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Atiku will return PDP to power in 2019 – Babatope

By News Desk,

A chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party, Ebenezer Babatope, on Thursday said the party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar would win the 2019 election.

Babatope, a former Minister of Transport, said on telephone that he was confident that Atiku would defeat President Muhammadu Buhari to return PDP to power.

Buhari, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), had defeated former President Goodluck in 2015 to break the PDP’s 16-year-rule and emerge president.

Babatope said Atiku was an experienced politician and that he had the capacity, credentials and clout to win and return power to PDP.

“Atiku is the new face of the PDP. It is time for the party to win back power because I am confident Atiku will win.

“My confidence is based on his political experience from being the founder of the PDM with late Yar’adua to being the Vice-President where he did very well.

“He also has national appeal as he is a detribalised Nigerian with successful businesses all over. He is a bridge builder, a man with great capacity and passion to lead.

“Atiku is the next president. Our People want him. He will rescue Nigeria, I am so sure he will win,” he said.

Asked if the former vice-president did not have the ascribed qualities when he failed in his past attempts to be president, Babatope said everyone had his appointed time.

He noted that Buhari also failed in his past attempts under different parties to be president until 2015 when he emerged under APC.

Babatope said 2019 was the destined year for Atiku’s presidency and that Nigerians would be better for it.

He said the selection of former governor Peter Obi of Anambra State as Atiku’s running mate would improve the party’s victory margin in the election.

He added that the APC had failed Nigerians and that the PDP would return in 2019 “to restore hope”.

Babatope said though the South-West PDP was not in the zoning equation of the party for now, he believed the region would gain massively at the end of the day.

“We know how we do our things in the party to favour everybody. For now, we are preparing for the election, by the time we win, I am sure the South-West PDP will gain big from the power arrangement,” he said.

Senate stands down move to override Buhari

By News Desk,

The Senate on Thursday stood down consideration of the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018 for third reading and passage, until Tuesday.

The bill, which was captured on the Order Paper, was stood down at plenary for more legislative work.

Announcing the development, Leader of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, said “in view of the sensitive nature of the bill and its importance, it is vital to give the committee more time to do a thorough job.’’

After his remarks on it, President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, put the issue to voice vote and the “`step down’’ was unanimously adopted.

The bill scaled second reading on Oct. 10, a day after the Red Chamber resumed from recess.

Ongoing process on the Bill is the fourth attempt by lawmakers to have it ready for assented of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Buhari had on Sept. 3, declined assent to the Bill, which was transmitted to him by the National Assembly on Aug. 3, for the third time.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Sen. Ita Enang, in a statement in Abuja, announced the president’s decline of assent to the Bill.

He had explained that the president declined endorsement of the bill due to some drafting issues and the period fixed for political parties’ primaries, among others.

In Auguat, Enang had clarified that the bill, which was forwarded to the President on Aug. 3, was “alive and awaiting assent.’’

The clarification was against the backdrop of media report that Buhari had again vetoed the bill forwarded to him for assent.

But, Enang explained that the vetoed bill was the one sent to the President on June 27 and not the one passed by the Assembly on July 24, the day the lawmakers commenced their annual recess.

In February, the president rejected the first Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2018 forwarded to him for assent and gave reasons.

Sokoto lawmaker dumps APC after losing primary

By News Desk,

A member of Sokoto State House of Assembly, Muhammad Bashir, who lost in the bid to secure the All Progressive Congress (APC) ticket for the House of Representatives, has dumped the party.

Bashir said on the floor of the assembly on Wednesday in Sokoto that he has now shifted loyalty to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Bashir was beaten in the primary for Yabo/Shagari Federal Constituency by Abubakar Yabo.

“I wish to formally announce my defection from the APC to PDP as provided by Section 109(1)(g) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he said.

Reacting on the development, Sani Yakubu (APC-Gudu), said the member had been hobnobbing with the PDP for long, adding, “so this defection has not come to us as a surprise.”

Yakubu disclosed that even after Bashir lost the ticket for the federal constituency, the APC still returned his state Assembly ticket for him to contest.

“We wish him well in his new political party, and want to assure APC members in his constituency that his departure will translate into huge success for our party,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu campaign group begins meeting grassroots’ political officers ahead 2019 guber election

By NewsDesk, 

In bid to ensure Lagos State chapter of All Progressive Congress (APC) records landslid victory in 2019 gubernatorial election in the state, the party’s governorship candidate, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, campaign group, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu Campaign Organisation (BOSCO), has began strategising on how the platform could provide adequate support to the party’s forthcoming governorship election course in the state, by meeting various stakeholders, regarded as work force and political grass-rooters.

