• follow us in feedly

Exclusive: APC suspends Ikuforiji, Oris, Attorney General, 18 others over anti-party activities

By NewsDesk,

The All Progressive Congress (APC), Lagos State Chapter, has suspended the former Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, and 20 others, including the Special Adviser to the Governor on Community and Communication Affairs, Hakeem Sulaiman-Oris, Attorney General, Adeniji Kazeem, among others, after they were suspected of alleged anti-party activities.

As gathered, the offense of the suspended members of Lagos APC was suspicion of forming an alliance with the Action Democratic Party (ADP) to bring the ruling party down, both in the state and at the federal level.

Others on the suspension list includes: Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Muslim Folami, House of Representative Member, James Falake, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Community Matters, Babatunde Quadri, Lagos State House of Assembly Members, Segun Olulade and Tunde Braimoh.

Others are Shakiru Denge Anifowoshe, Iyabo Akerele, Ola Shehu, Hon. Yemi Ali, Hon.Hakeem Bangbala, Alhaji Bashiru Adekoya, Otunba Tayo Oyemade, Hon. Abiodun Mafe, Rev.Iyo Oyasodun, Mr.Sanya Osijo, Hon.Hakeem Masha, Mr Corlelius Ojelabi and Femi Apata.

They said that those on the list were not only accused of playing anti-party activities while still with the APC, but they are also working to disrupt the structures of the party in the State before they leave for ADP.

According to them those working to bring the party down are doing so in their selfish interest without considering the gravity or consequence on the party.

Some of these people have started meeting with the opposition on the ground of ambition while some of them have already secured nomination forms from the ADP.

Lately, trouble has continued to rock the ruling Party across the nation, including Lagos, where the State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, is battling with his second term agenda which the APC Elders and Leaders in the State have refused to endorse.

One of the Governor’s nightmares, is his co-contender, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who has continued to receive endorsements from different groups including religious leaders in the State.

On the suspension, the source disclosed that the party would ensure that those working against it were sanctioned, and APC would not go back on the decision to deal with any erring member of the party playing anti-party activities.

Another source from the inner caucus of the party revealed that there is possibility that the party National Leader, Bola Tinubu, may invite members of the party including those on suspension to his house for a meeting.

However, efforts to reach the people on the list of the suspension to confirm the allegation as well as the action proved abortive as their aides were not ready to speak on the matter.

Also, members from the ADP were yet to speak on whether they have been in contact with the embattled APC members.

Omisore backs APC in Osun rerun

By News Desk,

Senator Iyiola Omisore is not supporting the PDP candidate, Ademola Adeleke in the Osun
rerun governorship election.

Reports said he has agreed to ensure the success of the APC candidate, Gboyega Oyetola.

His position became clearer on Wednesday after he met a powerful delegation of the APC, led by the national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, four governors- Badaru, Ganduje, Amosun and Ajimobi and Ekiti-governor elect, Kayode Fayemi. The Minister of Information and Culture was also in the delegation.

Also boosting the chances of the APC candidate is the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Yussuff Lasun.

He has also agreed to join the battle to ensure victory for All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate Gboyega Oyetola in tomorrow’s supplementary governorship election in Osun State, The Nation Reported.

The APC lost in Orolu Local Government Area, which is believed to be Lasun’s stronghold. He is known to be aggrieved with APC leaders.

The supplementary election will hold in three units in the local government due to cancellation over hijacking of materials by thugs.

There are 987 registered voters in the three units.

The election will determine the winner between Oyetola and Adeleke.

Saturday’s election was declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which ordered the supplementary election in seven polling units in four local governments – Osogbo, Orolu, Ife North and Ife South.

There are 3, 498 registered voters in the polling units where the elections were cancelled due to various reasons, including hijacking of election materials, abscondment of presiding officer, disruption of election by hoodlums who were shooting sporadically, manual accreditation and over voting.

The supplementary election is a straight fight between Oyetola and Adeleke.

Adeleke has a marginal 353 votes advantage in the election in which Omisore finished third.

Omisore hosted an APC delegation of Ekiti State Governor-elect Dr Kayode Fayemi and Dr Olu Agunloye at his home in Ile-Ife.

On Monday, he received Senate President Bokola Saraki, who came to lobby him to support the PDP.

