We will not take Ekiti back to the past – Tinubu

By News Desk,

The of All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader, Bola Tinubu, has said that the party was prepared to capture the Ekiti State from present administration, indicating that APC would allow People Democratic Party (PDP) continue ruling the state.

He said that Ekiti was a state where change was necessary and that the political party would give whatever it takes to ensure APC have the state.

At  launch of the mega rally of APC’s governorship candidate, Kayode Fayemi, in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday, Tinubu assured that Ekiti would join the progressives after the change.

“We will not take Ekiti back to the past. You all must use your Permanent Voters Card (PVC) to vote in APC.

“Your PVC is your red card. Use your PVC to give PDP a red card on July 14,’’ Tinubu advised the crowd.

Prince Dayo Adeyeye, former spokesman of PDP and former works minister formally defected from his party to APC.

Adeyeye, who was also a governorship aspirant of PDP, said: “PDP died in Ekiti since May 29.’’

“I have decamped from PDP and many others would soon join the APC.’’
He said he was now committed to APC to ensure that Ekiti came up again in terms of development

Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, national Chairman of APC, received Adeyeye and other defecting PDP party chieftains.

He congratulated them and assured then that “we will be here to celebrate victory’’.

Ekiti APC accuses Foyese of promoting violence

By NewsDesk,

The All Progressives Congress (APC) Ekiti State chapter Chieftain,  Dayo Adeyeye, has accused the state Governor, Ayodele Fayose, of promoting violence in the state.

The former Minister of State for Works said in Ado-Ekiti on Monday that the governor should be held responsible for the destruction of the campaign materials of the APC candidate in the July 14 election, Dr Kayode Fayemi.

In a statement issued by his Director of Media and Publicity, Omoniyi Ojo, that the governor was also heating up the polity with the threats to the perceived enemies of the administration.

Adeyeye also accused Fayose of harassing traditional rulers in the state and sacking civil servants and appointees supporting Fayemi.

‎The former minister, however, appealed to those affected to endure, assuring them that help was underway after the governorship poll.

” The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, should be held responsible for the present state of insecurity in the state.

“ People who are familiar with his antics cannot sleep with their two eyes closed anymore.

” He was chased out in his first term in office when he was imposed on the people of Ekiti State by the then President Olusegun Obasanjo.

“ This second time, he told people that he was a changed person, but he is now worse.

”He was impeached because of violence in his term in office, even some of the cases that include murder cases are still in court.

“Two days ago, an APC supporter was killed, two days before, the bill boards of Dr Fayemi were destroyed in Ikere Ekit

”If you are looking for who are behind all these violence, look in the direction of Fayose.

“Fayose is so intolerant. In 2014, he was holding open meetings with civil servants in the state canvassing for their support and none of them was molested, nobody issued threats to sack them.

“However, I call on those being molested or victimised who are afraid and rightly concerned about their future , that help is on the way.

“ They should bear with the situation now because it would soon be over.

” Victory is assured for APC on July 14. They shall be restored to those stations immediately after the election.

“ The Pharaoh that you see today, you shall see no more,’’ the statement said.

Oshiomole exhibits winning confidence ahead APC convention

By NewsDesk,

The Edo State Former Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has disclosed that national chairmanship of All Progressives Congress (APC) chances had been boosted through supports of leaders of party and governors.

Oshiomhole, who spoke on the development while fielding questions from newsmen in Benin on Friday, hinted that he was going to enjoy support from leaders of the party and as well as that of other members across the nation

However, the National Convention of APC which has been slate for June 23, no fewer than 6,800 delegates were expected to participate.

Oshiomhole said, “I am enjoying the support of APC governors and other party leaders across the nation ahead the June 23 National Convention of the party.

“The reason for this is because they understand my person and because, by the Special Grace of God, if I will emerge through a consensus leadership, my loyalty will be to the party and no more.”

He said if elected, he would deploy his persuasive powers and negotiation skills in resolving the crisis in the party.

“If I have prominent people from the North, prominent people from the South, East, West and the center, no one will say `if not for my support you would not have been there.’

“If you are a product of one section, then you might remain detained by that section.

“But, when you have the privilege of a broad support from many leaders, then no one leader will say I put you there and you must listen to me.

“Let me also say that what is also qualitatively different about this support is that there is no question about what is influencing it.