Specifically, the campaign group had assigned responsibility of meeting grassroots political officers to one of the roles it is expected to be played as an organization, just as it had done prior to the party’s primary election conducted in the state recently.

However, it was gathered that the office had in last two days met with no fewer than 2,000 grassroots’ political officers including 57 vice chairmen from 20 Local Government Areas and 37 Local Council Development Areas, entire serving supervisory councils, local councils and party’s ward secretaries, who did not only pledge to work for Sanwo-Olu but also assured delivery of three millions votes.

The Director General, BOSCO, Tayo Ayinde, stated that the strategic gathering of the grassroots of the Lagos state chapter of APC by the organisation was needed to assist the party and prepare minds of stakeholders over task ahead.

Speaking after a meeting yesterday at the BOSCO office, Ayinde disclosed that the campaign group had mapped out approaches that would be deployed for reaching out to members of the party at grassroots and that one of such move was it embarking on series of meetings with stakeholders, regarded as machinery,  immediate after the party’s primary election was concluded.

He explained that the objective of the group’s strategic meeting was to give entire stakeholders a sense of belonging from side of governorship candidate, just as the party has been doing in the past.

The campaign group’s boss confirmed that the group had met with various stakeholders within few days it rolled out the planned move and that such meeting would continue.

According to him, in line with Lagos chapter of APC’s template, the aim remains provision of adequate support to the party course of ensuring Sanwo-Olu records victory during 2019 governorship election.

“We have met with no fewer than 2,000 people who are stakeholders in APC and the meeting would continue alongside consultations with leaders of the party.

“In the last two days, the office had met with  57 vice chairmen from 20 Local Government Areas and 37 Local Council Development Areas, entire serving supervisory councils, local councils and party’s ward secretaries, who pledged to work for Sanwo-Olu, with assurance to deliver three millions votes, ” he added.

Meanwhile, one of the vice chairman, who spoke after the meeting, indicated that the governorship election in the state was entire stakeholders’ course and that the project was tired to their carrier.

She stated that the mandate was a cross all party members must shoulder together as united house and that the group had brilliantly done well by carrying stakeholders along in championing the course,






BMO wants Kukah out of National peace committee

By News Desk,

The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has called for the withdrawal of the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Most Rev. Matthew Kukah from the National Peace Committee led by former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar.

The organisation made the call in a statement issued by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke on Tuesday in Abuja.

The group said the call had become necessary because of Kukah’s alleged open display of support for the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

It noted that the Abdulsalam Abubakar-led committee was one that should be seen to be non partisan because of the role it was meant to play in the run-up to the 2015 general elections.

“We are surprised, like many Nigerians, to see Bishop Kukah in the company of the opposition candidate at a reconciliation meeting with former President Olusegun Obasanjo,” the group said.

It recalled that Kukah had later on claimed to be the strategic mind behind the reconciliation which was targeted at bringing the two parties together to fight President Buhari administration.

“This is not expected of a clergyman who is seen in some quarters as the alternate head of the National Peace Committee.

“He has shown his bias and as such cannot be trusted to be non-partisan,” the group stressed.

It dismissed claims by the Catholic Bishop that he was not aware of the political nature of the gathering as tales that no one would believe.

According to the group, Kukah is the key figure behind the reconciliation, a step he took knowing that Atiku was a PDP presidential aspirant.

“And if it is true that Bishop Kukah is insisting that he was only exercising his right to free movement.

“We are also demanding that having shown his hand, he has no reason to sit on a panel that is meant to be non-partisan,” the  group maintained.

It added that it fully supports President Buhari’s admonition that religious leaders abstain from partisan politics.

INEC insists Zamfara APC has no candidate

By News Desk,

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it stands by its statement that the All Progressives Congress (APC) will not field candidates for the 2019 general elections in Zamfara.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, stated this on the sideline of the opening of a two-day validation workshop titled “Study on the cost of elections in ECOWAS Region” on Monday in Abuja.

“We have issued a statement on Zamfara and nothing has changed. We stand by the statement that we issued,” he said.

Yakubu re-emphasised that the deadline for submission of party candidates’ name to the commission was Oct. 18, saying that it would give a full report on that after Nov. 18.

INEC had informed the ruling APC in a leaked memo that it would not be allowed to field candidates for elective positions in Zamfara in the 2019 elections.

