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Automatic ticket for PDP returnees steers controversy

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Automatic ticket for PDP returnees steers controversy

By John Akubo

As all is now set for the primaries to elect candidates for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Kogi, many issues have been thrown up in the wake of the influx of new entrants from the rAPC who came to join the party after dumping the All Progressive congress (APC) recently.
In its bid to ensure a formidable front to confront the ruling APC to secure victory in all positions during the 2019 general election the PDP had opened its doors to decampees who are mostly serving members of the National Assembly.
Most of the decampees are also returnees having left the PDP in 2015 at the verge of that election for what they described then as impunity.
They found a home in PDP after their foray into APC in 2015 turned out to be a misadventure.
The PDP leadership had clandestinely entered into agreement with the returnees including a Memorandum of understanding that they would get automatic ticket.
However, even though the coming of such bigwigs to the PDP fold was heralded with jubilation at the outset, that arrangement is already causing disaffection among members of the party especially those who had originally positioned themselves to contest elections into some of the offices.
For the umpteenth time the party had denied nurturing any plan to give any group automatic ticket however the party it was gathered had finished with the deal even before the new decampees turned in enmass.
Part of the arrangements by the National Executive of the PDP is for all the Senators, and House of Representative Members serving from the state to be given automatic ticket, a decision that all the house members of the National Assembly from the Western Senatorial District opposed, as they insisted on party primaries that would allow the people decide who represent them in 2019.
The aspirants insisted that it would amount to impunity as many of the returnee National Assembly Members were not on the ground politically in their districts.
In Kogi East the senatorial seat is dicey for the party as the people have suffered poor representation in the 8th Assembly caused by several legal tussles that have produced three different senators in two years.
Senator Abubakar Abdulrahman APC lost his seat to Isaac Alfa of PDP after a rerun election ordered by the court of appeal and later he also lost to Aidoko of the same party who himself is still having some yet to be resolved legal issues.
It was reliably gathered that the party has reserved the ticket for the incumbent, Aidoko however, political bigwigs from the zone are mobilizing to change the situation of the district by voting for a more credible candidate this time around.

For the same reason, the PDP leadership is aware it may not have it’s way in the east as many aspirants with better credentials and pedigree for the job have already lined up.
The thinking in the east is that 2019 is an opportunity for them to have a good representation so automatic ticket will not work.
In the central the incumbent senator Ahmed Ogembe may have an easy sail as he is not having any serious challenge in the party except for the general election.
In Kogi West, the particular case in point is that of maveric senator Dino Melaye whose return to PDP has altered the equation in the district.
Having been severely persecuted by his own party APC for perceived ‘anti party’ utterances his defection was a welcome development for PDP who saw him as a great asset.
The senator has been the toast of civil servants having been their mouth peace over unpaid salaries hence PDP believes he has what it takes to get votes for the party.
But the rotational clause on how senators are elected to represent the Kogi West district was altered in 2015 after senator Smart Adeyemi who had two terms insisted on going for a third attempt.
Adeyemi who benefited after Senator Tunde Ogbeha willingly declined to return to the Senate in 2007 based on the gentleman agreement went ahead to slug it out with Melaye for a third term.
However, the 2015 election Buhari Tsunami swept him away as it threw Melaye on the stage.
Melaye as senator has been a sensation stoking controversy on the floor of the chamber on issues around the President like the popular grasscutter scandal that saw to the exit of Babachir Lawal as SGF.
So PDP saw in him a great asset.
The PDP leadership has however been handling the fallout of the ‘bumper harvest’ with trepidation having in mind the necessity to re-brand the party and be fair to all.
Many dissenting voices from the Kogi West axis against the automatic ticked shows that the people are adamant on having power shift from Ijumu to Yagba.
However, the PDP leader from Kogi West senatorial district, who is also the former deputy Governor in the State Yomi Awoniyi said,
“Our party had been comatose for a long time. With the coming in of this new executives under the leadership of Prince Uche Secondus a fervent thing is to re-brand the party.
“But what has given the fillip to what we have today is how the National Assembly is moved to our favor today.
“When we talk of democracy what makes the democracy is the legislature; that is the National Assembly. That has sort of introduced some vibrancy in the PDP.”
He said with the returnees the PDP now controls the National Assembly. “The party with wisdom has asked us that we must be prepared to make some uncommon sacrifices going forward to give us a fighting chance to fare well in the elections next year.
“Party faithful have been called to make sacrifices. So many people have been in races before the MOU was signed with rAPC. There should be a lot of consultations let members appreciate what is going on.
He said Kogi West have had the benefit of meeting the National chairman in three segments; Lokoja/Koto, Kaba-Bunu and Yagba.
“It is probably because of the personality of the senator representing Kogi West Dino Melaye. No matter how we want to see it he is a very prominent senator in the 8th Assembly.
“So I think the party has spent so much time in consulting our various leadership in the three Federal constituencies.
“We had taken a position hitherto that this thing should rotate to Yagba Federal constituency where I come from and we met the chairman and the people submitted a position paper which was presented to the chairman by comrade Hassan Salau former party chairman.
However he said they have also acknowledged the position of the party as well.
“What the National chairman said was instructive, he said this wasn’t imposition, it was not an order neither was it a directive but a call to sacrifice.
“He said there is no automatic ticket and the party has published the timetable for the primaries.”
Awoniyi indicated that it means that the party is prepared that whatever it had in mind to do the process was in place.
He said Candidates have been told to pick up forms, who have been screened, and dates have been published.
The PDP leader said for him as an individual it means the party understands the need for due process.
He said whatever the party may wish them to do would be in the spirit of a re-branded PDP
On the issues of contestants that have been in the House of representatives for two terms and now wants to contest for Senate, he said this time around because of the spirit of rotation in the zone, have been appealed to, to shelve their ambition.
However for those who did not accept, they have gone ahead to purchase their nomination form.
“It is their constitutional right, as an appeal is not a command.
For the incumbent house of representative member representing Yagba Federal constituency who did not accept the appeal he said he has gone ahead to purchase his nomination form and have been screened.
Awoniyi observed that it is his right.
He said, “As for the house of representatives, it is interesting to note that Tajudeen Yusuf has decided to go for the house of representatives instead of the Senate that was the original desire it is his desire to work along the line of the party’s thinking.”
He said Yusuf has served 8 years in the National Assembly now.
“I was one of those that actively make people to know the wisdom of having him go for the second term, even though I am not from his constituency.
“I was the deputy Governor then I tried to let the people know that in truth he has been very good for that constituency. However the local arrangement in the area and what the leadership wants to do would be what would clarify the matters arising in the area.”
According to Awoniyi, “The world is watching us.PDP is good to go. We are coming from a position of having been pummelled on so many fronts so we are very careful to follow due process to ensure the right thing is done.”

