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The candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Tokunbo Abiru, has emerged victorious in the Lagos East senatorial bye-election conducted in the state on Saturday.

The Independent National Electoral Commission announced that Abiru obtained a total of 89,204 votes to defeat his closest opponent, Babatunde Gbadamosi of the Peoples Democratic Party.

Gbadamosi secured a total of 11,257 votes to emerge second.

Abiru won in all the five local government areas in the senatorial district.

The Kogi State Assembly has urged Governor Yahaya Bello to contest the 2023 Presidential election.

The lawmakers made the call after passing a motion to this effect during plenary, in Lokoja, on Wednesday.

House Majority Leader, Hassan Abdullahi, while moving the motion said the call was predicated on the sterling performance of the Governor since he assumed office in 2016.

The resolution which was passed by the house read in part, “We, the Right Honourable Speaker and Honourable Members of the Kogi State House of Assembly, upon due deliberation of proper motion therefore, do hereby unanimously make and pass a Vote of Confidence on His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.

“That, this Vote of Confidence is founded upon irrefutable and irreducible incidents of Governor Yahaya Bello’s leadership as the 4th Executive Governor of Kogi State, for a reference period spanning 27th January, 2016 till date, during which he has demonstrated uncommon Courage, Capacity and Competence at his duty post, even in the face of the most daunting odds.”

Speaking to newsmen after the session, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Matthew Kolawole said, “We have made our case. Nigerians are very reasonable. Kogi is selfless to offer our God-given Governor to Nigeria.”

EBONYI State Governor, David Umahi, on Monday, denied the insinuation in some quarters that the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, made him governor in 2015.

Umahi, who spoke during an enlarged All Progressives Congress stakeholders’ meeting held at the Old Government House in Abakaliki, revealed that Jonathan’s wife, Mrs Patience, wanted him to succeed Martin Elechi, but Anyim opposed it.

The governor was a deputy governor during the Elechi administration.

Umahi revealed that Anyim told Mrs Jonathan not to support him (Umahi), as he was going to disappoint her.

“They said he made me; made who? When Senator Anyim went to the wife of Jonathan, Jonathan’s wife told him that she wanted me to be governor and he told her that I will disappoint her, that she should not.

“But Jonathan’s wife told him (Anyim), ‘no way, go and support him’. That was how the support came,” Mr Umahi said, at the APC stakeholders’ meeting.

The governor also revealed that the former governor and senator representing Ebonyi North, Dr Sam Egwu, never supported him from the beginning to be the governor of the state in 2015,  adding that it was only the (Egwu) wife that backed him from the beginning.

A professor of Political Science who is the Director-General of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, Abubakar Sulaiman, has attributed a lack of due diligence as part of the reasons the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), rejected many bills passed by the 8th National Assembly.

Buhari rejected over 300 out of about 400 bills duly passed by the 8th National Assembly and transmitted to him for assent, during the period, citing one irregularity or the other as reasons for his action.

But in an interview with our correspondent in Abuja, Suleiman, a former Minister of National Planning, said NILDS had carried out extensive research into the reasons for such massive bills rejection by the President.

He said the institute had come up with a report on the issue, which had been submitted to the National Assembly leadership.

He said rather than consulting the NILDS management for necessary guidance before coming up with a bill, some National Assembly members relied on consultants who might not have carried out adequate due diligence to know whether such legislation was in existence in the nation’s jurisprudence.

Suleiman said, “In terms of drafting bills, at times, members (of the National Assembly) don’t take cognisance of existing bills to see whether those bills were there before, and whether they’ve been rejected before.

“They don’t know why they were rejected. Not all bills passed or drafted emanated from NILDS. Not all bills not assented to emanated from NILDS.

“Members of the National Assembly are at liberty to engage consultants in drafting their bills. Our own, when the need arises,  either demand or supply-driven, is to assist them to provide technical support.

“What we’ve done in the last one year, having seen the casualty that affected those bills that were rejected, is to go into why they were not assented to.”

Meanwhile, a new survey carried out by the NILDS has indicated that Nigerians want members of the National Assembly to show openness in the execution of constituency projects.

