9jadiaspora news items

Kano Supplementary Election: Governor Ganduje on projects spree in cancelled ward

PREMIUM TIMES NIGERIA - Sun, 03/17/2019 - 10:52

An aide to the Kano governor justifies the projects in the earlier abandoned communities.

The post Kano Supplementary Election: Governor Ganduje on projects spree in cancelled ward appeared first on Premium Times Nigeria.

Dapo Abiodun Meets Gbenga Daniel Behind Closed Door Hours After His Resignation From PDP

SAHARA REPORTERS - Sun, 03/17/2019 - 09:47

Prince Dapo Abiodun, the Ogun State governor-elect, on Saturday held a closed-door meeting with Otunba Gbenga Daniel at the former Governor’s residence in Maryland, Lagos.

The meeting held hours after Daniel, who was Director-General of the Atiku Abubakar Campaign Organisation, announced his decision to quit the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and active politics.

In a letter dated March 14, 2019, and addressed to the National Chairman of the party, Daniel had said the decision is personal, as he had decided to take on “new challenges”.

He also said he had decided to “rejuvenate” his charity-based organisation, the Gateway Front Foundation (GFF), and that he had plans to resuscitate the “non-partisan Political Leadership Academy (POLA)”, which was “established some years ago as a platform of political education to our citizens”.

His most detailed explanation, though, is the series of internal crises that the PDP has grappled with since losing control of Ogun state in 2011, the peak of which was the 2019 governorship candidature tussle, which saw the court endorse Buruji Kashamu despite the party's preference for Ladi Adebutu.

Before the March 9 governorship election in Ogun, Daniel directed PDP supporters in Remo, Ogun State, to vote for Abiodun, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) would later declare Abiodun winner, announcing he polled 241, 670 votes to leave Adekunle Akinlade of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) in second place with 222, 153 votes.

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Tribute To Pius Adesanmi By Bayo Aregbesola

SAHARA REPORTERS - Sun, 03/17/2019 - 09:34


On February 18th, 2019 at about 6pm in Ottawa, I had a loaded conversation with Pius. Half in Yoruba and half in English, he said, “Bayo, mi o ro wipe mo ma make up to 50 years. As if to buttress his point and mock me with the premonition of his death, Pius repeated this to me in English language. “Bayo, the way I am feeling nowadays I might not make it up to the age of 50. My son was within hearing distance. I reverted back to the Yoruba language. I questioned Pius, asking him why he will nurse such silly thoughts.

Thereafter, I dismissed what appeared to be just a passing morbid moment as we changed the subject to the usual concerns about Africa, its potentials and its many unfulfilled promises. We also discussed our appreciation for and devotion to Canada, the country we both dearly love. We often wished many developing countries could emulate Canada’s love and respect for human capital development.  

Looking back now, I think that Pius might have had a premonition of what was coming in the next few weeks.  As I later found out and as reported in the editorial in the Washington Post, Pius had playfully penned his own epitaph in 2013. He wrote: “Here lies Pius Adesanmi, who tried as much as he could to put his talent in the service of humanity and flew away home one bright morning when his work was over.”

My friend, Pius Adebola Adesanmi was a like a meteor let loose from a comet and landed in Yagba land in Kogi state, Nigeria. Without doubt he used his 47 years sojourn on earth to create the effect of a star, lived a life full of his message, and left in a hurry before we could make sense of it all.

Our paths first crossed over two decades ago at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. We continued our friendship in Canada and lived together as students at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. So, you might understand, I would struggle to present our shared memories in less than 5 minutes. However, we can all agree that Pius was a good man. I know he had mentored and touched many lives. For me, I will confidently say that he was instrumental to my modest success. Where do I start or end if I had to tell my story about how Pius positively impacted my life?

I would assume you all know that Pius detested bad governance. So, you will not be surprised if I confess to you that after we completed our respective studies at UBC, Pius encouraged me to seek for an internship position at the International Criminal Court, ICC, in the Hague. 

He wanted me to work where people who perpetrated bad governance are held accountable for their actions. He said to me and I quote: “Bayo, you know, ICC is not only a good place for you to start your career, it will also be comforting for me to have a friend working with a Court where individuals that drove me out of my continent could be held accountable for crimes against humanity.” That was how I went to the Hague – by the way, not as a person indicted by the ICC, but as an Intern. And Pius went to teach at Pen State University in the USA.

