Ogun PDP factions trade words on anti-party activities

The Ogun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) sank deeper into crisis yesterday as a faction of the party-led by Senator Dipo Odujinrin accused a chieftain of being a card carrying member of the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).

Odujirin  alleged that the party has uncovered a grand design by one of its chieftains, Prince Buruji Kashamu to destabilise the PDP in the Gateway State.

But Kashamu dismissed the allegations as tissues of “lies and bunkum.” He described his accusers as “delinquents.”

Kashamu said: “That is a lie and complete bunkum. I am not a member of the ACN, whether in Lagos or elsewhere. This is just the latest lies in their desperate bid to confer legality on illegality. And I will prove this shortly.

Odujirin, who was elected chairman of  a faction of the party recently, made the allegation when fielding questions from reporters in Abeokuta, the state capital.

It was at the inauguration of a committee  civic reception  to welcome home,  former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who recently relinquished his chairmanship position of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT).

Odujirin said the party would continue to manage Kashamu, hoping that he would return to the party either in Ogun or in Lagos state.

He said:  “That somebody is alleged to carry a card of another political party in another state and in our own state claiming to be a member of our own party; that shows the kind of person that man is, but it is our own assignment as the party ex-co to manage all shades and manner of people.

“We will continue to manage him and we hope that as we go on, he will come back home either here or in Lagos. Whichever one he chooses to go, he has to make up his mind where he wants to go.”

Kaduna council polls to hold Dec. 1

The Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission (SIECOM) has fixed December 1, 2012, for the conduct of election in the 23 local councils.

The opposition parties in Kaduna had severally urged the state government to conduct election in the councils, which have been administered by caretaker committee chairmen for some time now.

Besides, addressing a press conference in Kaduna yesterday, the SIECOM Chairman, Dr. Hannatu Biniyat, said each candidate for the position of local council chairman would pay a non-refundable fee of N200,000 while the position of a councilor attracts N50,000 for the nomination forms.

She explained that the processes leading to the conduct of the polls are in consonance with the SIECOM Law, which the House of Assembly promulgated recently.

According to her, political parties wishing to field candidates for the elections are expected to conduct primary elections between September 7 and October 26, 2012, while the deadline for submission of the list of candidates is November 1.

Also, Biniyat said: “On Thursday, November 8, the Commission shall publish the personal particulars of candidates in their constituencies and anyone who has reasonable grounds to believe that any candidate has given wrong information in the forms regarding his or her qualification can apply for certified true copies of the forms and file a suit before the High Court for the candidate to be disqualified.”

My campaign promises’ll manifest in 2013 – Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, promised Nigerians improved standard of living by 2013 in his bid to deliver democracy dividends.

Jonathan made the promise at the inauguration of the SAB-Millers Brewery, in Onitsha, Anambra State, according to News Agency of Nigeria.

He noted that in spite of the challenges facing the country, the private sector was still making massive progress, noting that the Federal Government would continue to support the private sector Operators and provide infrastructure to assist them.

“I want to commend this company for what it has done; I also want to commend others for what they are doing considering that fact that within this period as a nation, we know we have our challenges.

“But this administration is totally committed to changing things; we have challenges in terms of road infrastructure, power; we have that also in security and others.

“I know all these are major handicaps to the development of industry in the nation; but even under these situations the companies are trying and doing well.

“We promise you that we would change things and make sure that the private sector blossoms in this country because that is the only way we can create jobs.

“Our transformation agenda is going on, in a partnership between government and the private sector; that’s’ why even in our economic management team we have people from the Federal Government; state governors are there, Governors Peter Obi  and Murtala Nyako and of course key captains of industry from the private sector.”

Jonathan also noted that Nigeria’s population of 160 million people, 70 per cent of which was made up of the youth, made it an attractive investment destination for investors.

He praised Governor Obi for deploying his private sector experience to attract investment to the state.

“I promise SABMiller breweries investors that they would not regret their investment in the country as young people under the age of 35 constitute 70 percent of the country’s population and we are not under any restrictions to what they could eat or consume.”…(read more)

Ondo: ‘LP buying voters’ cards’

The Akeredolu Campaign Organisation (ACO) of the Ondo State Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday accused the ruling Labour Party (LP) of buying voters’ cards for between N5,000 and N10,000.

