Image

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)

http://www.twitter.com/RNNetwork1

Continue reading

Advertisements
Image

Dogara’s Defection Didn’t Come As A Surprise – APC |The Republican News

“Dogara’s reported defection has not come to us as a surprise. It was only a matter of time judging by Dogara’s anti-party antics in the National Assembly

Romanus Ugwu, Abuja

The All Progressives Congress (APC) says that the reported defection of the Speaker House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, did not come to them as a surprise, accusing him of anti-party activities.

Reacting to the reported silent defection, the ruling party quipped that the comment by President Muhammadu Buhari that ‘weakest people whose senses of expectation do not align with our vision have exited our par, aptly sums Dogara’s reported defection.

The statement signed by the Ag National Publicity Secretary Yekini Nabena, read:

“We have received several media requests for a reaction to the purported defection of the Speaker, House of Representatives, Dogara from the APC to one of the opposition political parties, as reported in the media.

“In reacting, a recent comment by President Buhari, aptly sums Dogara’s reported defection: “The weakest people whose senses of expectation do not align with our vision have exited our Party”.

“Dogara’s reported defection has not come to us as a surprise. It was only a matter of time judging by Dogara’s anti-party antics in the National Assembly where in connivance with the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, he exploited all available avenues to sabotage and undermine the APC-led executive.

“Dogara’s anti-party activities which enabled one of the opposition party’s sole victory in Bogoro Local Government Area (Dogara’s council) during the recent Bauchi South Senatorial bye-election won by the APC is another pointer, among several others.

“Indeed, all politics is local. As a Party, we empathise with Dogara on his confusion and despair over his bleak political future given the fact that he is not on ground and a political paperweight in his home Bauchi state. In his emergence as Speaker, Dogara was merely used by his political master to achieve their selfish political ends at the time.

“They have since moved on to pursue their individual political aspirations and left Dogara in the cold. We would advise Dogara against his ill-advised decision to re-contest his House of Representatives seat under the opposition party he is linked with because a crushing and humiliating defeat surely awaits him.

“As a party, we remain united and committed to our progressives ideologies. We urge party faithful to consolidate on our strengths and collectively go into the 2019 general elections as a united and strong political fighting force to sustain the Change Agenda we are implementing for the benefit of Nigerians,” the statement read.   (The Sun)

http://www.twitter.com/RNNetwork1

Continue reading

Image

House Speaker, Dogara Dumps APC, Picks PDP Forms |The Republican News

Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja

 

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, may have finally defected from the All Progressives Congress to the Peoples Democratic Party.

Our correspondent gathered on Wednesday night that the embattled speaker had picked the PDP nomination and expression of interest forms to return to the House in 2019.

A member of the National Working Committee of the party, who spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity,  said that the speaker had picked the forms.

“Yes, he had picked our forms, but don’t quote me, he has joined us,” the source said last night.

Dogara had two days ago expressed his desire to return to the National Assembly in 2019 when members of his constituents visited him in Abuja.

However, he refused to state the political party that he would use to facilitate his ambition.

The Speaker had been having running battles with the leadership of the APC in both his state, Bauchi and at the national level.

Just like the President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki, who had defected to the PDP from the APC,  Dogara had also absent from the activities of the ruling party.

Our correspondent gathered that the decision by Dogara was necessitated by the fear that his party no longer had faith in him.

With this decision, it is expected that he would announce his defection to his colleagues in the House when the National Assembly resumes after the political parties’ primaries. (Punch)

http://www.twitter.com/RNNetwork1

Continue reading

Image

2019 Election: PDP Governors Accuse INEC of Working For APC |RN

Secondus-and-PDP-governors

The PDP governors accused the electoral body of conducting itself as a tool of the APC-led Federal Government

• Pass vote of no confidence on electoral body

• Ruling party, INEC dismiss allegation

Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja

Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has claimed that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is working for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

In a communique issued at the end of its emergency meeting in Abuja, yesterday, the PDP governors accused the electoral body of conducting itself as a tool of the APC-led Federal Government and therefore passed a vote of no confidence in the electoral umpire.

According to the communique signed by the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, who is also the chairman of the Forum, the party noted that there was need for INEC to reinvent itself and become a truly independent electoral umpire.

“For now, we have no confidence in INEC. The commission has conducted itself as a tool of the APC-led Federal Government, especially with the roles of the Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, and a National Commissioner, Mrs. Amina Zakari.”

Also, the PDP governors condemned the failure of President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the Electoral Act amendment bill passed recently by the National Assembly.

According to them, the decision of President Buhari to withhold assent to the new electoral law is an indication that he and the ruling APC were afraid of the introduction of technology into the electoral system.

