The Director General of Voice of Nigeria, Mr. Osita Okechukwu says that he has not gotten a letter of suspension from his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC.
He said this in a Press statement in response to the APC statement stating that he and some governors were involved in anti-party activities and therefore suspended from the party.
Mr Okechukwu explained that he had worked diligently for the APC campaigning the length and breath of the Southeast for the success of the party.
“One has not gotten a letter of suspension from my great party. If actually a press statement was issued, it may not be unconnected with those who want to sideline their enemies in this season of contestation. Remember that Femi Adesina, spokesman for Mr President had opened window for gruesome struggle.
“Otherwise, one had taken time and resources to campaign vigorously for my great party and even set up the Zikist-Buharist-Movement (ZBM), an offshoot of Buhari Support Organisation (BSO) of which am a foundation member.
“It is on record that with ZBM, we toured the nooks and crannies of Enugu and indeed the South East, canvassing for votes for our great party.
“Am also instrumental to the most consistent advert placed in several media in the South East, on behalf of our great party. “Accordingly, one should not be blamed for the triumph of Bigotry in Enugu State and South East in general.
“Our Comrade Chairman should not blame me for hoisting some unpopular National Assembly candidates for the APC in our zone. For am at loss how one contributed to the failure of his darling candidate, Mrs Juliet Ibekaku Nwagu in Egede, her home town and Udi local government her primary local council in the five that make up the senatorial district,” he said.
He added that he would give a detailed response when if he is served a letter of suspension.
Igbo yet to learn Nigeria’s political arithmetic – Sen. Okadigbo
Senator Margery Okadigbo was the Anambra North Senatorial candidate in the last election. In this interview by IHEANACHO NWOSU, Okadigbo who is a member of the presidential inauguration committee spoke on a wide range of issues commanding attention in the polity. She insisted that her late husband would have been a member of the APC if he were alive even as she argued that the incumbent administration is delivering on its promises.
How has life been after leaving the Senate?
It has been a bit traumatic. Traumatic in the sense that soon after leaving the Senate, my child was sick which took me out of the country for almost three years. And eventually, my son passed on. That is what has happened to me after the Senate. We went through all of that and we are still grappling with the pain . But to everything, we give God the glory. Back to politics, I joined the All Progressives Congress (APC), and on which I contested for the Senate for Anambra North Senatorial district. But I think the party in Anambra State was in a total confusion and it did not go so well. There was so much in-fighting; members were all against one another. Everybody came up with different issues. Even when we had good chances, there were litigations everywhere. So, it was a house of confusion in the State.
Some people were surprised that you left Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and joined APC when your former party and All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) are considered to be more on ground in Anambra than the party you switched to. What informed your decision?
At the point I moved to the APC, it was a personal decision to leave the PDP. Running on the platform of the APC was circumstantial. PDP was not so much on ground when I left the party. I think the turning point for PDP was having Peter Obi as their Vice Presidential candidate. APGA itself was in tatters; its primaries were rancorous. And members of the party had issue with the late Ikemba’s wife (Bianca Ojukwu) and lots of other issues that happened. It wasn’t just APGA in Anambra State; APGA all over the Southeast was in tatters, in total confusion too. So, I think that the PDP coming up with Peter Obi as vice presidential candidate was what nailed it for a lot of people. I think that was a turning point for PDP in Anambra State.
Did you move to APC because of the relationship that exists between Mr President and your family?
As I said, for me, it was a personal decision. At the time I joined politics and the circumstance under which I joined politics, if I must say, politically, I do not have a godfather. What I have is God in heaven. So, I did not wake up one day and say I am going to be a politician. Some people probably did that. I did not do that. When I decided to leave the PDP, there were certain happenings in the party in Anambra State that I did not like. I was really fed up with PDP. When we ran the 2017 elections with the candidacy of Oseloka Obaze, most of the aspirants that ran with him all indulged in anti-party activities which was not favourable to him. I stayed with him to the very last. So, in principle, I felt that I needed to finish that fight which I did, and by the time I was done with that election, I knew I was done with PDP as a party.
Looking at your political journey so far, what would you say has been the political cost of not having your husband, Dr Okadigbo around? Have you lost anything as a result of his absence?
