APC Benue Chairman Declaims Political Incident at Caucus Meeting

The Chairman, Mr. Abbah Yaro, of the APC Benue has declaimed the political incident that claimed lives at the party’s Benue South Senatorial caucus meeting, held in Otukpo, headquarters of the senatorial district, on Friday.

At least three members were allegedly killed while several others were injured during the meeting.

He said, “I heard about the killings. The incident did not happen at the venue of the meeting or at the zonal party secretariat. The crisis started from Thursday. I heard that boys were moving from street to street, killing people.

It was gathered that a fight broke out during the meeting between some men believed to be loyal to the current chairman of the party in the state and a member of the House of Representatives from the senatorial district.

The federal lawmaker was said to have declared his ambition to contest the Benue South senatorial ticket on the occasion.

It was further learnt that the fracas resulted in the death of three persons, including a pastor, (names witheld) while several other party faithful sustained injuries.

Yaro said the fight did not emanate from the meeting, adding that the zonal meeting went on smoothly and ended successfully.

He explained that despite the plans by some members of the party from Benue South Senatorial district to disrupt the meeting, everything went well.

He said, “Some people in my senatorial zone do not want me back as the state chairman of the party even when the entire zonal leadership of the party in the state has endorsed me for a second term.

“Some people, who just defected from the PDP to the APC, are fighting me and they are the cause of Friday’s mayhem.

“However, what I gathered is that the fight that led to the death of the three people, started in one of the streets of Otukpo, a day before the zonal meeting was held and l was not there.”

The Director of Publicity of the party in the state, Apeh Peter, alleged that the fight that led to the demise of the people might have been instigated by a federal lawmaker who wanted to contest the Benue South Senatorial district.

He said, “I heard about the killings. The incident did not happen at the venue of the meeting or at the zonal party secretariat. The crisis started from Thursday. I heard that boys were moving from street to street, killing people.

70-Year Old Nigerian Ambassador Shows Intention in C’Rivers Governorship

Nigeria’s Ambassador to Uganda, Mr. Nya Asuquo, has declared his intention to contest the governorship seat in the 2019 election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress in Cross River State.

Asuquo said he would contest the election because the current leadership in the state had failed, adding that the state had become less productive because of poor governance.

The 70-year-old envoy, who is the head of the Ikot-Offiong clan in the Odukpani Local Government Area, said he would support any youth that provides a better programme to run the state.

He said, “I am entering the race because the current leadership has failed. Cross Riverians are seen to be less productive because of visionless leadership that has refused to look for the treasures hidden in their backyards. They have resorted to depending on federal allocation.

“If a youthful candidate comes out today with a good programme, I will support him. We have had young people at the helm in the state.”

The ambassador, who is from the southern senatorial district, said the current zoning structure, which favours the northern senatorial district, should not be applicable in the 2019 election.

He also said with the current game plan, some leaders in the APC were planning to ensure that the governorship and chairmanship slots were given to the central senatorial district, adding that such would breed anarchy.

He added, “At every time there was a contest for governor, there were contenders from every zone and same thing for chairmanship position. In other words, there was no zoning in the state.

“However, zoning was defeated in APC in the last election. It was said that if the governor is coming from the North, the chairman of the party should come from the South. But suddenly the drum player in Rivers State gave the governorship to the North and the chairmanship to central. We have been saddled with that problem till date.”

Source: Punch

Ekiti Chairman Beaten up by Political Thugs

The Ekiti People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Delegates congress faced crisis on Saturday leading to an attack on a former Chairman of Ikere Local Gvernment, Mr. Mr Banji Aluko.

Aluko was beaten up by persons suspected to be political thugs over allegation that he was working against ‘Ikere Agenda’, fashioned by Gov. Ayo Fayose in support of his deputy, Prof Kolapo Olusola.

Aluko , who led a group of youth to the secretariat of the party to register his protest over alleged subversion of the opposition’s will, was chased away from the congress.

The supporter of former works minister, Mr, Dayo Adeyeye, was beaten with canes and cudgels and his sparkling apparel heavily stained.

The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Dayo Adeyeye said Aluko accused the Deputy governor and a member of the House of Assembly representing Ikere constituency 1, Mr. Wale Ayeni, as the masterminds of the attack.