Omisore, who left the PDP for the SDP because the PDP ticket was skewed in favour of Adeleke, declined to give Saraki his commitment.

But after his meeting with the APC team, Omisore twitted under a photograph of himself with Fayemi and Agunloye: “With @OfficialAPCNg Ekiti state governor elect @kfayemi during his visit today. #goodgovernanceinosunstate #OsunDecides2018.”

In another tweet, Saraki Presidential Campaign Council spokesman Doyin Okupe said: “Omisore I’m told caved in to pressure from APC…”

It was learnt that Omisore, whose dad is the traditional ruler of Olode in Ife South where the election will hold in unit 07, 012 Adereti village with 812 registered voters, joined the APC for a campaign Tuesday.

Minimal vote buying witnessed – NCS

By News Desk,

The Nigeria Civil Society (NCS) says incidents of vote buying during the Sept. 22 Osun governorship election was minimal.

The Coordinator of the group, Clement Nwanko, said this on Sunday in Osogbo while addressing Journalists on its findings and observations during the poll.

Nwanko said announcement by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) and law enforcement officials to arrest vote buyer suspects and charge them to court helped significantly in reducing the malpractice.

“As with recent INEC conducted governorship elections, incidents of vote buying reoccurred in the Osun state elections, even if at a reduced and less brazen manner.

“Incidents now seem subtler with the announcement by INEC and law enforcement officials that suspects would be arrested and charged to court, and the actual deployment of security personnel to enforce this, helped significantly,” he said.

The coordinator commended osun residents and political parties for conducting themselves peacefully during the poll.

He, however, called on INEC to intensify training of its different cadre of staff to enhance their understanding of their election duties and increase their confidence and ability to respond to election challenges.

He said it was observed during the election that some INEC staff and officials were not being sure of their responses to voters’ concerns or voting procedures, which he said created delay.

Nwanko also called on the electoral body to look into the process of results collation, which he said was usually done at night when political parties, candidates, observers and other election stakeholders “may have been depleted”.

The NCS recommended that INEC should ensure that its announcement of the introduction of Braille for voting was made operational across the country and that all people living with disabilities were able to vote during elections.

INEC declares Osun election inconclusive

By News Desk,

The Independent National Electoral Commission has declared the just concluded  Osun governorship election inconclusive.

INEC’s Returning Officer,  Joseph Afuwape, who announced the results on Sunday afternoon, said the PDP candidate, Ademola Adeleke, polled 254,699 while Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress had 254,345 votes.

Iyiola Omisore of the Social Democratic Party polled 128,049 votes to place a distant third.

The INEC returning officer disclosed that since the difference between the two leading parties was just 353 votes but the number of cancelled votes was 3,5498, no winner had emerged.

“Unfortunately, as the Returning Officer, it is not possible to declare any party as the winner,” he said.

More details soon.

Police arrest PDP agents with cash for vote buying

By News Desk,

The Nigerian police have arrested two PDP agents out on a mission to buy votes in the course of voting in the Osun governorship election.

The agents, identified as Adebayo Rafiu and Muraian Latif, were caught with a sack with the inscription: ‘Senator Isiaka Adeleke Free Rice’, in Iwo.

According to a post on the officialNPF Twitter handle, the bag contained N640,000.

An update on the arrest said the men claimed they were given the money by their ward chairman, to buy votes.

Punch had earlier reported another PDP agent arrested for giving out money at a polling centre in Ede, the hometown of the PDP governorship candidate, Ademola Adeleke.

Jonathan campaigns for Lamido

By News Desk,

In a rare campaign, Nigeria’s ex- President Goodluck Jonathan has described Sule Lamido, former Jigawa governor, “as somebody that is highly courageous, zealous, committed and experienced’’ and capable of uniting Nigeria.

Jonathan said the presidential aspirant of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was an experienced leader, capable of uniting the country if given the mandate next year.

Sule Lamido National Campaign Council visited Jonathan at his Yenagoa residence in Bayelsa State, on Saturday.

Jonathan said that the next president of Nigeria would come from PDP in 2019.

Turning to Lamido, Jonathan said: “You can perform wonderfully well, and I believe the next president that will take over from Buhari, God willing, will be from PDP and the task for him is to unify the country because Nigeria is now divided more than ever

“In 2011, it was too difficult for a northern governor to speak about Buhari, but Sule you made a lot of meaningful political statements that really captured the minds of Nigerians and PDP supporters and you really sold the party to the people.