Let’s just say that if he was around, I don’t think that question would come up. I guess that question came up because he is not around. To be fair to myself and my God, I can not say I have lost anything all round politically. When I went to the Senate, I always tell people that if Dr Okadigbo woke up and you told him that I went to the senate he will tell you to leave him to continue his sleep because he would never have believed it. That is why I say that politically, I am a child of circumstance. I never had any godfather, and I did not wake up and say to myself that today I am going to be a politician. Although I have always been in a political home; my paternal uncle, the late Nwafor Orizu, my grandmother’s younger brother, my grandmother is an Orizu. So, I have always been in a political family. Then I married into politics. When I look at it at the end of the day, when it comes to representing Anambra North, I am richly qualified. I was born in Anambra North and I married from Anambra North. I think everything depends on time and circumstance and when that time and circumstance are right, things will fall into place. So, it is hard for me to write it off and say I lost or I am losing politically.
Your late husband ran with Buhari on the same ticket for the presidential election and he did not win. Afterwards, there was a protest where teargas was fired at him alongside others which led to his death . What has been the relationship between your family and the President? Are there things you expect from him and the ruling party?
I really do not think this is a fair question to ask. The reason is that President Buhari has been in power since 2015. In 2015, as I said, I was not around. I had issues that led to the loss of my son. So for me as a parent and as a single parent at that time, that was my priority. Four years later, there is a new situation. The government is back in power. At this point, I ran an election on that platform. It is a family I know. In all these years, I have been in touch with them. I have had a relationship with them. Even when I lost my son in Ogbunike, the First Lady sent a delegation to Ogbunike because this was happening at a time when she also had her son involved in an accident. So, there were two mothers in situations involving their children. She sent people to represent her at the funeral. In the past, they have lost children and I have been there. They have had weddings, I have been there. So, I have a good relationship with them and I do not want my relationship with them to be seen just as a political relationship. What I had with them goes beyond politics. We have become family friends; a friendship that started with my late husband and all these years, we have had that relationship maintained.
Are you saying it is unfair to expect anything from that relationship?
It is normal, but it is not something that I would say there is an expectation. I think it behooves on him to say that Chuba’s widow is here and this is what I think we ought to do for that family. So, it should rather be on him.
Would Chuba have joined APC if he were alive, given also the perception of the party as one that has not lived up to expectation?
It depends on what you mean by living up to expectation. If my late husband was alive, he would have been in APC, that is what I can tell you from what I know of him. If I recall, he said that he may not be here, but Muhammadu Buhari will forge ahead. So, I have no doubt that Chuba would have been a member of APC. It is also possible that what you call the expectation, he would have added value to whatever that is. But for everybody, you bring value to anything. He may have had a different approach to it because no matter what anybody says, my husband was a politician; he learnt it, he taught it, he practiced it. There is no two ways about it. The man was a tactician. So, maybe, he would have been able to offer something. Even at a young age of thirty-something, when he was political adviser to Shehu Shagari, he had a lot to offer. So, I do not doubt for one moment that Chuba would have been APC.
Are you okay with the trajectory that Nigeria is moving at the moment?
I don’t understand what you mean. What is the state of the country?
You are well placed to know…
No, I’m not.
There is so much poverty in the land, unemployment, insecurity and the cost of living is very high. People are complaining. What is your take?
People will complain. I complain too. I do know that if I go back to 2015 and use that as a benchmark, I know that 2003 and 2010 and 2015, they have all been different progressions. It has not been static. So, I would expect that 2015, to 2019, there would equally be progressions.
Do you mean progression in poverty because we have a situation where the World Bank has come out to say that Nigeria is now the poorest country?
I was in the Senate and I know there were times when we asked Okonjo Iweala the question to tell us how broke we are, as a PDP government. That question was always there.
What you are saying in essence is that Nigeria has always been broke?
Nigeria has always been broke, if that is the word you want me to use. Nigeria has always had its challenges .
But this government was elected to change the narrative
Maybe the government did not understand the situation, the depth of the problem
What do you think is making it difficult for the government to address the situation?
If at the end of the day, you expect that you will see N10 and you come in and you see N2, you are going to do quite a lot of wobbling to be able to balance out.
For how long would they continue to wobble?
It depends on how much time you have to wobble. It depends on how many other things you uncover. You may think it is two, but you might find out that it is not even two; you are talking about one or zero.
So, are you saying that there is nothing strange that government has not been able to fix the poor economy?