Yakubu had been re-appointed by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), for a second term of five years in office as Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Already, the Senate Committee on INEC, led by its chairman, Senator Kabiru Gaya, had screened Yakubu and promised that the report of the exercise would be submitted to the Senate at plenary on Tuesday.

Some APC members of the panel who spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity expressed satisfaction with Yakubu’s performance during the screening and vowed to ensure his confirmation by the entire Senate.

One of the APC senators said, “Prof Yakubu has done well so far as INEC chairman. All we need to do is amend critical aspects of the Electoral Act which are causing problems for the commission and we would have a perfect electoral process that is credible.”

However, the Majority Leader of the Senate, who also heads the PDP caucus in the Red Chamber, Enyinnaya Abaribe, told our correspondent that the party’s members would definitely make their position very clear on the floor next week.

He said members of the opposition party would need to be convinced that Yakubu’s conduct of the 2019 elections was the best that Nigeria deserved.

He said, “Our opinion is that what happened in 2019 cannot be accepted by anybody.

“How could an organisation claim it did not have a central server or portal whereas the same server was used during subsequent elections in Nasarawa, Edo, and Ondo states?

“At what point did their server start working? We are definitely going to ask questions because we cannot accept the same thing that happened in 2019.

The Director-General of National Inland Waterways Authority, Chief George Moghalu, has declared for the Anambra State 2021 governorship on the platform of the All Progressives Congress

Moghalu who expressed the intention on Saturday in Nnewi, Anambra State, said nothing would stop him from winning the race.
A support group with no fewer than 6,000 members had paid him a visit to declare its support for the NIWA boss in the race.

Moghalu said he would want to be governor of the state to correct some anomalies in governance, not to enrich himself as God had already blessed him materially.

He said, “God has cleared my road to the Government House, Awka, no man can puncture it.

“I will win the primary and the election proper without qualms. You are here because you believe in me. I assure you that I will never disappoint you. The work is about to start.

“We even have support outside the party. All my support groups are working towards one goal. There should be a synergy. You have great work to do and you should preach to people who are not yet converted. Power is not given but struggled for.

“I don’t believe in mere word-of-mouth support. It has to be backed up with concerted effort, genuine efforts. And we want quality supporters. I’m convinced that this time around, we are Government House bound.”

Gombe Lawmaker representing Billiri/Balanga federal constituency in the house of representatives, Victor Mela, says he is not in jail as widely reported on some online news platforms.Mela was sentenced to one-month imprisonment for lying under oath with an option of a N30,000 fine, which he said he met successfully.

Mela in a press statement signed by his media aide, Ibrahim Tal, on Saturday, said he does not have a British passport neither was he imprisoned or detained at any point in time during and after the trial.

The statement partly stated, “I had been briefed about happenings surrounding the alleged false declaration case filed against me at the instance of Hon. Ali Isa JC, who had earlier instituted 5 court cases against me since his overwhelming defeat by my humble self at the 2019 National Assembly elections.

“Yesterday (Friday), the Chief Magistrates’ Court in Zone 6, Abuja finally dispensed of the matter with sentencing. I was given an option of a fine; a condition which I satisfied immediately.

“However, I would like to draw your attention to the false and malicious publications currently circulating on the internet via some online social media platforms.

“In the same vein, I have read with utmost dismay some misleading and misguided headlines that I was purportedly sentenced to imprisonment at a Correctional Center here in the FCT. This information is a grave misrepresentation of the sentence passed yesterday by the Court.

“While some of the above-mentioned outfits reported that I had earlier deposed to 3 conflicting affidavits pertaining to my citizenship status and that I hold a British passport, others said that I have been imprisoned.

“Let me clearly state here that, I do not have a British passport and neither was I imprisoned nor detained at any point in time during and after the trial.

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, says the age-old relationship between the people of Tiv ethnic nationality in Benue and Rivers states emboldens them to support each other when such a situation arises.

Wike said based on that conviction, he had visited Benue State to offer goodwill and support of other forms to the state government when there was a massacre of Tiv farmers by herdsmen in the state.

The governor stated this when he received a delegation of Tiv people living in Rivers State under the aegis of Mdzough U. Tiv, led by Mr Caleb Yashi, at the Government House, Port Harcourt.