The commission’s acting Secretary, Okechukwe Ndeche, in a letter to the APC said that the party was barred from fielding candidates for governorship, national assembly and state assembly elections.

The commission said this was because APC failed to comply with Sections 87 and 31 of the Electoral Act of 2010.

Parties, according to the act, were expected to comply with the timetable and schedule of INEC, which says that the conduct of primaries must be held between Aug. 18 and Oct. 7.

INEC said it received reports from its Zamfara office, indicating that no primaries were conducted in the state “notwithstanding that our officials were fully mobilised and deployed.”

The APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, later responded to INEC in a statement and said that the party had already arrived at a consensus before the deadline.

Oshiomhole said that following the high level of friction, disagreements and threats of violence by various political camps before the primaries, all the aspirants met at City King Hotel, Gusau, to find a truce.

“After hours of intense horse-trading, a consensus was reached within the spirit and context of the electoral act and the constitution of our party.

“This was done in strict compliance with Section 87 (6) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended),” he said.

He said that the claim by INEC that no primaries were conducted could only be referring to its officials’ observation that actual voting did not take place.

The APC chairman said that conduct of primaries was not the only mode prescribed for producing candidates in the electoral act, 2010 (as amended).

“We, therefore, affirm that indeed, primaries took place in Zamfara State,” Oshiomhole said.

The party chairman also noted that PDP had similar issues in Kano State and wondered why INEC did not bar the opposition party from fielding candidates.

Yakubu further said that the commission would by the end of November print the outstanding Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).

“We have printed the PVCs for those who registered in the first quarter of 2018. We are right now simultaneously printing for those who registered in the second and third quarters.

“We are looking at the end of November for all the PVCs to be printed including request for transfer and relocation.

“Let me just repeat the assurance that every citizen that registered and who have applied for transfer or replacement will get his or her PVC before 2019 general elections.”

He, however, said that the commission had stopped every registration, request for transfer and replacement of damaged PVCs.

Political associates, friends shun Fayose’s valedictory dinner

By News Desk,

A dinner party organised on Friday night by the outgoing Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose to round-off his tenure in office was shunned by  the expected crowd of party faithful and political appointees.

The dinner which ought to have begun at 7:00pm  did not record up to 20 of  the expected guests till about 12 midnight

Only journalists, armed security men, protocol officers and band boys of a musical group  contracted to perform at the ceremony were present, as at 11pm.

Those conspicuously absent at the valedictory dinner were members of the state House of Assembly and political appointees of the governor, commissioners and permanent secretaries.

The development made food and drinks meant for the entertainment of guests to be wasted.

A Government House source said that many of those invited were unhappy with the departing governor  for various reasons.

The source, who pleaded anonymity disclosed that aside from the governor who paid himself and his deputy lump sums as severance package, including vehicles, none of the  appointees was paid a dime.

“Besides, all the 16 Local Government chairmen are battling to save their jobs in the court, as information was rife on Friday that the incoming governor had concluded arrangement to dissolve the councils anytime soon after his swearing-in on Tuesday.

” The comment of the governor earlier in the day was  shocking to most political appointees when he told them that whatever that anyone of them  may likely encounter in the hands of the new governor, should be taken calmly as such was a prize of leadership.

Commenting on the development, one of the personal domestic staff of the outgoing governor, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said he was not in any way disappointed by the people’s attitude, as  it  is common with human beings.

He recalled that when the governor was still very much in power, thousands of people would always answer his call at the slightest notice, such that the venue of any event organised by him was always overcrowded.

Before the aborted dinner, the governor handed over the instruments of office to the Head of Service, Dr. Gbenga Faseluka at a special valedictory State Executive Council meeting at the new Governor’s Office in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.

Fayose said history would be kind to him the way he managed the resources in trust for the people of the state.

He said he would be available to answer questions on how  he ruled the state anytime he is called upon to do so.

Fayose said: “What has a beginning must have an end. It is not the number of years spent but the quantity and quality of achievements.

“I thank the people of the state for their cooperation and urge them to extend same to the incoming administration. I’m a man who came, saw and conquered. I can’t finish all, I have done my best.

“History will be kind on me as a man who has given his best to the people.

“I will remember all for your support, I bear no grudges against anyone.”

He  also inaugurated the new State Speaker’s Lodge named after  Kolawole Oluwawole who was impeached as Speaker on Thursday by the state lawmakers. He  was replaced with Adeniran Alagbada.