“Our group won election at Ogbonjana ward 7 and we were rejoicing only for these thugs to pounce on me and started beating me.

“I have reported the case to the police and proper action will be taken against the sponsors,” he added.

The fragile peace brokered recently in the party broke down as the political gladiators squared up in virtually all the 177 wards, where elected delegates were expected to emerge, preparatory for the May 8 governorship primary.

The major gladiators are Governor Fayose; former Minister of Works, Mr. Dayo Adeyeye and Senator representing Ekiti south, Sen. Abiodun Olujimi.

They engaged in battle of wits in the delegates’ election.

While Fayose is backing his deputy, Olusola to succeed him in the July 14 governorship poll, the duo of Adeyeye and Olujimi were also contesting the same seat.

Adeyeye described the congress as a charade, calling for outright cancellation of the exercise to prevent anarchy.

Adeyeye said the election was “brazenly manipulated” in all the 177 wards , accusing the leaders of PDP Ad hoc committees sent to the 16 local governments of diverting the materials meant for the election.

Former Senate President, David Mark , led other top hierarchy of the party to conduct the congress.

The National Chairman of the PDP, Chief Uche Secondus and members of the National Working Committee, as well as Senator Mark, were in Ado Ekiti last Wednesday to mediate between the opposing camps.

Tension was particularly high in Ikere Ekiti, hometown of the Fayose’s deputy , as factions fought over the control of the Ikere local government delegates in all the eleven wards in the council.

Adeyeye, who spoke through his Media Assistant, Niyi Ojo, said: “There was no election anywhere in the state. Those loyal to Fayose sat somewhere and wrote the list of delegates.

“What really marvelled us was that the committees sent by the national headquarters to conduct the election didn’t go to the wards, they
diverted,” he alleged (NAN)

INEC Denies Compromising 2019 Elections

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has denied making attempts to compromise the 2019 general elections as alleged by the PDP National Publicity Secretary.

Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party`s (PDP), on Friday alleged that INEC was planning to create 30,000 illegal polling units in some remote areas.

A statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, on Sunday in Abuja, urged Nigerians to disregard the allegation.

Oyekanmi explained that the commission received 3,789 requests nationwide for the creation of new polling units.

He said that in response to the requests, the commission directed its Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) to thoroughly asses and provide it with information on new settlements not served or inadequately served by existing polling units.

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
INEC
He added that the commissioners were also to provide information on areas with natural barriers that hinder access to existing polling units; as well as areas that were distant from

existing polling units.

“The RECs are also to assess and provide information on areas affected by communal and other conflicts that make voting in existing polling units unsafe for voters,“ he said.

He said that these reports were still being awaited from the various States.

“It is these reports and the information they contain that will be collated and carefully examined by the commission in order to determine what changes may be necessary in the current polling units` profile of the country.

Rotimi Oyekanmi
“Therefore, the insinuation that the commission intends to create 30,000 new polling units to compromise the 2019 General Elections is false, misleading, unfounded and should be disregarded.”

The commission assured the public that its decisions and actions shall always be guided by the provisions of the extant laws and its determination to respond to requests by Nigerians to serve them better.

He said that the creation of more polling units would be done only after full consultation with all stakeholders. (NAN)

450,000 PVCs Yet to be Collected in Edo State

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), said it had registered 125,481 more eligible voters at the end of the third quarter of the 2017 and first quarter of 2018 Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) in Edo.

Mr Obo Effanga, the outgoing Edo Resident Electoral Commissioner, made this disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin on Sunday.

Effanga explained that the commission registered 40,785 eligible voters in the first and second quarters of 2017, 30,655 and 9,853 voters in the third quarter.

He said the commission also registered 44, 188 eligible voters in the first quarter of 2018, which ended in March.

Effanga further disclosed that Ikpoba-Okha Local government Area had the highest performance with 23,611 new registered voters.

He said Egor had 18, 246, Oredo had 17,605, while Etsako West council area Local had 14,065 among others.

The commissioner also told NAN that about 450,000 Permanent Voter Cards, PVCs were yet to be collected in Edo.

He called on eligible voters to take advantage of the ongoing voters’ registration to collect their PVCs.

“The ongoing registration has given every eligible voter, who has registered and yet to collect their cards the opportunity to go and collect them at the nearest designated registration centres.

