David Umahi Vows Never To Ditch PDP

Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi has pledged not to abandon the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in spite of the crisis currently rocking the party at the national level.

Umahi made the pledge on Sunday during a Christmas ‘Get-Together’ he organised for the State Working Committee (SWC) of the PDP including its local and zonal committee members.

The governor spoke against the backdrop of fears in the state that he would soon dump the party due to the crisis and to secure his second-term bid.

According to him, the current challenges confronting the party will not lead to its demise as it will soon fizzle out with the commitment of its dedicated members.

“Anybody who believes that I would leave PDP for the All Progressives Congress (APC) or any other party is sleeping and should be woken from sleep.

“APC and other parties cannot win election in this state because PDP has performed marvellously and cannot be arm-twisted,’’ he said.

The governor said that infrastructure projects, especially roads were being executed in all Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state, courtesy of the PDP- led government.

‘“We are not just constructing roads but doing so on asphalt and stone base and other sectors such as education, health, agriculture, human empowerment among others, are feeling our impact,” Umahi said.

The governor advised the party leaders to shun corrupt and divisive tendencies in order to succeed and reposition the party for the onerous tasks ahead.

“You must avoid taking bribes, embezzling party funds among other negative acts, as contentment and Godliness is very important to achieve success.

“When you are given N10 million for instance, present the actual amount to the members because the worst thing in life is to embezzle funds meant for all, alone,” he said.

The state PDP Chairman, Mr Onyekachi Nwebonyi, thanked the governor for the reception and pledged to support him in justifying the mandate given to him by the people.

“We have learnt from the mistakes of the past and have been repositioned to maintain our resounding electoral success in 2019 and beyond.

“The people are witnesses to your massive infrastructure strides and impact in all sectors of the state which would make us maintain our overwhelming dominance in the state,” he said.

The Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Bernard Odoh, thanked the governor for identifying with various sectors of the state during the yuletide.

“Ebonyi is the only state that earmarked N1.7billion to touch the lives of its people during this Christmas period.

“This will definitely cushion effects of the current recession in the country and make the people part of the state’s governance,’’ Odoh said

It is reported that the party stakeholders used the occasion to suggest ways of enhancing the party’s well-being and pledged their support for the governor.

APC Govs Pressurize Buhari To 2019 Election

Governor of Kogi State, Mr. Yahaya Bello, has said 24 All Progressives Congress governors are mounting pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari to seek re-election in 2019.

Bello stated this on Saturday in Lokoja, the state capital, at a rally organised by the APC to receive defectors to into its fold.

The governor, at the event, which was also attended by the National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, said Buhari must contest in 2019.

He explained that all the 24 APC governors were ready to support his reelection.

He maintained that APC remained the only viable and strongest party in Kogi State, saying the development made members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party to defect to the party.

He said, “Presdent Buhari must contest second term because all the 24 APC governors are ready to support his reelection

“All the PDP members that mattered in the state have all decamped to the APC because they have seen the light and realised that APC hasbetter programme for the people of the state and Nigeria in general”

Odigie-Oyegun, at the rally, said the President had liberated the country from an impending economic doom.

He added that Buhari had succeeded in repositioning the economy from dependency on oil and focusing on other sources of revenue such as agriculture.

He said, “Nigeria, under President Buhari, no longer depends on oil to survive. Today, Nigeria, under Buhari, has taken the lead in the agricultural production and the nation is operating on a stable economic progression.”

Meanwhile, some of the national leaders and six state governors billed to attend another APC unity rally in Minna, the Niger State capital, shunned the event.

Also, all the state House of Assembly members walked out of the rally in annoyance.

The rally, earlier scheduled for 1pm, commenced at 3.30pm when it became clear that the party’s national chieftains and the invited governors might not attend.

The climax of the rally was the reception for 34 defectors from the PDP including ex-commissioners in the state.

Speaking at the pre-rally meeting on Saturday Governor Abubakar Sani-Bello of Niger State, said the APC’s profile was rising in the state because of its strict adherence to the principles of party supremacy.

Bello advised the new members to abide by the party rules and regulations.

