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Delta South 2019: Youth Group backs Uduaghan for senate

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Uduaghan plans for Delta South in the senate

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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Senate President is from Yobe, Taraba should produce APC National Secretary- Groups declare

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The Coalition of APC Support Groups in the North East has called on the leadership of the All Progressive Congress APC to be fair in its decision on state which will provide the next National Secretary of the party, urging leaders of the party to stop cheating Taraba State.

According to the group, it would be unfair to zone the position of the party’s National Secretary to Yobe State despite the deficit of positions in other APC loyal states from the North-East zone.

The group said with the emergence of Senator Ahmed Lawan from Yobe State as Senate President, Taraba State should be allowed to produce the next National Secretary of the APC.

The Coalition Coordinator Abdulhamid Yazeed in a statement on Wednesday said, “We are appealing to the NWC of APC to rescind it’s decision that Yobe should bring replacement for the former National Secretary, Mai Mala Buni who was elected governor of Yobe State, Senate President Senator Ahmed Lawan should “pacify Borno and Yobe to concede the office of the National Secretary to Taraba state in appreciation of the supports it has gotten from Taraba state.”

The APC group also noted that it is going to be injustice should Yobe state produce the National Secretary after clinching the Senate President zoned to the North East.

“Yobe state has just produce the Senate President with overwhelming supports from all the North Eastern states and Taraba does not have an APC governor at the moment. Taraba do not have any representative in the Buhari government and in the APC leadership despite its support for the party. It is also on record, that President Muhammadu Buhari enjoys an overwhelming followership in Taraba State. Ever since Mr. President joined partisan politics and contested the 2003 presidential election, the Taraba State electorate has massively voted for him in a consistent pattern, up to the 2019 general elections. In the last election we gave the President 48 percent of the total votes cast but Taraba State APC is grossly marginalized even in the party.

“We are worried about the non inclusion of Taraba state in the political arrangement of the APC. Currently, Taraba state does not have any representative in the National Working Committee of the APC as has been the case from the party’s inception, due cognizance should be accorded to Taraba State for office of the national secretary now.
“In particular, we passionately appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Leader of our great party, His Excellency Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Senate President Ahmed Lawan and all other APC top echelon, to kindly consider the candidature of Barrister Mohammed Bello Mustapha from Taraba State on the basis of not only his personality, capabilities and sterling pedigree but fairness and equity our party is known for.”

Furthermore, the group bemoaned what it described as marginalization of Taraba state in terms of federal appointments to reflect federal character as enshrined in the nation’s constitution.

“Even in governance, Taraba state has been grossly marginalized, the state for Nine months does not have a minister in the last Federal Executive Council, the state does not have Chief Executive of any Federal Government agencies since the APC takes over in 2015.” the group added.

“We strongly believe in the capacity and disposition of Mr. President and the APC hierarchy, to uphold the tenets of fairness and equity, therefore we wholly ascribe the unusual exclusion of Taraba State from the constitution of the previous federal administration, as an oversight which should be corrected immediately.”

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Kogi guber 2019: Fresh crisis rocks PDP as Ibrahim Idris imposes son as candidate

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A major crisis is brewing in the Kogi State chapter of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), as concerned members are mobilizing to protest the moves by ex-governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, to impose his son, Abubakar, as the party’s candidate in the state’s governorship election slated for November.

Abubakar Idris, declared his intention to run for the office once occupied by his father  last year but it is the manner in which the party leadership in the state is being forced into adopting the ex-governor’s son that is setting the stage for a major confrontation.

PDP members in the state, still smarting from the mismanagement of the nomination process in the 2019 general elections across the state are raising alarm, warning that any attempt to impose another candidate in the coming governorship election would backfire.

Party stalwarts who spoke with our reporter on condition that they are not named accused the ex-governor of killing the PDP in Kogi State, while in office, pointing out that all the poor foundation he laid contributed to the party’s poor outing in 2015.

Some of them stated that towards the end of his second tenure, Idris popularly called ‘Ibro’ was seen extorting money from those vying to succeed him with a promise of allotting them the governorship slot, adding that he has already started playing the same game now, promising the deputy governor’s slot to those who can pay.

“Ibro as usual, has turned the deputy governorship slot into a money-making machine. The same way he did in 2010 over the governorship slot. Politicians are currently trooping in and out of his Abuja residence in their bid to lobby for the number two post. Ibro on the other hand is said to be smiling to the bank on daily basis as those he has approached for the slot are responding with bank alert,” one party stalwart, said.

