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Kogi East Senate: APC, Echocho enlist thugs to harass electorates during election

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Fresh information at our disposals has revealed that the Kogi State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its senatorial candidate for Kogi East district in the 2019 general elections, Alh. Jibrin Isah Echocho have enlisted thugs to disrupt the forthcoming senatorial election in the zone, this newspaper gathered.

According to sources, the APC has perfected a grand plan to engage the services of thugs to harass electorates that are not committed to the party thereby forcing its candidate on the people.

We were further informed that the APC and Echocho planned to cause commotion if things don’t go their way.

Sources further disclosed that the party has enmarked over N100 million to implement the plans.

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POLITICS

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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