By the time he moved to Carleton University, this angel called Pius that God assigned beside me guided me when I applied into the Canadian public service and soon, we were both back in Ottawa. He had a good heart. He was a good husband to his wife, Muyiwa and a good Dad to his lovely daughters, Oluwadamilare and OluwaTise. Many of you might not know, he was also a good cook. I am not suggesting that he was a better cook than his wife, and certainly not mine, but he was better than me. Since he was good at it, I left any cooking chores to him through the time we lived together as students at UBC.

Time will not permit me to go into more detail about many of his good deeds. As a messenger for humanity in the public space, he has left his footprints everywhere for posterity.

According to Gary Keller: Life is a question and how we live it is our answer. Pius lived a life that answers many questions. His life was his message. His pen was his weapon. It appears that he even used his pen to mock death by posting verses from Psalm 139 on his Facebook page a few minutes before the plane crash that took his life. It also seems that as a Pan-Africanist, he chose to embrace His maker on the African continent, specifically in Ethiopia, an African country that was never colonised since Italy’s occupation there never led to an enduring colonial government. Pius embraced Africa in complete pure form. Naija no dey carry last!

Muyiwa,  Damilare and Tise, may God uphold you.  Mama Adesanmi, eku oro omo. Oluwa aduro tiyin. To Pius’ siblings, extended family and his other friends and colleagues, Ojo ajina si ara won o. Pius has done his best for mankind and had left us behind to continue his good work.

As we celebrate his life, we should not forget that the only fitting tribute to his memory is to do our best for humanity. Je continue de croire que le seul hommage qui mérite d’être rendu en la mémoire de Pius serait de donner le meilleur de nous pour l’humanité. And to Payu – as I fondly called you, my friend and my brother – if you can hear this: Goodnight this morning!

Emmanuel Bayo Aregbesola

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I Was Asked To Join A Cult To Get Political Position, Says Taribo West

SAHARA REPORTERS - Sun, 03/17/2019 - 09:20


Taribo West, a former Super Eagles defender, has revealed that a running mate to a governorship aspirant in Rivers State, asked him to join a cult before he would be given political position in the state.

The former defender said this in an interview with The Punch newspaper, published on Sunday.

While reacting to the question on if lack of educational qualification of sportspersons was the reason for their exclusion in sports administration, West said Nigeria is the only country where other professionals are encumbered with different criteria to ascend the peak of their careers, while uneducated people can freely become politicians.

He said: "In Nigeria, is it every politician that went to school? Some can’t even write their names. But it’s only in my country that those in positions use demonic criteria to keep people away. In other countries, if you are competent for the job, they will give it to you.

“I have been involved in the political system and things like this discouraged me from it. If it means I have to be a cultist to get a position, I’m not ready for that. I’ll prefer to drink my garri at home and be free with God. At the time I was in politics, a running mate to a governorship aspirant in my state (Rivers), brought me money and told me to join their cult. He told me if I wanted power, they would give me position, and that if I wanted money, I would be given. But he insisted that I must be involved in their cultism activities."

He also said he was available in the state to groom young footballers, but he was not given the opportunity to operate freely because he was not in a “caucus”.

West said: “I’ve made myself available for Rivers State for so many years. But if you are not their member, they won’t give you anything to do; they won’t involve you. You have to belong to a caucus; it’s at all levels. I have personal experiences, so I know. Nobody will look at you if you are not involved. They know that someone like me will disturb their activities, so they won’t get me involved. I’m the only big name in sports in my state that they don’t call for anything. So, it’s painful but hopefully, someday this will end.”

He advised President Muhammadu Buhari to elect a better Sports Minister who would pay equal attention to all the sports and not just football.

“I don’t think we’ve made progress in the area of sports. There’s more to sports than just football, but the focus of the sports ministry in recent times has been on football. Where is our basketball, athletics and other sports? I pity the President of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation (Daniel Igali). Anytime he has an international event, you’ll find him on national television crying for funds. 

