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Delta APC crisis: Emerhor withdraws case against Omo-Agege, Ogboru faction

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The protracted division bedeviling the Delta state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was on Monday laid to rest with the leader of one of the two factions, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor, calling the truce.

Delta APC got enmeshed in 2018 when the National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, on assumption of office sacked the Olorogun Cyril Ogodo-led state executive counci, inaugurated by former National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and replaced it with Prophet Jones Erue-led executive council.

The Ogodo-led faction, which is represented by the Mainstream Delta APC group under the leadership of the 2015 governorship candidate of the party, Olorogun Emerhor, had gone to court to reclaim its mandate, winning its first outing at the Federal High Court in Asaba and had proceeded to the Supreme Court in pursuit of favourable judgement.

However, in a statement on Monday, July 15, Emerhor, said his faction, considering the high stakes that had risen with recent developments, especially the election of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege as Deputy Senate President had chosen to withdraw from pursuing the case.

“During the pendency of our Supreme Court appeal, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, the main impacted person, should our appeal succeed at the Supreme Court, was sponsored by our National APC and Federal government and was elected the Deputy Senate President (DSP) of the Nigerian Senate. Since this event a lot has happened.”

“Your leadership has come under intense pressure to terminate the appeal at the Supreme Court in order not to jeopardize the standing of the DSP at the Nigerian senate. This pressure has come from elders, leaders and Clergymen of Urhobo nation, from well wishers and family members of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, from APC party leaders of the South South, and indeed, from the Presidency.

“Recently, on Tuesday, July 11th 2019, myself and Chief Cyril Ogodo had audience with the Vice President of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osibanjo on the matter to chart a way forward.

“Upon the election of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege as the DSP, and with the reach out from the various interested persons mentioned above, your leadership has indeed agreed, in its usual reconciliatory manner, to seize the opportunity to again push for a party reconciliation and unification deal that can produce a win win situation for Delta APC and properly position it.

“Our earlier terms for Party exco harmonization and sharing of Federal appointments to all groups in Delta APC were once again put on the table as the panacea for bringing lasting peace to APC Delta State. Unfortunately, even with the best efforts of those who intervened to seize this moment as a last minute effort to bring peace to reign, again no traction was achieved.

“At the same time, our case in the Supreme Court suffered a set back. As against securing an accelerate hearing consequent on it being a pre-election matter, the suit is currently adjourned to October 14, 2019. It has been in our contemplation for the case to come to a closure in July 2019 and allow peace and unification come to Delta APC at last.

“Under the above circumstances and in full recognition of the pressures that have been brought to bear and also in appreciation of the legal arguments as to whether we could still achieve the objectives of the suit when it comes up in October or not, your leadership has decided and indeed unconditionally agreed to withdraw our appeal from the Supreme Court by filing a notice of discontinuance today Monday July 15th, 2019.

“Your leadership believes this is for the best. We have fought a good fight and even good fights must come to an end! We don’t need to fight on till October and beyond! We don’t need to force others to the table anymore and or forever.

“I, therefore, on behalf of the Mainstream of APC in Delta proclaim an end on our part in the factional fight for the control of APC in Delta State. We also seize the opportunity to recognize Senator Ovie Omo-Agege as our Senator and congratulate him for his election as DSP of the Nigerian senate. We in the same breath, recognize and congratulate other elected legislators of APC in Delta State.

“We do this with zero expectations from those who are now the ‘victors’. We will, however, be wildly surprised if they seize the moment and strive for the unification of the party in the interest of a stronger Delta APC.

“I also wish to seize the opportunity to thank all members of the Mainstream of Delta APC, and the Ogodo led Exco in Delta State for your unalloyed loyalty, support and resilience in the face of daunting challenges throughout the period of our contending for a winning APC in Delta State. As I said earlier, even a good fight must end one way or the other. I thank you all,” Emerhor said.

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POLITICS

Oshiomhole to Obaseki: Face governance, stop blackmailing me

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THE battle rages on between All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole and Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki.

Oshiomhole on Tuesday urged Obaseki to focus on delivery of good governance to the people rather than blackmailing his personality.

But the governor insisted that the party chairman should call his men to order and insisted that the party’s structure in the state is in his hands and that his second term is guaranteed.

Oshiomhole gave the advice in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Simon Ebegbulem, in Abuja on Tuesday.

The National Chairman of the ruling party insisted that there was a siege to his residence in Benin on October 12, but Obaseki, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, said Oshiomhole was never attacked in the state.

“We have no knowledge of alleged attack on the residence of the APC National Chairman based on a report we received from the State Commissioner of Police, DanMallam Muhammed,” Obaseki said.

He said the former governor did not inform his office, Commissioner of Police or State Director of the Department of State Service (DSS) for security while on visit to the state.

According to him, if our party’s national chairman informed the authorities while visiting the state, there would be less acrimony.

He urged Oshiomhole, government functionaries and political office holders to observe protocols while visiting the state.

Oshiomhole said: “We have it on good authority that the governor (Obaseki) intends to create disaffection and crisis in the state, APC and probably dump the party for another party.

“That is why; he has embarked on this brigandage which Edo people will resist. So, he should stop blackmailing me and face governance which is why Edo people voted him into power.

