The Sun News » Politics http://sunnewsonline.com/new - Voice of The Nation Thu, 26 Nov 2015 14:08:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.8 How APC, PDP Reps locked horns over supplementary bill http://sunnewsonline.com/new/how-apc-pdp-reps-locked-horns-over-supplementary-bill/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/how-apc-pdp-reps-locked-horns-over-supplementary-bill/#comments Thu, 26 Nov 2015 01:03:58 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144310 By Kemi Yesufu PENULTIMATE Thursday, the fragile peace that reigned in the House of Representatives after weeks of bickering over the lead­ership of standing committees was shaken. This is as members of the House from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the main opposition, the Peoples Democracy Party (PDP) engaged each other in a [...]]]>

By Kemi Yesufu

PENULTIMATE Thursday, the fragile peace that reigned in the House of Representatives after weeks of bickering over the lead­ership of standing committees was shaken. This is as members of the House from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the main opposition, the Peoples Democracy Party (PDP) engaged each other in a fierce verbal battle over the N465.7 billion supple­mentary budget submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Last Wednesday President Bu­hari wrote the Speaker of House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara requesting for approval for the Supplementary Appro­priation Bill of N465,636,926,857 (Four Hundred and Sixty-Five Billion, Six Hundred and Thirty Six Million, Nine Hundred and Twenty Six Thousand, Eight Hun­dred and Fifty Seven Naira).

The president explained that in the 2015 Appropriation Bill N460,636,926,857 (Four Hundred and Sixty Billion, Six Hundred and Thirty Six Million, Nine Hun­dred and Twenty Six Thousand, Eight Hundred and Fifty Seven Naira) is for additional recurrent (non debt), while N5,000,000,000 ( Five Billion Naira) is contribu­tion to the development fund for capital expenditure for the year ending on 31st day of December.

There was no sign that the day’s plenary would be one that would test the much talked about bi-par­tisanship practiced 8th House of Representatives. At best, the only odd happenstance was the Deputy Speaker Yussuff Lasun walk­ing from aisle to aisle, talking to lawmakers. Despite a clueless beginning of plenary as soon as the debate on the request from the president for which Dogara stopped all other issues of urgent public importance, describing it as the most critical matter of urgent national importance commenced, lawmakers from both sides took positions along party lines. In­deed, this was despite majority of them insisting that their contribu­tions wasn’t influenced by party affiliations. It became clear that Lasun might have been lobbying his colleagues for an easy passage for the bill.

The major issue that the caused sparks to fly was the fuel subsidy payment for which about N413 billion was requested for by the president.

House Majority Leader, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila while leading the debate on the Bill said the fed­eral government needed approval for the supplementary bill in or­der for “the wheel of government to roll to the end of the year”. He stressed that the federal govern­ment needed the funds to pay pe­troleum marketers even as fuel queues had resurfaced.

He identified the record low oil prices and the subsequent loss in value of the naira as the major reasons the federal government sought additional funding for non debt re-current expenditure in or­der to meet its responsibilities for the reminder of the year.

Gbajabiamila who stated that the Buhari administration would ensure a more transparent manage­ment of the fuel subsidy interven­tion by cutting off all middle men, called for the bill which came up for second reading to be passed.

But as soon as he was done Hon. Nkiru Onyejeocha (Abia PDP) pointed out that little or no explanation had been given on the performance of the 2015 budget. She put the 2015 budget imple­mentation at thirty percent.

Onyejeocha wondered how the federal government would imple­ment the supplementary budget with few weeks to the end of the year.

Her contribution drew loud re­actions from APC members. The lawmaker who sought and got the Speaker’s protection then asked, “My worry is that if we pass the budget, will they implement it?”

Onyejeocha’s contribution was just the beginning of PDP’s on­slaught as House Minority Lead­er, Hon. Leo Ogor angered APC lawmakers more even as they tried but failed to stop him, when he said the Buhari administration was demanding for the “highest” amount for fuel subsidy payment, when according to him the presi­dent said that fuel subsidy was an alien idea.

Ogor who called on the relevant committees that would handle the supplementary budget to critically analyse it, also described as “very wrong” requests for approvals for monies already spent, such as the N1.5 billion expenditure request­ed for Nigeria’s participation at the recently concluded All Africa Games and Rio 2016 Olympics.

His words: “By virtue of the provisions of our constitution, the President of the Federal Republic has the powers to present a supple­mentary budget. It is not so much about whether the budget is ap­proved, but the focus should also be in terms of implementation”. If you look at this budget, it is bro­ken into three parts. We must also look at the legislative powers of the National Assembly to appro­priate funds before they are spent. But a situation where they begin to bring budget proposal for funds already spent creates an unaccept­able scenario. How come we are being asked to approve funds that have already being spent. It’s not done anywhere.

“The issue of subsidy is another thing that we must critically scru­tinise in this budget proposal. How come we are incurring such a huge amount of debt as subsidy claims in such a short period of time, under this government especially coming from a president who said severally that he does not believe in subsidy as it was alien”.

The shouts from APC law­makers criticising Ogor’s words wasn’t enough as Gbajabiamila who came under a point of order countered the Minority Leader, demanding that he withdraws his comment that President Buhari was opposed to fuel subsidy. He urged that Ogor “speak only the truth as the president has never come up to oppose fuel subsidy”. The House Leader’s contribution was applauded by APC lawmak­ers.

Other APC lawmakers towed the line of the Majority Leader with Hon. Mojeed Alabi (APC Osun) arguing that tumbling oil prices and a weakened naira ne­cessitated government’s request for more funds. In fact, Alabi dismissed calls from his PDP col­leagues asking for an explanation on the performance of the 2015 budget inherited from the Jonathan administration . According to him, by voting in Buhari Nigerians had rejected everything Jonathan. His comments was largely rejected judging by the exclamations that came from other lawmakers. That didn’t stop Hon. Mohammed Gu­daji Kazaure (Jigawa APC) from taking a purely partisan stand. He simply asked that whatever is pre­sented to the House by President Buhari be approved. “We need the people to support anything Gen. Buhari brings to the House” he said.

In the largely rowdy session which saw lawmakers sticking by their parties, there were a few who stood in the middle and called for the bill to be passed especially as it would ameliorate the suffering of Nigerians. One of them was Agbonayinman Johnson (Edo PDP) who asked that lawmakers concentrate on the issues targeted in the budget. Also the House Mi­nority Whip, Hon. Yakubu Barde, who pleaded that what should be looked into is how the supplemen­tary budget would affect the life of the common man.

It took Dogara’s intervention to bring the hot exchanges to a halt. The Speaker ruled that the debate come to end, even as he insisted that the president has not spoken against fuel subsidy. “ I am not contributing to this debate. But I know as a leader in this govern­ment, the president has stated and restated he is not against subsidy” he said.

Despite the rowdy nature of ple­nary, when the Speaker put the bill up for a voice vote, it was unani­mously passed without a single dissenting voice. House commit­tee chairman on Media and Public Affairs, Hon. Abdulrazak Saad Namdas spoke with the press on the rowdy session insisting that the voice vote which didn’t record a nay showed the lawmakers were on the same page. He said: “Now we have a very united House. Committees are very busy and everything is going on well. As a constitutional provision, the Presi­dent has the right to send a budget to the House. The 2015 budget has a lot of problems. The prices of crude oil went down and the insur­gency in the Northeast increased.

“That was why the President had to send a supplementary bud­get to the House. When it was dis­cussed, every member supported it. That is because they understand the importance of the budget. The change that APC government promised has started and we have started working.”

It was glaring, with the argu­ments and counter argument, that majority of lawmakers wanted the bill passed, it was also clear that important documents such as the Middle Term Expenditure Frame­work (MTEF) and budgets would be properly scruitinised by mem­bers. It is safe to say that when either of the two documents for the next fiscal year are sent to the House by President Buhari, it will elicit the same level of passionate contributions like was witnessed last Thursday. So disorderly was the day’s plenary that the chair­man of the committee on Ethics and Privileges, Hon. Ossai Nicho­las Ossai called on the Speaker to set a date for members to be schooled on how to conduct them­selves better during debates. Not many were still in the chambers when Ossai made this suggestion to Dogara. Majority had exited the chambers leaving the impression that they had dealt with the most important issue for the week. Un­doubtedly, when the 2016 budget is presented, Ossai and the House leadership will have their hands full trying to keep lawmakers on the narrow path when debating it.

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 Ondo Assembly approves tenure elongation for LG caretakers http://sunnewsonline.com/new/ondo-assembly-approves-tenure-elongation-for-lg-caretakers/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/ondo-assembly-approves-tenure-elongation-for-lg-caretakers/#comments Thu, 26 Nov 2015 01:03:01 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144305 From Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure ONDO State House of Assembly yesterday ap­proved the elongation of tenure of office for care­taker committee members of the 18 local councils of the state for another six months. The approval was given during plenary presided over by Speaker Jumoke Akindele, after reading a letter from Governor Olusegun Mimiko. A member [...]]]>

From Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure

ONDO State House of Assembly yesterday ap­proved the elongation of tenure of office for care­taker committee members of the 18 local councils of the state for another six months.

The approval was given during plenary presided over by Speaker Jumoke Akindele, after reading a letter from Governor Olusegun Mimiko.

A member representing Akoko North-West con­stituency 11, Mr Gbenga Araoyinbo moved the mo­tion to grant the tenure ex­tension.

He quoted Section 12 (4), 1 and 2 of the Local Government Law 2007 (as amended), saying there should be no vacuum in the administration of the local governments in the state.

Araoyinbo sought the cooperation of all mem­bers to approve the gover­nor’s request.

The lawmaker rep­resenting Akure North Constituency, Olamide George, said there was no need to overstress the is­sue since democracy and governance must be sus­tained He seconded the motion.

