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Senate 2019: Projections favour APC’s Emmanuel Uduaghan in Delta South

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Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the 2019 general elections will kick off with the Presidential and National Assembly elections on Saturday, 16th February 2019. As it stands in Delta South Senatorial District, the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate representing the district, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan is the most favoured to win the seat at the expense of his opponents.

A lot of factors are currently working in his favour, chief among them being the popularity he earned while in the saddle as the governor of Delta State. Emmanuel Uduaghan who is the immediate-past executive governor of the state has so far garnered over 50 endorsements from eminent political groups in and around the senatorial district. This is unprecedented in Delta South and probably one of the biggest electoral boosts for the politician, stemming from his sterling qualities and achievements while in office as the governor. Investigations show that ifone counts every infrastructure dotted all over the state, a greater percentage of them would definitely bear his fingerprint of approval.

The people of Delta South Senatorial District are also disenchanted with Uduaghan’s closest rival who incidentally is the incumbent senator representing the zone.  By May 2019 Senator James Manager would have spent 16 years in the red chamber. Those spoken to said they were tired of his representation, and that they have not absolutely felt much impact of the senator, who would have served out four terms as a senator but is nevertheless vying for the position once again on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Uduaghan’s vision and plans for Delta South which indirectly touch the Niger Delta region seem to have endeared him the more to the electorates. Aside from him, no other aspirant has been able to tell the people their plans, just as he continues to run issue-based campaign, laying out achievable programmes for the people of Delta South. In his words, he is on the race to offer his people quality and effective representation that will put smile on their faces if given the mandate in 2019.

While adopting Dr Uduaghan as its preferred choice for the senate seat, one of the groups, the National Association of Itsekiri Graduates (NAIG) had asserted: “Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan with his wealth of experience as the immediate-past governor of Delta State will bring his experience to bear on his job as the senator representing Delta South Senatorial District.

“He is the most respected of all the candidates, he is a planner and strategist, he is development-oriented and that is what Delta South Senatorial District wants; besides that he cares for the downtrodden.”

Ijaw Liberation Movement (ILM) had supported the claim. According to the group, “We followed Dr. Uduaghan’s painstaking effort to develop our area, nay the whole state, while he was governor of Delta State. We are also aware that he stepped down for our son to continue a few years ago, so he is the most suitable person for the job now.”

Dr. Uduaghan is Itsekiri, and for the 2019 elections, that is a plus. Since 1999, no Itsekiri has occupied that position. In the interest of equity and fair play, his ethnic stock places him better in the hearts of the people of the three major ethnic groups making up Delta South which include Ijaw, Itsekiri and Isoko. The last time an Itsekiri man occupied the senate seat was in 1979; that is about 40 years ago. From 1979 till the current dispensation, five senators have represented Delta South Senatorial District. Out of these five, two were from Isoko (Senator Stella Omu and Senator Francis Okpozo of blessed memory) and another two were from the Ijaw tribe (Chief E.K Clark and Senator James Manager, the incumbent). The first and only senator who was from the Itsekiri stock was Chief Franklin O. M  Atake in 1979.

More welcoming is the fact the political groups which pledge support for his electoral bid are spread across the three ethnic groups. Prominent among them are Ijaw Liberation Movement (ILM), Isoko Political Revolutionary Force, (IPRF) and Itsekiri Youths Vanguard.

What’s more the magnanimity displayed by Uduaghan when he withdrew from the race for Senator James Manager to continue in 2015 in order to ensure that peace reigned in the state was applauded by all and sundry who now believe the time has come for him to give a shot at the position with their full backing.

So as Nigerians look forward to the elections coming up in the next few weeks, the Delta South Senatorial District electorates are ready to roll out their drums to welcome the most perfect and fruitful senate representation in Dr. Uduaghan.

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Expulsion: I’m still Imo APC leader – Okorocha

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Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has said he is still the leader of the All Progressives Congress in the state despite his suspension by the state chapter of the APC.

Okorocha said this on Sunday in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo.

He said his recommended suspension by the Marcelenius Nlemigbo-led executive of the party in the state was not a source of worry to himThe statement said: “Contrary to what has been read in some sections of the media, the Imo State Chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC, never at any time suspended or expelled its leader, Governor Rochas Okorocha from the party and has never contemplated doing that and won’t have any reason to think about that.

“There is also no faction in Imo APC. There is only one APC in the state with Daniel Nwafor as the chairman and Owelle Rochas Okorocha as the leader. Any other group claiming to be a faction of Imo APC must obviously be a gang of 419ers or league of fraudsters who are experts in issuance of dud cheques and collecting billions for jobs not done.

“The only contentious issue in Imo APC is that the national chairman of the party, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole imposed a known PDP member and a known character in the state on the party as its governorship candidate, and by so doing, pushed the party and its members to a very tight corner especially when it comes to the issue of marketing a candidate.

“If Oshiomhole didn’t want the preferred candidate of members of the party in the state, Ugwumba Uche Nwosu for any reason, and if he actually meant well for Imo APC, he would have taken one of the guber aspirants that formed the coalition who are known members of the party, and who is also from Owerri zone since that was the reason some of them in the coalition claimed that made them to leave the government.”

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Letter: Presidency fires back at Obasanjo, says he is a coward

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Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, former Nigerian leader needs a good doctor and in anticipation of a good treatment, a spokesman of President Muhammadu Buhari, wishes he should ”get well soon”.

It was part of the response from the Presidential Villa to Obasanjo following the 16-page letter he wrote to President Muhammadu Buhari and which he released this afternoon in Abeokuta.

