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Lagos last PDP lawmaker defects, apologies to colleagues

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

Last Peoples Democratic Party, PDP lawmaker at the Lagos State House of Assembly, Dipo Olorunrinu, has formally defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

Olorunrinu’s defection was announced on the floor of the House on Monday in a letter read by the Clerk of the House, Azeez Sanni.

To ensure he defects, some of the PDP leaders from Olorunrinu’s constituency who were at the plenary included, ward chairman, Hassan Yusuf, Moses Inuha, Ikechukwu Ikenna among others.

In the letter which was titled, “Letter of defection from PDP to APC,” the lawmaker apologized for his late defection, saying “I sincerely apologize that the defection is coming now. I ask for mercy.”

Olorunrinu who is representing Amuwo Odofin I, stated that he had now seen reasons to join his other colleagues from PDP who had dumped the party for APC, saying “As a young progressives minded politician, I realign with APC.”

He expressed delight over the leadership qualities of the National leader of APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa and a senior member of the House who is a Senator-elect, Sikiru Osinowo.

In his comments on the floor, Olorunrinu who requested for a handshake from the Speaker as it was done in the past, said “Once upon a time, we had eight of us from PDP in 2015, I said to myself I must join the progressives.”

He described PDP as a party that lacks structure and vision, adding that “I said to myself I must join the progressive which is the ruling party, APC.

“I decided to align with APC being the winning train and party that will take Lagos to the next level, I also thank the leadership of the House for providing me with all the tools to work for greater development of my people despite being in opposition all this while”, Olorunrinu said.

While commending Olorunrinu for the bold step, the Speaker said, “the best party in Lagos is APC, there is nothing to gain in PDP.

“At last we have the only man standing who has now joined those who are standing. We welcome you. You have always been with us, only that you refused to dump the leaking umbrella,” Obasa said.

EXCLUSIVE: Sanwo-Olu approves 17-man inauguration committee, appoints ex-campaign DG as chairman

By Olawale Abdul-fatah

Ahead of May 29 swearing in for elected officials, Lagos Governor-elect, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has approved a 17-man committee to oversea preparation for his inauguration ceremony.

Sanwo-Olu approved the list nine days after directing his deputy-elect, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, to co-chair the 20-man Transition committee with Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Tunji Bello.

In the list exclusively obtained by The Guild on Thursday, the governor-elect appointed former Director-General of babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu Independent Campaign Group (BOSICG), Tayo Ayinde as chairman.

Also on the the committee were: the state All Progressives Congress (APC) woman leader, Jumoke Okoya-Thomas, the party’s organising secretary, Enilolobo Abdullahi and Lagos Island East Local Government, Kamal Salam-Bashua.
Olabopo Odiachi, Taiwo Abiodun, Ayiri Oladunmaje, Funke Bucknor-Obnithe, Ajala Rasaq, Princess Obiageli Onu,
Idris Aregbe, Bolaji Durojaiye, Lanre Adeyinka, Osifeko George, Onabanjo Bimbo, Olatunji Rilwan and Kappo Emmanuel.
It was gathered that Sanwo-olu planned to certify people that worked at his disbanded campaign offices and others that contributed immensely to his victory at the poll.
A source disclosed that the governor-elect has concluded plans of issuing certificate of participation and satisfactory to directors and their deputies who worked at his BOSICG.
The source authoritatively added that the issuance ceremony May start possibly before the inauguration ceremony scheduled for next month.
He said that Sanwo-Olu’s aim was to change the practice before him, by personally recognizing the immense contributions of individual and groups that were instrumental to his victory at the party primaries and last month election.


Sanwo-Olu disbands campaign team, attributes victory to members’ dedication

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

The Lagos Governor-elect, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has relieved members of his campaign team including volunteers of their duties, barely two weeks after the elections.
Sanwo-Olu was declared by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) winner of the election after he polled more votes than other candidates.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, who campaigned vigorously, setup the campaign team, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu Organisation (BOSCO), employing several hands to complements  the party structures before, during and after the poll.
 Director General, BOSCO, Tayo Ayinde, disclosed the directives in a statement made available to The Guild on Thursday, said that the campaign activities which was reason for setting up the team has been concluded.
According to him, this formal demobilization of the campaign team, comprising volunteers and staff,  becomes necessary to enable individuals in these categories go about their personal  lives, private businesses and employment, after several months of hard work and dedication to the campaign.
Ayinde said: “Now that the campaign is over, and election has been concluded, we are currently in the transition phase, for which a team will be constituted in due time.  BOSCO remains grateful to all campaign staff and volunteers for their work and efforts towards the electoral victory of Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State.”
While commending their sacrifices and doggedness towards the March 9th elections, he stated that the victory would not have been possible without their commitment and diligence.
“We are extremely grateful to you for your time and expertise donated to the campaign. The Governor-elect, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu extends his gratitude for your labour of love and gives assurance of good governance, which is your motivation for joining his campaign”.