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Buhari promoting anarchy over Kogi rerun – Fayose http://sunnewsonline.com/new/buhari-promoting-anarchy-over-kogi-rerun-fayose/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/buhari-promoting-anarchy-over-kogi-rerun-fayose/#comments Thu, 26 Nov 2015 01:01:55 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144304 ADC blasts INEC By Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti & Ndubuisi Orji EKITI State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of encouraging anarchy by allegedly using his personal lawyer and member of All Progressives Congress (APC), who is the Attorney- General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), to [...]]]>
  • ADC blasts INEC

By Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti & Ndubuisi Orji

EKITI State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of encouraging anarchy by allegedly using his personal lawyer and member of All Progressives Congress (APC), who is the Attorney- General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), to influence the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the inconclusive Kogi State governorship poll.

He accused the President of “fraudulently using the AGF to carry out an act which amounted to amending the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act 2010 to advance his ambition and that of his party to turn Nigeria to a one party state.”

In a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Pub­lic Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, the governor, who vowed to use all legal means to fight the “kangaroo” decision, noted that “only the Supreme Court can resolve issues not envisaged by the Constitution like the one that happened concerning the Kogi State gover­norship election.”

Governor Fayose noted that it was shameful that the first election held by the new INEC Chairman, Prof Mah­mood Yakubu, ended in controversy. He said the manipu­lation of the exercise and the commission’s illegal position on the substitution of APC candidate was a vindication of his earlier position that he was appointed to do the bid­dings of the Presidency and APC.

The governor, who said the fact that Prince Abubakar Audu died in the early hours of last Sunday and his death was kept secret until later that day pointed to the sinister plot.

“Having manipulated the election substantially, what they plotted by covering up Audu’s death for hours against Islamic injunction, was to declare a dead candidate as elected governor of Kogi State to pave the way for the emergence of his running mate as the governor-elect.”

Meanwhile, the African Democratic Congress(ADC), one of the political parties which participated in last Sat­urday’s election, has faulted INEC’s decision on the rerun.

National Chairman, Chief Okey Nwosu, while react­ing to INEC’s insistence on going ahead with the supple­mentary election,occasioned by Audu’s death, accused the electoral body of impunity. He said his party would chal­lenge the action in court.

In a statement issued yesterday, Nwosu said with Au­du’s demise before the conclusion of the election, the right thing was for INEC to cancel the November 21 exercise and start afresh.

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I’m happy Oshiomhole is doing well –Emir of Kano http://sunnewsonline.com/new/im-happy-oshiomhole-is-doing-well-emir-of-kano/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/im-happy-oshiomhole-is-doing-well-emir-of-kano/#comments Thu, 26 Nov 2015 01:00:54 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144299 EMIR of Kano, Muham­mad Sanusi II, has expressed satisfaction with the perfor­mance of Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State. The emir said this during a courtesy visit to the governor in Government House, He said: “I am happy to see that you are doing well. “I have been following some of your recent com­ments on [...]]]>

EMIR of Kano, Muham­mad Sanusi II, has expressed satisfaction with the perfor­mance of Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State.

The emir said this during a courtesy visit to the governor in Government House, He said: “I am happy to see that you are doing well.

“I have been following some of your recent com­ments on the minimum wage, you have remained consistent with the ideals for which you are known.

“I am here this time on the occasion of the honour done to me by President Muhammadu Buhari by ap­pointing me Chancellor of the University of Benin.

“Your Excellency, for me, it is a matter of deep pride to be associated with this city and this state and this partic­ular university, and, I can as­sure you we will do our best to ensure we bring as much development as we can and to further strengthen the ex­cellent relationship between the people of Kano and the people of Edo.”

Responding, Governor Oshiomhole said he was honoured to receive the Emir at the Government House.

“As the governor of this state, I still have fond mem­ories of your last visit to Edo State then, as the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) with regards to your resourcefulness, and initia­tives in the area of empow­erment of rural people. We remember the laudable lega­cies that your highness left behind as the CBN governor.

“I want to thank you for your support, for your kind words and your prayers. We also want to congratu­late your highness on your richly deserved appointment as the Chancellor of the Uni­versity of Benin which we are all proud to describe as UNIBEST and I am sure un­der your leadership, it would witness even more growth and development and Edo as a community will continue to benefit from the activities of the university.”

 

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PDP Kaduna re-strategises for 2019 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/pdp-kaduna-re-strategises-for-2019/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/pdp-kaduna-re-strategises-for-2019/#comments Thu, 26 Nov 2015 00:57:11 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144295 From Sola Ojo, Kaduna THE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stakeholders in Kaduna State seem to have picked up their pieces and regrouped to re-strategise on how to bounce back stron­ger in 2019. Although the gathering did not have bigwigs like im­mediate past vice president Mohammed Namadi Sambo, former governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, his deputy, Am­bassador [...]]]>

From Sola Ojo, Kaduna

THE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stakeholders in Kaduna State seem to have picked up their pieces and regrouped to re-strategise on how to bounce back stron­ger in 2019.

Although the gathering did not have bigwigs like im­mediate past vice president Mohammed Namadi Sambo, former governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, his deputy, Am­bassador Nuhu Audu Bajoga, Senator Danjuma La’ah in attendance, party faithful insisted on facing the reality on ground. Chairman on the occasion, Senator Ahmed Mukhtar Aruwa, reiterated the need for party members to stand up and work together towards winning back the state in 2019 instead of playing blame games.

“Elections have been held, won and lost. We were de­feated and we accepted defeat. So, the most important thing now is to stand up and plan ahead of 2019. The is­sue of pointing fingers at one another on why we failed must stop.

“Now, people of Kaduna State have realised that they made a mistake by voting that party and some of them have apologised to us. So, we must take advantage of this and work for the unity of our party to succeed in the fu­ture elections,” Aruwa appealed.

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Kogi guber: ADC faults INEC http://sunnewsonline.com/new/kogi-guber-adc-faults-inec/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/kogi-guber-adc-faults-inec/#comments Wed, 25 Nov 2015 19:19:32 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144226 …Threatens legal suit By NDUBUISI ORJI The African Democratic Congress(ADC), one of the political parties participating in the Kogi governorship election, has faulted the stance of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the election. The ADC National Chairman, Chief Okey Nwosu, while reacting to INEC insistence on going ahead with the supplementary election, inspite [...]]]>

…Threatens legal suit

By NDUBUISI ORJI
The African Democratic Congress(ADC), one of the political parties participating in the Kogi governorship election, has faulted the stance of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the election.
The ADC National Chairman, Chief Okey Nwosu, while reacting to INEC insistence on going ahead with the supplementary election, inspite of the death of the All Progressives Congress(APC) gubernatorial candidate, Abubakar Audu accused the electoral body of impunity. He said his party would challenge the action in court.
The ADC chairman in a statement yesterday said with the death of the APC governorship candidate before the conclusion of the election, the right thing was for INEC to cancel the November 21 Kogi governorship poll and start afresh.
INEC had on Tuesday said it would go ahead with the supplementary poll and directed the APC to produce a new candidate to replace Audu, who died on Sunday evening shortly after the election was declared inconclusive.
“INEC announcement is impunity of the highest order and no true patriot will allow such abuse of process to stand. While we join the people of Kogi to mourn former Governor Audu, I regret to announce that we shall shall go to court to challenge INEC’s stance on the Kogi governorship election. INEC must do the right thing.
“It is sad, but the death of the APC governorship candidate nullifies the Kogi governorship election,” he stated.

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Why we must honour election violence victims –Dakuku http://sunnewsonline.com/new/why-we-must-honour-election-violence-victims-dakuku/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/why-we-must-honour-election-violence-victims-dakuku/#comments Wed, 25 Nov 2015 01:16:19 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144158 Dakuku Peterside, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the April 11 Rivers State governorship poll has said there’s need to honour those who died during the election. Dakuku, ]]>

Dakuku Peterside, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the April 11 Rivers State governorship poll has said there’s need to honour those who died during the election. Dakuku, who spoke yesterday, bemoaned how many people died during the exercise due to ‘wide spread violence’, adding that a church service will be held, just as other things will be done to honour them.
“We will do our best to honour all those who died in the process of exercising their civic rights. Enemies of the country killed those people and the best way through which we can honour them is to ensure that we reclaim the state. We must not be daunted by the activities of the enemies of democracy but should remain firm to our cause. I, therefore, urge all supporters of good governance to reject violence and toe the path of peace,” he said.
Dakuku also called on law enforcement agencies to work hard to ensure that perpetrators and sponsors of the violence are brought to book.
As part of events to honour election violence victims, the Rivers State chapter of the APC will hold a special interdenominational worship session in Port Harcourt ‪on Monday, November 30.  Chairman of the organising committee, Fred Igwe said the event is meant to sustain “the spotlight on the gory killings which bedevilled the sham elections in the state.”
Also, Umana Umana, APC governorship candidate for Akwa Ibom State, said through their efforts to reclaim ‘the stolen mandate’, the hopes of those who died due to the violence, will be kept alive.
He urged all people of the South-South region to be part of the event. Otega Emerhor, the APC candidate for Delta State, said the programme is well thought-out, adding that violence will not deter him and others who believe in true democracy. He maintained that lies would never triumph over truth, adding that all those who were cheated in the last exercise will emerge victorious in the long run.

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Bayelsa decides: Jonathan, PDP Govs, others storm Bayelsa for Dickson http://sunnewsonline.com/new/bayelsa-decides-jonathan-pdp-govs-others-storm-bayelsa-for-dickson/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/bayelsa-decides-jonathan-pdp-govs-others-storm-bayelsa-for-dickson/#comments Wed, 25 Nov 2015 01:10:00 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144153 FORMER President Goodluck Jonathan, members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Executive Council ( NEC), Governors elected on the platform of the party and National Assembly members and former governors are set to storm Yenagoa, for the grand finale of the]]>

From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa

FORMER President Goodluck Jonathan, members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Executive Council ( NEC), Governors elected on the platform of the party and National Assembly members and former governors are set to storm Yenagoa, for the grand finale of the PDP governorship campaigns on Saturday, November 28..

