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Ganduje makes U-turn, releases stadium for Atiku’s campaign

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The Kano State Government said yesterday that former vice president and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, is free to use the Sani Abacha Stadium for his presidential campaign in the state.

The PDP presidential candidate is scheduled to be in Kano on Feb. 10 for his political rally, but the state government ordered  the closure of the venue of the rally, saying the facility would be renovated.

The development had generated criticism in many quarters, with some PDP sympathizers saying the whole idea was to deny the PDP presidential candidate access to the facility.

However, the Commissioner of Information, Malam Mu-hammad Garba said yesterday that Gov. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje had ordered the contractor handling the renovation works at the stadium to immediately demobilize to pave way for Atiku’s campaign to hold.

Garba, however, indicated that the directive does not affect ongoing overhaul of the indoor sports complex.

“The contractor has been directed to remove all machineries from the precinct of the stadium till after the campaign rally, while the state darling team, Kano Pillars has been directed to use the Pillars Stadium, Sabon Gari for its training sessions,” he said.

Garba said prior to the closure of the stadium, the PDP had slated February 2 for the rally, which informed government decision to mobilize the contractor only for the party to fix another date when the contractor had already moved to site.

“As a democrat who believes in freedom of association, the governor did not ordered the closure of the stadium to frustrate the campaign rally of the PDP. The stadium only closed for the intended renovation works,’’ he 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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