In a statement in Akure, the state capital, by its Director-General, Chief Tayo Alasoadura, ACO alleged that “this is another antic of the drowning Labour Party to rig the governorship election”.

It urged Ondo State residents not to sell their birthright to the ruling paty, which it said has “deliberately impoverished them in order to keep them in perpetual bondage”.

ACO said: “The people of Ondo State should not allow themselves to be disenfranchised because their vote is their power. They should use it to chase away the amorphous Labour Party. A government of abandoned projects, such as the Arigidi Tomato Paste Industry, which the governor had claimed on several occasions had started working; the Alpha 3D project started by the late Adebayo Adefarati administration; the Owena Multi-Purpose Dam, started by the Olusegun Agagu administration, the Owo-Akure Road, the Ondo-Akure Road, Oba-Ile-Akure Road project, are all abandoned.”

2015: CPC, ACN Alliance Will Collapse, Says Gemade

As the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) marks its 14th anniversary, its former National Chairman, Senator Barnabas Gemade, has predicted that the alliance of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) will collapse.

Gemade, who spoke with journalists at the party’s secretariat in Abuja, said opposition parties in the past had severally ganged up against the ruling PDP but all their machinations had been fruitless.

“What is new in the gang up that you think we should be afraid of. Haven’t the opposition been ganging up before in the history of democracy in Nigeria?” He asked.

The former national chairman of the party said even if the CPC and ACN were able to reach an agreement, it would not affect the winning streak of the PDP because of its spread compared to opposition parties that are only on ground in a few states.

“As far as the political equation is concerned you are talking about six or seven states versus 23 states. So by simple arithmetic you will tell me whether a party that is on ground in six states is likely to dethrone the one that is firmly on ground in 23 states of the federation.”

Responding to questions on 14th anniversary of the party, Gemade echoed the views of Nwodo, saying, “this is a very good and fantastic party that has had a lot of chequered history because of its constant falling to wrong hands from time to time.

“It is my prayer that the party is in the right hands now, so that we can see a rebirth of a truly democratic institution that we wanted it to be when it was created in 1998.

“This party has a chequered history because of what has happened from time to time. Today, we have one of us in the saddle as the National Chairman and our prayer is that the forces that are pulling the party apart will relax their evil pulls so that we can build the whole back to where it is supposed to be.”…(read more)

Kwara: Residents protest nullification of LG boss election

Some students, market men and women, hunters and artisans in Offa Local Government Area of Kwara State, have protested the nullification of the election of the Chairman of the council, Mr. Saheed Popoola.

Popoola is the only LG chairman in the state from the Action Congress of Nigeria. The other 15 chairmen are from the Peoples Democratic Party.

The Chief Magistrate of the LG election petitions tribunal in the state, Nurudeen Adeyanju, had penultimate Wednesday nullified the rerun conducted in Offa LGA on January 12, 2011.

The Wednesday protest was the second by Offa residents against the nullification of the election.

The protesters carried placards and sang war songs. Some of the placards read, ‘Give us our mandate back,’ ‘Our mandate, our choice, Saheed Popoola.’ ‘Peace is not in the absence of conflict, but in the presence of justice.’ ‘Our mandate must not be jeorpardised.’

President, Students Union, Federal Polytechnic Offa, Ahmed Ayodimeji, said about 17,000 students of the polytechnic were against the nullification.

Ayodimeji said, “We are here to fight for the aspirations of our people. Peace is not in the absence of conflict but in the presence of justice. We need justice and peace because we voted for Popoola.

“It is only the land of peace that can germinate the seed of progress and development. Let them reinstate Popoola. We are saying this on behalf of over 17,000 students in Federal Polytechnic Offa.”

Owode market leader, Simiat Olatunji, said Popoola’s administration had brokered peace among warring associations and resolved intra-communal crisis in Offa…(read more)

Benue lawmakers ask Suswam to sack commissioner

Benue State House of Assembly yesterday directed Governor Gabriel Suswam to sack the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Conrad Wergba, within seven days.

The House gave the order following the alleged refusal of the commissioner to resign after the expiration of an ultimatum given to him to do so.

Wergba had allegedly made an uncomplimentary remark against the Assembly in his attempt to defend government’s stance on the allegation of delay in payment of workers’ salaries raised by the House, and had described the members as arm-twisting the Executive for “pecuniary motives.”