A statement by Wike’s Special Assistant on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, said the leadership of Ogbakor Ikwerre Cultural Organisation Worldwide accompanied the delegation of the Tiv people.

Wike, according to the statement, noted that people of both states also bore similar weight of the several shades of marginalisation meted out to minority tribes in the country amid calls for restructuring of the country.

He said, “I felt that what affects you also affects us. So, when that massacre took place in Tiv land, we believed that if anybody in Tiv land dies, an Ikwerre person will have to commiserate with their family. That was why we decided to go and see my colleague and friend, the governor. Whatever we did that time, we believed it was because of the strong ties we have together.

“I know what my colleague, the current governor, passed through. I thank God that Benue people rallied round him to give him the necessary support. Now, if you look back and remember what happened during that period, there is no way you’ll not constantly say this is the time to restructure this country.”

The All Progressives Grand Alliance has written the late Chukwuemeka Ojukwu and nominated the Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, as his successor.

In statement by the National Chairman of the party, Victor Oye, on Thursday, APGA assured the late Igbo leader of making more history.

While nominating Obiano as his successor, the party said the Anambra State governor had redefined governance in Nigeria through his legacy projects.

The letter read in part, “All of us in APGA sorely miss you, Ikemba Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, our indefatigable leader for life.

“Your footprints in the sands of time remain an inerasable testimony to your accomplishments while on earth.

“Your selflessness, oratory, courage and aristocracy singled you out from among your contemporaries.

“We know you are happy where you are, because you left your house in order before the journey to beyond.

“We assure you that we will keep the light you lit burning, no matter the intractability of whatever challenges we are made to confront.

“Your successor, Governor Willie Obiano, has redefined governance in Nigeria through his legacy projects, prudent management of human and material resources, provision of adequate security and regular payment of salaries, pensions and gratuities. Anambra State is now the toast of the world.”

The All Progressives Congress in Rivers State on Wednesday told the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, to tender an unreserved apology to Rivers people over his absence from the South-South stakeholders’ meeting with the Federal Government held in Port Harcourt, the state capital, on Tuesday.

Governors and leaders of the South-South geopolitical zone met with the presidential delegation led by the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari at the Government House in Port Harcourt and demanded the restructuring of the country in line with the principle of true federalism.

The party said it had reliable information that Amaechi was in Port Harcourt to welcome the presidential delegation, but decided not to partake in the crucial meeting.

According to a statement signed by Livingstone Wechie, Media Adviser to the state APC acting Caretaker Committee Chairman, Igo Aguma, the minister’s absence from the meeting could not be justified, describing it as embarrassing.

The statement read in part, “The action of the godfather of the APC in Rivers State, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, is an evidence of the type of divisive and selfish leadership he is giving the APC in the state, which is solely aimed at destroying the party at all cost for his personal gain in keeping with his vows.

“The APC in Rivers State, therefore, demands that His Excellency Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi should follow the precedent set by the Presidency by tendering an unreserved apology to the people of Rivers State and the APC in the state over his embarrassing action.”

Governors and leaders of the South-South geopolitical zone have demanded  restructuring of the country in line with the principle of true federalism, saying it will  guarantee peace, security and stability in the country.

The South-South leaders decried the present arrangement, where others zones depend on the resources of the Niger Delta. They said such an arrangement could not engender the development.

They  observed that Nigeria was not at peace with itself and not working as it should, particularly for the people of the South-South.

The Chairman of the South-South Governors forum and Governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, made the positions of the zone known during the regional stakeholders meeting with presidential delegation led by the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Tuesday.

The media aide to Rivers State Governor, Kelvin Ebiri in a statement on the outcome of the Port Harcourt meeting quoted Okowa as saying that the people of the zone were committed to restructuring of Nigeria in a way that would  guarantee  true federalism and devolution of powers to the states.

He said states would be able to  create and manage their own police and security architecture under a federal structure.

He called for “true federalism guided by the principle of derivation, revenue sharing and control of resources by each State of the federation as it was the case in the First Republic.”

According to him, the kind of federation the South-South geopolitical desires is one where federating units are constitutionally empowered to create their own structures like local government areas, manage their elections and control their judiciary.