“Most of the retired athletes are suffering, some have been diagnosed with various diseases but there’s no medical team to help them from the ministry or anywhere else. So, when Buhari reorganises his cabinet, I want him to look at the sports world, make changes and reorganise the sports ministry. Sports is big business that the government can benefit from. The President [appoint] someone who knows about sports, someone who can bring about mass restructuring, stability and prosperity to that department.”

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Graphic Designer Treks For Buhari

SAHARA REPORTERS - Sun, 03/17/2019 - 09:13


Malam Sani Ahmed, a graphic designer and member of All Progressives Congress (APC) Solidarity Group, has begun trekking in celebration of the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari at the poll.

Sani trekked into Minna, the Niger State capital, on Saturday.

According to Daily Trust newspaper, Sani arrived the Minna City gate at about 10am after a sleepover at Pogo Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) depot.

Sani, who is also a member of the APC Presidential Support Committee, set out from Abuja on foot on Wednesday through Niger en route Kebbi, Zamfara and Sokoto states.

He had slept over in Lambata Pogo in the course of the journey before entering Minna on Saturday, where he presented his group’s messages to aides of Governor Abubakar Sani Bello and the three APC senators-elect.

Speaking in Minna, he said: "This is to show that APC Solidarity Group identified with their performances and having emerged victorious at the just-concluded polls, we want to encourage them to do more."

He said he was particularly encouraged to undertake the trek, following the feat of the President in the polls, adding that the results of the election proved those he referred to as “the so-called latter day analysts” wrong.

Asked whether, like some supporters, he is embarking on the journey for some kind of compensation, Sani said he is a very contented fan, who has a thriving source of income.
 

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Osinbajo Insists Trader Moni Wasn't Used To Buy Votes

SAHARA REPORTERS - Sun, 03/17/2019 - 09:11


Yemi Osinbajo, Nigeria’s Vice President, has again denies the claim that the Trader Moni scheme was not for vote buying, but to empower over 30 million Micro-, Small- and Medium- Enterprises (MSMEs) with interest-free, collateral-free loans.

The Vice President said this through Laolu Akande, his spokesperson, in response to Odilim Enweagbara, an economist and entrepreneur, who insisted the scheme was to curry support for the 2019 general election.

Enweagbara had stressed that the scheme investigated and disbursements audited to expose perceived plundering of the public tilt by the ruling party under the guise of empowerment.

Enweagbara said: “That fraud called Trader Moni must be independently investigated. Trader Moni was the newest form of vote buying and inducement of voters to vote for APC. That was why it was done a few months to the 2019 general election and has since been stopped because the objective has since been achieved."

However, the Vice President said: “The Trader Moni scheme is one of the Government, Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) micro-credit products.

“MarketMoni and FarmerMoni are still very much in operation. We have a target of 30,000 minimum beneficiaries per state, and we have achieved this in majority of the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT). What the team has been doing is generating the balance of programme funding and ramping up on the states where we have a shortage."

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Oyetola Speaks On Payment Of Half Salaries In Osun

SAHARA REPORTERS - Sun, 03/17/2019 - 09:10


Gboyegba Oyetola, Governor of Osun State, has dispelled the rumour that the government has continued to pay civil servants half salaries, despite campaign promises to the contrary.

This was contained in a press statement issued by Adelani Baderinwa, the immediate past Osun Commissioner for Information and Strategy, who is the current supervisor of same ministry, on Saturday.

The governor said the rumour is a work of the opposition party trying to incite civil servants against the state government.

The statement read: “The government is not unaware of the rumour being spread by the lazy opposition members on the false and imaginary return of modulated salary payment to the workers of the state.

“The rumoured return of modulated salary remains a rumour and there is no iota of truth in it.

“Gov. Gboyega Oyetola had, during the presentation of 2019 budget, declared that the era of modulated salary payment was gone, and we are happy to reaffirm that the governor is still more committed to his statement of striving to pay full salary to civil servants.

“We would also like to state that Gov. Oyetola would not in anyway take any arbitrary decision on matters affecting the civil servants."
 

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INEC Refusing To Release Election Materials To Atiku, Says PDP

SAHARA REPORTERS - Sun, 03/17/2019 - 09:09


Kola Ologbondiyan, spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of willfully ignoring court orders directing the commission to release the presidential election materials to Atiku Abubakar, the PDP presidential candidate.

Ologbodiyan said this in a press statement issued on Saturday.