The Director of Publicity, Bayelsa Restoration Campaign Organisation (BYRCO), Hon Jonathan Obuebite who disclosed this in Yenagoa said the rally is tagged ‘Mother of All Rallies’ as supporters of the Dickson government across the Ijaw nation are expected to attend.

Obuebiteexplainedthat the mega rally is a culmination of Governor Seriake Dickson’s community to-community tours, a grassroots campaign which had taken him to the nook and crannies of the state in the last one month, spreading his message of restoration and consolida- tion of peace, security and development through his re-election.

According to him, the grand finale which would also witness the presentation of PDP flag to Dickson and his running mate by the national leadership of the party as a symbolic ritual of his aspiration as well as solidarity speeches by PDP leaders across the country.

Obuebite noted that stakeholders and supporters both at home and in the Diaspora, the 500 non- governmental organisations routing for Dickson’s re-election and people from diverse and strategic institutions will be on ground to rally support for the governor.

“Bayelsa State is the Jerusalem of all Ijaws and the mother of all rallies will showcase the unity of purpose of the Ijaw people coming together as one and affirming the collective interest and aspira- tions of the Ijaw race’, he stated.

He further said leadership and members of the Movement for the

Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) would at- tend as a pressure group to mount campaign for a free and fair election at the December 5 governorship election.

Obuebite quoted the state PDP chairman, Chief Serena Dokubo-Spiff, as remarking that “PDP is not just a party of Bayelsa State but that PDP is an Ijaw party”, which will make the presence of all Ijaws at the event decisive for the outcome of the election.


Bayelsa elders did not endorse Sylva- PDP

From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa

THE Bayelsa state Restoration Campaign Organisation (BYRCO) has lampooned the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its governorship candidate, former governor Timipre Sylva over claims that the Bayelsa Elders Council (BEC) has endorsed his political aspirations.The BEC led by Chief Francis Doukpola had an interactive session with Sylva over the weekend and after extracting a promise from the latter that he would not bear any grudge against any Bayelsan over his past political travails espe- cially his disqualification from the Bayelsa governorship race in 2011, di- rected the Amanayanbo of Twon Brass, King Al- fred Diete Spiff and other first class traditional rulers to give him their royal blessing as a member of BEC.
BYRCO in a statement signed by its Director of Publicity, Hon Jonathan Obuebite however said it was misleading and deceitful for Sylva and the APC to claim that the El- ders endorsed him, when all what they did was to admonish him to ensure a violent free election and accept defeat in hu- mility if he loses the election.

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Apc needs Orji Kalu to capture South East in 2019 –BB Apugo, party chieftain http://sunnewsonline.com/new/apc-needs-orji-kalu-to-capture-south-east-in-2019-bb-apugo-party-chieftain/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/apc-needs-orji-kalu-to-capture-south-east-in-2019-bb-apugo-party-chieftain/#comments Wed, 25 Nov 2015 01:02:49 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144150 Prince Benjamin B. Apugo is a member, the All Progressives Congress (APC) Board of Trustees (BoT). In this interview, he spoke about plans for the APC to capture the South East in 2019. ]]>

From OKEY SAMPSON, Aba

Prince Benjamin B. Apugo is a member, the All Progressives Congress (APC) Board of Trustees (BoT). In this interview, he spoke about plans for the APC to capture the South East in 2019. While commending President Muhammadu Buhari for his efforts in turning the country around, he also spoke on the need for the pro-Biafra agitators to sheath their swords.
Excerpt:

How do you feel with APC in power at the federal level?
I feel extremely good and happy because the change is already here and that was the idea and reason for the emergence of the APC as a party.
Buhari has clocked six months in office. Can we say he has performed well?
Yes, he has performed creditably. Don’t forget there are three major things, among other things, he promised Nigerians. He promised to fight insurgency, fight corruption, though he has not done much in this area; in every other area, he has done excellently well.
During the electioneering, he was not allowed to campaign freely in Abia. Do you think this will that hinder the state from getting much from the president?
No, it will not.  I’m a member of APC and many others voted for Buhari in Abia State, but unfortunately because of the type of rigging, which the former governor and his cohorts did, this made it look like we did not vote for Buhari. Every Nigerian is interested in the change because there was a lot of looting during Jonathan’s administration. Let me tell you something. When I was still in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), during the party primary, I voted for the northern candidate because I knew Jonathan was not going to perform. In Abia State the governor then was reckless and that worsened the situation.
Was that the reason you left PDP?
Yes, I left PDP with Bukola Saraki, Murtala Nyako and Rabiu Kwankwaso.
We have only one APC governor in the South East. Does that bother you?
Yes, but now if there is election, the people will come out to vote for APC. Our party will surely win, provided we have good candidates.
 What are we expecting in 2019 as far as South East is concerned?
We are working towards bringing some of the good PDP governors in the South East to APC before it’s too late for them. What can anybody hold against Buhari today? The bad roads have been there for 16 years and he has just been there for five months; so, you cannot hold him responsible for the way things are. By 2019, the South-East will completely be for APC.
As a stakeholder, are you happy with Buhari’s choice of minister, representing Abia at the FEC?
Yes, I am more than happy because he is from my home town. If you look at his history, you will see that he is a man we should trust. The problem that has been with Abia State is when they choose somebody who does not have a home as minister, then we all become bad as a result of the bad influence. Although the man appointed has never been a politician before, today he has joined the wagon of politicians. He is a man of honour, from every thing I know about the family.
People are saying that Buhari is not holistic in the fight against corruption, especially in Abia.

What do you have to say?
Buhari is coming and if he does not come because we are Abia, Abians will go to him. Every corrupt person in this state must pay for it. I have not seen the prosecution down here. What I am saying is that anybody that is found wanting, whether APC or PDP or any other party should be prosecuted. If the funds looted will be brought back, the question of unemployment will stop. The looters are still using the looted money to fund problems.
 In what areas do you think the president should help Abia?
Abia needs an airport, a stadium; we don’t have roads, light, water, schools, and no hospitals apart from Federal Medical Centre. We don’t have anything to show that we are a state in Nigeria.
Recently, a prominent traditional ruler from the state called on Buhari to declare Aba a disaster area. Do you agree with him?
Yes, we should not limit it to Aba alone; it should be the entire state. People should not look at Umuahia as a place a governor came from because he hated Umuahia more than any other place.
 How does the APC intend to actualise the take over of the South East by 2019?
We are ready to talk to anybody who will like to listen and I believe strongly that any right-thinking human being will join because the president has come to correct a lot of wrongs that will gladden the hearts of generations to come. I am prepared to go to the existing governors to talk to them about APC. Already, we have started making appreciable inroad in this project. For instance, the mother of the former governor of the state, Orji Uzor Kalu, Chief (Mrs.) Eunice Uzor Kalu and two of her children have joined APC and we are eagerly waiting for Kalu himself to come on board. These are the types of people we need in APC to capture the South East. Kalu has the charisma; he respects integrity and people love him for that. He is a grassroots man, who mixes well with even his enemies and I respect him for that. Some people talk bad about Kalu and we know who and why. There is no way you can compare his administration with that of his successor; Kalu’s was much better; there is no basis for comparison. Kalu has no business being where he is today; all his friends are in APC and he will be most welcome any day he decides to join. In fact, I will personally welcome him. If Kalu is in APC, the party’s profile will be boosted and we will capture the South East.
Having said that, there is one man we will not welcome in APC. He knows himself and Abians know him too. If the man joins APC, Abia people will not vote for us in 2019. He is a political liability who can not win election, even in his own political ward.

 You are from APC, but it’s like you supported someone from another party during the governorship. Why?
During the governorship election in Abia State, we did not support any party; it was only in the presidential election that everyone I knew supported Buhari because he is incorruptible. I don’t know the present governor and people refused to vote for him not because of him as a person but because of who brought him out, whom I told you earlier that people will not like to associate with politically because he drew the clock of the state 20 years back.

People are saying the way things are going, the country may turn into a one-party system. Do you agree?
There is nothing wrong in it, as long as you do what the people want and everybody is happy.
What’s your reaction to the pro-Biafra agitators that stormed Umuahia recently?
Did you say stormed Umuahia? I was in Umuahia that day. I didn’t know if anything like that happened. Many people didn’t know if anything like pro-Biafra protest took place in Umuahia. These people you are talking about are small boys whose mothers were not even born during the civil war. So, what I am saying is that the governors of South East should enlighten the youths and make them know that there is nothing like Biafra today. People should not be using Biafra as a tool for defrauding uninformed people and the Federal Government should not be looking at the South East, especially Umuahia, since they said their leader is from here, as not supporting Buhari. Buhari did not create any problem in the South East. All the while (former President Goodluck) Jonathan was there, they should have gone to demonstrate about Biafra. Buhari will tackle all the problems we are facing now; our past governors did not perform, and they did not create avenues for employment, no empowerment.

In other words, you are not in support of the agitators?
The civil war ended long ago and we are all Nigerians. No reasonable human being will come today to talk about Biafra and our people have to speak up and make our children not to die. What they should be referring to is employment, roads, water, airports and other amenities that are lacking in the zone. If they are agitating for these things, they should not block roads; they should talk to the government of the states in South East, not the Federal Government.
What is your advice to the youths?
My advice is that our children should forget about hoping against hope. We have cancelled Biafra and let them look for the betterment of this country and themselves. They should avoid this protest because it will not yield any fruit. Their leaders will not fight more than Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu and Joe Effiong and at the end, Biafra did not materialise.