The stalwarts revealed that one of the ex-governor’s plan to foist his son on the party is in the exorbitant nomination fee, which they said is already driving many good potential candidates out of the PDP into other parties.

“In the last two weeks, they have asked aspirants to pay the sum of N75 million as nomination form fee without giving any genuine reasons why aspirants are being asked to pay such ridiculous amount,” one aggrieved member told us.

According to them, the strategy is similar to the one used during the NASS/presidential election when high nomination fees were used to push our potentially good candidates in favour of Senator Attai Aidoko was later fielded.

They, however, warned that if Ibro is not checked by the national leadership of the party,  the party will fail woefully in its mandate to produce the next governor of the state, and that the error will also mark the exit of the party from the state polity.

The party stalwarts lamented that fact that a man whose records during his nine years in office can only be described as disastrous, would be allowed to dicate who would be the party’s flagbearer in the upcoming election.

How could Ibro’s son, they queried, with neither the competence, experience, a genuine manifesto, or broad appeal amongst party faithful, be expected to deliver electoral victory in November.

The ex-governor was equally accused of losing touch with reality in Kogi, pointing out that his recent interview, where he said that he had no idea of the prevailing hardship in the state, as evidence that neither he nor his son had anything good to offer.

They queried how any dynasty built by a man who is oblivious of the misery that poor leadership is producing in the state can be good for Kogites, pointing out that it was better for the PDP to realise the error of allowing am like Ibro to select a governorship candidate for the party, in order to save it from obvious defeat in November.

The party men said the way out of the defeat staring PDP in in the face was to allow the party run the selection process according to laid-down rules and regulations, rather than allow an ex-governor, who failed in his time, to impose his son.

Ibro’s tenure, ut was further pointed out, enjoyed one of the economically healthiest moments of the country, with  the price of oil relatively high, internally-generated revenue in the state receiving  as much as 150 per cent boost, but that Kogi under his watch failed miserably to record any meaningful development.

He was also accused of siphoning Kogi’s funds to build businesses for himself, family and cronies, and that his hotels spread across Abuja, Lagos and Dubai are mostly the proceeds from crime committed against the state.

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Gbajabiamila not convicted of any crime, says campaign spokesman

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Femi Gbajabiamila, majority leader of the house of representatives, was never convicted of any crime in the US, his campaign organisation has said.

A court in the federal capital territory (FCT) had asked Gbajabiamila to appear before it on Monday, the eve of the speakership contest, over a suit filed by Action Peoples Party (APP).

The party had asked the court to disqualify Gbajabiamila from the race on the grounds that he was convicted in a $25,000 fraud case.

But addressing a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday, the campaign organisation led by Abdulmumin Jibrin, a lawmaker from Kano, said the speakership aspirant has also not been accused of any corruption in any country.

Jibrin described as “outright lies” claims that Gbajabiamila was once convicted in Georgia, US.

According to the lawmaker, the accusations were meant to distract Gbajabiamila from the race to become speaker of the house of representatives.

“Femi Gbajabiamila has never been convicted for any crime in the US, Nigeria or anywhere,” he said.

“He has never been accused of corruption and has no corruption case. He never committed perjury in Nigeria or any country of the world.

“He has provided clarifications and set records straight. The allegations have been tested and struck out in court. It has been stated that he is a full member of the Bar of Georgia.”

Jibrin also displayed what he said was a letter confirming Gbajabiamila’s membership of the Bar of Georgia as well as the copy of the Nigerian court judgement striking out the case.

“We further wish to state that Femi has not been served any court summons or notified by the clerk of the national assembly. The judiciary must not allow itself to be mixed in this … campaign of calumny,” he said.

The lawmaker added that the campaign organisation has so far secured the support of 60 members of lawmakers who are not in the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He said members of other opposition parties, including the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have also pledged their support for the APC consensus candidate.

He said: “Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and Hon. Ahmed Wase will be on the floor of the house to be elected speaker and deputy speaker respectively.

“We wish to reiterate that Hon. Femi will run an all inclusive house. So far, we have secured the endorsement of parts of the PDP caucus and other opposition parties consisting of about 60 members.

“Hon. Femi has had a distinguished career both in the parliament and beyond. He is a loyal Nigerian and party man. He is honest, hardworking, team player and humble.

“He has worked tirelessly to support his friends but some of them including me let him down in 2015. I have since repented and I am also calling on all others to repent as well.”

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