Atiku and his party had approached the court to challenge the outcome of the February 23 presidential election, alleging electoral malpractices.

Atiku secured his first victory when the court ordered the commission to release copies of the electoral materials to Atiku.

However, the party’s spokesperson said INEC has refused to obey the order despite notice and follow-ups.

The statement read: “It is imperative to inform Nigerians that upon obtaining the lawful order of the Court, directing INEC to forthwith, avail Atiku Abubakar and the PDP copies of all the documents and other materials used for the presidential election, our legal team wrote to the INEC Chairman on the 11th and 12th of March, 2019, respectively, causing the order to be served on INEC and requesting access to the said documents and materials.

“Despite being served with the order and several follow-ups, the leadership of INEC has refused to grant the PDP and Atiku Abubakar access to the materials and documents, notwithstanding the urgency of the matter.

“This action by the leadership of INEC has further exposed that it has been heavily compromised by the Buhari Presidency to rig the February 23, 2019 presidential election and to frustrate the quest by Nigerians to reclaim the mandate from President Muhammadu Buhari and save the nation from the crisis of an illegitimate government.

“The leadership of INEC and the APC are seeking to frustrate our court option, seeing that the documents and materials will expressly show that Atiku Abubakar clearly won the election by the votes directly delivered at the polling units across the country as well as expose how the commission and the Buhari Presidency manipulated the results for President Buhari.

“The PDP cautions the INEC to note that Nigerians are now aware of its manipulative tendencies and that any further delay in granting access to the materials might attract public odium.

“INEC should, therefore, end its unpatriotic partisan shenanigans with the APC and immediately obey the Court of Appeal and grant the PDP and Atiku Abubakar access to the documents and materials and free itself from unholy entanglement with the APC against Nigerians.”

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Ganduje Boasts Of Victory At Governorship Rerun

SAHARA REPORTERS - Sun, 03/17/2019 - 09:02


Abdullahi Ganduje, Governor of Kano State, says his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), would emerge victorious at the rerun election scheduled for March 23 in selected Local Government Areas (LGAs).

Ganduje stated this while addressing a crowd of his supporters, who gathered to welcome him upon his return from a one-day official visit to Abuja.

He expressed delight over the peaceful conduct of last Saturday's gubernatorial election in the state which the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared inconclusive.

He assured Kano people of his unshaken belief that he would win in the 2019 rerun elections which would be conducted across some identified polling units as announced by INEC.

Professor B.B. Shehu, the Returning Officer for the Kano State governorship election, had said a winner could not be declared in the election because the cancelled votes were more than the margin of victory.

His position was taken in line with Section 26 of the Electoral Act.

Hailing the electorate for the support, he said: “We saw their unflinching support in joining the long queues at their various polling units. As you are all aware, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed the 23rd of this Month (March) for rerun election in some identified polling units in the state.

“I am therefore using this medium to call on the electorate to come out en masse and vote for the ruling APC in an orderly manner.

“By the grace of Allah, The Almighty, APC will emerge victorious after the rerun election. We are grateful to all. May we have peaceful conduct of this election."

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Gunmen Shoot Former NHRC Boss

SAHARA REPORTERS - Sun, 03/17/2019 - 08:59


Suspected gunmen have shot Ben Angwe, a former Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

According to Punch newspaper, the incident happened around 10am on Saturday at a filling station in Gboko town, headquarters of Gboko Local Government Area of Benue State.

An eyewitness said: “Around 10 o'clock this morning (Saturday), some hoodlums shot at an elderly man around Gyado area in the ancient city of Gboko.

“The gunshot caused pandemonium in the area as people ran for their lives. When the dust settled, we discovered that the victim was a prominent person in the state.”

It was gathered that the suspected gunmen left the scene of the incident unchallenged.

A source said he was earlier moved to a hospital in Gboko, but was later transferred to the Benue State University Teaching Hospital in Makurdi for further treatment.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Benue State Command, Catherine Anene, confirmed the incident.

Anene, a deputy superintendent of police, however, said the command was yet to get full details of the development.

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Sniper-related Suicides: Death prowling on the streets?

PREMIUM TIMES NIGERIA - Sun, 03/17/2019 - 08:47

Sniper, an insecticide, has, unfortunately, become a tool of choice for Nigerians contemplating suicide.

