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Otedola hosts, endorses Sanwo-Olu as Lagos next Governor

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

Ahead of the 2019 Governorship election in Lagos, Oil mogul, Femi Otedola, has endorsed All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, as next governor for the state

Otedola’s endorsement came barely five months after assuring residents of Lagos that he would never vie for any public office but rather stand with the masses to get dividend of democracy.

It was learned that the endorsement announced on his official social media yesterday came after he hosted Sanwo-Olu to a dinner in his house in Lagos, discussing the 2019 governorship poll in the state.

In a statement on his official instagram, Otedola stated that the relationship between them had been age long, disclosing that Sanwo-Olu is his childhood friend.

The business mogul, who posted the picture taken after the dinner at his residence, further described the APC governorship candidate as governor in waiting

He said: “Dinner at my residence yesterday evening, with my childhood friend APC Governorship Candidate, Babajide Sanwo-Olu. GOVERNOR IN WAITING!”

Atiku Support Groups Battle Tough Over Supremacy, Recognition

By NewsDesk, 

Task ahead for People Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Candidate and Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, may not only be limited to election campaign and activity, but could also involve resolving of crisis brewing among support groups, who have continued engaging in supremacy battle, particularly between two factional groups’ members who were reported to have engaged in fight for recognition.

Of the troubled groups were Atiku Reloaded led by one Bello Osaretin God lpower and Atiku Die Hard which is under, Ibrahim Sufi’s control, whose members were said to had engaged in fight during a press conference on Monday in Abuja.

As gathered, fight over which group becomes what had continue creating confusion within Atiku’s campaign organization days after Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, was appointed as Director General of the campaign house.

The Guild learnt that various groups from over 2000 Atiku’s support groups had been laying claims on supremacy right while another set were pushing for those not to be recognized by the campaign organisation.

However, a source from the campaign office who confided in The Guild, confirmed that the two groups’  members engaged in fight over rating of one support group above other and that various organizations had been seen agitating against non recognition.

She disclosed that of 2000 Atiku support groups, the two groups members had supremacy battle over recognition by the campaign organisation and that the office needs to find common ground for entire supporters of Atiku before the 2019 election.

The source added that the groups headed by God lpower  and Sufi took to streets in Abuja during which they expressed their various dissatisfaction against supremacy.

She hinted that fight broke off after members of the Atiku Die Hard learnt of the reloaded group staging press conference to lay claim of its supreme above other group, the action of which the source claimed could pass wrong signal to other support grioups,

“It is a good development that support groups are struggling for space and recognition in the Atiku Campaign organisation but that should be done with decorum”.

Besides, a source from the Atiku Die hard, who later spoke to our correspondent through phone after the fight, alleged that the intention of the Atiku’s Reloaded Group was to stage a press conference and such move could send a wrong signal to the world that there were problems within Atiku support groups.

He stated that the action of his group’s members was to prevent the other group from holding the conference in a civil manner, before they were been attacked by the Atiku reloaded members who he claimed violently resisted the disruption of the press conference.

Also, a member of the Atiku Reloaded, who also spoke on the same issue, claimed that notable members of the group had warned the leader of organisation against consequence of the action and that the move could send wrong signal to members of the public.

He told The Guild that Atiku Reloaded’s motives of embarking on such a mission maybe attributed to wanting to send a wrong signal to the society and that the action of the group’s leader caused members abandoning the group.

“Because of the proposed plan to embark on street protest to press home their demand for recognition, members of the Atiku Reloaded are already exiting the group.

Bello God’s power is on his own. Because we are for Atiku and why should we be making unnecessary problems where there is none”.

Meanwhile, effort by The Guild to reach the Director of support groups in the Atiku campaign organisation on the issue proved abortive as they were no members of the directorate available to speak to our correspondent.

Fayose’s trial starts November, gets bail

By News Desk,

Former Ekiti governor Ayodele Fayose was granted bail this morning over the N30.8 billion fraud charge slammed on him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

His trial will start on 19 November, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun ruled.

Fayose was docked at the Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday alongside his company, Spotless Investment Ltd on an 11-count charge of N30.8 billion fraud.

He pleaded not guilty to the charge.

His lawyer Kanu Agabi SAN, moved a motion for his bail, after which the judge ordered Fayose’s remand in EFCC custody and adjourned hearing till today.

Justice Olatoregun heard the arguments by Agabi and EFCC counsel, Rotimi Jacobs today,

Agabi, a former Federal Attorney-General , urged the court to grant Fayose bail on the ground that he voluntarily submitted himself to EFCC a day after leaving office as Governor of Ekiti State.

In addition, he said, Fayose has no criminal record.

Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, prosecuting for EFCC, countered on the ground that the day Fayose appeared in EFCC Abuja he came with a lot of hoodlums that nearly attacked the EFCC operatives before they were repelled.

He was probably to the crowd that included Governor Nyesom Wike and former aviation minister, Femi Fani-Kayode.

Rotimi also told the court that investigation is still ongoing to trace some of the properties bought by Fayose with the stolen money and if granted bail, he will scuttle investigation.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun said since the offence alleged to have been committed is a bailable offence, she was inclind to grant Fayose bail.

She thus granted Fayose bail in the sum of N50million with one surety who must own a landed property in Lagos.

The surety must possess three years tax clearance and must also secure a bond of N50million from a reputable bank which will be forfeited if Fayose jumps bail.

Fayose was also ordered to swear to an affidavit not to tamper with the witnesses and should deposit his international passport with the chief Registrar of the court.

Thereafter, she adjourned the trial till 19th of November, 2018.

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.”