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Confusion over Kogi poll http://sunnewsonline.com/new/confusion-over-kogi-poll/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/confusion-over-kogi-poll/#comments Wed, 25 Nov 2015 00:56:50 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144148 THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday fixed December 5 for the Kogi State governorship supplementary election.]]>

• INEC asks APC to nominate Audu’s replacement, fixes Dec 5 • Ruling party agrees to hold fresh primaries, lists condition as PDP kicks

From Taiwo Amodu, Romanus Ugwu (Abuja) and Emmaneul Adeyemi, Lokoja

THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday fixed December 5 for the Kogi State governorship supplementary election.

This is even as the leading All Progressives Congress (APC) in the November 21 poll listed condition for participation while the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rejected INEC’s decision, accusing the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN) of taking hasty decision.

APC candidate in last Saturday’s election, Prince Abubakar Audu, died on Sunday of an undisclosed ailment. INEC declared the exercise inconclusive but Audu was leading. He was buried on Monday.

The APC which rose from a meeting in Abuja yesterday, said the only condition for the party’s participation in the supplementary election would be if the commission communicates it and defines in clear terms whether the 49,000 votes are the ones registered for the election or people with the Permanent Voters Card (PVC).

Addressing journalists, the Chairman, Chief John OdigieOyegun, said based on the pronouncement by Mr. Malami, urging the party to go through the processes of providing a substitute to our late former candidate for the supplementary election, it will proceed with the process of organizing primaries to provide a substitute candidate.

“INEC has made a pronouncement on the election. But till this moment, we are yet to get anything from INEC on the nature of the supplementary election. There is no

clear definition of the 49,000 votes, whether they are voters who registered for the election or people with the Permanent Voters Card (PVC). It is when we get the clarifications from INEC that we can proceed on that point.

“Also, we have just received the views of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF). He has made a pronouncement that all that is required is for the APC to go through the processes of providing a substitute to our late former candidate to be fielded in the supplementary election to conclude the process of electing the new governor of Kogi State.

“We do not have much time left, INEC has fixed December 5, for the supplementary election, so we are going into a stormy session to arrive at formalities for the primary election. But in doing that we must respect the right of the electors.”

In the APC primary that held on July 29 this year, 27 candidates contested. They include the late Prince Audu, Yayaya Bello, George Olumoroti, Senator Nurudeen Abatemi, Rotimi Obadofin, Sanusi Gamji, who came third, Yakeen Habeeb, Alh. Isah Jibrin Echocho, James Ocholi (now a minister), Senator Nicholas Ugbane, Clarence Olafemi, Saliu Atawodi, Baba Ali, Alex Kadri and Suleman Ujah.

In a statement signed by the INEC Secretary, Mrs. Augusta Ogakwu yesterday, the com- mission equally ordered the APC to promptly fill the vacancy created by Audu’s death..

The decision to fix the supplementary election on December 5 was taken after several hours of deliberation by the consortium of lawyers and the eggheads of the commission comprising the Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu and the five other National Commissioners in Abuja.

The death of Prince Audu, made public shortly after INEC declared the Kogi election inconclusive, created legal confusion and constitutional crisis, resulting in INEC assembling and meeting with lawyers yesterday to advise it on the best solution to the problem.

Although the December 5 date for the supplementary election clashed with the Bayelsa State governorship election, a reliable source confided that it will not constitute any problem since one National Commissioner can conveniently handle the election in the remaining 91 polling units in Kogi State.

The commission further not- ed that the duration given for the conduct of the supplementary was to allow APC ample time to fill the vacancy created by the death of its former candidate, adding that it has by the statement served a notice to all the other political parties participating in the Kogi governorship election about the date.

According to the statement; “the Independent National Electoral Commission conducted governorship election in Kogi on November 21, 2015, which was declared inconclusive.

On November 23, 2015, the All Progressives Congress (APC) notified the commission of the death of its governor- ship candidate in the election, Prince Abubakar Audu. The commission has after due consideration of the circumstances decided as follows.

“To conclude the process by conducting election in the 91 affected polling units as announced by the Returning Officer. To allow the APC to fill the vacancy created by the death of its candidate and to conduct the supplementary election on December 5, 2015.

But in kicking against the supplementary election in Abuja, National Publicity Sec- retary of PDP, Olisa Metuh, ac- cused the AGF of stampeding INEC to take what he called a hasty decision on Kogi State.

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice at an event in Abuja yesterday said by the provision of relevant laws, APC could substitute its governorship candidate ahead of the supplementary election to replace Audu.

The PDP said it was “shocked that INEC, a supposedly independent electoral umpire, could allow itself to succumb to the antics of the APC by following the unlawful directive of an obviously partisan AGF to substitute a candidate in the middle of the ballot process.”

It further submitted “that the two legal documents guiding INEC in the conduct of elections; the Constitution and the Electoral Act, have provisions for electoral exigencies as well as empower the electoral body to fully take responsibility for any of its actions or inaction without undue interference from any quarters whatsoever.”

The PDP called for the res- ignation of Mr. Malami and Prof. Yakubu. The statement reads in part:”

“Consequently, the PDP rejects in its entirety, this brazen move by the APC and INEC to circumvent the laws and am- bush the yet-to-be concluded election by introducing a practice that is completely alien to the constitution and the electoral act.

“The clear implication of this action of the AGF and INEC is that the APC would be fielding two different governorship candidates in the on-going Kogi election, meaning that INEC would be transferring votes cast for the late Prince Audu to another candidate, scenarios that have no place in the Constitution of the land”, it said.

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Fuel scarcity: Buhari escapes summons, Senate probes shortage http://sunnewsonline.com/new/fuel-scarcity-buhari-escapes-summons-senate-probes-shortage/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/fuel-scarcity-buhari-escapes-summons-senate-probes-shortage/#comments Wed, 25 Nov 2015 00:49:14 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144146 ALL Progressives Congress (APC) Senators yesterday shut down moves by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to summon President Muhammadu Buhari, who is also the Minister of Petroleum Resources, to appear before the Senate over the biting fuel scarcity.]]>

From Fred Itua, Abuja

ALL Progressives Congress (APC) Senators yesterday shut down moves by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to summon President Muhammadu Buhari, who is also the Minister of Petroleum Resources, to appear before the Senate over the biting fuel scarcity.

In a motion sponsored by Senator Barau Jibrin (APC, Kano North) and co-sponsored by 23 others, the lawmakers expressed worries over the endless fuel scarcity and the hardship it has inflicted on Nigerians.

“We are worried that the scarcity is creating an untold hardship to our citizens who have to pay higher prices for these products especially petrol. We are convinced that the current situation is not in tune with the desire of the progressively-inclined government to bring”, he said.

Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP, Abia South), urged the Senate to summon the President to tell law- makers why the government was yet to resolve the lingering fuel crisis, despite claims that the refineries were working.

Abaribe’s amendment to the motion was defeated when the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, put it up for a voice vote. APC Senators who were obviously more in number, drowned the voices of their PDP counterparts.

Meanwhile, the Senate has mandated its Committee on Petroleum Downstream to urgently examine all is- sues associated with the current scarcity of petroleum products and determine how the legislature could collaborate with the executive to bring a lasting solution that will prevent any future problem of fuel scarcity. The committee is expected to report back to the Senate as soon as possible.

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Fears in Bayelsa as gunmen abducts Sylva’s cousin http://sunnewsonline.com/new/fears-in-bayelsa-as-gunmen-abducts-sylvas-cousin/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/fears-in-bayelsa-as-gunmen-abducts-sylvas-cousin/#comments Wed, 25 Nov 2015 00:39:08 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144139 There are fears in the camp of the All Progressives Congress (APC) over the kidnap of Mr Koinpreye Douglas, a cousin of the APC governorship candidate and former governor, Timipre Sylva.]]>

From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa

There are fears in the camp of the All Progressives Congress (APC) over the kidnap of Mr Koinpreye Douglas, a cousin of the APC governorship candidate and former governor, Timipre Sylva.
Recently, Madam Ebibafegha Dikoro Igiri, the 105-year-old mother of Sylva’s running mate, Wilberforce Igiri, was abducted from her home in Foroupa community in Southern Ijaw local government. She was released after about N13 million was allegedly paid as ransom.
Investigations indicated that Douglas was kidnapped on Monday afternoon along Ogbia-Brass waterways on his way to attend the APC governorship rally in Brass local government area. Mr Nathan Egba, Director of Media and Publicity of Sylva Campaign Organisation, who was in one of the boats, confirmed that Douglas was the only one seized from the ill-fated boat. The family is said to be apprehensive because the kidnappers are yet to make any contact with the family.
Sources in APC said chieftains of the party are applying for more security to protect their families as the state inches towards the December 5 governorship elections.

 

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BREAKING: APC to conduct fresh primaries in Kogi http://sunnewsonline.com/new/breaking-apc-to-conduct-fresh-primaries-in-kogi/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/breaking-apc-to-conduct-fresh-primaries-in-kogi/#comments Tue, 24 Nov 2015 18:00:22 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144123 The All Progressives Congress (APC) has announced that a fresh primary election will be conducted in Kogi state to pick a replacement for Abubakar Audu. Audu, who passed away on Sunday, was the party’s candidate in the November 21 governorship election. Speaking with reporters at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja on Tuesday, [...]]]>

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has announced that a fresh primary election will be conducted in Kogi state to pick a replacement for Abubakar Audu. Audu, who passed away on Sunday, was the party’s candidate in the November 21 governorship election. Speaking with reporters at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja on Tuesday, John Oyegun, chairman of the party, said the decision to hold a fresh primary was taken after the APC received a letter from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) asking it to replace Audu. Audu’s death had sparked debate among lawyers and public commentators, with some suggesting that Abidoun Faleke, the deceased’s running mate, should be given the ticket of the party. “Kogi situation fits more into section 181(1) of the 1999 constitution (as amended) and as such James Abiodun Faleke automatically becomes the governorship candidate of the APC. As a result the joint ticket of Audu/Faleke has acquired some votes already. James Abiodun Faleke is as much entitled to those votes already counted as much as the late Abubakar Audu. He has a right to cling to those votes going into the supplementary election,” Keyamo had argued. But with the new development all the issues that arose have been settled. Though Oyegun did not disclose the date for the exercise, it is expected to be this week since INEC has scheduled the supplementary election for December 5. INEC had declared Saturday’s election inconclusive because the number of cancelled votes was higher than the margin between the two leading candidates. Audu, who was leading the election, secured 240,867 votes ahead of Idris Wada, incumbent governor and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who polled 199,514 votes. The difference between them was 41,353 votes, while a total of 49,953 votes were voided in the election as a result of irregularities.