“This is so, because in our political environment, we hear that those who have the deepest pockets tend to buy the support.

“But, this support is being offered from people who cannot be procured, which tells you that it is flowing from the knowledge of my person, because I have been fortunate to work with all the governors, including past governors.

“Those I did not meet in office, I met them when I was President of the NLC. We had engaged on one-on-one; they know what I stand for.

“So, they offered this support based on their understanding of my person, and not inducement and that makes a difference,” he stated.

Oshiomhole said that he was never a dictator as being alleged in some quarters.

He said certain things he learnt in the labour union were negotiations and never dictatorial.

According to him, even though I was the president of NLC, I cannot even control my deputy because he was voted the same manner I was elected.

“In the NLC, you must listen to everybody, unlike in government where as an executive, you can dictate decisions.

“So, what my background prepared me for is to be able to listen, and that is why I kept saying contestation and disputes are not dysfunctional, if you have the skills that I have to manage divergences.

“I have never exercised dictatorial powers. I have always exercised persuasive powers and negotiating skills, and those are my skills.

“And, when I negotiate with you and persuade and you accept, you will feel obliged to do what you have to do.

“But, if I dictate to you, when I am not watching, you will do your heart. So, I am not capable of being a dictator by the very nature of my background,” the former governor said.

Buhari honours Moshood Abiola, others

By News Desk

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday gave national honours to MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of annulled June 12, 1993 presidential election.

Abiola was bestowed with a posthumouse award of Grand Commander of Federal Republic.

Ambassador Babagana Kinginbe, who was Abiola’s running mate was also decorated with Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger.

Similarly, human rights lawyer, late Gani Fawehimi got GCON.

The conferment of the honour on the late Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola comes 25 years after the election, which is recognised as the freest in the country’s history.

It comes almost 20 years after Abiola died in detention after being jailed by military dictator General Sani Abacha for trying to claim his mandate.

Lagos APC aggrieved faction points accuse fingers at Oyegun

By NewsDesk,

The All Progressives Congress (APC) Lagos chapter aggrieved Fouad Oki-led group has condemned the party National Chairman, John  Odigie -Oyegun. for inaugurating Tunde Balogun as state APC chairman, despite crisis on rocking the party.

After inauguration of the chairman, along with 33 other state chairmen, yesterday, Oki, who convened a parallel state congress of the party on May 19, challenging the group led by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, faulted the action  in a statement he issued in Lagos.

He, on Tuesday through a statement,  accused Oyegun as being compromised, and that his group would do everything possible to challenge the action claimed to be  illegal.

“I am certain we have not not heard the last of this. Truth is we knew they were going to do what they did because the Oyegun-led NWC is full of weaklings.

“But we are undaunted in our resolve and we will continue to show resilience on the struggle to free our people from the shackles of a bigot”, he said.

The inauguration of Balogun was in contrast to an earlier decision of the National Working Committee (NWC)of the party which overruled the main congress over issues of legality.

The Publicity Secretary of the party ,Malam Bolaji Abdullahi had explained that the NWC overruled the main congress held at the ACME Road Secretariat because it was based on 57 councils instead of the constitutional 20.

He added that the party could not have discountenanced the congress organised by Oki as it was held in the recognised  20 council areas.

The spokesman, however,  said a five-man committee, headed by the Deputy National Chairman(North) had been set up to resolve the knotty issues.

However, Oyegun at the inauguration told the new chairmen in crisis states like Lagos ,Rivers and others not to inaugurate executive members as the party was working on harmonised committee members in the affected states.

Oki called on President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo to prevail on Oyegun-led NWC to reverse the inauguration.

He also called on NWC members to do everything possible to ensure that its earlier decision on congresses was upheld.

The Fouad Oki group is believed to be sponsored by Muiz Banire, the national legal adviser of the APC.