“We are all aware of the huge endowment of this country. As such, it is imperative to stress that with a little bit of efforts, imagination, hard work, sacrifice and leadership, every state of the federation as of today, has the ability and capability to contribute to the national purse. This should be encouraged rather than the whole country depending substantially on a region of the country.

“What is worse and even more painful in this ugly situation is the deliberate lack of understanding, empathy and the uncompromising attitudes of some Nigerians, who have refused to understand the challenges of the South-South region of the country especially, the degradation of the environment and our waters.

“As a result, most of the demands of the region have remained unattended to while the resources of the region have been used continually to develop other parts of the country”.

The governors reiterated the call for the relocation of the headquarters of major oil companies, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and its  subsidiaries from Lagos and Abuja to the South-South.

Okowa also requested  immediate implementation of the consent judgment entered in the Supreme Court Suit No: SC/964/2016 to enable the South-South region to  get its share of $55bn shortfall of collection on deep offshore and inland basin production sharing contracts.

The governors further called for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the region’s major seaports in Port Harcourt, Calabar and Warri in order to enhance the economic development of the South-South region.

In addition, they demanded that the two refineries in Port Harcourt and one in Warri that had continued to bleed the country’s resources in the name of turnaround maintenance, should be privatized.

According to him, “Enough is enough. Let us now privatise them and in doing so however, allow the states and the region among others, considerable equity in the name of fairness and justice”.

The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, on Monday presented a budget of N266.6bn as the 2021 budget to the state Assembly.

While presenting the budget tagged, ‘Budget of continued consolidation’ Makinde announced that 53.2 per cent of the total budget was being proposed for capital expenditure.

He said, “The 2021 budget is N12bn above the 2020 budget and this is to further drive a consolidation effort that we started this year.

“We were able to achieve 50.2 per cent of the 2020 budget implementation and you will agree with me that it was due to causes beyond our control like the COVID-19 pandemic and other crisis that bedevilled the nation and the world at large.”

Makinde further explained that the recurrent expenditure is N136, 262,990 while the capital expenditure is N130. 381bn.

According to him, 21 per cent of the budget, amounting to N56.348 bn, is allocated to education while infrastructure is to gulp N46bn, representing 17.2per cent of the budget.

For health, a total of N13.2bn, representing 4.9per cent of the budget was set aside for the establishment of primary health centers across 351 wards in the state.

Makinde lauded the state lawmakers for their cooperation.

“So, it is pertinent that we appreciate the members of the state House of Assembly for their support.”

The Police Command in Nasarawa State has confirmed the abduction of the state chairman of the All Progressive Congress, Mr Philip Shekwo, by gunmen on Saturday.

Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Bola Longe, confirmed the incident to newsmen on Sunday in Lafia.

Longe said that the APC chairman was abducted from his residence in Bukan-Sidi, Lafia around 11 p.m. on Saturday.

Longe said the police had been deployed to comb the various forests and flashpoints in the state to ensure the rescue of the APC chieftain.

The Ebonyi State Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Mr Chika Nwoba, has resigned his position.

Nwoba in a statement on Monday expressed gratitude to the APC and its leaders for finding him worthy to be elected to the position in 2018, at the age of 27.

He told our correspondent in a telephone interview that he was leaving the APC because, “I cannot work with Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi.”

In a related development, the Chairman of the Ebonyi State chapter of the Action Peoples Party, Chinedum Elekwachi, has dumped the party and joined the Peoples Democratic Party.

Elekwachi, disclosed this to newsmen, in Abakaliki, on Tuesday. According to him, he took the decision after consultations with his family, friends, associates and political mentors.

The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, on Tuesday, alleged that his Ebonyi State counterpart, David Umahi, left the Peoples Democratic Party to pursue a presidential bid.

This is as Umahi at a media briefing in Abakaliki on Tuesday said his decision to dump the Peoples Democratic Party, was premised on his conviction that the All Progressives Congress was more amenable to working in the interest of the South East zone.

Umahi, explained that he was leaving the PDP because of the injustice meted out to the people of the zone despite several years of loyalty.