“The second quarter of the 2018 CVR is ongoing, it started this month of April and will last for about three months,” he said.

He said that the commission approved 10 additional registration centres in the state to be added to the existing ones for easy accessibility.

NAN reports that Effanga has been transferred by INEC and a new REC is expected to resume duty on April 23 in the state.

Fire Guts Kaduna Independent Electoral Commission Headquarters

Fire has gutted the headquarters of Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission (KADSIECOM) located along Sokoto Road in the state capital.

Eyewitnesses told newsmen that the fire, which gutted a part of the two-storey building, started around 10:30am on Saturday.

Although officials of the Federal Fire Service have put out the fire, the management of the commission has yet to make an official statement on the cause of the inferno.

The fire incident took place just as KADSIECOM prepares for the conduct of chairmanship and counsellorship elections in the 23 local government areas of the state.

Chairperson of KADSIECOM, Dr Saratu Dikko-Audu, had announced the date on February 9, during a meeting with political parties and relevant stakeholders in the polls.

According to her, the election timetable was announced following the passage of the bill by the State House of Assembly, to allow the use of electronic machine for voting during the elections.

The poll was earlier scheduled to hold in December 2017 but was cancelled indefinitely due to delay in the passage of the use of electronic voting system by the state Assembly.

Fire Guts Kaduna Independent Electoral Commission Headquarters

Fire Guts Kaduna Independent Electoral Commission Headquarters

2019 Elections: Buhari Receives Support from UK Based Nigerians

It has been gathered that the President, Muhammadu Buhari has received support from some Nigerians resident in the United Kingdom. The supporters on Friday, converged in front of the Nigerian High Commission in London, to rally in support of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The President is resetting the country on the part of growth and development, Mr. Stephen Kifordu, from Delta State who is the leader of the group, said on Friday.

He said there is no credible alternative to Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in the 2019 election noting that the group represents the aspiration of many Nigerians who want progress for Nigeria.

Kifordu said Nigeria is attractive to investors because of Buhari’s fight against corruption in the country.

He claimed that the previous administration gave room for rot and corrupt activities.

“We have a President in Nigeria that people can look at and trust that “If I invest in Nigeria, my investment will not be stolen.

“When we talk of security, he has done security in terms of Boko Haram and in terms of the Niger Delta,” he said.

Explaining further how President Buhari is ‘resetting’ the country, Kifordu said it is the primary role of the police and not the military to protect Nigerian citizens and President Buhari is enforcing this.

“The Police is the number one organisation that takes care of our security. It is only when we are under attack that the military comes in.

“In past years, we have seen the issue when the military jumps on board without paying regard to the police. Then suddenly when something happens in Nigeria, Mr President says deploy the police, people are saying don’t deploy the police.

“President Buhari is re-ordering up, he is resetting our country. He is bringing us back to the way things should be.”

This support rally came exactly a day after a group of people bearing Biafran flags staged a protest in front of the Commonwealth House in Westminister, London.

The demonstration took place as President Buhari and other leaders of the Commonwealth nations meet on Thursday.

Some of the protesters were seen carrying banners bear inscriptions of Biafra while others are calling for a referendum.

President Buhari on Thursday attended the Executive Session of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in the United Kingdom.

The meeting, which held at the Lancaster House in London, was declared open by Queen Elizabeth II.

Senate President Urges Nigeria to Guard Democracy

The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, on Friday urged Nigerians to guard the country’s democracy jealously and shun acts that could truncate it.

He gave the advice in Lagos while speaking at the 4th Anniversary Lecture of The Niche Newspapers.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the lecture is: “Development Reporting and Hysteria Journalism in Nigeria”.

Represented by Sen. Ben Murray-Bruce, Saraki said democracy was the best form of government and urged citizens to preserve it at all costs.

The Senate President pointed out that though the system was yet to be perfect, democracy was still the best way to realise the country’s development aspirations.

“We must preserve democracy at all costs. It is the duty of everyone, all the citizens of the country.

“No matter the problems we are facing, democracy is still the best form of government to guarantee development “, he said.

Saraki said the media had contributed to the survival of democracy in the country through agenda setting and playing the role of a watchdog.