But in a swift response, the APC dismissed the PDP’s allegation, maintaining that it lacked the credibility and rectitude to question the integrity of INEC.

This is just as the electoral body reaffirmed its determination to conduct a free, fair credible polls.

Spokesperson of the ruling party, Yekini Nabena, challenged the PDP to retrospect on the elections it conducted in the past 16 years it was in charge, arguing that they were riddled with fraud, irregularities and litigations.

He said the statement by the PDP was a confirmation that they were losers.

“PDP knows that it cannot withstand the ruling party in a free and fair poll and that must have informed the recent alarm targeted at discrediting INEC.

“I want to emphasise that APC has confidence in INEC and before PDP can discredit INEC, they should retrospect and appraise the performance of INEC during their 16 years in power and compare it with the performance of INEC now. The PDP knows that it didn’t conduct credible elections while they were in charge.

“In case PDP forgot, let me remind them that almost all the elections INEC conducted under them ended in litigations. They were marred by fraud and irregularities. PDP lacks the moral to criticise INEC. The APC cannot degenerate to level of PDP in discrediting INEC,” he said.

Reacting to the allegation, INEC said it was not bothered about the attack from the PDP since Nigerians were appreciative of the credibility it has recorded so far.

According to Rotimi Oyekanmi, Chief Press Secretary to the INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu: “Since the inauguration of the current leadership of the INEC in November 2015, the Commission has been putting various measures in place to improve and strengthen the electoral process. And in doing so, the Commission has also carried all stakeholders along.

“Not only that, by putting all cards on the table at all times, INEC has continually demonstrated integrity, transparency and efficiency. The efforts are paying off. Only on August 31, the Commission brought the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) to a close after registering a record 14.5 million voters in 16 months.

“The Commission has also conducted about 190 different types of elections, including six governorship elections, none of which has been overturned. From the feedback we are getting from Nigerians, they are appreciative of our efforts and our pledge is that we will deliver a free, fair and credible 2019 General Elections.”   (The Sun)

http://www.twitter.com/RNNetwork1

Continue reading

Image

PDP Asks Tambuwal, Atiku, Kwankwaso, Others To Accept Primary’s Outcome

                 National Chairman of PDP, Uche Secondus

Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja

 

In a bid to have a rancour-free presidential primary, the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party met with its presidential aspirants in Abuja on Wednesday night.

The PDP team was led by its National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus.

Other members of the party’s National Working Committee and some members of the Board of Trustees were also in attendance.

Present at the meeting were the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki; a former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar; a former governor of Plateau State,  Jona Jang;  Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal,  a former governor of Sokoto State,  Attahiru Bafarawa and a former Chairman of the PDP  Caretaker Committee, Ahmed Makarfi.

Also in attendance were a former governor of Kano State,  Rabiu Kwankwaso and a former Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations, Alhaji Kabir Tanimu Turaki (SAN).

Absent from the meeting were  Ahmed Datti, Gombe State Governor, Ibrahim Dankwanbo and a former governor of Jigawa State,  Alhaji Sule Lamido.

The meeting was held behind closed door.

It was gathered that Secondus told the aspirants that the party would conduct a free, fair and credible primary.

He was also said to have assured them that the NWC had no favourable aspirants among them, adding that the primary aim of the party was to sack the All Progressives Congress’ Federal Government in 2019.

He told them that the party and others leaders in the country would want the aspirants to cooperate with whoever emerged as the party’s candidate at the October 6 national convention.

A source at the meeting said, “Secondus, in his opening remark, thanked the aspirants for having confidence in the party and its national leadership.

“He also asked them to say whatever they have in mind and suggest to the party,  areas they felt that the NWC should work on in order to have a credible primary.”

Sources at the meeting told our correspondent that the aspirants demanded a free and transparent primary.

They were said to have also said that they would “cooperate with anyone that emerges so far the process is credible,  free and fair. “

Speaking with our correspondent on the outcome of the meeting, Secondus said he assured the aspirants of the party at all levels that there would be free, fair and transparent primaries where the delegates’ decision would prevail.

“Let me tell you that we the members of the NWC are assuring all aspirants of our party that the era of impunity or imposition is over in the party as a rebranded PDP under my watch would ensure transparency and fairness for all,” he added.

Secondus appealed to the aspirants to work harmoniously among themselves in the interest of the party “since it is only one person that will get the slot at the end of the day.”

He said, “I told them that we must not forget to put the will of God in all we do bearing in mind that nobody gets power unless as designed and approved by God.

“We are proud of all our aspirants, all of them are eminently qualified to rule this country and if we work in harmony we would chase away the APC out of the Aso Rock Villa by 2019.”