Read more at: https://www.thecable.ng/breaking-apc-conduct-fresh-primary-kogi

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Dialogue with pro Biafra agitators, group urges FG http://sunnewsonline.com/new/dialogue-with-pro-biafra-agitators-group-urges-fg/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/dialogue-with-pro-biafra-agitators-group-urges-fg/#comments Tue, 24 Nov 2015 16:00:49 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144095 By NDUBUISI ORJI The United Niger Delta Energy Development Security Strategy (UNDEDSS), has urged the Federal Government to dialogue with the members of Indigenous People of Biafra( IPOB) and other pro-Biafra agitators. The group made the call in a statement issued by its Executive Secretary,Mr Tony Uranta. According to UNDEDSS, “the federal government should, without [...]]]>

By NDUBUISI ORJI

The United Niger Delta Energy Development Security Strategy (UNDEDSS), has urged the Federal Government to dialogue with the members of Indigenous People of Biafra( IPOB) and other pro-Biafra agitators.
The group made the call in a statement issued by its Executive Secretary,Mr Tony Uranta.
According to UNDEDSS, “the federal government should, without further delay, open channels of communication with the dissenters in the South-East of the nation who, so far, are merely peacefully exercising their freedoms to associate, to speak and to aspire towards non-violent self-determination, such as we’ve seen happening, even this year, in Britain and Canada, without causing any untoward reactions.”
The group also called the government to check the excesses of Fulani herdsmen, noting that “the federal government must come out to reassure Nigerians and the world that it does not intend to condone the atrocities of cattle herdsmen or rustlers anywhere in Nigeria, that it will uphold the right to life of every Nigerian, that it will cease to subject citizens perceived as not being in its good books to unfair trial-by-media before arraigning and prosecuting said citizens, if they have cases to answer, and that it will be less determined to have its way, even if that way is not congruent with the electorate leanings.”
“The federal government should ensure that nobody, henceforth, puts it in bad light by using haughty, foul or intemperate language when communicating, on the FGN’s behalf, with the Nigerian citizenry or the world at large.
“The federal government should, henceforth, exhibit a more sensitive and equity-driven awareness of the fact that Nigeria is not any one man’s (or group of men’s) fiefdom, and that this nation is an agglomeration of diversities (including gender, faith, credo, ethnic etc.) and nobody should behave in any way to suggest that any one diversity is superior to the other.”

While restating its firm believe in a united Nigeria premised on justice, equity and rule of law, the group called on the government to begin the implementation of 2014 National Conference as the country is dire need of restructuring.

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Gov Dickson to APC: We’ve made fundamental impact http://sunnewsonline.com/new/gov-dickson-to-apc-weve-made-fundamental-impact/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/gov-dickson-to-apc-weve-made-fundamental-impact/#comments Tue, 24 Nov 2015 00:45:07 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144015 Fresh from one leg of his campaign tours of communities in Bayelsa State where he recorded rapturous receptions, ]]>

Fresh from one leg of his campaign tours of communities in Bayelsa State where he recorded rapturous receptions, Governor Henry Seriake Dickson fielded questions from the media on the forthcoming governorship election. According to him, owing to his widely acknowledged record of performance, he would win the December 5, 2015 governorship election. He had urged journalist to ask his main opponent how many “monkey bridges” he built.
Excerpts:

From your community-to-community campaign how much of democracy dividends would you say has really flowed down to the people at the grassroots level, especially in Brass and Southern Ijaw Local Government Areas?
I want first of all to use this opportunity to thank the chiefs, elders, leaders and the good and wonderful people of the communities and local government areas and wards that I have been to so far for their outpouring of love and support and encouragement. It was touching to see school children wearing uniforms that my government supplied, carrying banners in appreciation of their governor and praying for me for the investments I am making for their future. That is a lasting dividend of democracy: The investment in the future of the state, in the hearts and minds, not of a few Yenagoa-based critics and Abuja-based politicians. I saw hope and appreciation on the faces of our people; we got gifts from every community and political leaders. Our people do not know any other political party contesting for this election other than me, as the candidate of the PDP. I saw the massive outpouring of genuine love and support from the chiefs, elders, youths and women groups.
On our community to community tour, I must say that part of what I am doing and have been doing is to quietly, in my own way, change the way politics is played in this state.   The level of maturity and tolerance I have brought to bear on the politics is such that you see the opposition campaigning against me as vigorously as I am also campaigning. That is happening for the first time. When the APC’s Chief Timipre Sylva was governor, you saw what he did. Even the primaries in his own party was filled with shooting and holding people hostage.  When he was here as governor, anybody who wanted to campaign against him was attacked. One of his supporters, Chief Rufus Abadi,  knows what happened to him in his house at Otuan. But some of  our people have short memories.  I want to challenge my opponent,   Sylva, to do same and sleep in the communities as I am doing, instead of bragging about federal force. No one knows him at the federal level other than he was used to unseat his brother. Let him go to our communities and relate with them freely as I am doing.
I sat in a dining hall built by my government in Okugbie, one of the  investments we have made in all the communities. We are not where we want to be yet, but we have made a difference and they appreciate the roads and they are all waiting to receive me. The last communities on my way were Ayama and all Tarakiri communities.  They were very receptive such  that for three days they did not go to the forest or farm; they waited for me for two to three days, to encourage me. I cannot thank them enough. It is my prayer that after the election I will go back on this community tour because it has also opened my eyes more, which is the central purpose of this government: To see the people’s material conditions and how much I have tried to solve all their problems  and to see what remains to be done.
These gentlemen in APC are trying to take our state nowhere. Despite the old names, their communities do not appreciate them; they have no support. I have done what no government had done before, spent two nights in Southern Ijaw, one night in Korukoreseigh, which is my speaker’s community. The entire ward waited till about 8pm when we got there. We commissioned their pavilion, a road that we did; they also have the schools and investments that are there. All we are doing  is to consolidate so that by God’s grace, those boarding schools will start by January and I cannot wait to see these children that I saw in all the communities wearing smart, clean uniforms provided by the Restoration Government, with books supplied. Our children are bright and because of the investments we have in education they can compete with their mates elsewhere.  That is why I am not surprised that our educational rating has gone up from 28 in the national chart to fourth in WAEC  results.  If we achieved this within this short period, then imagine what will happen when I consolidate in all these 24 constituency  schools coming on stream. Where have you seen that kind of investment of over N26 billion put in and concrete jobs in the communities and the communities are seeing  it, so they know it is not just talk.
How would you assess your opponents?
I do not see anybody seriously contesting against me,  not even my good friend and brother, Sylva and his  APC. They are only holding meetings in Abuja and threatening their own fathers and mothers and brothers that they will use federal forces to overrun their own people for their own purpose, not for the development of our state. This is a man who had been here for five years. Where are his statistics of development? What did he do for Bayelsa? He is only playing on the nature, fears and greed, the envy and jealousy of our people.  There is nothing in their politics for the people of Bayelsa State other than putting some bad belle people together to fight me. Because I did not allow them to go to Senate for a third time, so I must not go for governorship. Even the people in their communities know they have a governor they can trust; they know when I make a promise, I keep it. All the promises I made in the course of the tour, I am fulfilling right away.
Leadership is about trust and responsibility, building, not destroying. So, anytime somebody talks about destruction you know that is not a leader but a gangster, a criminal. It is because of the weaknesses of Nigerian institutions that these people have been allowed to grow the way they are and people mistake them for leaders. You cannot be seeking the mandate of the people and saying, “whether you like it or not, I will bring soldiers,” as if you are the one who employed them and saying Nigerian troops are at their beck and call. Are Nigerian troops members of APC? They want to just destroy our institutions and our country. PDP was in power for 16 years. Lagos and other states remained in opposition. Does it mean Jonathan could not order troops before he conceded defeat?
Sylva said pensioners had not been paid.  I am the one who said that our allocation is unfortunately low, even offices do not have allocation. I am sorry that is the situation, but I gave my word and true to type we have started paying. When he was here, he was not paying them for years. I have the records. He was owing over N6 billion in gratuities. Someone who could not manage N15-16 billion, can he manage N4.2 billion that we are receiving now? Out of this amount, we are still paying his debt. The bond he took runs till 2017. Do you think Sylva has changed overnight? I went to communities and they were telling me statistics of young people that were killed by Operation Famutangbe; go to Amarata, they will tell you the number of young boys they lost. But the good news is that the communities, the voters are the ones that matter in an election and they are with us, which is another paradigm shift I am introducing in the politics of this state. After this election you will see that never again will someone call himself or herself a political leader merely because you have held one office and you are staying in Abuja, Lagos or Yenagoa. I went to Kpansia. The community waited 2-3 days for me and I got there at night; same for Opolo and they welcomed me, gave me a sword and tied wrapper on me when I got there because they believe in me. If Bayelsans are self-respecting and you want other Nigerians and people to look at you, the Ijaw people with respect, then this is not the time to embrace  APC. Ijaw people will not be put to shame.
Why do you say Bayelsa doesn’t need APC now?
From the ministerial position they gave, you can see how they rate Bayelsa. From a state that lost Presidency, where our only permanent secretary has been removed, they could only give us minister of state. Only God knows what happens next. Our highest customs officers retired. They say we got Minister of State for Agriculture. I say no, it is assistant minister. In effect it is minister without portfolio.
The truth is that Bayelsans must wake up. The elite must learn to put the people’s collective interest ahead of their own selfish interest. Timipre Sylva went about promising people governorship and he became the governorship candidate. He also promised everybody the position of deputy governor and he failed them. This is the Jerusalem of the Ijaw nation and cannot be given out to a man like Timipre Slyva. You saw him perform as governor, let him tell us the opponent he allowed to campaign freely as I am doing now. Even though I disagree with him, he has the right to campaign all over the state and I urge everybody to give him respect, but do not vote for him, do not support him. When he comes to tell you what he has to say, ask him his record of security and how he intends to secure you going forward. Ask him why he did not do all I am doing, schools, uniforms? Ask him what he did with the bond he got? Ask him why he apologised to the whole world and Nigerians over Jonathan. You cannot be one of us and go that far and expect there will be no consequences. You might not agree with Jonathan, but  it was wrong for him to have gone as far, such  that if  God from this small state gave us the  presidency, he was the instrument of people to destroy the presidency.
When re-elected into office, what are those things you  would do which could not be accomplished in your first term?
By the grace of God and by the support of the people, we have started a lot of mega life-changing projects. I came in here to make maximum impact within the available resources and time.  Unfortunately, our finances dropped precipitously. Last month, we got N4.2 billion  and after paying Sylva’s bond, which we will keep paying every month till 2017, we managed to pay salaries and pensions. We cannot even pay allowances of people working with us, and we are not alone; all states and even Federal Government are affected. Therefore, the second term is to be dedicated to completion of most of these life-changing projects that are almost at completion stage because every project has a gestation period. People like to see magic because of the energy we started with and because we had resources we were putting everything in and now people think I am distracted. I am not, it is a question of  finances. Look at the airport, and ask Sylva why did he not do the airport. He played politics with everything, cleared a site and put a signboard before the first block was laid and got an ailing president to come and commission it!
Since I took over, I have not fought Sylva. I just drew a line below his abysmal record and did things differently. I am the one who has security background. In our younger days, I started as a policeman. We know how to fight but in the interest of peace I do not believe in using  government powers to bring people down. Politics is about using the power God gives us,  power through the people to build and change lives. But for goodness sake if you cannot help a man, leave him alone; do not shoot him and his children.  I know what happened to the airport,  not to talk of the Nembe-Brass road that so much money went into. You all know me and that is the difference between me and him. If you drive to Amassoma Eoad  now, you will see the airport. I have awarded the contract for the installation  of the navigational instrument. FAAN has come to do the certification. In the next couple of months we will be landing there.
I thought they said the flyover was built by the Federal Government, but now they are not saying that anymore. Ask Sylva why he did not build a structure like that. He calls it ‘monkey bridge.’ How many ‘monkey bridges’ did he build?  He could not dualise the Azikoro Road that we finished and that is the road they are using, going about wielding brooms. There is  the dualisation of Isaac Boro Road. Such big projects have a timeline. So, if there is a shortfall within that period, the completion time elongates naturally.
If you ask me about projects I will focus on, we need to complete these projects. Look at Igbogene bypass;  that road is 35-36 kilometres. We have already done the bulk of the job. When you owe a contractor because of what happened, contractors will leave and it is all over the country even with Federal Government jobs.
So, by the grace of God after the elections, God willing, these are the things to complete. We will start certain things but they will be minimal because we want to finish all these ones because they are almost 80 per cent completed. Look at the Igbogene bridge that they ply on. Ask Sylva why he allowed those 1950 bridges to be there until I came in. The bulk of that work is already done, leaving just the sand filling of the second lane; so in 3-4 months that work is finished. That is how to work for a people. We did not do that just to get praises.
Nobody in APC can close their eyes and say we have not made any difference because we have made a fundamental impact.
Look at the Transparency Building he started, but did not complete it? I have spent more money on those buildings than he did. We are going to complete these life-changing projects and then the schools, because that is where the real future of our state is. By the time I finish this boarding policy, they will be the best. We must also do the fencing of those compounds and the teachers will be re-trained as the teachers training institute is set.
You can imagine where Bayelsa will be with Governor Dickson in the next two years with these projects finished. That is what Sylva cannot do because he does not have the discipline to manage lean resources. He does not have the vision and the passion and commitment. This job is not for ‘guy men’ but for a country man who knows the people, shares their problems and works for them. If you like him because he fought his brother and you want to reward him, like Judas got 30 pieces of silver, no problem. If he is not good enough to be President Buhari’s minister, then our message, which we must send out on the 5th of December to President Buhari and all the people in INEC and military is that we Bayelsans say he is not good enough to be our governor.