All the state chairmen sworn in by Oyegun:

1.      Abia                            – Hon. Donatus E. Nwankpa

2.      Adamawa                    – Alh. Ibrahim Bilal

3.      Akwa Ibom                 – Hon. Ini Okopido

4.      Anambra                     – Barr. Emeka Ibe

5.      Bauchi                         – Alh Uba Ahmed Nana

6.      Bayelsa                        – Jonathan L. Amos

7.      Benue                          – Comrade Abba Yari

8.      Borno                          – Hon. Ali Bukar Dalori

9.      Cross River                 – Hon. Godwin Etim John

10.  Delta                           – Chief Cyril Abeye Ogodo

11.  Ebonyi                         – Pastor Eze Nwachukwu Eze

12.  Edo                             – Anslem U. Ojezua

13.  Ekiti                            – No Congress

14.  Enugu                          – Dr. Ben Nwoye

15.  Gombe                        – Nitte K. Amangal

16.  Imo                              – Dr. Hillary Eke

17.  Jigawa                         – Hon. Ado Sani Kiri

18.  Kaduna                       – Air Commodore Emmanuel Jekeda (Rtd.)

19.  Kano                           – Abdullahi Abass

20.  Katsina                        – Shittu S. Shittu

21.  Kebbi                          – Arc. Bala Sani Kangiwa

22.  Kogi                            – Abdullahi Bello

23.  Kwara                         – Hon. Ishola Balogun Fulani

24.  Lagos                          – Alh. Tunde Balogun

25.  Nasarawa                    – Philip Tatari Shekwo

26.  Niger                           – Engr. Muhammed Liman

27.  Ogun                           – Chief Dikia Adebisi

28.  Ondo                           – Engr. Ade Adetimehin

29.  Osun                            – No Congress

30.  Oyo                             – Chief Akin Oke

31.  Plateau                        – Hon. Letep M. Dabang

32.  Rivers                          – Ojukaye Amachree

33.  Sokoto                         – Hon. Isa S. Achida

34.  Taraba                         – Alh. Abdulmumini Vaki

35.  Yobe                           – Alh. Adamu Chilariye

36.  Zamfara                       – Alh. Lawal M. Liman

37.  FCT                             – Hon. Abdulmalik Usman

Oni throws support behind Fayemi, persuades fans ahead election

By NewsDesk,

The Ekiti State former Governor and All Progressives Congress (APC) Chieftain, Olusegun Oni, has thrown support behind, the party’s flag bearer, Kayode Fayemi, for coming gubernitorial election slate July 14, just as he urged his supporters to rally around the candidate to wrestle the state back from People Democratic Party (PDP).

Oni, who came second in the party’s primary, made the declaration in Ifaki-Ekiti while addressing his campaign council chairmen and team members from the 16 local government areas of the state.

The former governor persuaded his supporter to rally supports for the candidate of the party

“If you are really loyal to Chief Segun Oni and believe in my principles, we must keep this party alive and work together as one by remaining committed and dedicated to its success in the July 14 election.

“We remain in APC. We are to work for the party and it has a candidate in the person of Dr Kayode Fayemi. We have a duty to help the Nigerian political process to further evolve.

He said that idea of aspirants jumping ship after primaries must be discouraged, if members of APC want to have the state back from PDP, assuring that, supporters that their interests would be adequately protected.

The party’s candidate, Dr Kayode Fayemi, who arrived before the meeting,‎ promised to carry everybody along in the administration of the state if elected as governor.

“The party had 33 aspirants during the primary, that simply means that we have 33 leaders in the state.I want to assure everyone that no one would be left behind in the governance of the state.

“I hold everybody in high regard and I want to appeal to you to join hands with me as the candidate of the party to ensure that we take over the governance of the state.

“ Anything done for me is for the party and I am saying that we shall all reap the fruit together,’’ he said.

PDP sweeps Oyo assembly by-election, dusts APC, other

By NewsDesk,

The Peoples Democratic has continue proving that the party was on ground for 2019 election by winning a bye-election into Oyo State House of Assembly, with its candidate, Adebo Ogundoyin, beating All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Olukunle Adeyemo, to second place in the poll.

However, the state assembly seat of Ibarapa East constituency became vacant following death of former speaker of state, Michael Adeyemo, who was died recently.

Announcing the results, the returning officer, Dr Ayodeji Omole, from University of Ibadan, said Ogundoyin polled 6,277 votes to defeat Adeyemo of the All Progressive Party (APC), who came a distant second with 4,619 votes.

Omole hinted that third political party, Accord, candidate in the race, Adebodun Adepoju, scored 2,859 votes and that of Fresh Democratic Party, Rasheedat Oyewumi, also got 33 votes.

He listed 
others to include Adekemi Raheem of Hope Democratic Party 14 votes, Grace Olarinde of the Nigerian Peoples Congress 60 and Martins Adeyemo of Mega Party of Nigeria nine votes.