But Wike said,  in a statement by his Special Assistant (Media), Kelvin Ebiri, on Monday, that contrary to Umahi’s claims, the PDP had not been unfair to the South-East.

Wike noted that Umahi’s defection did not come to committed PDP members as a surprise because the Ebonyi State governor had been fraternising with the ruling party over time.

He said, “My friend, Umahi wants to be president. There is no problem about that. You have a right to be president. Nobody can stop you.  You are educated. You have been a governor for two terms, so you are qualified to say I want to be president of Nigeria.

“My reaction to Governor Umahi’s defection is not that he has no right to defect, but to say he is defecting because of injustice meted to the South-East that is insulting to the South-East.”

While demanding that Umahi should retract his alleged false claims against the PDP, Wike argued that under the PDP, the South-East had over the years produced Senate Presidents; National Vice Chairman of the PDP and Secretary to the Federal Government.

He urged the PDP National Working Committee and the National Executive Committee to take decisive steps to ensure that PDP does not die in Ebonyi State.

Umahi, at the briefing, had explained that he was leaving the PDP because of the injustice meted out to the people of the zone despite several years of loyalty.

He equally dismissed speculations that he was dumping the PDP to pursue a presidential ambition.

Umahi said, “I have been a successful governor for two terms and a successful business man in business, where I also have a calling.

“I am not driven by selfish interests but because we need to protest against marginalisation. We have benefited more from the APC government. I didn’t start this protest today. I have no regrets. In life, you have to be courageous.

“The South-East has remained faithful to PDP, voted for its candidates yet had not been considered fairly in Nigerian polity. The APC is amenable working for the South-East zone than the PDP.”

The governor also faulted claims made by the Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, Senator Walid Jubrin, that the South-East never requested for the party’s presidential ticket.

Umahi saud contrary to Jibrin’s claims, over 50 organisations, the Ebonyi Assembly, as well as the PDP State Working Committee had demanded that the position should be zoned to the South-East.

According to him, the quest for the emergence of a President of Igbo extraction come 2023, was in the interest of Nigeria’s peace and progress.

However, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan said, “The PDP is not aware of the defection of any of our governors. Our governor in Ebonyi State raised some issues which as a party, we are looking into them.”

  • Uzodinma, Okorocha, Orji Kalu, others reaching out to opposition governors

  •  We aren’t disturbed, gale of defections will soon hit ruling party, boasts PDP

They gathered on Monday that the APC Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee led by the Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, had directed the party’s leaders in the South-East to reach out to more governors and National Assembly members in the region.

It was learnt that among those being targeted by the APC leaders were the Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu; his Enugu State counterpart, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi; and Willy Obiano of Anambra State.

But the PDP, the party on whose platform both the Abia and Enugu State governors were elected, told The PUNCH that it was not disturbed by the APC’s moves.

The PDP insisted that the country’s constitution guaranteed freedom of association, adding that a gale of defection would soon hit the APC.

Recall that Umahi, at a meeting held with the PDP National Working Committee in Abuja last week, reportedly told the leaders that he could only remain in the party if the 2023 presidential ticket was zoned to the South-East, a condition that the party leaders could not agree to.

But on Monday, a top-ranking member of the APC confided in one of our correspondents, “Apart from Umahi, who is coming in a matter of days, we are preparing to receive more governors from the South-East. Our people are discussing with more governors from the South-East.

“For now, we are reaching out to the Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, and the Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, as well as their Enugu State counterpart, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi. Our leaders in the South-East, including Hope Uzodimma, Uzor Kalu and Rochas Okorocha, are also talking to people in the zone.

“Apart from the governors, we are also expecting members of the state and National Assemblies to also come on board.”

Uzodinma, South-East APC chairmen, ministers in crucial meeting

Ahead of the planned defection of Umahi, Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, APC state chairmen from the South-East zone and some serving ministers held a crucial meeting with the Ebonyi State governor, at the Imo State Governors’ Lodge, Asokoro, Abuja, on Monday.

The meeting, which started around 8pm, had in attendance the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu; Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba; and former APC National Organising Secretary, Senator Osita Izunaso, among others.

Onu, who addressed journalists after the meeting said, “We are here as leaders of the APC in the South-East; we have representatives from all the states in the South-East we met to review the situation of the party in the South-East. We have one governor now and we are working so that by 2023, we will have five.”