It was also gathered that all the aspirants in attendance were given time to speak. (Punch)

http://www.twitter.com/RNNetwork1

Continue reading

Image

Saraki Declares Presidential Bid, Promises Genuine Anti-Corruption War |RN

John Alechenu and Eniola Akinkuotu

Senate President Bukola Saraki has formally declared his intention to contest the presidency on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party.

Saraki made the declaration on Thursday in Abuja during his meeting with Not-Too-Young-to Run-Movement.

The Senate President lamented the poor state of Nigeria’s infrastructure and growing insecurity as exemplified by acts of terrorism, kidnapping, banditry and sundry other crimes which he said he would tackle if elected.

He said, “I hereby announce my intention to run for the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the coming General Elections in 2019 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party.

“I do so with the firm conviction that I have what it takes to secure inclusive growth for Nigeria and Nigerians.

He said Nigeria was blessed with a relatively young country bursting with tremendous energy, ability and potential.

Saraki further observed that more than 70 per cent of the country’s population is under the age of 40.

The Senate President lamented that Nigerians were crying out for succour because a large number of its population of women and children were hungry and dying of avoidable or treatable diseases.

He also said many had fallen below basic living standards and were among the 87 million that sealed Nigeria’s position as the country with the highest number of people in extreme poverty.

Saraki said, “Our young people lack opportunities. The necessary education facilities and system to equip them for the future simply do not exist. We are not creating the jobs needed to usefully engage them in order to grow our economy. And too often, youths feel shut out, prevented from having any say in the direction of this nation.

“The harsh conditions of extreme poverty faced by the people, fuel the state of insecurity all over the country. Hunger, the lack of education and lack of opportunities, push many Nigerians into criminal activities including terrorism.

“Many of our communities are paralysed with fear due to incessant communal crises, kidnappings and other social ills, as well as the threat of terrorism. We are failing abysmally to tackle the problems of today and to prepare for the future.”

He expressed sadness that Nigeria had become increasingly divided along regional, religious and ethnic lines thus widening the nation’s fault lines.

Nigeria, he said, needed a new generation of leaders that are competent, with the capability to rise to the challenges of the 21st century, adding that it was time to pull the nation back together and rebuild.

“The choice we face in the forthcoming election is either to keep things as they are or make a radical departure from the old ways; to find a better way of doing things or keep repeating the mistakes of the past, to fix the problems or keep compounding them,” he said.

Saraki promised to, among other things, provide a government driven by youthful energy, innovation and a pioneering entrepreneurial spirit.

Towards this end, he said Nigerian youths will be given all the opportunities to realise their potential to the full within a national framework that guarantees inclusiveness.

He said his administration will ensure that youths who have ideas and capacity will be funded in ventures that will be beneficial to the nation in order to create jobs.

On the war against corruption, Saraki said, “Ours will not be a selective fight against corruption. The emphasis will be on strengthening institutions, with a particular focus on deterrence.

“We cannot afford to compromise our institutions with proxy wars against perceived political opponents. We see the fight against corruption as crucial to Nigeria’s economic development.”

He said the leadership Nigeria deserves is one that will be a source of pride to all, one that will be respected and admired in Africa and around the world.

“It should be a leadership that can hold its own and stand tall anywhere in the world. That is the type of leadership I offer.” Saraki added.

Meanwhile, the Not-Too-Young-to-Run movement has distanced itself from the Presidential declaration of Senate President Bukola Saraki.

The group said it had only invited Saraki and other chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party to a town hall meeting as part of efforts to ensure that youths were given some concessions ahead of the 2019 general elections.

It said it was shocking when Saraki seized the opportunity to declare his Presidential bid thereby compromising the event.

The statement read in part, “Whilst addressing participants at the town hall, Senator Saraki declared his intention to run for the office of the President in the 2019 elections. The movement wishes to express its disappointment with Senator Saraki for usurping a platform designed for young aspirants to hold dialogue with party leadership to advance his personal political ambition. We strongly condemn this act by the President of the Senate.

“The movement restates its commitment to sustain its engagement with political parties to ensure youth candidacy and democratic party primaries. As noted earlier, the movement reaffirms its identity as a non-partisan citizen-led movement dedicated to the defence of democracy, political inclusion and transformative leadership.” (Punch)

http://www.twitter.com/RNNetwork1

Continue reading

Image

Kwankwaso: Eagle Square Belongs To All Nigerians – Saraki |RN

Bukola-Saraki
                                  Senate President Bukola Saraki

…as ex-gov declares presidential bid in hotel

John Alechenu and Olusola Fabiyi

The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, has denounced the last-minute cancellation of the approval earlier granted to Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, to use the Eagle Square for his 2019 presidential declaration.