As I said, go back to 2003 and bring it back to 2019 or even 2018, over these years, we have not remained the same.
To you, once in a while you may sit down and say if the government then had not been cruel to Chuba Okadigbo, putting him in a very serious health condition, he would still have been alive. Do you always have that feeling?
Maybe it is the Christian faith in me that is guiding me. I believe that for everybody, there is a time and there is a season. If it was not God’s will Chuba would not have died. If the health system in Nigeria then had been good, I had no business taking him in a car to the hospital. It would have been a 911 call or whatever number and paramedics would have been here in this house to give him first aid because what he needed first was oxygen. That was not to be. If we had paramedics in the house, I had no business putting him in a car to drive him to the hospital. Oxygen would have been given to him. But that was not the case.
How do you feel that those responsible for his ordeal were the same he was in the same party with?
The party hounded him from the very day one. When we begin to talk about anti-party, it started with Chuba Okadigbo. Remember that the PDP as Senators-elect, they had all decided that they wanted Okadigbo as the Senate President. But some people decided that Okadigbo as Senate President was not what they wanted, and on the floor of the Senate, there was anti-party. The PDP as a party hired AD and APP at the time and voted against their own candidate. That was anti-party and somebody started it then. It did not start today. My husband was the first one. You can even add that when it came to inducements, we know when it started. So, some of these issues that we are talking about today, they have been in existence a long time ago. I remember there was a time that there was a display of money in the House of Representatives; it started then. Then Ghali Na’Abbah was the Speaker of the House.
The same situation is playing out now in the National Assembly; they are trying to choose a Senate President and a Speaker. If you look at the situation, how will you describe what is going on. Where do you think it is going to end?
In the case of the Senate, if the Senators-elect believe in the supremacy of the party they belong to, they should know that their first responsibility is to defend their party. And in defence of their party, they have to first understand that the APC is in the majority. I am not talking about any influence on the outside. I am talking about them as the Senators-elect. They should understand and I am sure they do know that they are in the majority. So, if they are in the majority, they should stay together as the party in majority and vote the person who will be their Senate President. They do not need to solicit the participation of other party.
What do you think made the then President and the ruling party to oppose your husband becoming the Senate President?
The leadership of PDP did not say no. The leadership of PDP had a shadow election in Agura Hotel, and my husband won.
But the president wanted a different candidate
That is why the President went and solicited support from the other party, because PDP was in majority and the majority of PDP Senators wanted him. The PDP at the time was a united party. They knew what they wanted.
Juxtapose that with the current situation where APC is insisting on a particular candidate , do you think it is the right approach or the lawmakers should be free to choose who leads them?
I just said that the first thing Senators-elect should do is to respect the decision of the platform upon which they came to the chamber. You know there has not been any sanction for all these cross carpeting and what have you. Until we get sanctions, party discipline will never be in place. I just said that the APC, being the majority should understand that they are the majority, and they should work on the basis of party supremacy. And if out of the 109 Senators, the APC which has 64 decides amongst themselves to elect a member they will have the majority. They do not need to go looking for other parties to support them. They can still choose who they want by staying together.
The party has indicated interest in one candidate and there are two others who are keenly interested – Ndume and Goje. Do you think it is fair for the party to insist on one person?
I am not even sure the insistence will work. They are not dealing with children. I am saying that the APC Senators-elect are in the majority. The 64 of them should have their shadow election. They should be mature about this thing. If they have three people that want to be Senate President, the 64 of them should have their shadow election and decide on whom it will be and whoever it is that they decide, they should take it to the floor. At that point, they are the majority because they are coming with one voice.
From your own experience, would you say the outgoing Senate was a failure?
I wouldn’t say it was a failure, but I can say that there was a lot of disconnect.
Who should take the blame for the disconnect – Executive or National Assembly?
The blame cannot go to the executive. The blame will go to the Senate. The executive does not leave their office to come to work in the Senate. If your house is not in order, you cannot blame somebody else for it and if your house is not in order, somebody from the outside can take advantage of it. Your house has to be in order.
We have a situation where the fortunes of women in politics keep declining. In fact, in the last election, less women were elected. How do you feel about this?
It is dwindling because the men do not want the women.
There have always been complaints of marginalization in the Southeast under this dispensation since 2015. Do you see the Southeast as truly being marginalized?