He said, “The cohesion, progress and unity we are witnessing in Niger State APC today are productS of strict adherence to party supremacy. We respect party supremacy and I am glad that the calibre of people returning to the family are experienced party men.’’

The state party Chairman, Jibrin Imam, described the defection as the best thing to happen to the state and the party, adding that “this development will further strengthen the party.”

Tinubu, APC Chiefs Visit Buhari In Daura Today

President Muhammadu Buhari is billed to meet Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and other leaders of the All Progressives Congress at his country home in Daura, Katsina state today, a day after he received the party’s governors.

NAN reliably gathered that the APC leadership and top chieftains of the party would be converging in Daura to commiserate with the President who recently lost two members of his extended family.

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Chief Bisi Akande had on Feb. 13 met with President Buhari behind closed doors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Akande, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria after the Tuesday meeting with the president, dismissed the speculation that they met with the president over 2019 presidential election, adding that they came to condole the president.

Tinubu, who also spoke to newsmen after the meeting, expressed his commitment towards ensuring electoral victory for all APC candidates in the forthcoming 2019 general election.

He commended Buhari for appointing him to lead the consultation, reconciliation and confidence building efforts toward improving cohesion within the APC.

However, a source confided in NAN that the second meeting of Tinubu with the president in Daura on Saturday might go beyond mere condolence visit.

“Look, in the next few weeks and months the president will continue to receive different groups and organisations whose sole aim is to put much pressure on him to declare his intention for re-election in 2019.

“So, those Nigerians calling on him to seek reelection would continue to seek audience with the president with hope that he will finally agree with them to sustain continuity in APC-led administration, come 2019,’’ the source said.

According to the source, which preferred to remain anonymous, the meeting between the president and the APC chieftains might also deliberate on some socio-political matters affecting the country.

The APC governors who met with President Buhari on Friday in Daura included the Chairman of the Governors’ Forum and Zamfara Governor, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari; Rochas Okorocha (Imo); Abubakar Muhammed (Bauchi); Kashim Shettima (Borno); Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo); Aminu Masari (Katsina) and Malam Nasir El-Rufa’I of Kaduna State.

Others are Gov. Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa, Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano); Godwin Obaseki of Edo; Yahaya Bello (Kogi); Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi); Abubakar Sani-Bello (Niger) and Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State, while the governors of Benue, Osun and Ogun were represented by their deputies.

The governors of Benue, Ogun and Osun were represented by their deputies while Yobe and Plateau were also represented by top government officials at the meeting.

NAN observed that the meeting of the APC Governors’ Forum with President Buhari was first of its kind outside the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

NAN

APC Records Victory In Kano Bye-Election

The Independent National Electoral Commission on Saturday declared Mansur Mashi of the All Progressive Congress (APC), as the winner of the supplementary election into the Mashi/Dutsi Federal constituency.

Mashi scored 30,719 votes against 22,690 votes scored by Malam Nazifi Yusuf of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), as announced by the returning officer, Prof Hudu Ayuba.

He said in the supplementary election held in the six affected polling units in Dutsi local government the APC scored 934 votes while PDP got 217 votes out of the 1,177 votes cast.

Similarly, in the nine polling units in Mashi local government area the APC scored 1,632 against PDP’s 676 votes out of the 2,231 total votes cast .

Ayuba said these scores were added to the previous votes recorded by the political parties during the bye election conducted in May 2017 to arrive at the final result .

Ayuba announced that a total of 3,382 votes were cast during the Saturday election out of the 9,089 registered voters in the affected polling units.

He said the number of valid votes was 3,370 while 286 votes cast were rejected.

it was gathered that the election into the Mashi/Dutsi Federal Constituency which was earlier won by Mashi was nullified by the Election Petition Tribunal due to “substantial non compliance with election rules and regulations”.

The Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the tribunal and ordered supplementary election in the 15 polling units.

APC Wins Kano State Local Government Polls

It has been gathered that The All Progressive Congress (APC) candidates have cleared the 44 councils seats in Kano State Local Government polls, which held on Saturday.