The House invited the commissioner to appear before it and during this meeting, he admitted guilt and apologised to members but quickly insisted that he had   evidence against the lawmakers. As a result, the House went ahead to ask him to resign.

Raising a point of Order 9 Rule 16 (f), the member representing Katsina-Ala East Constituency, Jato Iana, reminded the House that Wergba had flouted their directive by failing to resign after the expiration of the seven days’ ultimatum give him by the House.

Jato, who urged his colleagues to prevail on the governor to without delay, to sack the commissioner as earlier resolved by the House, stressed that it was proper for them to do so as the commissioner’s appointment was confirmed by the same House.

In their separate contributions, the Majority Leader, Paul Biam, Nick Eworo (Oju), Audu Sule (Agatu), the Minority Leader, Terkimbi Ikyange (Ushongo) and Kenneth Iyo (Gwer-West), all decried the lack of sober attitude of the commissioner and called for his outright sack.

Baba Odeh (Otukpo/Akpa), therefore, moved that Wergba be relieved of his appointment as commissioner by the governor within seven days and was seconded by Joseph Onah.

Ruling on the motion, the Deputy Speaker, Dr. Stephen Onmeje, who presided over the sitting, put the motion to voice vote and members unanimously supported the sack of the commissioner within seven days.


Buhari Set to Confront PDP in 2015

The Presidential Candidate of the Congress for Progress Change (CPC) during the 2011 elections General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) has restated his readiness to confront the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the next general elections in 2015.

The CPC National Leader noted that the constitution has been consciously raped and sidelined in our quest to attain nationhood.

Buhari said: “Under normal circumstances we are supposed to work strictly within the perimeter guarantee by the constitution, but this is Nigeria and nothing is perfect and the only they have not tamper with between 1999 to date in Nigeria is the Holy Quran”.

Speaking at Kano Government House on Wednesday during a courtesy call on the Governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Buhari said he was in Kano to open his new party office.

“I am in Kano to open our party office following the intra and inter party squabbles that cost us the election. But I want to tell you we are already settling down and are ready to face you guys squarely!”

He lamented the deteriorating security situation in the country, especially the negative and corrosive impact it had on the commercial and other socio economic activities in the north, noting that a lot of people have been push out of business by the security challenges.

Buhari also appealed to Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso to review the several security checkpoints saturated within and around the city of Kano, adding that it had “slowed down economic activities in the ancient city”.

He described the security challenges confronting the northern state as “extremely sad”, adding that no one really showed passion on how to handle it until the whole thing snowballed into a big crisis “but I will like to pray on to Allah to see us through.”…(read more)

Kogi Poll: Court Dismisses Suit Challenging Wada’s Election

Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, yesterday, dismissed the suit challenging Governor Idris Wada’s emergence as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the gubernatorial election that held in Kogi State on December 3, 2011.

It was a chieftain of the party, Mr. Jibrin Echocho that approached the high court, praying it to sack the Governor from office on the premise that he was not properly nominated to contest the election.

Specifically, Echocho had through his Counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, asked the court to determine whether having regard to the combined effects of Sections 26(1), 26(2), 87(1) 87(2) (3) and (4)(b) of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, the valid and due nomination of the plaintiff (Isah) and submission of his name by PDP the 1st defendant to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as the party’s governorship candidate in the Kogi State 2011 governorship election can be vitiated by the postponement of the election from April 26 to December 3, 2011?

He also asked the court to determine whether PDP could validly have conducted another special state congress for the governorship primaries election in September 2011 for governorship election having sent his name to INEC as its candidate? He posited that he cannot be substituted with any other name except as provided in Section 33 of the Electoral Act as amended.

However, giving judgment on the matter, yesterday, Justice Abdul Kafarati, maintained that the plaintiff lacked the locus-standi to institute the action before the high court, saying he ought to have filed it before the Kogi State election petition tribunal.

Aside declining jurisdiction to delve into what he termed “post-election issues,” Justice Kafarati stressed that the plaintiff, having not participated at the said gubernatorial election that saw the emergence of Governor Wada, therefore, lacked the legal right to challenge the outcome of the electoral exercise.

Plateau: Why I Want to Replace Dantong, by Pwajok

Former Chief of Staff to Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State, Mr. Gyang Pwajok, who recently resigned his position to contest for the seat of Plateau North Senatorial zone, has given insight into his agenda if eventually elected, and why he thinks he is the right man to take the place of Dantong in the National Assembly.