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Bayelsa decides: 2,000 supporters of ex- Dep Gov defect to PDP  http://sunnewsonline.com/new/bayelsa-decides-2000-supporters-of-ex-dep-gov-defect-to-pdp/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/bayelsa-decides-2000-supporters-of-ex-dep-gov-defect-to-pdp/#comments Tue, 24 Nov 2015 00:43:06 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144013 Former Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Hon. Werinipre Seibarugu at the weekend lost over 2000 of his kinsmen as they defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at a campaign rally held in Gbarain and Ekpetiama clans of ]]>

From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa

Former Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Hon. Werinipre Seibarugu at the weekend lost over 2000 of his kinsmen as they defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at a campaign rally held in Gbarain and Ekpetiama clans of Yenagoa Local Government Area of the state.
Governor Seriake Dickson and his campaign team were in the communities to meet with the people in continuation of his grassroots tour.
The people of the clans said PDP was the only party that has been fair to the communities in terms of political appointment and provision of infrastructure.
They commended Dickson for his leadership and efforts to change the fortunes of the state from the situation he inherited to a promising one and declared that he deserved to be re-elected.
They consequently pledged their support to ensure that the people vote en-masse for the governor at the December 5 election.
To further support their endorsement for the governor, the people  chorused the same line of appreciation of the governor, saying the PDP accorded their communities a priority by making their son, Seibarugu, the speaker and subsequently the deputy governor of the state.
While denouncing their membership of the APC, they pledged to work for the Dickson’s re-election with conviction that he would deliver on his promises to further enhance development in their communities.
At Ogboloma, headquarters of ward 7 in Yenagoa Constituency 2, Mr. Obalakumo Agent, who led other defectors to the PDP, disclosed that they were hoodwinked to join the APC, stressing that the party did not mean well for the state but only believed in propaganda and blackmail.
Similarly, at Polaku community, hometown of the member representing the constituency in the State House of assembly, Hon. Ebiowou Koku, PDP also received a crowd of defectors.
Receiving the defectors, Acting Chairman of PDP, Chief Serena Dokubo-Spiff, described them as great members of the party who were only distracted by the opposition party and assured them of full integration.
Governor Dickson who addressed the mega rally at Okolobiri thanked the people for their support and urged them to troop out to vote on December 5 without any fear of molestation.


Ex-Speaker, PDP trade words over threat to life

Former Acting Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Nestor Binabo, has cried out that his life is being threatened for supporting the All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of the December 5 governorship elections.
Binabo, who spoke in Yenagoa on Monday, said he has been fingered as the greatest obstacle to the governor’s re-election in Sagbama Local Government Area.
Both Binabo, a leader of the All Progressives Congress, and Dickson, are from the same Sagbama Local Government Area of the state.
Incidentally, Binabo was the acting governor of the state and he handed over to Dickson in 2012 on February 14, 2012.
Binabo said he decided to cry out following attacks on APC leaders in the state by suspected thugs of the Peoples Democratic Party, which had already claimed the life of an APC stalwart and left many others injured.
According to Binabo, being a political stakeholder in Sagbama local government area, his defection to APC is a source of worry to the Governor Dickson-led administration.
“It is not a surprise to me at all, as a former Deputy Speaker, a Speaker, and an acting governor of this state having moved to APC and more so from his own local government, he knows he has failed.
“So, I would not pretend to say that my life is in danger. I have said it sometime ago when my wife was kidnapped. I accused the government and now there is a public declaration that I am the enemy of the PDP.
Binabo said the alleged threats on his life would not deter him from supporting the APC and working for the victory of the party’s candidate, Chief Timipre Sylva.
Meanwhile, the PDP has denied Binabo’s allegation, describing it as wicked.
The PDP in a statement on Monday by Director of Publicity, Bayelsa Restoration Campaign Organisation, Mr. Jonathan Obuebite, stated that there was no time Binabo was described as the enemy of the governor or the government.
Obuebite said any imputation to link the Governor Dickson-led government to such allegation was not only wicked but callous political orchestration which should be condemned.
Obuebite said Dickson was not the conventional politician who trades in lies or engages in needles propaganda and blackmail to score cheap political points.
Rather, he said, Dickson would use his time to campaign on issues that would enhance the well being of the electorate.


2Face campaigns against violence

As part of its awareness campaign against violence in the forthcoming governorship election in Bayelsa State, the 2Face Foundation in collaboration with the Bayelsa Non Governmental Organizations Forum (BANGOF) has launched campaign to promote peace in the election.
The awareness campaign with the slogan, “Vote Not Fight, Election No Be War”,  is for the 2015 election and to transform the Nigerian youths into being peacemakers and ambassadors in their communities for the promotion of a conflict-free environment during the electoral process.
Speaking over the weekend in Yenagoa by the Ambassador of the campaign, Mr. 2Face Idibia said he was motivated to go into the campaign following the series of violence that have always heralded election processes in the country.
He called on the youths not to allow themselves to be used as tools in promoting violence before, during and after elections, noting that youths remained the future of the country and should not allow themselves to be used by politicians for violence purposes.
Also speaking, the Senior Programme Manager, National Democratic Institute (NDI), Mr. MachillManidu Maxwell said the campaign was instituted to encourage youths to peacefully take part in the electoral process, and recognizes that political participation, not violence is the best way to advocate for change.
“The campaign is focused on Nigerian youth and upholds the belief that the greatest resource for its future development is its youthful population. It promotes a message of zero-tolerance for the use of youth groups by politicians to commit acts of violence or political hooliganism before, during and after the elections”, he stated.
Maxwell further noted that their message to the Bayelsa youths, both male and female was to educate them about their civic rights and responsibilities in the December governorship elections, stressing that such campaign inspires youths to make active and positive contributions to the election and politics generally.
In his contribution, the Bayelsa State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Nasiru Oki who was represented by Emmanuel Idowu(DSP) admonished the youths against violence, saying they are the people who get wounded in any violence-ridden election.