“I am always happy to listen to you, because you know the history of Nigeria’s politics. When I was Vice President and later President, I went round Jigawa State to commission a lot of developmental projects. Jigawa witnessed a lot of wonders under your administration.

“I know you are somebody who believes in the unity and sanctity of one Nigeria and your political history, philosophy and ideology are all about leftist and humanism not capitalist, I wish you well in all your consultations and campaign, ” he said.

Lamido thanked Jonathan for the reception accorded him and his team.

He said: “I am here to formally inform you that I am running for the presidency in 2019 on the platform of our great party, the PDP.

“Sir, I am from the old generation, but I also relate with the new generation. I was a former member of House of Representatives in 1979, but I was also a governor from 2007 to 2015.

“So, I am the bridge between the old and the new generation. I have been through a lot of political participation, we must think and see how we can give back to Nigeria even for once, because Nigeria has been there for us. Nigeria has dignified and honoured us.

“I know your commitment, because you have a large heart, you have been demonised, blackmailed and called names, but you remain silent, resolute and forging ahead in all your activities.

“Sir, I have gone round 35 states and consulted with the party officials, stakeholders, BoT, NWC and our national leaders, including you.

“But as a giant of Africa and leader of the black race, we must rescue Nigeria, this is why I am offering my myself for that role, ” Lamido said.

Ambode picks governorship re-election form

By News Desk,

The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has picked 2019 governorship re-election form of his party, All Progressive Congress (APC), the action of which would enable him contest for retaining of his present office come 2019, should he scale through the APC direct primary.

As learnt from a source close to the governor, Ambode picked his office at APC’s secretariats in Abuja in Monday and he would be making it public once he return to Lagos.

Details later.

Saraki to run for president

By News Desk,

Nigeria’s Senate President Bukola Saraki said on Thursday he will run for president in 2019, making him the highest profile contender to incumbent Muhammadu Buhari announced so far.

Saraki, Nigeria’s third most senior political official, made the announcement at a political event in the capital Abuja.

The Senate President listed several challenges which he believes have clogged the wheels of progress in the nation.

He highlighted extreme poverty, hunger, lack of education and mass unemployment as some of the things that have paved way for more crime and insecurity in the nation, adding that it is now time for Nigerians to rebuild the nation with new leadership.

Also, he stated that the economy is broken while the nation has now, more than ever, witnessed division along regional, religious and ethnic lines, a situation he believes should be addressed urgently in order for the nation to grow.

He said, “​It is with all these in mind and taking account of the challenges that I have outlined, that I have decided to answer the call of teeming youth who have asked me to run for President.

“Accordingly, I hereby announce my intention to run for the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the coming General Elections in 2019 on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). I do so with the firm conviction that I have what it takes to secure inclusive growth for Nigeria and Nigerians.”

Saraki, Bafarawa, Dankwambo go to the hilltop to stop Buhari

By News Desk,

Presidential aspirants in the Peoples Democratic Party, such as Attahiru Bafarawa, Ibrahim Dankwambo and Senate President Bukola Saraki, appear to be competing for the endorsement of retired leaders of Nigeria, hopping from Minna to Abeokuta, where coincidentally the ex-leaders have their homes on the hilltop.

Only one PDP presidential aspirant has made a distinctive difference: adding former President Goodluck Jonathan to his endorsement itinerary. The others have made Minna and Abeokuta hilltop palaces, their favourite destinations.

Senate President Saraki, who is still coy about his presidential ambition, was the second among the latter group to join the endorsement train to the hilltops, when he visited former military president General Ibrahim Babangida on Wednesday 8 August.

Former governor of Sokoto, Bafarawa had beaten him to the front seat, when he visited Obasanjo on Sunday 5 August. As he confessed, he had learnt from Obasanjo leadership school in the past, a lesson that made him to save about N11.5 billion in his state, which he bequeathed to his successor. He came to learn more as he hoped to clinch the PDP presidential ticket to square up to incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari in next year’s February election.