He urged the media not to relent on its efforts at promoting the country’s development and making Nigeria a better place.

The Senate President described Wednesday’s invasion of the Senate and snatching of the mace by hoodlums as primitive and disgraceful.

He said the incident was an assault on the legislature and a threat to democracy and security.

Saraki, however, thanked the media for rising to the occasion by reporting the incident in real time, saying the intervention helped to highlight the threat.

The Saraki said media had a big role to play in leadership and urged it to always play its role to improve the Democratic process.

In his speech, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, Mr Kingsley Moghalu described the media as an essential component of the country’s development.

He, however, expressed the regret that the media had not been sufficiently playing the role of promoting development.

Moghalu said a good number of outlets focused on hysteria journalism which highlighted sensationalism rather than development.

Moghalu, who had a stint at Newswatch Magazine, said most media houses had deviated from development issues for political patronage.

He lamented that investigative journalism was dying in the country, saying that was not good for the country’s development.

“One of the major ways in which the media can play the role of a catalyst in social transformation is through investigative journalism.

“By uncovering evidence of malfeasance and shedding light on social olds, journalists can influence public discourse in a major way.

“There is so much that is wrong with our country today and a vibrant tradition of investigative reporting can help change this “, he said.

He decried the focus of media organisations on sports and entertainment and said there was the need to do more on real news for development.

Moghalu acknowledged that the media was challenged in many ways but still urged it not to abdicate its responsibilities owing to challenges.

In a brief remark, a legal luminary, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, said citizens’ participation was essentially to strengthen democracy.

He, therefore, urged Nigerians to participate actively in the 2019 elections to elect leaders of their choice.

A former presidential aspirant of the KOWA party, Prof. Remi Sonaiya, commended the media for its role in national development.

She, however, said the media was not doing enough in giving balanced coverage for aspirants for elective offices.

She said the media focused more on the candidates of the major parties during the 2015 elections and did not bother about others.

“The media should give everyone equal coverage. That is the only way to present different options to the Nigerian people “.she said.

The President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, Mrs Funke Egbemode said the media industry was facing a lot of crisis at the moment.

She listed the problems of the industry as poor patronage, declining advertising revenues and high operating costs and declining professionalism.

Egbemode said most organisations were just struggling to survive and that that had affected the capacity of the industry to function as efficiently as expected.

“It is bad news that there are even worse days ahead for the industry’ ’she said.

She said the hysteria journalism being practised was as a result of the problems in the society.

The media practitioner said the news people read was a reflection of the society, adding the media should not be blamed for that.

Speaking the Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress in Lagos, Mr Joe Igbokwe said the media was key to the development of the nation.

He, however, urged the media to respond to the trends in the industry in order to remain relevant.

On the looters list released by the APC, he said the action was taken to discourage corruption.

He said those who looted the country were going about with bold faces, saying there was the need to let them know they had a price to pay.

“You can take our money and go about with a bold face. The list is, therefore, to discourage and reduce corruption “, he said.

He urged Nigerians of all regions not to look down on one another, saying reciprocal respect for peoples across region was good for unity.

He said President Muhammadu Buhari has acquitted himself well as leader of the country.

In his welcome address, the Editor in Chief of the Niche Newspaper, Mr Ikechukwu Ameachi, said the lecture was organised annually to discuss issues that affect the country with a view to proffering solutions.

Aregbesola Tours Osun Federal Constituencies Ahead Governorship Election

Governor Rauf Aregbesola of the State of Osun will tour the nine federal constituencies of the state to brief the people on his achievements in the last seven and half years starting from Monday, 23rd April, 2018.

This is contained in a statement by the Director Research and Publicity of the Osun Chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Barr Kunle Oyatomi released to newsmen in Osogbo on Friday.

THE FULL STATEMENT:

Gov Aregbesola tours…..

Prior to a full blast of campaign activities for the September 2018 governorship election, the incumbent Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is starting a goodwill visit to parts of the state, beginning Monday, April 23, 2018.

The visit will be to all Federal constituencies. Starting Monday, he will be at Ile Ife in Ife Federal constituency and the following day, the team moves to Ilesha in Ijesha South Federal Constituency.

On Thursday, April 26, he will berth at Ijebu Jesha in Ijesha North Federal Constituency and on Friday, April 27, the train moves to Ikirun in Ifelodun Federal Constituency.

