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Atiku considers Soludo, Adesina, Peter Obi, Ekweremadu as running mate

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The Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has begun earnest search for his running mate as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) deadline for the submission of names of parties’ candidate expires on Monday.

By the 1999 Constitution as amended and the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, no candidature is complete without a running mate. Sources within the Atiku camp said at least three technocrats and two politicians have been penciled down for the position.

The technocrats are, former governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof. Charles Soludo; former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina; and former Managing Director of Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), Chike Obi.

The politicians being considered for the number two position are, former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, and the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu.

According to a source, the candidate and the PDP hierarchy are still undecided on the zone the position should be allotted, but said the scope had been narrowed down to the South-west and the South-east.

“We would have to weigh the electoral value of both zones and decide where we would allot it,” the source said, explaining that there was the need to maintain a balance between the existing political configuration, which requires the party to challenge the dominance of the APC in the high voting South-west by picking a running mate that would challenge the electoral advantage of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; and the need to retain the loyalty of the South-east that had remained a PDP stronghold.

Both zones were believed to have helped Atiku to neutralise the Northern zones’ delegates’ votes that went to Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal during the presidential primary on Saturday.

Apart from zoning, Atiku is also said to be considering age and knowledge of the economy and economics as two major criterions for the selection of the running mate.

According to a source, the presidential candidate thinks his running mate has to be a much younger person as a strategy to appeal to the army of youths, which is already up in arms against the old brigade.

Atiku is, however, said to be insisting that such a young man must also have deep knowledge of the economy as his focus is on the revival of the economy to create jobs for the teaming unemployed population.

“His challenge, therefore, is how to strike the balance between getting a youthful running mate and an economy savvy candidate. Both must be rolled into one,” a source said.

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POLITICS

Senate 2019: Projections favour APC’s Uduaghan in Delta South

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Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the 2019 general elections will kick off with the Presidential and National Assembly elections on Saturday, 16th February 2019. As it stands in Delta South Senatorial District, the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate representing the district, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan is the most favoured to win the seat at the expense of his opponents.

A lot of factors are currently working in his favour, chief among them being the popularity he earned while in the saddle as the governor of Delta State. Emmanuel Uduaghan who is the immediate-past executive governor of the state has so far garnered over 50 endorsements from eminent political groups in and around the senatorial district. This is unprecedented in Delta South and probably one of the biggest electoral boosts for the politician, stemming from his sterling qualities and achievements while in office as the governor. Investigations show that ifone counts every infrastructure dotted all over the state, a greater percentage of them would definitely bear his fingerprint of approval.

The people of Delta South Senatorial District are also disenchanted with Uduaghan’s closest rival who incidentally is the incumbent senator representing the zone.  By May 2019 Senator James Manager would have spent 16 years in the red chamber. Those spoken to said they were tired of his representation, and that they have not absolutely felt much impact of the senator, who would have served out four terms as a senator but is nevertheless vying for the position once again on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Uduaghan’s vision and plans for Delta South which indirectly touch the Niger Delta region seem to have endeared him the more to the electorates. Aside from him, no other aspirant has been able to tell the people their plans, just as he continues to run issue-based campaign, laying out achievable programmes for the people of Delta South. In his words, he is on the race to offer his people quality and effective representation that will put smile on their faces if given the mandate in 2019.

While adopting Dr Uduaghan as its preferred choice for the senate seat, one of the groups, the National Association of Itsekiri Graduates (NAIG) had asserted: “Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan with his wealth of experience as the immediate-past governor of Delta State will bring his experience to bear on his job as the senator representing Delta South Senatorial District.

“He is the most respected of all the candidates, he is a planner and strategist, he is development-oriented and that is what Delta South Senatorial District wants; besides that he cares for the downtrodden.”

Ijaw Liberation Movement (ILM) had supported the claim. According to the group, “We followed Dr. Uduaghan’s painstaking effort to develop our area, nay the whole state, while he was governor of Delta State. We are also aware that he stepped down for our son to continue a few years ago, so he is the most suitable person for the job now.”

Dr. Uduaghan is Itsekiri, and for the 2019 elections, that is a plus. Since 1999, no Itsekiri has occupied that position. In the interest of equity and fair play, his ethnic stock places him better in the hearts of the people of the three major ethnic groups making up Delta South which include Ijaw, Itsekiri and Isoko. The last time an Itsekiri man occupied the senate seat was in 1979; that is about 40 years ago. From 1979 till the current dispensation, five senators have represented Delta South Senatorial District. Out of these five, two were from Isoko (Senator Stella Omu and Senator Francis Okpozo of blessed memory) and another two were from the Ijaw tribe (Chief E.K Clark and Senator James Manager, the incumbent). The first and only senator who was from the Itsekiri stock was Chief Franklin O. M  Atake in 1979.

More welcoming is the fact the political groups which pledge support for his electoral bid are spread across the three ethnic groups. Prominent among them are Ijaw Liberation Movement (ILM), Isoko Political Revolutionary Force, (IPRF) and Itsekiri Youths Vanguard.

What’s more the magnanimity displayed by Uduaghan when he withdrew from the race for Senator James Manager to continue in 2015 in order to ensure that peace reigned in the state was applauded by all and sundry who now believe the time has come for him to give a shot at the position with their full backing.

