South-East in the 2023 elections.
Our correspondent gathered that Umahi told the members of the National Working Committee of the PDP that his decision to join the APC was irrevocable.null
The members of the PDP NWC, who were led to the meeting by its National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, were said to have tried in vain to convince the governor not to abandon the party.
Apart from Secondus, among those that were at the meeting at the Ebonyi Governor’s Lodge in Abuja were Deputy National Secretary, Agbo Emmanuel; National Organising Secretary, Austin Akobondu; Financial Secretary, Abdullahi Maibasira; National Women Leader, Mariya Waziri and Senator Sulieman Nazif.
The governor was said to be friendly when he received the PDP delegation, but stuck to his decision to leave the PDP when the issue came up.
It was gathered that the PDP delegation impressed it upon the governor that there was no need leaving the PDP for the APC, which they argued had become unpopular.
Sources at the meeting, however, said the governor was not convinced, insisting that the APC was planning to zone the 2023 Presidency to the South-East.
He was said to have promised to stay in the PDP if the party could make a pronouncement that it would zone the Presidency to the same
One of the sources said, “I think his (governor’s) mind was made up. We told him there was no need for him to abandon the party that had made him a deputy governor, state chairman of the party, two-time governor and all that. But he refused.
“He wanted us to unilaterally zone the office of the Presidency to his area. We cannot do that. Parties are not run that way. He told us he was leaving. That is what we got from him.’’
When contacted, Secondus confirmed that the party’s leadership met with Umahi.
He, however, refused to declared the details of the meeting, insisting that the meeting was on ‘‘national issues.’’
Congratulations to the people of Edo State on a credible and peaceful governorship election. We thank the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Nigerian security services on the positive role they played in the election and commend their work in strengthening Nigeria’s democracy. We recognize the critical role that Governor Godwin Obaseki and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu played in promoting peace. We also thank our civil society partners for their invaluable work in upholding democracy and accountability in this election.
The United States remains concerned with reports of some violence that did emerge during the election, and by reports of vote-buying and intimidation of both voters and civil society domestic observers. We will continue to encourage all stakeholders, including INEC, political parties, and the security services, to improve the electoral process in the upcoming Ondo State governorship election. As a democratic partner of Nigeria, the United States remains committed to working together to achieve our mutual goals of peace and prosperity for the citizens of both our countries.
The All Progressives Congress has congratulated Governor Godwin Obaseki on his re-election as the Governor of Edo State.
This was contained in a statement by the chairman of the APC national caretaker committee, Mai Mala Buni, on Monday.
The statement was released a few hours after Buni and the chairman of the party’s governorship election campaign for Edo State, Abdullahi Ganduje, met with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), behind closed doors.
It was titled “Edo State Governorship Election: Victory for Democracy” and personally signed by Buni.
Buni, in the statement, described the election as peaceful, adding that its outcome represented a victory for Nigeria’s democracy.
He explained that some problems within APC worked against the party and its candidate in the just-concluded election.
The governor subsequently warned against disunity in the party.
The PUNCH had reported Sunday that the Independent National Electoral Commission declared the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Governor Godwin Obaseki, winner of the keenly contested election.
INEC’s Returning Officer, Prof. Akpofure Rim-Rukeh, said Obaseki polled 307,955 votes to defeat his closest rival, Ize-Iyamu, who got 223,619 votes.
The statement read, “The September 19, 2020 Edo State Governorship election is over, the winner has been declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission in the person of the Mr. Godwin Obaseki, candidate of the People Democratic Party.
“We hereby congratulate the winner of the election, the people of Edo State and all Nigerians. The peaceful conduct of the election and its outcome represent victory for Nigeria’s democracy
“As a party, we join our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, to affirm our ‘commitment to free and fair elections’ in order to strengthen ‘the foundation for our political and moral authority’. We commend INEC, our security agencies and all political parties that contested the election for the successful conduct of the election. As a governing party, we will take every step necessary to support the Federal Government to consolidate all the gains achieved.