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Police vow to apprehend killers of sergeant

PREMIUM TIMES NIGERIA - Sun, 03/17/2019 - 08:06

One other police officer was killed in the attack.

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Herdsmen kill 10 in fresh attack on Kaduna village

THE CITIZEN ONLINE - Sun, 03/17/2019 - 07:22

The Chairman, Sanga Local Government Council, Kaduna State, Mr Charles Danladi, has confirmed the death of 10 in an attack on Nandu village in the area.

The chairman in Kafanchan on Saturday that the attack occurred on Friday and 11 houses were burnt.

Danladi, however, said that normalcy had since returned to the affected village, as the local council intensifies efforts at dousing tension to prevent reprisal.

He said youths of the area had been summoned and counselled against embarking on any acts capable of escalating the ugly situation.

A resident of the affected village, who pleaded anonymity said that the attack was suspected to have been launched by Fulani herders in retaliation for an attack on them by locals before the general election.

He said, at least 11 cows and 28 sheep were killed during that attack.

Efforts to get police reaction was unsuccessful as the Spokesman of Kaduna State Police Command, DSP Yakubu Sabo did not respond to calls on his handset.

 

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Kaduna killing is being politicised, says Buhari

THE CITIZEN ONLINE - Sun, 03/17/2019 - 07:22

President Muhammadu Buhari says he is deeply troubled by persistent communal killings in Kaduna state, which has now been politicised.

The president made his feelings known when he reacted to the endless carnage in Kaduna state in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Saturday

President Buhari regretted that “everything is politicised in Nigeria, including the efforts to bring offenders to justice, because their people will rise up in arms to resist their arrests and prosecution’’.

He described hate, bigotry and prejudice as “deadly poisons that have infected the human psyche on such scale that people now don’t have any moral inhibitions about taking life.”

The president, therefore, urged the actors in the crisis to come to terms with the fact that mutual violence has no winners, but losers on both sides of the conflict.

He said: “I am deeply troubled by the fact that sanctity of life is now treated with such reckless disregard that people derive joy in shedding the blood of others or perceived enemies.

“Inhumanity has replaced compassion in the hearts and minds of the perpetrators of these atrocities.

“No responsible leader would go to bed happy to see his citizens savagely killing one another on account of ethnic and religious bigotry.’’

According to the president, violence cannot be the solution to these persistent conflicts as long as people resort to deliberate provocations, revenge and counter revenge.

He, therefore, maintained that, “while the government remains committed to protecting its citizens, the communities involved must also put their shoulder to the wheel in order to find a lasting solution.

“Lack of cooperation by those involved might frustrate government’s efforts towards finding a lasting solution, especially if those efforts are politicised.”

According to him, If the people resist government’s efforts to hold the perpetrators and their sponsors accountable, it would be very difficult to bring the violence to a permanent end.

The President also appealed to the warring communities to stop inhibiting the National Emergency Management Agency efforts to deliver food, medicines and temporary shelter to the victims of the violence who are in urgent need of assistance.

The Kaduna State Government had on Saturday confirmed the latest killing of nine persons by unknown gunmen, who attacked Nandu village in Sanga Local Government area of the state in the early hour of Saturday.

The attackers also burnt several houses in the village.

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INEC shuns court order, denies Atiku access to election materials – PDP

THE CITIZEN ONLINE - Sun, 03/17/2019 - 07:21

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has raised concern about the inability of its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to inspect the materials used for the conduct of the February 23 presidential election.

In a statement on Saturday by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of disobeying the ruling of a Court of Appeal delivered on March 6.

The court had granted the prayer of the opposition party and its candidate to inspect the documents and materials used in the election which saw President Muhammadu Buhari returned elected for a second term.

The PDP described the purported refusal by INEC as “deliberate and wicked ploy” to ambush its case at the Presidential Election Tribunal.

“It is imperative to inform Nigerians that upon obtaining the lawful order of the court, directing INEC to forthwith, avail Atiku Abubakar and the PDP copies of all the documents and other materials used for the presidential election, our legal team wrote to the INEC Chairman on the 11th and 12th of March 2019 respectively, causing the order to be served on INEC and requesting access to the said documents and materials,” it said.