The member currently representing Yagba Federal constituency Sunday Karimi who spoke to the Guardian at the PDP secretariat after his screening Thursday, said he has purchased his nomination form to contest the primary election for the ticket of the Kogi West senatorial district.
For Karimi having done two terms in the House of representatives, the gentleman agreement for power rotation in his constituency would not afford him another opportunity to return to the House,8 hence he had nurtured the ambition to contest for the Senate seat.
He took a swipe at the leadership of PDP for even signing any MOU with some persons who left the party and are now returning because they have no opportunity to contest in their former party.

The house of representative member said “For a candidate to have been said to have been properly nominated by the party he has to pass through the process of primary, and where you have more than one candidate you have to conduct primary and even when you have one candidate you have to do affirmation.
“The issue of automatic ticket is alien to the Nigerian constitution, it is alien to the electoral act and the so-called MOU signed by the party cannot supersede the electoral act or the constitution because it is a gentleman agreement and that gentleman agreement cannot take away the fundamental human right. Karimi observed that the National chairman of PDP Prince Uche Secondus clarified that there is no automatic ticket.
“So if he says there is no automatic ticket we believe there is no automatic ticket. Also you know all our primary election must be free and fair and transparent and anything2 short of that we are going to lose followers.
“If you are a man that is acceptable to the people why are you running away from primary election. Come to your State and present yourself to your people, if you are popular you will not sit in Abuja, come and test your popularity.”

On the rumour that he was leaving the party he said a good material people would be looking for you, they are calling me to come and join their party. I remain a PDP man and I will be loyal to PDP to the end as long as we conduct ourselves according to the guidelines of the party constitution anything shot of that there would be crises.o

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Politics

APC disowns notice on postponement of Membership registration exercise

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APC disowns notice on postponement of  Membership registration exercise

The All progressives Congress (APC) has disclaimed “Notice” in circulation and ascribed to the APC CECPC National Secretary, Sen. John J. Akpan Udoedeghe Ph.D.

The party describes the notice as fake and highly mischievous.

This was contained in a statement that was issued in Abuja, Saturday by its National Secretary
Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) Sen. John J. Akpan Udoedeghe.

The Statement reads, “The APC membership registration, revalidation and update exercise remains on course and commences as scheduled in the attached timetable.

“As earlier announced, the CECPC has approved the constitution of State Membership Registration Committees for the Party’s nationwide membership registration, revalidation and update exercise. This will be followed by a train-the-trainer workshop.”

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Implosion in APC may not give PDP victory in 2023 if the party does not put its house in order says Lamido

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Implosion in APC may not give PDP victory in 2023 if the party does not reconcile aggrieved members says Lamido

The former Governor of Jigawa State Alhaji Sule Lamido has warned his party the Peoples Democratic Party to reconcile aggrieved members to unite as the imminent breakup of the ruling APC may not give it victory unless the members settle their differences amicably.
Lamido stated this at the inauguration of the Jigawa State People’s Democratic Party PDP reconciliation committee in Dutse.