So as Nigerians look forward to the elections coming up in the next few weeks, the Delta South Senatorial District electorates are ready to roll out their drums to welcome the most perfect and fruitful senate representation in Dr. Uduaghan.

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Senate 2019: Projections favour APC’s Emmanuel Uduaghan in Delta South

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Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the 2019 general elections will kick off with the Presidential and National Assembly elections on Saturday, 16th February 2019. As it stands in Delta South Senatorial District, the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate representing the district, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan is the most favoured to win the seat at the expense of his opponents.

A lot of factors are currently working in his favour, chief among them being the popularity he earned while in the saddle as the governor of Delta State. Emmanuel Uduaghan who is the immediate-past executive governor of the state has so far garnered over 50 endorsements from eminent political groups in and around the senatorial district. This is unprecedented in Delta South and probably one of the biggest electoral boosts for the politician, stemming from his sterling qualities and achievements while in office as the governor. Investigations show that ifone counts every infrastructure dotted all over the state, a greater percentage of them would definitely bear his fingerprint of approval.

The people of Delta South Senatorial District are also disenchanted with Uduaghan’s closest rival who incidentally is the incumbent senator representing the zone.  By May 2019 Senator James Manager would have spent 16 years in the red chamber. Those spoken to said they were tired of his representation, and that they have not absolutely felt much impact of the senator, who would have served out four terms as a senator but is nevertheless vying for the position once again on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Uduaghan’s vision and plans for Delta South which indirectly touch the Niger Delta region seem to have endeared him the more to the electorates. Aside from him, no other aspirant has been able to tell the people their plans, just as he continues to run issue-based campaign, laying out achievable programmes for the people of Delta South. In his words, he is on the race to offer his people quality and effective representation that will put smile on their faces if given the mandate in 2019.

While adopting Dr Uduaghan as its preferred choice for the senate seat, one of the groups, the National Association of Itsekiri Graduates (NAIG) had asserted: “Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan with his wealth of experience as the immediate-past governor of Delta State will bring his experience to bear on his job as the senator representing Delta South Senatorial District.

“He is the most respected of all the candidates, he is a planner and strategist, he is development-oriented and that is what Delta South Senatorial District wants; besides that he cares for the downtrodden.”

Ijaw Liberation Movement (ILM) had supported the claim. According to the group, “We followed Dr. Uduaghan’s painstaking effort to develop our area, nay the whole state, while he was governor of Delta State. We are also aware that he stepped down for our son to continue a few years ago, so he is the most suitable person for the job now.”

Dr. Uduaghan is Itsekiri, and for the 2019 elections, that is a plus. Since 1999, no Itsekiri has occupied that position. In the interest of equity and fair play, his ethnic stock places him better in the hearts of the people of the three major ethnic groups making up Delta South which include Ijaw, Itsekiri and Isoko. The last time an Itsekiri man occupied the senate seat was in 1979; that is about 40 years ago. From 1979 till the current dispensation, five senators have represented Delta South Senatorial District. Out of these five, two were from Isoko (Senator Stella Omu and Senator Francis Okpozo of blessed memory) and another two were from the Ijaw tribe (Chief E.K Clark and Senator James Manager, the incumbent). The first and only senator who was from the Itsekiri stock was Chief Franklin O. M  Atake in 1979.

More welcoming is the fact the political groups which pledge support for his electoral bid are spread across the three ethnic groups. Prominent among them are Ijaw Liberation Movement (ILM), Isoko Political Revolutionary Force, (IPRF) and Itsekiri Youths Vanguard.

What’s more the magnanimity displayed by Uduaghan when he withdrew from the race for Senator James Manager to continue in 2015 in order to ensure that peace reigned in the state was applauded by all and sundry who now believe the time has come for him to give a shot at the position with their full backing.

So as Nigerians look forward to the elections coming up in the next few weeks, the Delta South Senatorial District electorates are ready to roll out their drums to welcome the most perfect and fruitful senate representation in Dr. Uduaghan.

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POLITICS

I’ll remove Lekki Toll Gate if elected gov – Agbaje

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The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Lagos State, Mr Jimi Agbaje, has said if voted next year, he will dismantle the Lekki Toll Gate, which he described as illegal.

Agbaje, who said though the toll gate was built by a concessionaire, it had since been bought over by the Lagos State Government, wondered why residents were still being made to pay tolls to pass

The PDP candidate, according to a statement on Sunday, said this in response to the one-hour toll-free passage recently given to all motorists by his All Progressives Congress counterpart, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

Agbaje said, “Unfortunately, the toll gate is opaque because no one knows its financial records. So, asking people on your campaign trail and others to pass without paying for just one hour is absurd and regrettable.

“Good road is a fundamental right of citizens and we promise to deliver on this and many other things.

“At the moment, most Lagos roads are impassable because of their poor condition. Now, motorists are compelled to pay heavily for passage.

“How about the so-called alternative routes? Ideally, government should have provided alternative routes to the Lekki Toll Gate, but the available alternate route is in a terrible shape, so everybody is forced to use the toll gate and pay.

“Therefore, yesterday’s drama by the governorship candidate of the APC is a farce. Nobody was deceived by the party’s action which also smacks of disrespect and bondage.”

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