The party alleged further, “Despite being served with the order and several follow-ups, the leadership of INEC has refused to grant the PDP and Atiku Abubakar access to the materials and documents, notwithstanding the urgency of the matter.”

It claimed that the purported action of the electoral body had proven that the exercise was rigged while the results were manipulated.

The PDP was confident that the documents and materials would show that Atiku won the election by the votes directly delivered at the polling units across the country.

It, therefore, warned INEC to obey the court order and grant it access to the documents and materials used for the election.

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INEC to announce Bauchi governor-elect Tuesday

THE CITIZEN ONLINE - Sun, 03/17/2019 - 07:19

The Independent National Electoral Commission has decided to resume from Tuesday, the collation of the governorship election result in Bauchi State and may declare the winner of the poll, hitherto ruled as inconclusive.

The commission announced the decision in a press statement on Friday night after resolving some issues around the result of Tafawa Balewa local government and some polling units in Ningi local government.

INEC did not state whether by the decision, the scheduled supplementary election on 23 March has been cancelled.

According to INEC, the number of cancelled votes in four polling units in Ningi Local Government was 2,533 and not 25,330 as recorded.

On Tafawa Balewa Local Government election result, where collation was disrupted by armed gangs, affecting 7 out of 11 registration areas for governorship and 6 out of 11 for state assembly elections, INEC said a committee set up, has found that the results in polling units and registration areas are “available and in safe custody”.

INEC thus decided to resume the resumption and conclusion of the collation of results of the council area for both the governorship and state assembly elections

A new collation and returning officer for Tafawa Balewa has been appointed “to continue and conclude the collation process in place of the original collation officer, who withdrew from the exercise citing threats to her life and those of her family members”. The collation officer was Dominion Anosike.

The governorship election in Bauchi state is a straight fight between incumbent Mohammed Abubakar of the All Progressives Congress and former minister, Bala Mohammed of the Peoples Democratic Party.

Bala was said to have won the Tafawa Balewa Local government election, putting him in an overall lead of his APC counterpart, but the INEC returning officer, Professor Mohammed Kyari, declared the election inconclusive.

In declaring the election inconclusive, Kyari, gave the scores of incumbent governor as 465,453 votes and Bala Mohammed of PDP as 469,512 votes.

“The margin between the winner and opponent is less than the total number of votes cancelled in some polling units.By law, since the margin of winner is less than the total number of votes cancelled and registered voters in the areas where the votes have been cancelled, this elections is hereby declared inconclusive,” he said.

He said his decision was in line with section 26 part 53 of the Electoral Act.

With INEC adopting the result of the Tafawa Balewa local council and amending the result for four polling units in Ningi Local government, the PDP believes that its candidate has won the election.

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APC rejects INEC decision on Bauchi guber election

THE CITIZEN ONLINE - Sun, 03/17/2019 - 07:18

The All Progressives Congress (APC) Bauchi State chapter has rejected the decision taken by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the governorship election results from Tafawa Balewa local government area.

The party, at a Press Conference in Bauchi on Saturday, stated that the action taken by the electoral body was null and void.

Addressing the Press Conference, the state chairman of the party, Alhaji Uba Ahmed Nana said the position taken by INEC contravened the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.

“Considering the letters and spirit of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999 as amended), and the INEC Guidelines for 2019 General Elections, INEC is not empowered to reverse any decision taken at the Collation Centre by the Returning Officer appointed for that purpose.

“Such decisions can only be reversed by a Court of law, especially when INEC cannot Approbate and Reprobate,” the party stated.

The party also accused the Festus Okoye-led committee of denying it fair hearing as its agent were not invited during the hearing to ascertain the circumstances leading to the cancellation of the Tafawa Balewa local government election result.

“The composition of the committee is also questionable as the Committee chairman, Festus Okoye Esq, is a close ally of and ex-personal Solicitor of Hon. Yakubu Dogara of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“No justice can be done by the committee chairman who is interested in the whole issues and the instant circumstances.,” it said.

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Gbenga Daniel quits partisan politics

THE CITIZEN ONLINE - Sun, 03/17/2019 - 07:18

Chief Gbenga Daniel, a chieftain of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former Governor of Ogun State and Director-General of the Atiku Campaign Organisation, has resigned from partisan politics.