I want talk about a simple thing like the Zik mausoleum. That mausoleum has been hanging for so many years. It took Buhari’s government to finish it. The second Niger bridge, I was sitting as a Senator for Anambra North when we went for the ground breaking of the bridge in the year 2013 or 2014. But before Jonathan, there had been talks about second Niger bridge. But today, I can tell you that second Niger bridge is happening. Talking about roads, there are roads now being done. Remember in the Senate on one of those occasions when we had the debate, I said that the second Niger bridge in particular was a campaign slogan for most politicians in the Southeast.
Every politician that came told us about second Niger bridge and nothing was done. Again, I am from the Southeast, Anambra in particular. In 2003, at the Eagle Square, my husband made a very famous or notable speech when he talked about political arithmetic. The Southeast has not learnt that political arithmetic. We are yet to learn it. I stand exactly where Dr Okadigbo stood in 2003, that one plus one does not necessarily give you two; that one plus one can give you zero. But that you can play one plus one and it will give you five. We are yet to understand that political arithmetic and we get it wrong all the time. Until we learn to do it, just like he said years ago, we will never get it right in the Southeast.
If APC has done all these for the Southeast, why has it been difficult for the Southeast to accept the party?
It is not a matter of Southeast not accepting APC. You can also ask why is it that the Southeast, particularly Anambra, is an APGA and not PDP when PDP was in power. Why did they not take PDP but APGA?
The argument was that APGA performed better than the PDP
Why did Peter Obi leave APGA to join PDP?
May be because he wanted to play at the centre
Maybe the Southeast prefers to play at the local.
In terms of federal appointments, it’s heavily swayed towards the North in this administration. The Southeast does not hold any position, particularly in the area of security. Do you feel comfortable about that?
I am not into security, so, I am not in a position to say. But then, if I put it down to the most pedantic and say that over the years in the Southeast, we have maintained that position of having our people in the military, because you find out that at a time where a lot of people from the Southeast were interested in business and manufacturing. I do not like to talk about statistics when I do not have the figures because you would be quoting out of point.
But do you think that they are not in short supply in these security agencies?
I don’t know.
What is your next move, having contested for the Senate and it didn’t work the way you wanted it?
Definitely not governorship, if that is what you want to ask me. I am not interested in being a governor. I am not a local operator because I cannot survive there. But government is unfolding and I am available. I am ready to serve in any capacity that I find myself. Right now, I am in the service of the presidential committee, preparing for the inauguration. So, I do not know where it will head or where it will end up. But wherever it is, I am ready.
Oshiomhole Insists No Power Sharing In 9th National Assembly
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, (APC), Adams Oshiomhole says the party is determined not to repeat the mistakes of 2015 in selecting the leadership of the 9th National Assembly.
Speaking with State House Correspondents at a dinner with APC House of Representatives members-elect hosted by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock Villa on Tuesday, Oshiomhole insisted that the APC will not go into coalition with the opposition PDP because his party enjoys the majority.
He noted that Nigerians elected 223 APC House of Reps members out of 306 because they do not want president Buhari to go through the trauma of 2015.
Oshiomhole described the present leadership of the National Assembly as hostile adding that it created tension in the system, delayed budget needlessly and created obstacles to frustrate the government.
The APC National Chairman explained that with discussions with the house of reps members-elect, it is evident that they are seasoned lawmakers who have pledged to work with President Muhammadu Buhari for him to leave a landmark foundation for a new Nigeria.
He expressed optimism that the new house of reps members-elect will not fail Nigerians.
Oshiomhole berated Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, describing them as selfish and greedy.
INEC server: Atiku calls Microsoft, IBM, Oracle to testify
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, is insistent that the Independent National Electoral Commission stored election results in a server and has said he will call Microsoft, IBM and Oracle experts to testify that he defeated President Muhammadu Buhari by over 1.6 million votes.
Atiku gave the server name as INEC_PRES_RSLT_SRV2019 and its unique Mac address as 94-57-A5-DC-64-B9 with Microsoft Product ID 00252-70000-0000-AA535, in his fresh response to the reply of INEC to his petition.
The Punch reported that Atiku and the PDP will also be expected to tender INEC’s training manual on elections, a printout of the votes of candidates from smart card readers and a printout of the forensic audit report on INEC’s server as evidence.
The former Vice-President and the PDP claimed to have polled a total of 18,356,732 votes to defeat President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress who he said scored 16,741,430 votes.