Obasanjo, who considers himself probably the best leader Nigeria ever had, even gave his guest some extra leadership lessons. He charged Bafarawa to strengthen the leadership qualities he identified in him, including humility, diligence, selflessness and lack of discrimination

Saraki followed on Wednesday 8 August to the Minna Hilltop home of Gen. Babangida.

In a tweet about his mission, Saraki said he “Dropped in to pay my respects to General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida. Always happy to be with a father and leader”.

On Monday, Saraki surfaced in Abeokuta to meet former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who has floated his own party and has turned himself into a rallying force for anti-Muhammadu Buhari politicians. Cornered by media men on the purpose of the visit, he dropped a not too-honest excuse. He said he came to see the grand Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, which was formally opened last year.

“You know I missed the official opening of the library and that is why I have decided to come and see the place and honestly it is beautiful. We are very proud of what he has done here,” he said.

A day after Saraki left Abeokuta, Gombe governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo also came knocking at Obasanjo’s hilltop home, along with a retinue of aides. The two-term governor and former accountant-general of the Nigerian federation is the latest declarant for the highest position in the land.

He is expected to jet to Minna Hilltop soon, following the trail of other aspirants.

In Minna on Monday night, General Ibrahim Babangida also hosted another presidential aspirant, Attahiru Bafarawa, former governor of Sokoto State. Bafarawa visited Obasanjo last week, with the former leader urging him to improve on his leadership weaknesses.

Yusuf Abubakar, Director Media and Publicity for the Bafarawa Campaign Oragnisation(BCO) said the Minna trip was in continuation of Bafarawa’s political consultations on his presidential aspiration.

Abubakar said that Babangida and Bafarawa, met behind closed doors at the host’s hilltop residence and their discussion was fruitful.

The media aide said that Bafarawa was accompanied on the visit by the Director General of BCO, Sen. Paul Wampana, Mrs Becky Igwe, Alhaji Sani Kabiru, Dr Amanze Obi and Dr Iliya Stephen, among others.

Atiku Abubakar, another presidential aspirant who paid a second visit to Babangida on 2 July and had used all available fora to earn Obasanjo’s blessings got his hope dashed when Obasanjo openly opposed his ambition.

Obasanjo said Atiku should never count on his support.

In an interview with Premium Times, Obasanjo swore he will never support Atiku and the doctor of theology also invoked  God to buttress his position:

“How can I be on the same side with Atiku?” Obasanjo asked. “To do what?”

“If I support Atiku for anything, God will not forgive me. If I do not know, yes. But once I know, Atiku can never enjoy my support,” he added.

“I know Atiku very well. And I have mentioned my position with Atiku. My position has not changed,” he said.

On a personal note, he added, “If my children are getting married, he has sent representatives. If his children are getting married, I have sent representatives. That is social. That is not political.

But “on political ground, my position has not changed. If I support Atiku for a political office other than the one I supported him in the past when I did not know him,” maybe, but not “now that I know him, God will not forgive me.”

Since 4 August came out openly to disrupt Atiku’s campaign, campaign activities and footworks have slowed down a bit.

AIG, MOPOL ordered to kill me – Fayose

By News Desk,

Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, broke down on Wednesday while accusing policemen of beating, shooting at him, and brutalising Peoples Democratic Party supporters in the state.

Fayose made the allegation in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital at a rally organised by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“They (the police) are beating anybody who has any sign of PDP on them. They are not picking our calls; they’ve made up their minds to do this evil.

“I am in pain, I am in severe pain. I can’t turn this neck anymore. If anything happens to me, the Inspector-General of Police should be held accountable,” the governor told reporters while crying at the rally.

The governor spoke after security operatives dispersed supporters of the PDP from the popular Fajuyi Park in Ado Ekiti where they had gathered for a rally ahead of Saturday’s governorship election in the state.

Governor Fayose attempted to lead the supporters back to the park but the move was thwarted security operatives who reportedly fired gunshots into the air again.

As a result, the supporters moved to the Government House for the rally.
Addressing party supporters there, the governor, who showed up wearing a neck brace, called on the international community to intervene and protect the people.

“I am in pain but I prefer to bear these pains because of you. I plead with the international community, Nigeria is in trouble, Ekiti is in trouble,” he said.

“Please arise and stand for justice. They have arrested so many teachers, they have arrested so many Okada(motorcycle) riders. They have arrested so many PDP members.”