Fayose urged the deposed Speaker to see his impeachment as a “price of leadership.”

He told Oluwawole: “If I were you, in the interest of Ekiti, I will tell them to carry on. Everything works for good.”

Atiku picks ex-governor Peter Obi as running mate

By News Desk,

Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party has picked former Anambra state governor Peter Obi as running mate, multiple sources said on Friday.

Silverbird TV owned by Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, a close ally of Atiku first reported the choice and several other platforms have reported it.

Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Director-general Atiku’s campaign also confirmed it in a Facebook post.

“Congratulations to His Excellency Peter Obi. Atiku picks Peter Obi as his Vice Presidential Candidate”, he wrote.

A formal announcement was later made by the Atiku campaign, via Daniel, and there were reports that Atiku and Obi were in talks in Abuja on Friday evening.

Obi, was the governor of Anambra between 2007 and 2014.

Daniel in the statement gave reasons Obi was picked as the running mate to Atiku Abubakar.

The 57-year-old Obi was a former governor of Anambra State and a former Chairman of Fidelity Bank Plc.

Daniel said Obi’s choice was largely influenced by his youthfulness, vast knowledge of global and local economics as well as being a financial expert, all experience which Nigeria is in great need at this point in time.

“This ticket will be able to steer our nation back on the path of progress, economic prosperity and unity”, Daniel said.

Born 19th July, 1961, Obi attended the Christ the King College, Onitsha and later proceeded to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy in 1984.

“He is also a graduate of several international and national institutions such as the Lagos Business School, Harvard Business School, London School of Economics, Columbia Business School, Institute of Management, Switzerland, Kellogg Graduate School, Oxford University and Cambridge University.

“In public service, he has led various divisions some of which includes: Member, Presidential Economic Management Team; Vice-Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum; Chairman, South-East Governors’ Forum, and the Governor of Anambra State.

“Peter Obi is an astute professional who has laid his footprints across the corporate world. He was the Chairman, Board of Security and Exchange Commission (SEC); former Chairman, Fidelity Bank PLC; former Chairman, Guardian Express Mortgage Bank; former Chairman, Future Views Securities; former Chairman, Paymaster Nigeria; former Chairman, Next International Nigeria; former Director, Guardian Express Bank PLC; former Director, Chams Nigeria PLC; former Director, Emerging Capital: former Director, Card Centre PLC.

“He is a member of the British Institute of Directors (IOD), Nigerian Chartered Institute of Bankers and Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG)

Power tussle rocks legislature four days to Fayose’s exit

By News Desk,

Four days to the exit of Governor Ayodele Fayose, crisis has rocked the Ekiti State House of Assembly as impeached speaker spits fire.

Kola Oluwawole, who was impeached as Speaker on Thursday, says he remains the authentic speaker of the assembly.

Oluwawole described his removal as an illegality which cannot stand.

According to him, 18 members are supposed to carry out a speaker’s impeachment.

He, therefore, insisted that the 14-member action is not valid under the law.

Oluwawole was immediately replaced by Ebenezer Alagbada.

The 14 lawmakers also removed the deputy speaker and principal officers of the House and also announced the suspension of some members.

They cited abuse of office and mismanagement of the resources of the House among other reasons for their actions.

The tenure of the incumbent governor of the state, Ayodele Fayose would end on October 16.

Sokoto Guber: Tambuwal not PDP candidate – Chairman

By News Desk,

The Sokoto State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ibrahim Milgoma on Tuesday dispelled rumor that the party’s 2019 election flag-bearer, Mannir Dan-iya has been substituted.

Speaking to newsmen in Sokoto over the rumour that Dan-iya had been substituted by Gov. Tambuwal after he failed to secure party’s presidential ticket was unfounded.

Milgoma explained that at present Dan-iya remained the party’s 2019 governorship candidate noting that there was still time to substitute candidate according to the law.

The chairman said the party would formally announce any change if any in future noting that substitution had processes which must be complied with based on electoral guidelines.

Milgoma explained that the event held on Oct.7 at the state party headquarters was to express Gov. Tambuwal’s appreciation over the support he enjoyed at PDP Presidential primary election in Port Harcourt.

According to him, party members are still united and will continue to support any person that emerged victorious during the concluded primaries and urged loyalists to work toward ensuring maximum success of all party candidates in coming elections.

Speculations were going round that the party had conducted fresh primary and produced Tambuwal as governorship candidate at the 11th hour on Oct. 7, to comply with INEC deadline on conducting primary election.