Violence hits Bayelsa guber as APC, PDP clash

From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa

Violence has broken out in the governorship campaigns in Bayelsa state with Peoples Democratic Party( PDP) alleging that members of the All Progressives Congress( APC) have unleashed terror by burning five buildings at Oweiggbene Ekeremor local government area and wounding two people at Agudama- Ekpetiama, Yenagoa local government area.
Investigations revealed that the burning of the houses belonging to chieftains of the PDP in Oweigbene came on the heels of the killings of a stalwart of the APC, Andrew June by suspected thugs of the PDP.
Supporters of the APC in a reprisal action were said to have set the houses on fire   based on directive from APC chieftains in order to foment trouble.
The Director of Publicity of the Bayelsa Restoration Campaign Organisation (BYRCO), Hon Jonathan Obuebite  said APC members on hearing about the death of June decided to descend on the property of APC members.
He disclosed that it was APC members that first drew the first blood as they prevented PDP members from mounting a banner of Governor Henry Seriake Dickson in the area.
“The APC members drew the first blood as they attacked PDP members’ with cutlass, cudgel and other dangerous weapons. During the fracas that lasted for close to one hour, the deceased and three other people from both camps sustained injuries and were rushed to a clinic in Ojobo”.
Obuebite said that in order to prevent the matter from degenerating to bloodletting, the matter was reported at the Divisional Police headquarters.
He said the incident has been reported to the Commissioner of Police, Bayelsa State, Mr Nasiru Oki who has directed the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) to take inventory of all the properties allegedly destroyed by the APC members.
On the attack on PDP members in Agudama- Ekpetiama, in which two PDP members were critically injured, Obuebite described the attack as barbaric and most unacceptable.
According to him, suspected thugs of APC attacked PDP members shortly after Governor Dickson had ended his campaign in the community.
He called on security operatives to beam their searchlight on the chieftains of the APC and their activities in the state.
Meanwhile, majority of the political parties have shunned a meeting called by Oki to address threats of violence during campaigns and the elections.
Oki who is said to be worried about the gradual building of tension ahead of the governorship election had scheduled a meeting with the campaign coordinators to address the issue of the violence.
However, only the APC and CPP sent representatives while the other political parties ignored the invitation for the meeting and forced the Police to reschedule it.
The Police Public Relations Officer(PPRO), Mr Ansim Butwats who confirmed the incident of arson in Ekerenor said the meeting with the campaign coordinators has been rescheduled because of the poor attendance.

 

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Audu: Legal war begins http://sunnewsonline.com/new/audu-legal-war-begins/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/audu-legal-war-begins/#comments Tue, 24 Nov 2015 00:34:55 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144008 AS confusion and legal crisis trail the inconclusive Kogi State governorship election following the death of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Prince Abubakar Audu, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will today meet with a ]]>

•INEC assembles advisory team as APC govs vow to keep mandate

From Romanus Ugwu, in Lokoja

AS confusion and legal crisis trail the inconclusive Kogi State governorship election following the death of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Prince Abubakar Audu, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will today meet with a consortium of lawyers to find a constitutional solution to the situation. This is even as the APC governors said they will not surrender their Kogi State mandate.

An impeccable INEC source who spoke to Daily Sun in confidence in Abuja yesterday, revealed that after several hours meeting of the National Com- missioners and the Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the eggheads of the electoral umpire have resolved to meet with a consortium of lawyers today.

Our source further revealed that the meeting with the consortium, involving several legal luminaries, became very expedient following the commissioners’ inability to find a lasting legal and constitutional solution to the governorship election problem in Kogi.

Asked if the commission will contemplate fresh election due to the death of the APC governorship candidate, our source said it was a very difficult decision for the National Com- missioners and the chairman to take during the meeting especially as there was no provision for such, both in the Electoral Act and the 1999 Constitution.

While stressing that INEC is left with no option than to make extensive consultation with the consortium of lawyers, our source noted: “It is true that the INEC Chairman, Prof. Yakubu met all day with the National Commissioners on Monday (yesterday) to find a lasting solution to the Kogi inconclusive governorship election.

“However, they could not arrive at any decision because of the legal implication of such decision. You know that there is a legal lacuna and the absence of such provision in both the Electoral Act and the Constitution made the situation even more complicated.

“At the end of that meeting, they could only resolve to as- semble a consortium of legal experts to find a lasting solution to the problem. I can tell you that by the time they meet them on Tuesday, the situation on the next line of action concerning the Kogi governorship election will be clearer.

“INEC is very cautious of taking a rash decision that may not have legal backing. There- fore, the involvement of the legal luminaries will provide the clearer picture of the next line of action for INEC to take,” the source noted.

Meanwhile, the APC governors said yesterday they will stand by the Audu family. A statement by the Chairman, APC Governors Forum, Owelle Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and signed by Esohe Eboigbe, the Acting Communication Officer, the forum described Audu’s death as one of the most tragic anti-climaxes in the Nigerian politics.

Speaking on what becomes of the inconclusive Kogi governorship election, the forum noted: “In death, we celebrate a great son of Kogi State and Nigeria. As Progressive Governors, we remain resolute and shall stand by the family of Prince Abubakar Audu, the defiantly progressive people of Kogi State and Nigeria and our leaders of APC at all levels to consummate the electoral vic- tory of APC in Kogi State.

“It is with great shock that we received the news of the death of Prince Audu, the candidate of our great party APC for the Kogi State governorship election held on November 21, 2015. His death is indeed one of the most tragic anti-climaxes in contemporary Nigerian politics,” it said.

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Sadness on Twitter over Audu’s death http://sunnewsonline.com/new/sadness-on-twitter-over-audus-death/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/sadness-on-twitter-over-audus-death/#comments Tue, 24 Nov 2015 00:26:58 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144006 TWITTER: AUDU: Saturday’s dramatic news of the death of APC candidate for the governorship of Kogi state came as an anti-climax to political watchers and his supporters considering that the veteran politician handily won the election against his PDP rival and current governor of Kogi, Idris Wada. As details ]]>

TWITTER:
AUDU:
Saturday’s dramatic news of the death of APC candidate for the governorship of Kogi state came as an anti-climax to political watchers and his supporters considering that the veteran politician handily won the election against his PDP rival and current governor of Kogi, Idris Wada. As details of the tragedy unfolded, the electoral results have been declared inconclusive, while lawyers advised the electoral commission to allow the deputy governorship candidate, Abiodun Faleke, to conclude the election. Prince Audu was 68 years old at the time of death.

Fatai semiu ‏@addy_smart
PDP Expresses Shock Over Prince Abubakar Audu’s Death.

Nigeria Newsdesk@NigeriaNewsdesk
Audu: Kogi Gov. Wada declares 3 days of mourning.

Linda Ikeji ‏@lindaikeji
Keyamo examines the legal implications of the death of Prince Audu.

Khaleesi!!! ‏@AbangMercy
Olisa Agbakoba Wants A Fresh Election Conducted In Kogi Following Audu’s demise.

Ken Ochonogor ‏@kenochonogor
DEATH AT DESTINATION: The curious case of Abubakar Audu. Life’s toils is nothing but vanity upon vanity.

NTA News ‏@NTANewsNow
My brother & friend, Prince Abubakar Audu is gone. What a trying period for me, my family & our state – Gov. Idris Wada.
Naij.com ‏@naijcom

“#Audu’s Running Mate Should Become #APC Governorship Candidate”.

Omolaja Olatunji ‏@lajmane
@TVC_Ent #yourview. Nyma’s view sounds very cogent, let the attorney general move to seek the interpretation of the law on Audu’s death.

awöniran taiwö ‏@tee_theguy
The death of Prince Abubakar Audu with all his money & affluence should make our politicians sit up but NO, they think they’ll live forever.

“Buhari’s Nigeria and the carnage in Paris”
Destiny Olanma Olauda
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait & Qatar are the real sponsors of world terrorism. But very soon the useless oil that give them rubbish wealth will be crushed.

Younus Ahmed Aliu
Hamas is never a terrorist organization. It is a liberation movement to free the Palestinians from Israel occupation.

Oyenike Ajibola
Please, I don’t understand why Nigerians are like this. Whether we are Hausa, Ibo, or Yoruba, let join hands together. Let’s work and pray for the better Nigeria we all want and let’s have the change we always wanted especially we youth. Let’s stop abusing and insulting the former or present president. These people we are fighting and insulting ourselves for they are friends and they all know what they are doing. Thanks.

Ismaila Momoh
They are brainwashed and radicalised sets of humans, truth be told.

Basil Azubuike
Identify and seal the openings through which the dangerous liquid leaks. No sacred cows, please @world powers.

“Stolen baby recovered after 22 days, hale, hearty”

Anita Isreal
Thank God for the baby.

Bukola Bukky
Thank God the baby has been found, but this is child abuse for that man to sleep with that young girl. The man need to be arrested (man 36, the girl is just 15).
Gen Garba Abdullahi Muhammed
From which factory – Imo or Enugu?

Ngozi Onyishi
Thank God the baby is alive.

“Jonathan hits back at Obasanjo”

Aminat Musa
Jonathan might not be a saint, but he’s a good man and a better person than OBJ.

Desmond Rich Chinedu
Now I know that 80% of nigerian youths are fools. See them fighting for ObJ & GEJ, people who put in abject poverty. All Nigerian politicians are goats.
Sanusi Ali
Whatever Jonathan says about Obasanjo is just a lie.