“We, in particular, want to salute our candidate in the election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamuh for his tenacity and leadership. We similarly commend our Edo State leaders, especially our immediate past National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and all our members in Edo State for demonstrating unwavering support for our party and our candidate in the election.
“In the face of all the challenges, we collectively remained faithful and worked tirelessly during the campaigns. We appeal to all our members to be strengthened by the outcome of the election and unite in order to correct all the problems that worked against our party and our candidate in the just-concluded election.
“Let us unite to move our democracy forward. We must put an end to the era when the electoral contest become warfare. We urge our candidate and all our members to join us in congratulating Mr. Godwin Obaseki and the PDP, being the declared winner of the election.
“Our attention must now shift to Ondo State and ensure that we win the October 10, 2020 election. September 19, 2020 Edo election should present a new watershed.
“We will work hard to win the Ondo election. Having reaffirmed our commitment to free and fair elections, it is our expectation that all opposition parties in the country will also commit themselves to free and fair contests. We will therefore accordingly expect a congratulatory message from all parties just as we similarly guarantee that once we are defeated in a fair contest, we will congratulate the winner.” (Punch)
Oyo Governor Seyi Makinde and Governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Saturday’s election in Kogi state, Musa Wada on Friday escaped being whisked away by masked gunmen, who attacked the Suitorial Hotel where they were lodged.
The gunmen, dressed in police uniforms and bullet proof masks, were said to have arrived the hotel at about 12.50 pm with some of them scaling the fence to gain access.
Makinde is the Chairman of the PDP Governorship campaign Council for Kogi state.
The gunmen however did not succeed in gaining access into the hotel as security men attached to the Governor repelled and chased them away.
An eye witness said while some of the masked men climbed the fence of the hotel to gain access, others came in through the gate, alleging they may have come into the hotel to abduct the PDP candidate.
The eye witness said: “Some people said they may have been fake policemen but the governor’s security men said the attackers were not fake judging from uniform they were wearing and that they were hooded so that they will not be identified.”
Director General of Publicity of the PDP Campaign Council, Farouk Adejoh, who confirmed the attack told The Nation on phone that about 50 of the men dressed in police uniform came in to attack and apparently to abduct the governorship candidate of the PDP who was lodged in the same hotel.
Adejoh said: “I can confirm to you that the hotel was attacked by hooded men in police uniform. They came in tinted buses, but our security details repelled them.
“We have been complaining that there are so many tinted vehicles that are not registered in the state and two days ago, the Commissioner of Police said such vehicles should be impounded. But these men came in those tinted vehicles”.
Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Taiwo Adisa, also confirmed the attack, saying “Information reaching us from Lokoja, the Kogi state capital confirmed that some armed and masked security men who appeared in police uniforms have attacked the Governor of Oyo State, Engineer Seyi Makinde in Lokoja, Kogi state capital.
“Makinde is the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party’s Kogi State Campaign Council. He is in Kogi in his capacity as the Chairman of that Council.
“Eyewitnesses confirmed that the hooded security operatives arrived the Suitorial Hotels, Lokoja, located along Stadium Road, Lokoja where the Governor and some members of the PDP Campaign Council are lodged at about 12.50 pm, on Friday, shooting sporadically and attempting to break into the hotel rooms.
“It was gathered the some of the hooded security operatives scaled the fence of the Hotel and attempted to enter the rooms.
“A melee was set off as the security operatives attached to the Governor of Oyo state were said to have resisted the invaders.”
Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Busari, however said the Police also got the information but denied that there was an attack on the governor’s hotel.
The Nation gathered that the PDP high command has reached out to the Inspector General of Police, asking him to ensure that nothing happen to its candidate.
Information from Anyimgba, Dekina local government area of the state also have it some houses belonging to some PDP leaders in the area were allegedly destroyed early on Friday.
A source from the area said: “There were shooting throughout the night in Anyimgba by hoodlums who apparently don’t want people to come out and vote on Saturday.
‘’But the people are determined to vote and so they mobilised themselves and disperse the hoodlums.’’
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