On Monday, April 30, in Ila, the Federal Constituency will host the Governor and his team while it will be the turn of Ede on Tuesday, May 1. Ikire will host the team on Thursday, May 3.

Iwo will host on Friday May 4 while the finale will be in Osogbo on Monday May 7, 2018.

The governor is expected to review events of the last seven and half years and what progress has been made.

 

INEC To Redistribute 1.4m Unclaimed PVCs In Lagos

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Lagos State on Friday said that it was making plans to redistribute the unclaimed 1.4 million Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) in the state.

Mr Sam Olumekun, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, disclosed this in a telephone interview with our reporter in Lagos.

“We are actually working out a new strategy,” the INEC boss told NAN, as he explained the commission’s plan to redistribute the permanent voter cards.

Olumekun, who expressed concerned over the number of uncollected PVCs in Lagos state, urged the owners to go to INEC offices in their local government areas for collection.

NAN reports that Lagos state has the highest number of unclaimed PVCs in the country.

INEC had said that it was still in possession of 7,920,129 permanent voter cards yet to be collected from its offices across the nation.

A breakdown of the uncollected PVCs as at March revealed that Lagos had the highest number of 1,401,390 followed by Oyo with 647,586 and Edo which had 449,001 while Kano had 195,941.

The figure also showed Bauchi State as having the least number of uncollected PVCs, 15,542, followed by Bayelsa and Plateau which had 28,533 and 25,300 cards respectively.

NAN

Johnson Edosomwan Wants Buhari’s Job In 2019

The Founder of a newly registered political party, the Nigeria Democratic Congress Party (NDCP), Dr Johnson Edosomwan has signified interest in taking up President Muhammadu Buhari’s job in 2019.

Edosomwan during the maiden convention of the party in Abuja said the party is ready to takeover from Buhari in 2019 with laudable programmes.
The NDCP National leader blamed corruption in every Nigeria on poor remuneration and welfare package for workers.
The party also expressed support for President Muhammadu Buhari’s move to spend $1 billion to weapons to boost the fight against insurgency in the country.

“Our vision is to unify Nigerians under a common purpose. We are here to transform the various elements of the Nigerian system, whether it is infrastructure, environment, power, economy, etc. It is our target to create millions of jobs for our youth and we have put out a manifesto that has five different components.

“These components include economic development, environmental improvement, infrastructure enhancement, jobs and wealth creation. So people you see here today are men and women who are trying to give us what needs to be included in our detailed corporate manifesto. So our goal is to implement best practices across the nation in every segment. This includes the fight against corruption.

 

“We’ve realised that a lot of people speak negatively about Nigeria and this is not because they don’t love Nigeria. They love their country so much, but they speak against the nation because so many issues have overpowered them into negativity. So what we want is for that passion to be expressed positively so that some positive things can come out of it.”

 

Edosomwan stated that if elected into office, his government would diversify the country’s economy, as Nigeria would earn more from other sources rather than just crude oil sales.

 

He added that “right now in Nigeria, there is a need for human capital development. Without adequate human capital development, infrastructure projects will not work. So empowering citizens with the right tools to get the job done is a priory for us as a party.

 

“The next thing is infrastructure and we are not just talking about roads, we are looking at high speed rails, standard airports, power generation from solar, nuclear, wind and lots more. We want to bring positive change in the lives of Nigerians. We’ve done these things in other countries, we can do it here at home.”

 

NDCP was formally approved by INEC on January 10, 2018. It already has offices across the 36 states of Nigeria.

 

“We are marching forward to get our message to Nigerians,” he added.

 

Borrowing from his experience in the United States, Edosomwan is adopting a different approach to attract more people to his party. The party had already trained state executive officers who will in turn to go back to their respective states to train others at the wards.

Dr Edosomwan also advised the president to dialogue with the National Assembly; instead of the current dog-fight over the sequence of the 2019 general elections.
“First of all, we need a government that is supported by the people and run by the people, for example; if the voice of the people says that the sequencing of the election is the right thing to do, that will be the right way to go.
“Now, if that is what they are proposing, they (legislators) need to dialogue with the president. As a Nigerian, I will recommend that you listen to the voice of the people,” stated Edosomwan.