The denunciation is contained in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, in Abuja on Wednesday.

Saraki was quoted as saying “The refusal to allow Senator Kwankwaso to utilise the Eagle Square for his presidential declaration, despite an earlier approval, sends a wrong message about our democracy, particularly the tolerance level in our politics.

“That square belongs to all Nigerians because it was built with public funds. We hope this is not what we will be seeing as we approach the 2019 General Elections.”

Recall that the Federal Capital Territory Administration denied him the use of the Eagle Square and the International Conference Centre, which he had initially booked for the occasion.

The FCTA had claimed that it took the action because Wednesday was a workday and that the event would impede the movements of workers.

The Senate President insisted that the “Eagle Square belongs to all Nigerians,” noting that the cancellation sent a wrong message about the tolerance level in our politics.

Meanwhile, Kwankwaso has declared his intention to run for the presidency in 2019 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party.

Kwankwaso, who used a private hotel for the declaration in Abuja on Wednesday, promised to provide what he called “value-added leadership” if elected.

Dressed in the white kaftan with a red cap, Kwankwaso exuded confidence as he spoke amidst shouts of “kwankwasiya” by his supporters, who came from across the country for the event.

He said, “As I formally declare my intention to vie for the office of the President on the platform of the PDP, I promise you a value-based leadership.

“We shall provide national security and as a former Minister of Defence, I know what I am talking about here.”

Kwankwaso listed national unity and cohesion, restructuring and qualitative education as some of the key areas he would focus on if he was elected President.

The former governor, who was a minister of defence, stressed that his administration would focus on the economy, human capital development, global competitiveness as well as research and innovation.

He said, “The primary responsibility of the government is the security of life. My understanding of national security transcends the stereotype limiting it to the armed forces and other security agencies.

“As former Minister of Defence, I understand security from that point; it covers more and includes the entire scope of food, health care delivery, education, economic prosperity, and enjoyment of human rights on the physical defence and security side.

“There is the need for well-timed, motivated, well-equipped and intelligence-propelled security architecture. That requires decisive options of strengthening and equipping the military while restructuring the police to make it more effective.”

He said his administration would also pursue other institutional reforms in the polity.

Kwankwaso maintained that the priority of his leadership would be the enhancement of a united Nigeria driven by productivity.

He added, “A key propellant of our journey must be a committed desire to ensure that the labours of our heroes shall truly not be in vain.

“We will strive to create an atmosphere where every Nigerian has an equal opportunity to contribute.

“Our restructuring will be to ensure an inclusive political, social and economic space for all. All of this will ensure that first, we are Nigerians.”

Kwankwaso pointed out that he would lead a Nigeria where people are educated and exposed beyond the confines of their tribe, religion, linguistic group or place of birth.

“l want to lead a Nigeria where citizens respect their leaders and leaders to lead and forge a team to promote and protect the interest of all Nigerians.

“I want to lead a Nigeria where all are comfortable anywhere and on any positive issue can compete fairly with their peers without favour or discrimination.

“Education in Nigeria will be rejuvenated and restructured to make future generations not only problem solvers but proud custodians of their culture, heritage and history and also for creating confidence in all Nigerians across all the states, sectors and talents,” he added.

Linking us to Kwankwaso’s inability to use Eagle Square mischievous – APC

The All Progressives Congress has described attempts to link it to the inability of an aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party to secure the use of the Eagle Square, to declare his intention to run for the office of President as mischievous.

Although the APC did not name the aspirant, only former Kano State Governor, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, was on Wednesday denied access to the Eagle Square after he had paid for the use of the facility for his declaration.

In a statement signed by its acting National Publicity Secretary, Mr Yekini Nabena, in Abuja on Wednesday, the APC described attempts to link the party to the development as mischievous.

The statement read, “We frown on mischievous attempts in some quarters to blame the All Progressives Congress for the inability of a Peoples Democratic Party presidential contestant to secure the Eagle Square for his declaration.

“The party read in the media reasons given by the facility managers of the Abuja International Conference Centre and Eagle Square not to allow campaigns on its facility on Wednesday to avoid disruption of workflow at the federal secretariat, the main hub of civil servants in Abuja.

“Hence the allegation is unnecessary and misplaced. We should not be dragged into a private transaction involving entities we have no business with.”

It added, “In any case, the 2019 elections will not be won by cheap campaign ground antics but actual votes from the Nigerian electorate who are wise and know who is working in their interest.

“Never again will we return governance of our dear country to the hands of those that selfishly have held us back for years.”  (Punch)

http://www.twitter.com/RNNetwork1

Continue reading