The seat became vacant following the death of Dr. Gyang Dantong, who was the earlier occupier of the seat.

Pwajok, who addressed a press conference in Jos, said: “I can fit into Dantong shoes, and if need be, expand it.”

Recalling the good relationship he had with Dantong, Pwajok said: “We had worked together with him (Dantong), and he believes in the principles of our party, which I also do.”

He said other candidates who wanted the position in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had defected from the party to contest on the platform of other parties during the 2011 elections, and were now making effort to return.

The former Chief of Staff added that the rules of party would not permit such people to vote or be voted for until one year of their return.

He said he had sufficiently garnered enough experience of the peculiarities of his people having been born and bred in Ali-Kazaure, a Hausa-dominated area, where he grew up with Hausa youths ate in one another’s houses in harmony, adding that he will restore the peace image of the state.

He said: “Some burning national issues, like the State Police, increased focus on land matters and reclamation issues, security reforms, review of the constitution that has become belated. We need to set these priorities.” 

Pwajok said at 47, he believes he is the bridge between the aged and the young, stressing that: “And I need the votes of everybody, including workers, the youths and the elderly.”


How Jonathan admitted incompetence, by ACN

President Goodluck Jonathan’s lamentation at the opening of the 52nd Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) that he was the most criticised President in the world drew condemnation from the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday.

During the NBA meeting, Jonathan asked why he was being held responsible for the state of insecurity, electricity failure, decaying infrastructure even though his administration inherited these problems.

In a statement yesterday, the ACN considered Jonathan’s position as an admission of failure, incompetence and un-preparedness to govern.

On behalf of the party, National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said: “What a nation expects from a President even at a time of crisis are words that will inspire the citizens and give them confidence that the helmsman is on top of the situation and not the kind of words credited to Jonathan, which are only capable of demoralising the citizenry and telling them things are out of control and that he is completely at loss as at what to do.”     

“Great leaders in the world like Winston Churchill, Dwight Eisenhower and JF Kennedy, are remembered today more importantly for the quality of leadership they provided their various nations at moments of crisis. Even in the face of imminent defeat and paralysing casualties, Winston Churchill was still able to inspire and rally his people to victory and faced with Cuban Missile crisis, President J. F. Kennedy did not throw up his hands in despondency.”            

The statement continued: “Hasn’t anyone told President Jonathan that the buck stops on his desk? Hasn’t anyone told President Jonathan that an administration inherits both the assets and liabilities of its predecessor in office? Hasn’t anyone told President Jonathan that his responsibilities as President include clearing the mess left by his predecessors in office while at the same time leaving his own legacies? Does President Jonathan expect sympathy from the citizens by this open admission of incompetence and resignation to failure?”

It added: “What Nigerians expect from their leader are uplifting words, words of inspiration that can bring out the hidden potential of its citizens, words that will galvanise Nigerians to positive action and imbue them with self-esteem and not the kind of lamentation of President Jonathan that has served only to confirm that the ship of state has no helmsman and everyone is at peril.”



ACN candidate emerged through due process, says party spokesman

The National Publicity Secretary of the Action Congress of Nigeria {ACN}, Alhaji Lai Muhammed yesterday dismissed allegations that the party lacked internal democracy.

Rather, he said ACN should be credited as the most disciplined party in Nigeria.

Muhammed addressed reporters in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre.

The party’s spokesman was reacting to questions on the alleged controversial emergence of Ondo State governorship candidate, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN).

According to him, the offence of his party in the eyes of its critics was the insistence of the leadership of the party for discipline and ethical standard.

Muhammed said: “So many issues have been raised that our party does not have internal democracy. I want to say with all emphasis that we have the highest respect for internal democracy, but we follow strictly the provisions of the party’s constitution on the choice of the party’s candidates.

“When the issue of Ondo State governorship candidate was to be discussed, all the 44 aspirants, as of then, were invited; all of them conceded that it was the turn of the northern senatorial axis of the state to produce the next governor.

“We fixed another meeting, which involved only the aspirants from the northern senatorial axis. Again, after deliberating on the appropriate axis to produce the next governor between Owo and Ikare, the aspirants agreed on Owo. That’s what led to the choice of Akeredolu. He was never imposed by the party leaders.”