Omole said 14,332 people were accredited out of 44,077 total registered voters.

”Total votes cast is 14,179 while valid votes are 13,871 and 308 votes were rejected.

He declared Ogundoyin as the winner ”having scored the highest votes as stipulated in the electoral law.

The bye-election that was held in 140 polling units in all 10 wards across the constituency was necessitated followed the death of Michael Adeyemo, the occupant of the seat in the State House of Assembly, on April 27.

In his remark at the end of the election, the National Electoral Commissioner for Oyo, Osun and Ekiti,      Adedeji Soyebi, said the election was successful and gave kudos to the people of the constituency for conducting themselves peacefully.

” We have little issue with card readers unlike previous elections because we used enhanced smart card readers now” Soyebi noted.

He also commended security personnel deployed to the area for their efforts toward peaceful and violence free exercise.

As gathered, fro officials who monitored the bye election in Eruwa and Lanlate towns reports that there was heavy presence of security operatives led by Mr Abiodun Odude, the Oyo state commissioner of police.

It was reported that polling officials and election materials arrived early in all polling units while accreditation and voting started timely and smoothly with the use of effective card readers in all the polling units visited.

Sources said that only three agents of Accord, APC and PDP were present at every polling unit in Lanlate and Eruwa, but that seven political parties participated in the bye election
.

One of them said that turnout of voters was low at ward 6, polling units 001 – 005, Sango area, LA primary school , ward 05, polling units 001-006 and other polling units visited.

Meanwhile, a presiding officer, Hamza Adamu, in ward 09, polling unit 002, Lanlate, said the exercise was peaceful and hitch-free.

Besides, PDP agent, Abigael Folorunsho, at unit 002, ward 05, Eruwa, Mrs Abigael Folorusho, attributed the low turnout to fear of being attacked as earlier rumoured that the election would be violent.

Folorunsho, commended INEC for given level playing ground for all participating political parties.(NAN)

The results of the election ward by ward: below.

Ward 1)
PDP 1206
APC 333
Accord 146

Ward 2)
PDP 1129
APC 115
Accord 259

Ward 3)
PDP 519
APC 226
Accord 82

Ward 4)
PDP 1129
APC 221
Accord 150

Ward 5)
PDP 1079
APC 253
Accord 159

Ward 6)
PDP 843
APC 284
Accord 160

Ward 7)
PDP 24
APC 819
Accord 607

Ward 8
PDP 146
APC 738
Accord 363

Ward 9)
PDP 57
APC 826
Accord 600

Ward 10)
PDP 81
APC 608
Accord 455

Total
PDP 6,213
APC 4,423
Accord 2,981

APC clears LG polls across Nasarawa

By NewsDesk,

The Nasarawa State Independent Electoral Commission (NASIEC) has declared All Progressive Congress (APC) candidate as winners of yesterday  local government election across the state, the election of which was held among three parties including APC, Social Democratic Party (SDP), and Advanced Democratic Party (ADP)

It said that three political parties including APC, SDP and ADP fielded candidates for the chairmanship election across the 13 local government areas, while 21 political parties contested for the 147 councillorship positions in the state, with the APC winning all.

The Chairman, INEC, Henry Omaku, who announced the results of the polls on Sunday at the commission’s headquarters in Lafia, said that the APC chairmanship candidate for Awe local government, Umar Abubakar polled 56, 598 votes to emerge winner, with Mr. Samuel Meshi emerging victorious for Akwanga local government having polled 50, 149 votes.

Others winners include: Mohammed Iyimoga for Obi local government polling 88, 019 votes, Idris Danlami for Nasarawa Eggon with 79, 789 votes and Mohammed Sani scoring 98, 515 votes to win chairmanship seat for Nasarawa local government area.

Also elected were: Aminu Maitafa for Lafia local government with 172, 717 votes, Saidu Kazi for Kokona with 69, 043 votes and Adamu Giza for Keana with 13, 658 votes garnered at the polls.

Abubakar Abass emerged victorious in Wamba local government with 27, 108 votes, Rabo Sani got 77, 003 votes to clinch the chairmanship for Doma, while Samuel Akala and Abdulrahman Sani polled 80, 934 and 14, 817 to emerge winners for Karu and Keffi local government areas respectively.