Prof. Garba Sheka, Chairman, Kano State Independent Electoral Commission (KANSIEC), announced the election results while briefing newsmen in Kano on Sunday.

Sheka said APC also won all the 484 councillorship positions with a wide gap in an election participated by 25 political parties.

He added that the election which was conducted in a peaceful manner, had recorded success due to the large turnout of the electorate and the deployment of security personnel.

“The security agencies include Police, Customs, Immigration, NDLEA, Vigilanty groups, NSCDC and other secret security personnel.

“I am proud that the election which was participated by 25 political parties was conducted peacefully without any violence, disruption by any person and no report of arrest,’’ he said.

The KANSIEC Chairman attributed the late commencement of the election to the late arrival of some of the voting materials which were brought from China.

“The commission had earlier received three consignments of the materials, but the last batch arrived Kano at about 12:45 a.m on the election day despite all efforts to ensure it arrived earlier.

“Immediately after we received the materials, we started the distribution about 4 a.m., and by 11 a.m., we have completed the distribution of all the voting materials.

“Therefore, we acknowledge our mistakes; we apologise for the inconveniences caused and we are going to make necessary corrections to avoid reoccurrence of such delay in the next elections,’’ he said.

Don’t Sell Your PVCs, APC Counsels Voters

As elections draw closer and aspirants court voters through diverse means, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ebonyi State has counselled voters not to sell their permanent voters cards for money or promised employment.

Mr Eze Nwachukwu, the State Chairman of APC in Ebonyi, voiced this counsel on Saturday in Isiaka while inaugurating an 8-man Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) mobilisation committee for Ivo local government area of the State.

He said “We hear that some people are going round, allegedly collecting Permanent Voters Cards from unsuspecting owners, in exchange for employment in the state civil service, or to give them government sponsored empowerment.

“Please do not exchange, sell or give out your PVC for any reason because that is the only power and right available to you as a citizen, to freely participate in choosing your leaders.

“Selling and buying of voter cards is a crime; if you give up your PVC; you have surrendered the power, right and privileges conferred on you by the constitution to exercise your franchise…

“We want make sure that no one is left unregistered, hence the mandate of this committee is to move round the wards, communities and villages in the council and mobilise people to register for their PVC.

“You are to report to the state secretariat on daily basis, the number of registered voters per polling booth, as well as number of voters registered at the ward level.

“You should report to us any action that will undermine effective registration of prospective voters in any part of the Council, for prompt action.

“We are very passionate about the success of the exercise because our victory in 2019 elections is tied to number of registered voters who are our members” Nwachukwu said.

Osun Local Governments’ Administration: Aregbesola’s Goodwill For The Youths And Challenges Of Grassroots Governance By Adeboye Adebayo

Let me use this medium to heartily congratulate the 389 councillors/local parliamentarians recently elected in all the wards in the State of Osun and I wish them all a successful tenure.

I also congratulate the State Executive Council of our great party; All Progressives Congress, APC as led by its Chairman, Prince Adegboyega Famodun and amiable Secretary; Alhaji Rasaq Salinsile for their efforts day and night which made our party to come out all victorious at the poll.

I must not fail to specially and wholeheartedly congratulate my mentor, leader and political father Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola on whose goodwill and unprecedented achievements in office we are able to achieve the feat.

During a stakeholders meeting of the All Progressives Congress, APC around June, 2017 in Lagos, the National Leader of the APC & Principal of the formidable Asiwaju Grassroots Foundation; AGF, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu appealed profoundly to the leaders of the party in Lagos State to please consider the youths and women in their arrangements for the then upcoming Lagos Council poll. The election was conducted on July 22, 2017 and the consideration of the youths as clamoured by Asiwaju Tinubu were there for you to judge.

Aside our own Asiwaju, a lot of people in the polity have been clamouring for participations of youths in politics, a lot of political parties had used the phenomenon to ride to power without the goodwill to assist the youths to power in this our environment of impossibilities. 

But by his antecedents, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has always been a lover and helper of the youths to power. The memory is still fresh of how he helped a young man of thirty years old to become the Executive Secretary of one of the largest local governments in Nigeria some years back and numerous others at various levels till today, especially in his current cabinet in the State of Osun as Commissioners, SSAs and SAs contributing their quotas to the developments of the society among other obvious evidences of constructively empowering the youths.