In response to a question on Umahi’s defection, a former Senate President, Ken Nnamani said, “I think it is work in progress; we are not definitive about what’s going to happen; we are trying to say that our party is a very large one. Like Dr Ogbonaya Onu said, we are trying to rebuild our party; our gate is wide open. We are expecting many more people.”

After Umahi, more opposition governors’ll join APC, says Uzodimma

Speaking to journalists at the APC National Secretariat in Abuja on Monday, Uzodinma said the party was prepared to receive Umahi “within a few hours.”

He spoke after a closed-door meeting with Buni and other members of the committee.

According to him, apart from Umahi, more governors from the South-East are being expected to join the APC.

He, however, declined to name the governors involved.

Uzodinma said, “If you recall when I addressed you here a couple of months ago, I told you that the moment I resumed office in Imo State as the governor that the impression and perception of our party in the South-East would change and the resultant effect would be that more credible individuals and governors would even join the party.

“Today, I am being vindicated because we are hearing it and I’m sure that in a few hours from now, we will get confirmation that one of our best will be joining the party and is the governor of Ebonyi State. Of course, I will be very glad and it will be my joy to welcome a governor and more governors, not only him, we are still talking about more governors to join.

“The APC is the ruling party and for the interest of national integration and cohesion, Imo and the South-East need to become part and parcel of the ruling party to make the Nigerian project a complete project.”

Speaking on the reason for his visit to the APC secretariat, Uzodinma stated, “I’m at the headquarters of our great party to meet with the critical stakeholders and officers of our party as to the status and ongoing events in our great party, and I had a private audience with the National Chairman and some members of the NWC (caretaker) and also touched base on our preparedness for the upcoming bye-election.

“Of course, you know that any moment from now, there will be a senatorial bye-election in Imo State for the Imo North Senatorial District, and I think our party is prepared. The APC is the party to beat in Imo State.

“The most important thing is for the APC to win the election. The party has an internal mechanism of confirming who the candidate is. The Supreme Court has said it; the Electoral Act has said it. Every party has the right and it is only the party that sponsors a candidate. Of course, we have our candidate; there are some few legal issues going on. I don’t want to go into that now because the matter pending in court is sub judice, but at the end of the day, we have a candidate.”

More Nigerians are joining us – APC

When contacted, the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Yekini Nabena, said, “The defection of Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State is just the beginning; more high-profiled Nigerians from across the board have indicated interest in joining our great party. Nigerians have now seen that the APC is a moving train and the PDP is a sinking ship. Don’t forget that the governor is a governor, who is on the ground and is not coming in alone; he is coming with people.

“More and more people are coming in because they have seen the progress being made by the APC under the leadership of the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee.”

We’re not worried by APC’s plot in South-East, says PDP

In response to a question on if the PDP was worried that its traditional stronghold in the South-East was being decimated, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Kola Ologbodiyan, told The PUNCH, “We are not worried; as a democratic party, we respect the democratic right of Nigerians to freedom of association. We are also aware that some people, who are unhappy about happenings in the ruling party, will be joining us as time goes on.

“Our main focus is to strengthen our party and rebuild our brand. We met with the governor of Ebonyi State and he told us his concerns; as a party, we are looking into those concerns. The PDP, under the leadership of Prince Uche Secondus, is determined to ensure that our processes and procedures are respected in decision making. The issue of zoning for 2023 has not come in any of our official discussions yet; we have not reached that stage.”
In Enugu State, sources told one of our correspondents that Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi might dump the PDP if the leadership of the party fails to address the concerns of the South-East zone and allow Umahi to defect to the APC.

A former governor of the state, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Ugwuanyi had been nursing the ambition of dumping the PDP after the 2019 elections, but he was being prevailed upon by stakeholders not to dump the party for whatever issue he might have had with it.

He stated, “My brother, if not because our people, especially the young men, have passionate hatred for the APC stemming from the marginalisation of the zone by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), Ugwuanyi would have defected to the APC long ago.

“Although I don’t know his plans now since some stakeholders advised him against dumping the PDP, but looking back, all the governors in the South-East are at their terminal terms in office and naturally, it is expected that some, who are not sure of their next political journey, will start making plans and forming alliances.”