“We are even more scared now that the governor is making every effort to coerce me into giving him details of my movement in Edo State. Who knows what he is plotting again. But every evil plot against me will fail.”

He alleged that last Saturday’s siege to his residence was a good example.

“Before that incident, state government-sponsored thugs have been harassing, intimidating APC members across the 18 local government areas of the state because APC leaders refused to adopt his second term aspiration.

“People are being sacked from their jobs everyday in the state,” he said.

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Nigeria is in wrong hands, says PDP

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday said President Muhammadu Buhari’s Independence Day broadcast further confirmed that the country is in the wrong hands.

It accused the President of failing to “forcefully” address the key issues of freedom, social justice, constitutional order, separation of powers, rule of law, human rights, credible elections, national cohesion, accountability and transparency in government.

PDP spokesman Kola Ologbondiyan said Buhari ignored the  fundamentals of an independent state because his administration violated them all.

PDP said: “He had no clear-cut and operable blueprint to revamp our economy, which his administration wrecked in a period of four years, resulting in so much hardship and despondency that Nigerians now resort to suicide and slavery abroad as options.

“Our party notes that this address further exposes the fact that the Buhari Presidency is not interested in nation building; that it is completely disconnected from the people and remains insensitive to the plights of Nigerians.”

According to the PDP, under the Buhari Presidency, the nation has experienced the worst form of division, deprivation, human right abuse and constitutional violations.

PDP said: “The administration has remained lacking in the required capacity and boldness to forcefully engage other world leaders on critical issues.

“The dearth in foreign direct investments and the inhuman treatments being meted out on our citizens in countries where we were once held in very high esteem, are some of the injuries our nation is suffering under the Buhari administration.”

The party said while other leaders motivate their citizens on Independence Day, President Buhari presented uninspiring claims, propaganda and empty promises, describing the development as “depressing”.

The PDP, however, urged Nigerians not to despair but keep hope alive.

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Tribunal reaffirms Sanwo-Olu as Lagos governor

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The Lagos State Gubernatorial Election Petition Tribunal on Monday reaffirmed the victory of Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu as the Governor of Lagos State in the last March 9 poll.

The three-man tribunal led by Justice T. T Asua, in a unanimous decision, dismissed the petition filed by the Labour Party (LP) and its candidate, Chief Ifagbemi Awamaridi, declaring that the petition failed.

It held that its earlier decision to dismiss the petition, which was later appealed by the petitioners, was still valid because the petition was not filed according to the electoral laws.

The tribunal further described the petition as a “futile and wasteful exercise.”

It noted that the petitioners could not prove their allegations of mental incompetence against Sanwo-Olu in their evidence placed before the tribunal.

The panel also held that the petitioners failed to prove their allegations of election malpractices against Sanwo-Olu and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Asua said: “The Petitioners have failed to meet the requirement of the law. The Petitioners have failed in our humble view to discharge the onus of proof which would have been placed on the Respondents.

“We confirm the return of Babajide Sanwo-Olu as the duly elected Governor of the State.”

Lagos State All Progressives Congress (APC) on Monday described the victory of Governor Babajide Sanwoolu at the Elections Petitions Tribunal as a re- affirmation of the people’s mandate.

The party said in a statement by its Assistant Publicity, Abiodun Salami, that the victory was a validation of the trust of Lagosians in the governor’s capacity.

The Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Lagos had on Monday dismissed the petitions filed by the Labour Party and reaffirmed the victory of Sanwoolu as the duly-elected governor in the March polls.

The Tribunal described the LP’s petition as a “futile and wasteful exercise,’ ‘noting that the petitioner could not prove their allegations of mental incompetence against Sanwo-Olu.

Justice T.T Asua, while delivering the judgement, said the petitioners (LP and Ifagbemi Awamaridi) also failed to prove the allegations of electoral malpractices against Sanwoolu and his party, APC.

Salami said the victory was a validation of the support the people have for Sanwoolu and proof that the petition was all along ‘’a wild goose chase.’’

The Lagos governor’s spokesman, Abiodun Salami, congratulated Lagosians on the victory as it was not only victory for the governor but also for the people and good governance.

He said: ‘’We are happy at the victory; it is a reaffirmation that the governor got the mandate and support of the people in the March election.

‘’We congratulate the governor and the good people of Lagos on the judicial vindication of this electoral victory. This verdict is not only a victory for democracy; it is a victory for good governance and a more prosperous Lagos.”

Salami assured residents that the verdict would further inspire the Sanwoolu administration to render impactful governance in the state.

He said the governor was justifying the confidence reposed in him with his many achievements since he was sworn in over 100 days ago.

The APC spokesman listed the achievements to include fixing of potholes across the state to tackle the nagging problem of gridlock.

Salami said the efficiency of the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) had improved as a result of increase in their allowances by Sanwoolu .

He added that the Sanwoolu administration had commenced work on the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, a project which had suffered delays before now, noting that the sufferings on the road were being alleviated.

He said the Sanwoolu administration had achieved great results in addressing the gridlock in Apapa.

Salami urged residents to keep faith with the present administration to deliver more dividends of democracy.

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