Omaku noted that although, the election witnessed low voters’ turnout, it was smooth an rancour-free.

He explained that the restriction of movement could not be implemented during the election because of the ongoing Universal Tertiary Matriculation Examination. (UTME).

He thanked security operatives, political parties and observers for their contribution towards the peaceful conduct of the elections.

He advised political parties against boycotting subsequent elections in the state as doing so was capable of denying the people quality leadership at the local level.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that opposition parties in Nasarawa state including the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) boycotted the May 26 election citing lack of confidence in the electoral body.

The opposition parties had alleged that the chairman of NASIEC, Mr Henry Omakwu is a card-carrying member of the APC, therefore, not qualified to head the commission.

The real price of “Changing the Change”

By Garba Shehu, 

Top opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members have been granting press interviews and addressing zonal political rallies talking about “CHANGING THE CHANGE” in next year’s general elections, without defining what exactly that means.

As the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) gears up to celebrate the completion of three years of the Buhari government in the centre on May 29th, Nigerians need to be reminded of what the reversal of the achievements of this administration will amount to.

The real meaning and cost of the “Changing the Change,” is that if they win the next election, they will not take us back to where we were in 2015, they will mostly reverse the progress the APC has brought to the nation. The main reason for the defeat of the PDP in 2015 was corruption. The present administration at the centre led by President Muhammadu Buhari has so far presented a corrupt-free image of itself. It has also succeeded in abolishing grand corruption at the top and as attested to by the American President, Donald Trump. The government has significantly brought down the level of corruption in the whole country. It has, however, warned over and again that corruption was fighting back.

Many who are discerning would have read this from President Buhari’s speech when he inaugurated the impressive new headquarters building of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) a week ago. He narrated how and why he was overthrown as a military Head of State in the 80s.

In that speech, he said not only was he kicked out because he fought corruption, the ones who took power freed all those that he had jailed, and whatever they stole was returned to them. He took their place in prison and stayed there without trial for 36 months, until that day when a journalist in Benin, now in Edo, broke the story that he had lost his mother. That was when he was allowed to go home.

The real difference between the PDP and the current APC administration is that although they mouthed a flood of rhetoric against corruption, in fact rightfully lay the claim of founding the institutions now in the forefront of fighting corruption as a government, the EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, they had intended to keep them as toys, or bulldogs which teeth had been removed. No, they never intended that the war against corruption would be taken this far.

To change the change would mean that the teeth of the bulldog will be removed. It would then only bark but not bite.

In this country, politics is often considered as synonym of corruption. The previous government came under huge criticism for scandals like that discovered in arms procurements in the office of the National Security Adviser, NSA which transformed itself into a major source of funding of the PDP; NNPC crude oil thefts, broadband spectrum licensing scandal, oil subsidy scam and so many others but the present government has not faced any such corruption allegations.

Although he said he was unafraid and would not bend, the President’s concern, and fear on the part of many is that if a corrupt leader takes over, it will be happy days all over again for former Oil Minister Diezani Allison-Maduekwe who has so far forfeited USD 153 million, N23.4 billion, and USD 4m and USD 5m in separate accounts. “Change the Change” would mean she will get the money back. So would the former Managing Director of the maritime agency, NIMASA get back GBP 578,080 seized from him and the Ikoyi apartment owners have back their USD43.4m; N23m and GBP 27,800.

The hidden owner of the Lagos cash shop may then step forward to reclaim their N449.6 million; the ex-Naval Chiefs will have returned to them the already forfeited N1.8 billion; the Governors Forum paid back their N1.4 billion and the major oil marketers, from whom the EFCC has so far seized N328.9 billion will smile their ways to the bank.

The banks themselves will equally join the party, happily getting back N27.7 billion they “ate” from taxes they failed to remit; the scion of the Akinjides, Jumoke will have N650 million awarded to her while those scammers in INEC who coughed out N1 billion will equally get money back and charges standing against them in court may be dropped.

But the happiest of them all will be Mrs. Jonathan, who will get the first priority when the refunds start coming for obvious reasons. The former First Lady would not anymore need lawyers to keep her mountain of gifts, counted in huge millions of dollars, billions of Naira, hotels and buildings.

