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Delta South 2019: Youth Group backs Uduaghan for senate

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A formidable group in Delta State known as Inspired Youths is drumming support for ex-governor and Delta South senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan to represent the zone in 2019.

The group which spoke through their leader, Joy Omodafe reiterated that their support for the former governor was not unconnected with his landmark achievements during his tenure in the state as governor.

She disclosed that they were prepared to mobilize thousands of their supporters who are mostly youths and women from across Delta South Senatorial District come 2019 elections especially as it has to do with their representation in the upper chamber of the National Assembly.

Members of the group whose opinions were sampled agreed that they have not been feeling the impact of democratic dividends for a long time, but in 2019, things would be different as they are looking forward to a quality representation with Dr. Uduaghan at the National Assembly.

Between the two heavyweights who are the major contenders: the immediate past governor of the state, who is of the All Progressive Congress (APC), has been posing a problem to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate and incumbent senator representing the district, Senator James Manager as he is generally adjudged to have good ideology and developmental programmes.

Pundits are of the opinion that the former governor is most favoured to represent the people of Delta South who are said to be tired of bad representations by previous representatives.

Their argument is hinged on the fact that those who have been in the National Assembly for the past 19 years have failed to make any meaningful impact on the lives of the people.

The group also disclosed that one of the reasons they are prepared to follow the former governor is that he is synonymous with excellence, “He is not only a hard worker but a master planner whom observers believe stands a better chance with the growing strength and popularity of the APC in the state.

“This political oracle held forte while Chief James Ibori was away and the fortunes of the Peoples’ Democratic Party in the state did not dwindle nor did they lose the state to the opposition.”

Joy Omodafe who is also the managing director of OJ Blizz, a popular event centre in Warri, equally stated that as governor of Delta state, Dr. Uduaghan created a lot of landmark achievements which still stands today in the Big Heart state.

“One, as Delta State governor, he did a lot for the state in health, education, roads, human capital development, job creation and meeting the needs of youths and the aged.

“There is no one who did not benefit from his programmes and this has endeared him to the people. Dr. Uduaghan commands respect amongst all the ethnic groups in the state, so it will be difficult for his opponent to defeat him,” she said.

Also lending their voices in support of Dr. Uduaghan’s senatorial move, some members of the group, whose base spans across the eight local government areas of the senatorial district, said the group has mapped out plans to embark on massive grassroots rally to all the local government areas.

They disclosed that their resolves to campaign for him was based on his antecedents in peace building and achievements in public offices he held in Delta State.

The group cited some of his landmark achievements to include the 7.6km Umeh Road in Isoko, which ended 30 years of abandonment of the agrarian community, the Abigborodo Bridge project in Warri North, Ugbenu Koko Road, the 0-5 years free health care delivery programme across the state and the revolutionary Uduaghan Park, “which brought transportation across Delta State to an easy and comfortable ride with lowest fares”, and these make him eminently qualified to vie for the prominent legislative position in 2019.

The group also noted the construction of “10 International Model Schools” in the three senatorial districts of Delta State, the construction/renovation of hundreds of schools, the introduction of EDUMARSHAL programme to ensure the downtrodden children go to school free of charge as well as the payment of enrollment fees for SSCE candidates as some other reasons that informed their decision to back Dr. Uduaghan’s senatorial ambition. She also noted that the ex-governor’s current empowerment programmes and provision of teaching and learning materials to schools in the rural areas are quite commendable.

They summed up that a man who sacrificed his senatorial ambition for the sake of peace in Delta State, particularly inter-ethnic harmony in Delta South in 2015 should be given all the necessary support to represent Delta South in 2019. They also describe the former secretary to Delta State Government as “an intellectual and bridge builder with the requisite national as well as international connections for the job.

Speaking further on the immediate-past governor, the group expressed appreciation to the former governor for heeding to the cry of the people from the region, which has been neglected and grossly marginalized by the Federal Government due to lack of robust and effective representation at the upper house of the National Assembly.

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A’Ibom 2019: Plot to tag Gov Udom’s aides as cultists thickens

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As the buildup to the 2019 general elections gathers momentum, a thickening plot to implicate the key aides of Akwa Ibom State governor, Dr. Udom Emmanuel with trumped-up accusations of being involved in cult activities has been uncovered.

It is alleged to be spearheaded by a top-ranking former chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who recently cross-carpeted to the All Progressives Congress, APC.

Akwa Ibom State has turned into a theatre of war, no thanks to the activities of key opposition politicians in the state led by a senator who has not hidden his determination to retake control of the political machinery in the state and ensure power swings to his new party at the polls come 2019.

The once peaceful state has been engulfed in an intractable crisis since the defection of the top party man to the extent that the centre can no longer hold. Everything has allegedly been done by the Senator and his cohorts in the last few weeks to make the state ungovernable. It is perceived to be a ploy to humiliate the governor of the state, Udom Emmanuel, who has been locked in a battle for the soul of the state since the beginning of the crisis.

It got to a stage that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, was deployed in the humiliation process. In the process, Gov. Emmanuel was indicted by officers of the anti-graft agency for purportedly withdrawing the sum of N1.7 billion from the state treasury, an accusation which the government has since denied.

The senator representing Uyo Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Senator Bassey Albert Akpan; the Assembly speaker, Hon Onofiok Luke; and Hon Ekong Samson, Commissioner for Economic Development, Labour and Manpower Planning are among Governor Udom’s aides penciled down to be labeled cultists in the latest onslaught. Others include Transition Committee ex-chairman, Hon Victor Umondak as well as Hon Kenneth Okon and Hon Eno-Obong Uwah, the Senior Special Assistant on Local Government and Youth Groups to the governor and Executive Chairman, Uyo Capital City Development Authority, UCCDA, respectively.