Daniel conveyed his resignation in a letter dated March 14, 2019 to the Chairman of the Party, Mr. Uche Secondus,

He said he took the decision based on the desire to immerse himself in some other vocations and to take on some new challenges.

“My decision in this regard is entirely personal to me and having served in various capacities, including as Governor of Ogun State, I have resolved to immerse myself in some other vocations and take on some new challenges,” he said.

The 62-year-old politician was governor of Ogun State from 29 May 2003 to 29 May 2011, making him the longest-serving governor of the state, a record that the incumbent, Ibikunle Amosun would match by May 29, 2019.

He founded the Nigerian Compass, a daily newspaper and also Kresta Laurel, a company he started in 1990.

Daniels’ last political engagement was his appointment as the Director-General of Atiku Campaign Organisation in preparation for the February 23 presidential election.

Atiku was defeated by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari.

Incumbent President Buhari polled 15,191,847 votes to defeat Atiku, who had 11,262,978 votes

Daniel is a fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers.

He taught briefly as a lecturer in the School of Engineering of Lagos State Polytechnic.

The letter which was copied to His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar and Chairman, Board of Trustees (PDP) is produced hereunder:

14th March, 2019
The National Chairman,
Peoples Democratic Party,
Wadata Plaza, Michael Okpara Street
Wuse Zone II, Abuja

Attention: Prince Uche Secondus

Mr. Chairman,

Resignation from Partisan Politics

This is to inform you of my intention to resign from active and partisan politics with effect from today, the 14th day of March, 2019.

My decision in this regard is entirely personal to me and having served in various capacities, including as Governor of Ogun State, I have resolved to immerse myself in some other vocations and take on some new challenges.

Preamble
My Political Journey so far

I joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State on Sunday, the 9th of September, 2001 at an event which was described as one of the most ceremonial political rallies in our recent political history in the South Western part of Nigeria.

We rose from that rally to create a highly robust and effective political campaign machinery which resulted in an electoral victory for the Peoples Democratic Party in Ogun State in 2003; this movement and vibration affected the politics of the region positively with a victory in five (5) states of the South West.

  1. I served as Governor of Ogun State for eight (8) years and our administration till today remains a point of reference in terms of physical, social, economic, educational and human capital development since the State was created in 1976.
  2. Notwithstanding these widely acclaimed achievements however, our party, the Peoples Democratic Party ran into trouble waters towards the end of our administration (about the year 2009) which led to the sad loss in the election of 2011, and regrettably ten (10) years after the party has been unable to resolve those internal disputes and challenges.
  3. Meanwhile, the PDP in Ogun State was confronted with a very difficult situation in matter of choice. Whereas the national leadership of our party, recognized one candidate for the 2019 election, by court pronouncements another candidate, and in compliance with those court orders, which the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) recognized was on the INEC list. The candidates recognized by INEC were not acceptable to the national leadership of the party.

Our situation was then compounded because the candidate which the court and INEC recognized and accepted as valid has also been expelled by the party. This was the dilemma we found ourselves as we approached the March 9, 2019 Governorship and State House of Assembly elections.

  1. Going forward, we have responded to the yearnings of our people and joined others in emplacing an administration that we believe will better serve the interests of our people than what currently exists. The rest they say is now history.
  2. I must say that looking back, I do not have any regrets over that patriotic choice and decision, especially as several of our citizens, leaders and stakeholders in the state and outside have commended that singular action. Many stakeholders within and outside Ogun State feel fulfilled, excited and grateful about our decision to join others in putting a stop to a regime that was believed to be against the collective and general welfare of our people.
  3. Let me also add, that in the last few months, I have had one of the rare privileges of traveling round the entire length and breadth of our great country on at least two occasions; the first being during my campaigns to become the National Chairman of our great party, and later as the Director General of the Atiku Presidential Campaign Organization (APCO).
  4. I must sincerely admit that in the course of all these travels, I have built a network of contacts, of friends and associates in a mutually rewarding relationships which I cherished most and greatly too. I am therefore persuaded that I have fewer points to make and prove in my Political journeys in partisan politics.
  5. My decision to quit partisan politics notwithstanding, I have decided to rejuvenate my charity based organization, the Gateway Front Foundation (GFF) which will literally continue to dispense succor to our people in need, address and assist in the areas of some of their health challenges; I also plan on resuscitation of the non-partisan Political Leadership Academy (POLA) which I established some years ago as a platform of political education to our citizens.
  6. Without doubt, I will miss the company of my friends and associates and all those relationships I built in the course of the years all over the country..
    While I crave for your kind understanding, accept assurances of my highest regards.
    Yours faithfully,

Otunba (Engr.) Gbenga Daniel, FNSE, FNAEng
Governor of Ogun State (2003-2011).