INEC fixes new date for Rivers supplementary election

By Olawale Abdul-fatah

Worried by level of insecurity in Rivers State, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has scheduled the state’s rerun election for April 13.

The new date came barely two days to earlier announced date by the commission for supplementary elections in states with cancelled votes.

INEC commissioner for information and voter education, Festus Okoye, discosed the new date at a press briefing in Abuja on Thursday.

He disclosed that the electoral body has decided to resume the collation and announcements of results in the state between April 2 and 5.

Details later


I am still fully with PDP-Agbaje

By Olawale Abdul-fatah

The former gubernatorial candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos, Jimi Agbaje, has debunked claims that he had dumped the party over lack of support.

Agbaje’s rebuttal on Wednesday came hours after news filtered in that he has dumped the party to join the All Progressives Congress, APC.

In a statement by his spokesperson, Modupe Ogunbayo, stressed that he remains a member of the PDP.

According to her, “In the past 24 hours, Mr. Olujimi Agbaje, the governorship candidate of the PDP) in the recently-concluded 2019 election in Lagos state, has received uncountable calls and messages from numerous friends, teeming political associates within PDP and countless members of his supporters, that he has resigned from the PDP.

“It is another chunk from the ongoing propaganda and disinformation machinery of his foes. Agbaje urges all to treat the rumour with the disdain it wisely deserves,” she said.

Also, PDP publicity Secretary in Lagos, Taofik Gani, debunked the claim, saying, it is not true.

Also, former Aviation minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, disclosed the conversation he had with the governorship candidate, describing the report of his decamp as fake news.

Fani-Kayode, in a statement on his official twitter handle, also disclosed that Ogun former governor, Gbenga Daniel, told him that he has not join APC.

“I just received a call from my brother Jimi Agbaje.He assured me that he has not left PDP and that the media reports were false. My brother Gbenga Daniel also reached me and assured me that though he has left PDP he has not joined APC. Thank you Jesus!”


Ogun ex-governor attacks Fani-Kayode, assures Atiku adequate support

By News desk

Former director-general of the Atiku Campaign Organisation, Gbenga Daniel, has assured the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate that he will never abandon him.

Daniel’s assurance was an apparent response to former minister of aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, allegation that he decided to dump the opposition party “before the conclusion of Atiku’s election petition”.

Fani-Kayode’s allegation against Daniel, two-term governor of Ogun state, was his reaction to the former governor’s recent decision to resigned his membership of the PDP and quit partisan politics.

But in a statement on Tuesday, Daniel said he had not abandoned the former vice-president.

He also denied joining the All Progressives Congress (APC), explaining that he told his followers to “join any political party of their choice”.

“I have not, will not and will never abandon Atiku. Atiku is different from PDP. I have resigned from PDP and lost interest in partisan politics having put in about 20 years of my life in a thankless process,” Daniel said.

“I will commit my God-given resources to help less privileged through my Foundation and will contribute sharing the body of knowledge through our not for profit Political Academy. That will be a thankful process.

“I will continue to support the political process in a non partisan manner. I am clear with my position, without any ambiguity. There is no need to insinuate, speculate, extrapolate, anticipate or draw conclusions on my behalf.

“I did not expect such a simple personal decision can generate such national discourse and for that I remain grateful to God. I am however most grateful to all my friends and well wishers. The phones have not stopped ringing. All the advice are well taken. My very deep appreciation.”

Why I visit Buhari in Aso Rock- Bauchi Governor

By News desk

The Bauchi State Governor, Muhammed Abubakar, says he will go to court following the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the governorship election in the state.

Governor Abubakar disclosed this to State House correspondents after he met with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Monday.

On what he discussed with the President at the meeting, he said, “I am not seeking any action of Mr President.”

He added, “What I pointedly told him was that I am not here to seek for you to interfere on our behalf sir, but on what is happening and what actions I have taken.