He indicated that the party
Has its own problems adding that it is either they correct it or Nigerians would continue to suffer”

Lamido charged the members of the reconciliation committee to be just and fair in their approach to aggrieved members.

He appealed to aggrieved members to put the party before their interest, for the victory of the party.

“We must forget all our grievances, set aside all our personal interest for us to win because it’s only PDP that can be able to rule this country” he stated.
He said the days of the All Progressive Congress APC are numbered as President Muhammad Buhari will not support Bola Ahmad Tinubu’s candidature in the coming 2023 general.

He claimed that in the near future, there would be no more APC because the whole of APC is made of two people Buhari and Tinubu.

“True of the matter very soon there would be no APC in Nigeria because it’s made up of two persons Buhari and Tinubu”

“And I swear to God Buhari will not support Tinubu’s candidacy coming 2023 general election”

“So since they are the leaders of APC and they have issues everyone will find his way and that would be the end of APC in Nigeria”

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As his lasting legacy, Buhari will bequeat a flawless electoral system for Nigeria says Ohuabunwa

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As his lasting legacy, Buhari will bequeat a flawless electoral system for Nigeria says Ohuabunwa

Founder of Sam Ohuabunwa Foundation for Economic Empowerment, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa has said
President Muhammadu Buhari has no option but to leave a legacy that will put in place an electoral system that will guarantee free and fair processes in all future elections in Nigeria.
Speaking while he unveiled a political platform in Abuja on Wednesday- The New Nigeria Group in furtherance of his presidential ambition for 2023 Ohabuwa expressed the optimism that President Buhari would like to leave that legacy by signing the Electoral Reforms Bill being considered by the National Assembly into law.
However, he said his optimism is not a total trust in Buhari but based on what happened in the two most recent elections of Edo and Ondo States that were fairly seen to be free and transparent.
“I am not trusting in Buhari to do the electoral reforms, I don’t put my trust in any human being, because remember the Bible said how miserable for anybody that trusts in the arm of flesh.
“What I have said is that from what I have seen in the last two elections, I am not talking about electoral law or no electoral law. We don’t need any electoral law to conduct a free and fair elections, we don’t, it is for us to determine to have a free and fair election and this can happen in my favor and the favor of Nigeria.
“I said I can read the president’s body language, he is interested, I predicted this in Benin during the election that Obaseki’s election was going to be a part of the new Nigeria, I said so and it is on tape because I knew from what I saw there the election was generally free and fair.
“That of Ondo was almost the same thing, so I am seeing a trend and that trend will continue. Again Nigerians have become wiser, because they have been in this business for too long, they have been collecting money and they end up where they started.
“They have been pushed to do what they don’t want to do, vote for people they don’t believe in because of pecuniary considerations or stomach infrastructure and after that they are returned to penury.
“Nigerians are becoming enlightened and that is the job of the New Nigerian group to get more Nigerians understand that if we want to change the situation we must take our state in our hands vote the right candidate, protect the votes as they did in the two states of Edo and Ondo.
“I also believe the electoral act would be signed into law. What happened in 2018 is not the same, everybody that wants to leave office will like to leave a legacy. I trust that President Buhari will leave a legacy of bequeathing a free and fair election.”
It is good to allow the leadership of this country at least for once before
The NNG, according to the former Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO) of Pfizer/Neimeth, plans to mobilize like minded citizens to install enlightened, visionary and committed leadership in the country.
He said that the group is out to make the country a first world nation “where all the citizens live in harmony, are treated equally to achieve peace and prosperity for all.”
He listed the core values and guiding philosophy of the group to include knowledge, industry, integrity, patriotism, justice, freedom/liberty and godliness.
He noted that the four challenges facing the country which he hopes to tackle if voted into office as president include poverty, corruption, injustice and insecurity.
He insisted that solving the problem of poverty  would largely solve the problem of corruption while solution to injustice will help deal with insecurity.
He said he has been moving around the country to sell the vision of a new Nigeria where things will be done on merit and in the fear of God.
He said that the country must shift from a nation of importers and consumers to a haven of innovators and producers.
“We need to work hard and work smart to raise our productivity and be in a position to increase our gross national productivity in an effort to improve prosperity and drive down poverty,” he said.
He lamented that the country is divided due to misguided leadership.
“Every child born in this country should have equal chance with every other child to achieve his or her full potentials without discrimination as to his state of birth, ethnicity or religion,” he said.
He said that the group seeks courageous Nigerians that can stand up to their convictions.
He added that the NNG believes that the country has under performed as a result of lack of integrity in its leadership thereby fueling endemic corruption.
“The new Nigeria we seek must be birthed by a crop of Nigerians who are principled and with high moral and spiritual strength to stand up for what is right and righteous,” he said.
Ohuabunwa said that he is not in a hurry to pitch his tent with any of the existing political parties at the moment.
He said that the group would choose from any of the political parties available to actualise its presidential ambition when the times comes.

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