The list of people who oppose the Buhari government and yearning to ‘‘change the change’’ include a number of parliamentarians, policemen, customs officials, immigration officials, civil servants now rooting for other political parties, not leaving out those various businesses and platforms owned by these political parties directly or indirectly.

The Buhari win in 2015, and the possibility of four more years have crumbled their dreams of endlessly looting the state and the growing list of achievements of the administration is not doing any good for them.

“Change the change” means also that the biggest tax revolution since independence, the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) now being implemented, and about which many of our rich citizens are unhappy may be scrapped. A recent report shows that there are four million new taxpayers, including companies and individuals, resulting in N700 billion increase in tax revenue in 2017.

The early casualties of ‘‘changing the change’’ may include initiatives like the Whistle Blower policy by which the government is able to recover stolen or concealed assets through information provided by citizens. This has changed the ethical and moral tone of the business transaction space in the country. The whistle blower is entitled to between 2.5%-5.0% of amount recovered.

Sometime last year, the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, told the world, “we are going after those who have stolen our money. We have put in place a very successful whistle-blower programme that is delivering results and allows those who report illicit activity to receive up to five per cent of any funds that we recover.” The response has been so fabulous that in just four months, it yielded N17bn, as revealed by the Acting Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu.

Another formidable group unhappy with the change and wish it reversed are the importers of diesel and generators. Nigeria ranks as the second biggest importer of generators all over the world.

Buhari is bad business for them because he has raised electric power availability from 2,600 MW in 2015 to 7,000 MW and is targeting 10,000 megawatts by the year’s end. Increased power availability means less purchase of generators and less consumption of diesel. Noticeably, they are rooting for parties that are bent on changing the change. Rooters of ‘‘Changing the Change’’ campaign also include the beneficiaries of the malaria economy which costs Nigeria N132 billion and 300,000 lives annually, an economy now threatened by the administration’s National Malaria Elimination Programme, NMEP, by which tens of millions of long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (ITN) are being freely distributed. A part of this order is now made in Aba, Nigeria.

The government’s moves on ease of doing business which has attracted international attention and investment and significantly improved the ranking of Nigeria as a place of doing business, in fact achieving a place in the World Bank’s top 10 reforming economies would suffer a hit from those bent on proving that on-going change is not working. But this is how the World Bank saw Nigeria: “Overall, the 10 top improvers implemented the most regulatory reforms in the area of getting credit, starting a business, dealing with construction permits and paying taxes,” the report said.

It’s really hard for the beneficiaries of the old order to see and appreciate what the Buhari government is doing considering that they ran an economy based purely on oil, the price of which was as high as US$140 per barrel. They reticulated oil revenue through personal spending and corruption, wasteful expenses and salaries. Nigeria did not record a single major infrastructural project in the 10 years before the Buhari administration. The money was mismanaged. No savings were made. To compound the problem, they borrowed heavily and owed contractors, and international oil companies.

The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II and Professor Chukwuma Soludo, both eminent former Central Bank Governors had had occasion to warn the government of the day about the wrongful way of doing things and the accompanying wastage but they were clobbered. The dire warnings of the dangers to economic health and the wellbeing of the people were both ignored.

Increase in government spending in infrastructure which is beginning to show results with sectors like employment, and returning growth to the recessed economy may equally suffer. Under the 2017 appropriation budget which is about to lapse, government’s capital spending is expected to hit N1.5 trillion. In the PDP years, the highest this got to was N450 billion or 21 per cent of the capital allocation in 2014. Doing more with less.

The Railways, on which the common man travels, is being changed for the better. The 3,500 monorail that had existed has been leased to the American company, General Electric. They are to refurbish it and are bringing new locomotives and hundreds of coaches. All trains and coaches are being modernized. New standard railway tracks are being laid linking Ibadan and Lagos. Kaduna-Abuja, partly completed when President Buhari took over is now in use and contracts for the entire stretch, Lagos to Kano have been awarded. Lagos-Port Harcourt will follow and by the Presidential directive, all state capitals are to be linked by the new, standard gauge railway.

“Changing the Change” means that we will go back to the old ways of doing things. A strong and diversified economy has been on top of President Buhari’s achievements. Key drivers of the economy such as agriculture and solid minerals have been progressing with over 7% growth rate, an indication of positive signs for the future. Is everyone happy with this? No. We cannot say this of the importers of rice who have seen their import business go down following the tremendous success of the home-grown rice schemes. Over two billion USD have been saved as a consequence.