However, INEC’s Director, Information and Communications Technology, Mr Chidi Nwafor, in his witness statement on oath attached to the reply, specifically denied the “server results” which the PDP and Atiku claimed.
He said all the results were collated manually and were never transmitted electronically.
Atiku, in his fresh response, said the figures he claimed to have scored were genuine.
The reply read in part, “The servers from which the said figures were derived belong to the 1st respondent (INEC). The figures and votes were transmitted to the 1st respondent’s Presidential result’s server 1 and thereafter aggregated in INEC_PRES_RSLT_SRV2019 whose physical address or unique Mac address as 94-57-A5-DC-64-B9 with Microsoft Product ID 00252-70000-0000-AA535. The descriptions are unique to the 1st respondent’s server.”
GOVERNOR OBIANO AND THE CHALLENGE OF EXPANDING APGA IN NIGERIA
By Hon. Egbuna Amuta
The All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA was formed in 2002, largely by Igbo intelligentsia and patriots from other parts of Nigerian. The party was also registered that year, by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. Its formation became imperative following the obvious sidelining of Ndigbo, by the first three registered political parties in this Fourth Republic. The parties were; Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, All Peoples Party, APP and Alliance for Democracy, AD. The PDP was controlled by retired army generals and the moribund Peoples Democratic Movement, PDM, led by Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. PDM was also founded by a retired army general, late Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, the elder brother of late Umaru Yar’Adua, who in 2007, succeeded retired Genera Olusegun Obasanjo as Nigeria’s president. Late Shehu Yar’Adua was Obasanjo’s second in command when the latter was the country’s military Head of State between 1976 and 1979. The defunct APP was dominated by the Hausa/Fulani oligarchy while AD belonged almost exclusively to the Yorubas of Southwest Nigeria.
The undermining of the people of the Southeast from the beginning of the present Republic, was in spite of the invaluable efforts of a former Vice President of Nigeria, late Dr. Alex Ekwueme in the establishment of the PDP. At the risk of his life Ekwueme, in 1998, led a group of Nigerian patriots known as G-34 to fearlessly demand that a former Nigerian maximum ruler, late General Sani Abacha, should return the country to genuine democratic governance. Notwithstanding his inestimable contributions to the PDP, an unconscionable gang up by a cabal denied Dr. Ekwueme, the presidential ticket of the party in its 1999 Convention at Jos, Plateau. Another Igbo man and the present Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, won the presidential ticket of the APP at its Convention in Kaduna. He was also shortchanged in an intrigue which surprisingly threw up Chief Olu Falae of the AD, as the presidential standard bearer of a contraption known as the APP/AD Alliance.
After the 1999 general elections which was won by the PDP, the party zoned the office of the Senate President to Ndigbo of the Southeast. Sadly, President Obasanjo manipulated the process to ensure that the office was unstable and weak. At the end of the day, each of the five States in the Southeast tempestuously produced a Senate President in the eight years of Obasanjo’s reign as a civilian president.
As a matter of fact, it was the undisguised marginalisation and meddlesomeness in the political affairs of Ndigbo that prompted the formation of the All Progressives Grand Alliance. Ironically, late Dr. Chuba Okadigbo, a one time Senate President and member of the PDP encouraged Chief Chekwas Okorie and other members of the Igbo intelligentsia to establish and register the party in 2002. The formation of APGA, was in line with the philosophy of Nigeria’s first President, late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, who despite his nationalist disposition never allowed the Igbo nation to carelessly land themselves in political limbo in Nigeria.
Due to his dislike for the way the Igbos were maltreated by the powers that be in the country, late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, dumped the defunct APP and joined APGA, which made him its presidential candidate in the 2003 general elections. For his track record as one of the foremost champions of the principles of justice, equity and fairness in Nigeria, Dim Ojukwu was massively supported by Ndigbo and other progressive minded groups in the country. They regarded him as a square peg in a square hole. It was also for this reason that vast majority of the electorate in the Southeast states, except Ebonyi, voted overwhelmingly for the party in the 2003, general polls. But alas, their mandates were unscrupulously stolen by the party and government at the centre. The powers that be perpetrated that hideous act to ensure that Igbos would not be united and speak with one voice again in Nigeria. For them, it meant another defeat of the defunct Biafra by other means simply because Dim Ojukwu was involved.