But of note, is the high number of youths that were considered for the Councillorship positions and eventual emergence as the Executive Chairman in our various Councils, Council Development Areas and others due to his goodwill and believe in the abilities of the youths to deliver the dividends of democracy at the grassroots bearing in mind the enormous challenges attached with .

Ogbeni Aregbesola unlike many political leaders in the Country today did not pay a lip service to the clamour for youths in power and I say a very big kudos to Oga for this and humbly urge other leaders in the polity to emulate Ogbeni Aregbesola and sincerely do all within their powers to assist the numerous capable youth in politics to power.

Now that Ogbeni Aregbesola in his goodwill and benevolence has helped numerous youths into power at the grassroots, it is their duties to proof to the World that indeed they have the intellectual capacity and wisdom to bring about better governance at the grassroots knowing fully well that their tier of government is the closest to the people and the electorates, the populace and the entire people of the councils are expecting high performances from them in line with the principle of progressive governance as being exhibited by Ogbeni Aregbesola in the State.

The performance of the youths in power today will be the yardstick to measure practically the abilities of youths to be in power tomorrow and failure by them today will shut doors against the youths yearning to be in power tomorrow.

They must roll up their sleeves and begin to make bye laws and policies to complement the good works of Ogbeni Aregbesola in the area of improving the internally generated revenue of their local governments not through force, as forces are not in the tenets of democracy but through persuasions, public enlightenment, discussions and other reasonable education and engagements, through that our people who are not lazy will be willing to pay since it is for their own development.

Also bye laws and policy implementation should be geared towards primary education and adult literacy programmes so that the consciousness and understanding of our people will be improved and this make them easy to govern, remember the saying “Education makes people easy to govern, difficult to enslave”.

Policies at the grassroots should also touch other areas like Agriculture and rural development, market coordination and expansion. Primary health care services is the duty of the governments’ at the grassroots while secondary and tertiary health care services are for the States and Federal governments.

Healthy collaboration with the traditional councils will go a long way in amicable resolution of disputes among the local people. Rural-Urban drifts should be discouraged through provision of basic infrastructural amenities.

The challenges of governance at the grassroots are enormous not in the State of Osun alone but through out the World but they are all surmountable through effective collaboration between the Chairman (Prime Minister) his cabinet members who are bye laws executors/policies implementor and other parliamentarians who are to make bye laws, do oversight and monitor the implementation of the laws and policies of local governments, as it affects the people. 

Working together is the thing, being on the same page for better governance is the deal. By this among other things, the trust reposed in them by the electorates, by our party and the goodwill of Ogbeni Aregbesola will not be betrayed.

I wish them all the very best in office, I pray God to continue to be with all youths in government and I thank my leader & mentor; Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola so greatly for his support and believe in the abilities of the youths to deliver despite all odds including youths working against themselves.

Adeboye Adebayo is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress; APC, The National Publicity Secretary of Asiwaju Grassroots Foundation; AGF, Leader of youths, a Tinubuist in principle & ideology and a Raufist to the core.

Osun LG Election: APC Warns Against Violence

By Sodiq Lawal

The All Progressive Congress(APC) Ife Central branch, has challenged voters and youths who will be involved in the January 27 local government election to conduct the election in line with the principle put together by the Osun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC).

In an exclusive interview with the party secretary on Friday, Hon. Olufemi Francis called on all security agents including the police, soldiers, members of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps to maintain guiding the conduct of elections.

He said all residents including youths should shun ballot box snatching, dumping of ballot boxes with ready filled ballot papers and intimidating people opposed to their candidates at the election.

“Police, soldiers and members of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps should not allow themselves to be used by politicians. They should not be swayed by money to flout election guidelines which they know.

“They should not allow money turn their minds away. We will not fail to take them to court if they are caught working against OSIEC guidelines.
Police and other security personnel are meant to protect and not act as obstacles to the good conduct of elections.