Cc:
His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar GCON
Chairman, Board of Trustees (PDP)

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Gov. Okorocha withdrew N17bn from four banks within three days – Imo PDP

THE CITIZEN ONLINE - Sun, 03/17/2019 - 07:17

The Imo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State of embarking on massive last minute looting of government treasury and conversion of government properties to personal property.

This is sequel to aa advice by Governor-elect for Imo State, Chief Emeka Ihedioha, to financial institutions against any last minute illegal dealings with the out going government of the state,

The Chairman, Imo State chapter of PDP, Barr. Charles Ezekwem made the allegation during a press conference on Friday evening in Owerri, the state capital.

According to the text of the briefing, the PDP alleged that between Tuesday, March 12, 2019 and Thursday, March 14, 2019, Governor Okorocha has made major withdrawals from Access Bank, Zenith Bank, Unity Bank and Skye Bank (Polaris Bank Limited) amounting to over N17 billion.

He said, “In the last two days alone, Governor Okorocha and his cronies have transferred ownership and re-registered over 150 government vehicles to individuals. Government properties including furniture and electronics in Government House, Owerri are being moved out to Ogboko, Ideato South, the governor’s country home.

“All uninstalled transformers totaling to about 300 have been moved to the governor’s home in Ogboko.”

The PDP alleged also that there is an ongoing mass employment and backdating of employments with a view to creating problems for the incoming government.

He added: “We are also aware of the rampant issuance of Certificate of Occupancy to family members and friends of the Okorocha family.”

The party, therefore, warned that those involved in such malpractice do so at their own peril.

Reacting, Governor Okorocha’s spokesman, Sam Onwuemeodo urged the public to discountenance the posturing of the incoming PDP government, noting that they lack the right to harass the seating government and financial institutions until they are sworn in.

“There is a government in place and until May 29, 2019, that government should continue to work in the interest of the state and her people and also continue to carry out programmes and policies for the same purpose, until the end of its approved life span. To begin to harass or give directives to financial institutions in the State is an act of hostility and they should know that,” he said.

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Wike grants N200m scholarship to children of slain PDP agent

THE CITIZEN ONLINE - Sun, 03/17/2019 - 07:14

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has announced that the state government would set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to ensure that the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (F-SARS) personnel who allegedly killed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Khana Collation agent, Dr Ferry Gberegbe, is brought to justice.

Wike also announced a N200 million scholarship for the four children of the late Gberegbe, directing the widow of the deceased to open bank accounts for each of them.

“We will set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to ensure that the culprits are brought to justice.

“The state government will offer scholarship to the four young children left behind by the deceased. The mother of the children should open a dedicated account for each of the children.  The state government will pay N50 million to each of the four children for their education,” Wike said.

He spoke yesterday in Port Harcourt when he led others leaders of the state on a condolence visit to the family of the slain lecturer.

The governor decried the alleged shooting of the late lecturer by F-SARs operatives at the Khana Collation Centre, where he served as the PDP Collation agent. He claimed that the fatal shots led to his death.

He said: “It is most unfortunate that the young man was shot dead in an attempt to cart away election results. Instead of us to allow people to choose who will represent and govern them, the security agencies will not allow that. Rather they prefer to kill us. He died in the course of defending the PDP. He died in the course of defending democracy. I want to assure the family that all those who killed him will not go free.”

Wike said the late Gberegbe remained committed to the PDP even on his sick bed. He said the deceased sent him a text message, saying that he would be very happy when he (Wike) would be declared winner of the election.

He stated that the state government would also construct a house for the family of the late Gberegbe and participate in his burial.

Also speaking, PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, said the late lecturer was a victim of the calculated oppression of the oil rich state by the Army and F-SARS operatives.

He said that the country was in distress, noting that the nation was sitting on the keg of gun powder.

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