However, by God’s grace APGA was able to reclaim its governorship mandate in Anambra state in 2006, after almost three years of rigorous legal battles. While it consolidated its hold on Anambra, internal crises conspired with other factors to stultify the growth and expansion of APGA. Despite the party’s victory in Imo state in the 2011 general elections, Governor Rochas Okorocha regrettably defected to the APC in 2014.
Be that as it may, the All Progressives Grand Alliance, contrary to higher expectations of the people, made some cheering impacts in the 2019, general polls in Anambra, Benue, Abia, Imo, Taraba, Kaduna and Bayelsa states, where it won some seats in either the House of Representatives and State Houses of Assembly elections. The party is presently also governing the Gwagwalada Area Council in the federal capital territory, Abuja. This is a clear evidence that APGA is indeed growing and expanding into other geopolitical zones in the country. Undoubtedly, the party remains the third largest political party in Nigeria today. Besides, governments enthroned by it in Anambra state, since 2006, have performed excellently, especially in the past five years under the watch of Governor Willie Obiano. The incumbent Anambra state helmsman is also the National Leader and Board of Trustees Chairman of the party. He has so far demonstrated political sagacity and pragmatism. His unwavering commitment to APGA and cordial relationship with other political parties including the APC controlled federal government show that like Dr. Azikiwe, Obiano is determined to diplomatically protect the interests of the Igbo nation in Nigeria.
Political realities in the country today indicate that neither the PDP nor APC is willing to protect the interests of people of the Southeast. Notwithstanding that a former governor of Anambra state, Mr. Peter Obi was the running mate of the PDP presidential flag bearer, Alhaji Atiku, the Igbos do not really belong to the inner caucus of the party. The National chairman of PDP, Uche Secondus, does not truly see himself as “Onye Igbo” but a “Rivers man”. On the other hand, APC’s regard for Ndigbo is an open secret. The party has made it abundantly clear that it would reward every state and ethnic group in accordance with their support for it in the last general elections. The party performed abysmally in the Southeast. This is why APC is not considering giving the offices of the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives to any person from the Southeast in the incoming 9th National Assembly. With this attitude by the party towards the Igbo nation, it is unlikely to give its presidential ticket to “onye Igbo” in the 2023 polls. Same with the Peoples Democratic Party.
Therefore, the only viable option for Ndigbo to politically reassert themselves in Nigeria is the All Progressives Grand Alliance. As the leader of the party, Obiano has demonstrated that apart from being a responsive and people oriented leader, he also has the capacity to use diplomacy to take Ndigbo back to the center stage of Nigeria’s politics in the nearest future. With an expanded and more formidable APGA, neither the APC nor PDP would have the capacity to outrightly win presidential election in the first ballot. In such scenario, Ndigbo who have substantial number of votes throughout Nigeria, would definitely hold their heads and shoulders high when power would be negotiated by other political parties with APGA. Even if the All Progressives Grand Alliance would not succeed immediately to produce a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction, it would nonetheless be in better stead to negotiate for influential offices for its members in the federal government and provision of basic amenities in the Southeast geopolitical zone. Ndigbo should therefore use APGA and “Igwe bu ike” principle to once again assert themselves in Nigeria.
HON. EGBUNA AMUTA is the Senior Special Assistant on Grassroots Media Mobilisation to Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State.
Adeleke Wins Eligibility Suit At Court Of Appeal
The Akure division of the Court of Appeal has upheld the eligibility of Senator Ademola Adeleke to contest for the governorship in Osun state.
An Osogbo High Court had earlier ruled that Senator Adeleke is qualified to contest for the governorship having been educated up to the secondary school level.
The Appellate Court ruled that the High Court had no jurisdiction to hear the case.
The second was that the petitioner had no locus standi to file the case and third was that the matter was brought to court outside the stipulated 14 days after the conduct of the election.
Reacting to the judgment, the spokesperson for Adeleke campaign organization, Niyi Owolade said the judgment was expected, and it is a vindication of its earlier stance on the matter.
INEC declares Nyesom Wike winner of Rivers state governorship election
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has declared incumbent, Nyesom Wike, winner of the Rivers State governorship election.
Wike, of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, won the election with 886,264 votes.
Biokpomabo Awara of the African Action Congress (AAC), came second with 173,859 votes.