Obasanjo, a partisan in next month’s election, is supporting opposition candidate, Atiku Abubakar, who he had savaged in a book and dubbed a ‘corrupt man’ and even invoked God’s wrath upon himself, if he ever backed Atiku’s presidential ambition.

Garba Shehu, the Senior Special assistant to President Buhari regarded Obasanjo’s attack against Buhari as puerile and the “the last push by desperate politicians who can’t handle the President(Buhari) politically and have resorted to subterfuge.

“This language of his 16-page letter, likening President Buhari to General Sani Abacha, a man he dreaded and the one who jailed him under military laws is most unfitting from a former President of Nigeria”, Garba said.

“The claim that President Buhari has put in place rigging machinery is both outlandish and outrageous. We are unable to get the words to describe a 90-year old liar, except to say that by the publication of this tissue of lies against the President, he Obasanjo, not the President will fall from everyone’s esteem.

“As repeatedly said of him, since Chief Obasanjo left office in 1979, he never let every succeeding leader of the country function freely, and this included the one he personally handpicked against all known rules drawn up by the party that put him in the office of the President.

“But Chief Obasanjo is jealous because President Buhari has more esteem than him and the sooner he learns to respect him the better.

“It is a notorious fact that in dealing with any leader that he failed to control, he resorted to these puerile attacks. As the grand patron, more correctly the grandfather of corruption as described by the National Assembly, Chief Obasanjo released today’s letter purely for the reason of rescuing his thriving corruption establishment.

“The elections starting in February will be free and fair as promised the nation and the international community by President Buhari.

“What Chief Obasanjo and his co-travellers in the PDP should expect is that from the outcome, we will teach them a political lesson that they will never forget. This margin will be much bigger than we had in 2015.

“Claims that President Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have embarked on the president’s “self- succession project, by recruiting collation officers who are already awarding results based on their projects to actualise the perpetuation agenda, in which the people will not matter and the votes will not count” is not only utterly false, but a copious note from the book on the failed third term agenda of President Obasanjo.

“The man, President Buhari who has taken Nigeria’s reputation to a higher level internationally and is working hard to improve on the records of elections he found in place cannot descend to the level that Obasanjo has himself sunk.

“As for his attacks of the administration’s records in fighting corruption, what the former President said is no more than evidence that President Buhari’s war against corruption is succeeding. They thought it is all a joke.

“A leader who took USD 16 billion “upfront” to supply electric power yet failed to add a single megawatt to the national grid and to date, there is no trace of the money is jittery that he will be called to account. He is a coward.

“Chief Obasanjo, manifesting a confused state of mind blames President Buhari for the fall of Libya into a failed state and the unholy alliance between the Boko Haram terrorists and the ISIS, while at the same time calling it an African problem, saying “the struggle must be for all West African, Central African, North African and most East African States,” which really does not amount to saying anything new.

“Nigerians looked up to him as a role model and a ray of hope to ethical and clean leadership until President Yar’Adua called him out to explain what happened to the sixteen billion dollars of taxpayer’s money. It is clear that with him sitting on top of the heap of corruption, he is no different from the crowd he leads”.

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Why Buhari did not attend presidential debate – Spokesperson

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The campaign office of President Mohammadu Buhari has explained why the president was absent for the debate slated to hold on Saturday evening.

According to a statement credited to the campaign spokesperson, Festus Keyamo SAN, FCIArb (UK), the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who is also the APC Presidential Candidate in the forthcoming Presidential Election, President Muhammadu Buhari, could not attend the Presidential Debate organised by the Nigeria Election Debate Group and the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria which held today, Saturday, January 19, 2019 for the following reasons:

Firstly, out of several opportunities afforded our candidate to interact with the Nigerian people directly by different organisations, our presidential candidate has taken full advantage of another town-hall meeting organized by another group which held on Wednesday, January 16, 2019. He was also joined at that town-hall meeting by our Vice-Presidential candidate who is also the Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN. Nigerians from all walks of life who were physically present and through on-line platforms asked uncensored questions which were adequately answered. It was also transmitted live by various broadcast networks in Nigeria.

In addition, the busy and hectic official and campaign schedules of Mr. President clashed with this programme. Today, Mr. President commissioned the Baro Inland Water Port in Niger State and campaigned in Niger and Plateau States where his time was over-stretched by the tumultuous and mammoth crowds in both States, (as seen by Nigerians on live television) and only returned to Abuja late this evening.

Whilst we thank the organisers for the invitation, we want to assure Nigerians that we shall continue to hold these debate groups and Nigerians in high esteem which our candidate has demonstrated during past election debates when he honoured similar invitations. Nigerians will also recall that a few weeks ago, our Vice-Presidential candidate, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, also attended the debate organized by the same organisations.

Lastly, we note the statement of the candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who actually came for the event and left the venue when he did not see Mr. President, who is our candidate. According to him, he would not want to “attack” Mr. President in his absence.

It should now be obvious to Nigerians that for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and the PDP, this election is all about attacking the person and programmes of Mr. President and not about proffering their own solutions to the problems they created during their sixteen years of misrule, maladministration and looting of the nation’s resources. When they cannot see President Buhari to attack, the content of their campaign becomes hollow, empty and “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”. Now that Atiku Abubakar had a unique opportunity to explain to Nigerians his own vision and mission without a President Buhari in the picture, he ran away. Afterall, he has his own eight years of crass and grand corruption as Vice President to defend before the Nigerian people.

On February 16, 2019 we urge Nigerians to demonstrate to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and the PDP, through their votes, how empty indeed their campaign has always been and to vote massively for President Muhammadu Buhari and Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN who have started the rebuilding process of our great nation.

Thank you.

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