“We advise the people to elect people who will represent them and bring democracy to them, ” he said.

He however urged everyone to vote for APC candidates, describing the party as the savior of the masses.

Aregbesola’s Performance Attracted Us To APC – Ex PDP Members

By Kehinde Ayantunji

Hundreds of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members in Boripe North Local Government Development Area (LCDA), State of Osun last Sunday joined the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).

The defectors were received by the APC State Chairman, Prince Gboyega Famodun, State Secretary, Hon Rasaq Salinsile, and Osun Central Senatorial Leader Hon Adeoye Adelakun during the party local government general meeting held at Salem Primary School, Iree, headquarters of Boripe North LCDA.

Former PDP members led by Alhaji Liad Olaifa, a former Supervising Councillor in the council area said they dumped the PDP as a result of noticeable development in their community and the state at large in the last seven years.

According to Olaifa, the state Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Argbesola has demonstrated uncommon
leadership in the state with massive infrastructural development and provision of social services in the state.

He said: “our philosophy of politics is development and we have found that in the capacity of governor Aregbesola and APC leadership in the state, the social and infrastructural developments are unprecedented in the history of the state”.

“In our local government here, the achievements are visible, we can see global standard schools, good roads while many of our youths were empowered, all these giant strides attracted us to the APC to support the governor and the party leadership.

While receiving the defectors, Famodun said the present government in Nigeria and state will continue to do its best to make life better for the citizens of the state and the country at large.

Famodun said: “our party covenant with the people is to eradicate poverty, create job, enhance security of lives and property to make life more abundant for our people, we are not going to relent on the promises, I can assure, you we are going to deliver”.

Deputy Leader, State House of Assembly, Hon Bello Osuolale in his remarks congratulated the defectors for joining APC and assured them that they will have equal rights and privileges in the party.

Osuolale who is the Chairman APC Elders Forum in the council area announced that the general meeting of the party would be rotating monthly in the four towns that comprises the LCDA and urged the members to rally support for the governor.

State Commissioner for Works and Transport, Eng Kazeem Salami said the priority of the governor at the moment is the completion of all the ongoing projects in the state saying no effort will be spared in ensuring that the present administration delivers on its promises.

Restructuring: El-Rufai Led APC Committee Submits Report

The committee set up by the All Progressives Congress, APC to look into the issue of restructuring has submitted its reports.

The Governor Nasir El Rufai-led committee on True Federalism submitted its report to the National Working Committee of the APC, on Thursday.

The committee in its reports called for more devolution of powers to the states.

The committee urged that the police and prisons be moved from the exclusive to the concurrent list.

According to the report, the state government would be allowed to establish state police to handle certain crimes as well as state prisons.

The committee equally recommended independent candidacy but with a clause that individuals who intend to stand for elections must not have been a member of any political party at least six months to the elections in which they intend to contest.

On local government autonomy, the committee said since “one size does not fit all,” the states should be allowed to legislate for local governments, including creating more councils.

Akande, A Foremost Nationalist – Osun Assembly

By Damilola Olujide

Osun state House of Assembly under the leadership of the Speaker, Honourable Najeem Salam has described Chief Adebisi Akande as a foremost nationalist with keen interest for a better Nigeria.

The House congratulated the former Governor of the State, who clocks 79. The house also disclosed that he is a figure worthy of emulation by the younger generation especially for his prudent nature in governance.

According to a statement issued by the Chairman, House Committee on Information and Strategy, Olatunbosun Oyintiloye on Tuesday, the House expressed its delight to join other friends, family and associates of Akande to celebrate him.

The parliament added that Baba Omo Keekeke as he is fondly called is no doubt a  politician with impact and indeed a man of many parts who has occupied strategic positions like being the National Chairman of Alliance for Democracy (AD), Action Congress (AC), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) as well as being the first and only Interim National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Akande was the Secretary to the State Government, Deputy Governor both in the old Oyo State and also the Executive Governor of Osun and gave the state a solid foundation.

While wishing him long life and prosperity, the House also wished Chief Akande good health, noting that he has positively touched lives and added values to Osun and Nigeria at large.