“I am pursuing the legal angle and he (Buhari) emphasised on that legal angle, that it is the best approach.”

The governor, who contested the March 9 election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was confident of winning a rerun.

He, however, criticised INEC on its decision to continue with the collation of result after it had declared the governorship election in Bauchi inconclusive.

According to Governor Abubakar, the latest decision of the electoral body is capable of breaching the peace in the state.

He said, “The returning officer for Bauchi State at the end of collation rejected the results of Tafawa Balewa Local Government and then 36 other (polling) units spread around 15 local governments of Bauchi State, and ordered a rerun.

“Surprisingly, we woke up one morning and INEC came up with a procedure that is not known to law because where a returning officer has made a declaration, only an Election Petition Tribunal can reverse that.”

The governor insisted that the electoral body erred in taking such a decision and vowed to challenge it in court.

NASS Election Tribunal receives 10 petitions from Enugu

By News desk

No fewer than 10 petitions have been filed before the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Enugu

The tribunal’s secretariat in Enugu revealed that the petitions arising from the outcome of the Feb. 23 National Assembly elections were challenging three senatorial results and seven House of Representatives results.

Further breakdown of the petitions reveal that out of the 10 petitions, nine were filed by candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) while one was filed by a candidate of African People’s Alliance (APA).

In her petition, Juliet Ibekaku-Nwagwu of the APC is challenging the re-election of  Ike Ekweremadu for Enugu West Senatorial Zone.

APC’s Eugene Odo is also challenging Chuka Utazi who was declared winner for Enugu North Senatorial Zone.

Still at the senatorial level, another APC candidate, Mr Lawrence Eze filed a petition challenging the declaration of former governor of the state, Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani as winner of Enugu East Senatorial zone.

The Federal House of Representatives seats being challenged are those of Enugu North and South, Ezeagu/Udi, Nsukka/ Igboeze South and Aninri/Awgu/Oji River.

Others are Nkanu East/Nkanu West, Igbo-Etiti/Uzo Uwani, and Udenu/ Igboeze North.

It would be recalled that 21 days required by law for the filing of petitions arising from elections had lapsed

INEC resumes collation of Bauchi governorship election result

By News desk

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 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 threatened 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.

Accord Party not in alliance with Senator Afikuyomi-Chairman

By Olawale Abdul-fatah

As residents prepare to participate in the Governorship and House of Assembly elections, Accord Party, has denied having any alliance with a chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State and former commissioner, Tokunbo Afikuyomi, saying, he was never a member of our party.

The alliance denial was contained in a statement on Thursday by its Lagos State Chairman, Mr. Joseph Beckly, debunking the claim of Lagos APC Publicity Secretary, Mr. Joe Igbokwe that Afikuyomi, who represented Lagos West senatorial district between 1999 and 2007, was its member.

Beckly stressed that the party was not in accord with the former commissioner, describing Igbokwe’s allegation as an act to shield the truth from the residents.

“Igbokwe is notorious for issuing fake press release and his penchant for fake news is legendary. We want to advise the APC not to drag our party into its internal affairs.”

Besides denying affinity with Afikuyomi, the party said it had already withdrawn support from its House of Assembly candidate for Agege Constituency I, Abdukareem Jubrin, for the elections, citing different anti-party activities he had committed which were in variance to the party’s constitution.

The party chairman disclosed that the party had two weeks ago notified the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and directed members within the constituency to mobilize and vote for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Auwal Tahir Maude (ATM).

He, also, urged enjoined all the members in Agege constituency II “to stick to the earlier arrangements and decision reached by all the opposition political parties to support and vote for the PDP candidate, Azeez Adebiyi for the Saturday House of Assembly Election and the gubernatorial candidate, Jimi Agbaje of the PDP for the governorship.

“I want to enjoin all our members in Agege Constituency I and II to adhere strictly to these changes for the governorship and house of assembly elections,” Beckly added.

It would be recalled that Accord Party had last year adopted Agbaje as its governorship candidate for Saturday’s election.

In response, Agbaje accepted the flag from the party, noting that the time “has come to free Lagosians from bondage.  I accept with all humility this honour you have shown us and the position you have endorsed us for,” said Agbaje.

“As you have endorsed us easily, so shall we get to the government house easily and for those still on the other side, the freedom train is on the move and they should join when the momentum is not too much for them to catch up with.”