Osemwenkhae Osemwengie
But former president Goodluck Jonathan never said that while in office.

Olatade Ismaila Oladoja
Mr. Jonathan, give us reasons why you failed. You’re telling us Obasanjo wanted a third term. What’s your business with that? Is that the reason that you failed?

Tope Alabi
The way Jonathan is conducting himself against the finger that fed him would only discourage those who have power from lifting up other people. Obasanjo fed you and now you turn him to an object of ridicule. Your own is coming. Take note.

Oluka Austin Ugochukwu
You may want to paint your person to the world to be a saint today, but your actions in the past did show you are no saint and could have done same if you had your way. What was the reason why you insisted that you must run in the 2011 presidential election, even when you knew by the zoning formular which your party introduced the north was yet to complete it’s 8 years, just as the south completed it’s 8 years under Obasanjo.
Or what was the reason behind the move to amend the constitution before the 2015 election to enable the term of office for the president become a 7 years single term, which was not accepted by majority in the senate?

Seun Abe
As the then governor of Bayelsa state at that time, you wholeheartedly supported OBJ’s third term agenda. So stop praising the National Assembly. They were doing their primary responsibility by defending the Nigeria constitution.

Ajos Lucky
Shame to you Goodluck Jonathan. You had a woeful tenure as a president, stop crying foul and go and bury your face in shame.

TO BE CONTINUED ‏@itsGODDY
10 Things To Know About Prince Abubakar Audu.

2.) Monday Motivation:
Following a rather bleak week ending Saturday, November 21, the new work week started Monday on a positive note, as Twitter was awash with tweets that extolled, advised, needled, prep-talked and motivated. The hashtag #MondayMotivation captured some of that worldwide flow of instant social media punditry.

Kaymu Ghana ‏@KaymuGhana
“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” – Pablo Picasso #MondayMotivation #KaymuGhana

David Oyedepo Min. ‏@DrDavidOyedepo  2m2 minutes ago
This week is declared open in your favor in Jesus’ name! #MondayMotivation

Dewi Wihardja ‏@Dewi_Wihardja
Every morning you have choice, keep sleeping w/dreams or wake up & chase them – #mondaymorningfeels #mondaymotivation

newsforyou_SA ‏@newsforyou_SA
Monday Motivation: You will either step forward into growth or you will step back into safety …ROAR!

Kebrea Ghana Ltd. ‏@KebreaGhana
Born into poverty, Oprah Winfrey became the first African American TV correspondent in Nashville. #KebreaGhana #MondayMotivation

Core CNC ‏@CoreCNC
The only difference between try and triumph, is a little umph along the way! :) #mondaymotivation

South Point ‏@staysouthpoint
#MondayMotivation Be in charge of how you feel today, Happy Monday :-)

ROADEX ‏@RoadexG
How the hell are you gonna get rich if you’re scared to take risks? – ROADEX #RoadexQuote #Quote #Quotes #Monday #MondayMotivation #Hustle

KV (Kunal Vimal) ‏@kvQuote
God lends a helping hand to the man who tries hard.- Aeschylus
#MondayMotivation #LiveLifeLoveLife

Kelly Hoppen MBE ‏@kellyhoppen
Be fearless – push to achieve your dreams. #mondaymotivation


Kogi debacle: Lawyers wait on S’Court for answers

. Ayorinde, Ngige, Ali differ

By Akeeb Alarape

 

THE legal debacle generated by the death of Prince Abubakar Audu, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in last Saturday’s governorship election in Kogi State may take a while to resolve than expected.

Legal luminaries could not agree on the way out as they examined the scenario from different perspectives.

Audu died on Sunday shortly after the electoral umpire declared the election inconclusive. Interestingly, Audu was leading in the election with over 41, 000 votes margin.

Chief Bolaji Ayorinde, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) said the only way out of the debacle is to order a rerun, since the election was concluded and no winner has been declared.

He also said neither the Constitution nor the Electoral Act provided for Audu’s scenario and explained that the ‘Rotimi Amaechi wonder’ was no longer possible as the Electoral Act has forestalled the emergency of a public office holder from the blues.

His position was supported by Yusuff Ali (SAN), who confessed that the debacle might lead to another Constitution amendment, as it happened when Atiku Abubakar resigned as the duly elected governor of Adamawa State to become the vice president.

“For me, I think the party (APC) should bring forward, whoever was the second runner-up to Audu at the party’s primary election. But the problem is; will that candidate continue with the election or start afresh?

“The notion that party is the one contesting election cannot hold water here. The party cannot get a vote with- out a candidate. Honestly, no easy way out, no easy answer. I have searched the Constitution and the Electoral Act, there is no pro- vision to help INEC,” Ali stated.

Another senior silk, Emeka Ngige (SAN) however, differed. According to him, INEC should continue with the process while Audu’s running mate should stand in for APC.

“In the ballot paper, you will not see the photograph of a candidate or his or her name. What you see is party logo. What happened has emphasised the essence of having a running mate. A running mate is a spare tyre. When a tyre punctures, you replace it with the spare tyre. In this case, Audu was the main tyre and he has punctured. His party should bring forward his running mate, who is the spare tyre and let the process continue,” Ngige stated.

While acknowledging other contrary arguments in view of lack of legal provision to resolve the matter, Ngige said there is the need for INEC to engage ‘purposeful interpretation of law’ to determine the essence of a running mate in an election.

However, a former federal commissioner of INEC, Prof Lai Olurode, said the Kogi debacle might have to be resolved by the Supreme Court.

Olurode, who was INEC’s commissioner in charge of South West during the leadership of Prof. Attahiru Jega, said which- ever way INEC decides to go, the tendency that one of the contending parties may still recourse to litigation cannot be overlooked.

“I think the Supreme Court will have to make a final decision on it. We may not see the end of this matter until the next one or two years because whichever way it goes, any of the parties may go to court,” Olurode stated.

He, however, maintained that the issue at stake concerns the party more rather than the candidate, saying INEC has had instances where it carried on with election when a political party could not resolve its authentic candidate until the time of election but had to use just any candidate put forward by such party.

“If there is contention on the right candidate of a party, election will go on and when the party re- solves its contention, it can forward the name of its candidate to INEC to claim its victory if it wins.

“But in this case, what is likely to happen, perhaps, is that INEC will seek legal advice,” Olurode added.

 

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Audu’s death, big blow to Nigeria – Kalu http://sunnewsonline.com/new/audus-death-big-blow-to-nigeria-kalu/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/audus-death-big-blow-to-nigeria-kalu/#comments Tue, 24 Nov 2015 00:09:19 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=144000 EMINENT business mogul and former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Kalu, has described Kogi State All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Prince Abubakar Audu, as a consummate politician whose death is a big blow to the nation.]]>

EMINENT business mogul and former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Kalu, has described Kogi State All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Prince Abubakar Audu, as a consummate politician whose death is a big blow to the nation.

Kalu, who acknowledged the late politician as a selfless leader, re- called his last encounter with Audu.

In a statement issued by his Special Adviser, Kunle Oyewumi, Kalu said: “ I received with rude shock and sadness, the news of the passing of my former colleague and friend, Audu. He was hale and hearty when I visited him in Lokoja a few days ago before the November 21 governorship election in Kogi State. We cracked jokes and dis- cussed for a long time. His demise is, indeed, a personal loss to me and my family.

“Prince Audu built friendship beyond political and ethnic divides .

He will be greatly missed by his family, friends and political associates. May God rest his soul.”

Kalu urged the Audu family to take solace in the fact that their patriarch lived a purposeful life and contributed to the socio-political development of Nigeria.

While commiserating with the government and people of Kogi State and the APC, Kalu prayed for the repose of the soul of the departed.

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PDP leadership crisis: NWC summons emergency meeting http://sunnewsonline.com/new/pdp-leadership-crisis-nwc-summons-emergency-meeting/ http://sunnewsonline.com/new/pdp-leadership-crisis-nwc-summons-emergency-meeting/#comments Tue, 24 Nov 2015 00:05:55 +0000 http://sunnewsonline.com/new/?p=143998 AHEAD of the commencement of Wednesday’s suit against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by former political adviser to former president Goodluck Jonathan, Ahmed Ali Gulak, the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) and state chairmen of the embattled party will meet today to fine-tune trouble- shooting measures.]]>

• Gulak’s suspension on the cards

By Willy Eya

AHEAD of the commencement of Wednesday’s suit against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by former political adviser to former president Goodluck Jonathan, Ahmed Ali Gulak, the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) and state chairmen of the embattled party will meet today to fine-tune trouble- shooting measures.

Even though the meeting is being convened by the NWC to deliberate generally on the affairs of the party, Daily Sun gathered it was triggered by Gulak’s case against the PDP.

A top member of the PDP, who pleaded for anonymity, told Daily Sun that part of the game plan is to suspend Gulak and weaken his case, which comes up tomorrow.

He said the whole idea of the meeting is to tinker with possibilities of wriggling out of the case and further ensure that Acting chairman, Uche Secondus stays until a national convention of the party will be held.

His words: “The party’s hierarchy already knows that the PDP has violated the Constitution by allowing somebody who is not from the North East to occupy the chairmanship seat up till now.

Our source said the meeting would come up with a communique which will still concede the chairmanship seat to the North East but with a proviso that the acting chairman will serve out the remaining period be- fore the convention.

He said despite the troubleshooting measures, members of the party from the North Eastzone insisted that the cur- rent leadership should vacate the office to follow the party’s constitution.

The solidarity for Secondus, he said, would amount to nothing as only following the constitution of the party would save it from a further fall from its glory.

Gulak had dragged Secondus to court demanding his removal. He claimed Secondus is violating the PDP constitution by holding onto the chairmanship instead of calling a meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) to appoint a chairman from the North-East.

In the suit filed at the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Gulak accused Secondus of usurping the office, which constitutionally belongs to the North-East. Both PDP andSecondusarefirstand second defendants.

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