Adamawa Governor-elect, Ahmadu Fintiri, Inaugurates Transition Committee
Governor-Elect, Alhaji Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri Monday inaugurated a sixty-five (65)-members of the transition committee that will liaise with the state government to work out modalities of a peaceful transition of government in Adamawa.
Inaugurating the committee members at Muna Hotel Yola, Alhaji Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri explained that the committee is set up in earnest to commenced preparation to usher-in new administration in the state.
He added that the committee is to obtain details description of the structures of the government, its institutions, number of its workforce and political office holders in the state.
He further said that the members of the committee should also obtain information on the assets and liabilities of the state government that will guide the new coming administration on its decisions making.
The assets and liabilities, according to the Governor-Elect, must include ongoing contracts, their level of execution and amount of money expanded thereto, in addition to know the outstanding balances on such contracts awarded among others.
Alhaji Umaru Fintiri urged the committee to avoid making the new administration top heavy with political appointments at the expense of a modest size cabinet to enable the new administration to deliver socio-economic developments to the people of the state.
He said the committee is expected to complete the assignment before date of handing over so that the incoming administration can be properly guided by the observations, findings and recommendations of the committee.
In a vote of thanks, on behalf of members, the chairman of the committee Alhaji Aliyu Ismaila Numan thanked the Governor-Elect for the confidence reposed in them and promised to work assiduously and come out with a good report that will guide the incoming government.
In their separate remarks, the state chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP Barrister Tahir Shehu and Chief Joel Hammanjoda Madaki described the selection of members of the committee as well deserved and urged them to work harder to deliver the assignment effectively.
The committee which comprised of sixty five members is chaired by Alhaji Aliyu Ismaila Numan and Alhaji Auwal Tukur as vice chairman while Mr John Yaya and Mr Hardly Peter Dilli are to serve as Secretary and Assistant Secretary respectively.
Election petition against me will consume PDP – Ganduje
Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, said he is ever ready to face the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which vowed to challenge his victory at the just concluded governorship election in court.
According to the Governor, challenging his victory will consume the PDP in Kano.
He spoke at Ganduje town in Dawakin Tofa Local Government, when he received thousands of supporters who trooped to congratulate him over his re-election yesterday.
The governor said: “Before the rerun election, which we emerged victorious, they were deep-neck in ballot stuffing and other electoral offences, a ploy that was later uncovered.
“It was after that the ballot stuffing scenario that a genuine election was conducted in which a genuine result emerged.
“My thinking about these people is that they are about to kick-start what would later consume them. What they did in other elections of the state legislators in some places will be looked at, with the view to ascertaining authenticity of such votes they claimed to have gotten,” Ganduje said.
APC Rejects New Date Fixed for Adamawa Supplementary Election
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Adamawa has rejected the new date, March 28, fixed by the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) for the supplementary governorship election in the state.
The Organising Secretary of the party,Alhaji Ahmed Lawal, announced the party’s decision in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Yola on Tuesday.
Lawal said that INEC did not consult the party before fixing the new date for the poll.
He alleged that information had filtered out earlier that the election would be held on Thursday, March 28.
“INEC failed to consult with political parties involved in this election before going ahead to fix a new date for the re-run.
“We, therefore, became suspicious due to rumours in town earlier that supplementary election would be conducted on Thursday and it turned out to be true.
“We are not afraid of re-run election but INEC should have done the right thing.
“How can you fix an election on a working day. Are civil servants not going to participate in the election.
“We are going to forward our protest on the matter to INEC,’’ he said.
NAN reports that an Adamawa High Court sitting in Yola had earlier vacated an order restraining INEC from conducting a supplementary election in the state.
INEC, therefore, fixed March 28 for the election.
Supplementary polls: Vote any party of your choice – Buhari tells electorate
President Muhammadu Buhari says he believes in the will of the people and cannot put pressure on voters to elect leaders they do not like.
Buhari in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Friday, dismissed insinuations that he was forcing voters to elect candidates other than those they preferred during the supplementary elections scheduled for 17 states on March 23.
The president said at no time did he give instructions that the electorate should vote particular candidates.
The President assured Nigerians that he was ready to work with elected representatives of the people regardless of party platforms on which they were elected.
President Buhari said he would work in the best interest of the country and democracy.
President Buhari, who thanked voters for re-electing him for a second term in office, said he would never forget their sacrifices in defying harsh weather conditions to vote for him.