More names included in the hit list include that of Barrister Emmanuel Eno-Idem, PDP National Legal Adviser, Barr. Emmanuel Enoidem, Hon Kelly Okon and Dr Charles Mbong, among others.

The strategy is to use the law enforcement officers including the police and DSS to harangue the top aides of the governor.

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Kogi East 2019: Fresh crisis as Kogi Christian elders in Kaduna endorse Attai Aidoko

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Fresh crisis looms in Kogi State as information filtering in from the political circle in the state revealed that the current senator representing Kogi East Senatorial District at the red chamber of the National Assembly, Senator Attai Aidoko has been unanimously endorsed by Kogi Christian Elders Forum in Kaduna State ahead of the 2019 elections.

This is coming after the Elders’ Forum advised all the other candidates including Dr. Victor Adoji and Comrade Amade Edime to step down for Senator Aidoko.

The elders, led by their leader, one Engineer Samuel Salihu took time to understand and leverage the advantages of Aidoko’s ranking in the Senate and the possibility of he becoming the next senate president. They argued that this was not an opportunity the Igala nation should lose or sacrifice for the lower ambitions of the other candidates. Even more, the elders’ group is said to  be very impressed by Senator Aidoko’s achievement for the 16 years he has been at the National Assembly.

This newspaper, however, further gathered that the decision is said not to have gone down well with the Elders Forum in Kogi State as they have rejected the decision of their counterpart in Kaduna State, stressing that they (Kaduna Elders) do not have an idea of what the Christians in Kogi East are going through.

A meeting of all the Christian elders in Kaduna to formally endorse Senator Aidoko has been slated to hold on December 17th in Ankpa. The meeting will be preceded by a prior meeting on Tuesday, December 11th purposely to inform the Kogi East Christian clerics of the decision reached by the group.

Already, there is a reconciliation committee put in place to mitigate the outcome of any likely negatives from this decision.

 

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No cause for alarm, my return in 2019 non-negotiable – Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari has urged his supporters not to panic, saying his return to power in 2019 is non-negotiable. He also described those seeking to unseat him in next year’s general elections as enemies who stole from the nation blindly and should be avoided.

He made the disclosure Monday at the National Consultative Forum of the National Committee of Buhari Support Groups held in Abuja.

Buhari, who was represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, cited infrastructural development, fight against corruption, Treasury Single Account and school feeding programme as some of the achievements that have endeared him to the people.

He wondered why the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which he accused of plundering the nation’s resources, would want to stage a return in 2019, especially after his own government has made the country “the best economy” in Africa.

Prominent guests at the event included the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Lagos State Governor Akinwumi Ambode, and Senators George Akume, Ayogu Eze and Abu Ibrahim.

Tinubu vowed that the APC would beat down the PDP, flaying what he described as political prostitution by PDP’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

He also criticised Senate President Bukola Saraki for allegedly riding on the ruling party’s mandate to give a lifeline to the opposition.

Osinbajo’s campaign train stopped at the Nyanya and Karu areas of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) yesterday for the commencement of a door-to-door campaign.

Security operatives on his entourage had a herculean task controlling the crowd as people struggled to catch a glimpse of the vice president and shake his hands as he moved through the densely populated suburbs.

Osinbajo, at Nyanya, was received at the residence of Alhaji Kabiru Ahmed. Addressing the crowd there, he said: “We are here to greet you and we want to say to you that President Buhari is determined that if you vote for him for this second term, we will all go higher; we will all do better. Our country can feed all of us and we can find work for everybody because we have the money.

“I want you all, everybody who is here, please, make sure that you vote for President Buhari in 2019. As you know, he’s a truthful man; he’s an honest man. Our money will be used for us; it will be used to build our roads. Our money will be used properly. It will not be stolen. So, let us vote for the man who will use our money well.”

He had a similar message for the people at a community square in Karu. He said: “We are going higher, higher; we are going higher and higher, and I am very happy to be here with you. I want you to believe that President Muhammadu Buhari is going to do even better.”

Buhari, who is currently attending the UN Climate Change Conference, COP24, pledged that his government would not rest until the remaining Chibok girls kidnapped by Boko Haram in April 2014 have been released.

He renewed the commitment yesterday in Katowice, Poland, at a bilateral meeting with Swiss President Alain Berset, on the margins of the conference.

The president had spent the entire day at the International Conference Centre, Katowice, where he delivered his national address at the opening of the 12-day meeting, met with several world leaders, and visited the Nigerian pavilion.

During his meeting with the Swiss president, Buhari thanked the Swiss Confederation for its role as intermediaries in efforts to secure the release of some of the abducted. The issue of the remaining girls and other kidnapped persons will remain a “key priority” for the Nigerian government, he said.

Buhari and his Swiss counterpart discussed joint strategies to ensure the safe return of the girls, building on past successes. He also welcomed the Swiss president’s commitment to continue providing humanitarian assistance to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Nigeria.

In separate bilateral meetings with the President of Poland Andrzej Duda and the Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, Buhari commended the country for a successful outing at the opening of the COP24 meeting.

He told his Polish counterpart that Nigeria was facing serious climate change challenges, particularly the receding Lake Chad, which is a source of livelihood to some 40 million people living in the region.

“Nigeria is totally committed to global efforts to mitigate and adapt to effects of climate change,” Buhari told the Polish leader, whose country holds the presidency of COP24.

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