Then, you must also count those who got USD 200 million every year from the Central Bank and ended up bringing in low standard fertilizers. They lapped a government subsidy of N60,000 annually and sold a bag each for between N10,000-N13,000. Now, a government-approved price, by the common consent of local producers is N5,500 per bag. Those who fed fat on the perennial shortages and the subsidy regime would desire nothing but “Changing the Change.”

There are many today who take for granted the declared victory over the Boko Haram terrorists, forgetting the reign of the bomber who made it almost impossible for regular attendance in markets, Churches and Mosques in many of our cities, including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

But again, as we have seen from the heist in the national security establishment, even Boko Haram was an industry from which money was scooped. Boko Haram was the hallmark of a flourishing business of corruption. The beneficiaries won’t like that the security threat is eliminated. Yes, for them, “Changing the Change” is an opportunity for a resumption of business as usual.

Disagreement breaks APC in Lagos, creates faction

By NewsDesk,

Aggrieved members of Lagos State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) have came together to form another faction of the part, the move which was said appeared to be challenging dominance of the APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu, in dictating the political direction of the state.

However, the faction, led by one of the party’s former head, Fuad Oki, defied state’s god father, including the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, by holding a separate state congress at Ikeja Airport Hotel, different from the one held at the party’s secretariat on Acme Road, also in Ikeja.

Oki, who returned himself as the chairman of the APC in the state, while the main congress at the State Secretariat produced Alhaji Tunde Balogun, a former commissioner, other members of the party stood their grands against god father imposition.

It was not clear whether Oki’s congress was supervised by officials sent by the National secretariat of the APC, but the exercise  conducted at the party secretariat on ACME Road, was witnessed by the State Congress Committee headed by, Uche Ekwunife.

At the congress, Sunny Ajose became Deputy Chairman, Funsho Ologunde emerged as vice-chairman, West), and Kayode Olusanya, been vice-chairman, East, while Hakeem Bamigbala was also picked as vice-chaiman, Central.

Besides, Dr. Wale Ahmed was elected as secretary, with Olasunmbo as treasurer, and Joana Adebobuyi assistant treasurer, while Joe Igbokwe emerged as  the party publicity secretary,  Abiodun Salami took assistant publicity secretary and Ademola Sadiq been legal adviser.

After the exercise, Ekwunife lauded the arrangements for the exercise that ensured that it went on peacefully without any rancour, expressing her gratitude to party leadership in the state for the cooperation and support for her committee, even as she promised to sell Lagos to other states of the Federation on the way to go about having a rancour-free transition.

According to her, “We are going to suggest to others the need to emulate Lagos on how to have a smooth transition,” adding that the outgoing party chairman, Otunba Henry Ajomale, was happy leaving the position for others to take over.

She thanked Ajomale for his leadership role, which she said had seen Lagos growing from strength to strength.

Ajomale, who spoke earlier, thanked party members and leaders for their support and cooperation that had ensured he and his team delivered their best for APC, declaring that the speech he was giving would not be his valedictory since “we are still part and parcel of the party membership.”

Ajomale, while welcoming the state governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode; party chieftains, the about 1,500 delegates, contestants, among others to the exercise, charged incoming leadership to do more and excel, pointing out that Lagos held the prestigious position of being “chairman of chairmen of all state chapters of APC in Nigeria.”

However, at the parallel congress held at Lagos Hotel, Ikeja, Mr, Fuad Oki, a former Campaign Director for Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Raji Fashola and Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, emerged as the chairman, while Mr. Sanni Oloye and Mr Wole Oshodi became deputy chairman and secretary respectively.

Oki was also a past vice-chairman (Central) of APC in the state.

In separate interviews, the new chairman of APC, Alhaji Balogun; spokesman Mr Joe Igbokwe and member of the House of Representatives, Abiodun Faleke dismissed the Oki congress. The trio said whichever congress held outside the party office was null and void.

Oki, however said that the congress held by his group was authentic, declaring that the exercise that took place at the Airport Hotel could not be described as parallel in whatever way.

According to him, the congress held at Airport Hotel was the only legitimate one, saying he was not aware of any parallel congress.

‘What we did here was the election of one party, the APC. This is a coalition of different groups, namely; Justice Forum, the Mandate and United Group,” he said.