He said: ‘‘I was deeply overwhelmed by your show of incredible confidence in me, and I will never let you down.
“Thank you for your sincere show of support for me.’’
President Buhari, however, appealed to voters not to get tired of coming out to vote in the supplementary elections, adding ‘‘these elections are no less important than others before them.’’
He appealed to voters to vote for the candidates they believed would deliver on promises because “it is your constitutionally guaranteed democratic rights.
President Buhari also called on INEC and security agencies to ensure that the supplementary elections are conducted peacefully and in accordance with the law and constitution.
He, therefore, called on the electorate to come out en masse and participate in the supplementary elections.
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Aguleri , The Citadel Of Igbo Civilisation
Five years after Boko Haram kidnap, 112 Nigerian girls still missing
Announcements, Arts & Books
Driving Job Creation for Africa’s Youth: Mentor to Watch.
Ada Osakwe, CEO of Agrolay Ventures
Ada is an award-winning food entrepreneur and investor. She was also a lead in the launch of the Youth Employment in Agriculture Program (YEAP) that supported the rise of a new cadre of food-entrepreneurs in Nigeria through training, mentorship and financing. Ada is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and a Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow.
In 2016, she was Entrepreneur of the Year and featured on Choiseul 100 Africa list consecutively from 2016 to 2018. She received the ‘Achiever in Agriculture’ Award and was on the 2014 Forbes 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa list. She is also a mentor on the Future Global Leaders Fellowship.
Uzodinma Iweala : CEO of The Africa Center in New York.
Uzodinma is an award-winning writer, filmmaker, and medical doctor. He is the CEO of The Africa Center in New York, promoting a new narrative about Africa and its diaspora through a focus on culture, policy and business. He is the author of three books: Beasts of No Nation (2005), a novel also adapted into a major motion picture; Our Kind of People (2012), a non-fiction account of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria; and Speak No Evil (2018), a novel about coming-of-age in Washington, D.C. His books have been mentioned by Time Magazine, The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, The Times and Rolling Stone. ‘Uzodinma Iweala completed his undergraduate studies at Harvard University and he earned a medical degree at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons.’
ENTER NIGERIA Winning Sunday with The Young Netpreneur for the Week :Ken Nwadiogbu @kennwadio
Ken Nwadiogbu (b. 1994) is a Nigerian born Multidisciplinary Artist, popularly known as KenArt, whose practice is primarily centered around hyper-realistic drawings and works on paper.
Nwadiogbu believes that the society speaks- This voice inspires his art, which evaluates, interrogates and challenges socio-political structures and issues within the society. In his reply to this society, he is able to inspire one or two people to also re-valuate their socio-political structures as we know it. The desire to change his society and the way people think is what drives him to create art every day. Gender equality, African cultures, and Black power are a few aspects of his current research and artistic practice.
Nwadiogbu was born in Lagos, Nigeria and holds a B.Sc in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. His art career started in the university, and with no formal training, has pushed him to become one of the most interesting young contemporary artists from Nigeria, creating works that question life- calling out some of the problems and becoming very grounded in human consciousness..
Nwadiogbu has been featured in lots of local and international group exhibitions and fairs, including the Insanity exhibition, sponsored by Frot Foundation, in Omenka Gallery, Nigeria; the TMC’s It’s Not Furniture, curated by Winifred Okpapi; the Artyrama’s group exhibition curated by Mr Jess Castellote; Art X Lagos, sponsored by Artyrama Gallery, in Lagos, Nigeria; the Moniker Art Fair, sponsored by Creative Debuts, in Brooklyn, NYC; the Anti-Trump show organised in UK; the Afriuture Exhibition by Ramati Art Africa in association with Commonwealth Africa Summit, in Toronto, Canada; amongst many others. He has been televised and publicized on different platforms like Guardian Life, Tush Magazine, WIRED Magazine, Candid Magazine, Bored Panda, BBC, CNN, and more as well as inspiring and encouraging young creatives through public speaking appearances like TEDx. He co-founded Artists Connect NG, the largest Nigerian artist gathering that took place at Lekki Leisure Lake, in Lagos, Nigeria.
To Nwadiogbu, Art is indeed timeless, it is his solace and hiding place, a safe haven he has found to be devoid of restrictions, boxes and boundaries.