But, when the state Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mrs Kate Offor, was contacted on the development, she said it would be unkind of her to start commenting on what the national leadership of the party was hatching.

“For me and the APC in Enugu State, we are not aware of this development, but it is possible. But like I said, I am not aware of such a move for the Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, to defect to my party.

”When the state Commissioner for Information, Mr Chidi Aroh, was contacted on the telephone on the alleged plan of the governor to defect to the APC, he said, “We don’t talk about that. The government doesn’t comment on rumours.”

Commenting on the alleged move by Ikpeazu, to join the APC, the Abia State Chairman of the party, Donatus Nwakpa, said the doors of the APC were open for anyone, who wanted to join it.

“That (Ikpeazu’s defection) will be good and there is the need (for it) so that Abians will reap the dividend of democracy”.

But the state Commissioner for Information, John Okiyi, said the governor did not have such a plan.

“He has no such plans. People should allow him to deliver the dividend of democracy to Abians,” Okiyi said.

The Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, has no plans to leave the All Progressives Grand Alliance.

The Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, C-Don Adinuba, described the rumour of the planned defection as “arrant nonsense.”

He described those circulating the rumour as self-seeking.

“There is nothing like that, and there can never be something like that. It’s just arrant nonsense and self-seeking propaganda,” he stated.

The President Manuel Merino resigned Sunday, just five days after taking office, sparking celebrations in the capital Lima following street protests against him and the ousting of his popular predecessor.

Merino, 59, stepped down shortly after a crisis session of Congress called on him to quit power before 6:00 pm (2300 GMT) or face censure.

“I want to let the whole country know that I’m resigning,” Merino said in a televised address, a day after a police crackdown on protesters left at least two people dead.

Congress was expected to appoint a new president — the South American country’s third in a week — in a new session on Sunday evening.

Thousands have taken to the streets in days of protests against Merino following the ouster of his predecessor Martin Vizcarra, who was impeached on corruption allegations on Monday.

Elections are scheduled for April 2021 and Merino was scheduled to leave power in July, when Vizcarra’s mandate was to end.

Congress’ ultimatum came after the health ministry said two protesters were killed on Saturday during a massive and peaceful march in Lima, which was repressed by police firing shotgun pellets and tear gas.

Merino said that to avoid a “power vacuum” the 18 ministers he swore in on Thursday would temporarily remain in their posts, though almost all had resigned in the wake of Saturday’s crackdown on protests.

His resignation was greeted by noisy celebrations in Lima, with demonstrators taking to the streets sounding horns and banging pots.

Some lawmakers questioned the wisdom of removing Vizcarra in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and a crippling recession.

The pandemic has hit Peru hard, with the politically-fragile country having the world’s highest per capita death rate with nearly 35,000 fatalities, and GDP plunging over 30 percent in the second quarter.

– Police criticised –

Vizcarra, 57, welcomed his rival’s resignation, having questioned the legality of his dismissal last week.

“A dictatorship has left the palace,” he told reporters outside his home in Lima, adding that Merino “was breaking out democracy.”

The popular former president did not rule out a return to his mandate and urged an early ruling on a constitutional challenge to his November 9 dismissal.

“It is essential that the Constitutional Court make a statement urgently and say whether what the congressmen did on the 9th is legal,” said Vizcarra.

Earlier, Lima Archbishop Carlos Castillo deplored the police crackdown in a statement to state television, adding that he had received news of the death of a third protester.

However, police reported two deaths, while the National Human Rights Coordinator indicated it was investigating whether there were four.

The Ombudsman’s Office said the first fatality, a 25-year-old man, was killed by pellet shots to the head and face. At least 112 protesters were injured, the health ministry said.

The crisis rocking the South-West chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party took a new twist on Friday as the faction led by a former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, set up a parallel reconciliation committee.

The faction also set up a five-man panel to study, assess and identify factors responsible for the party’s loss of the Ondo State governorship election and submit its report within a month.

In a meeting on Thursday in Ibadan presided over by Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde, ex-Osun State, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, was chosen as chairman of a five-man reconciliation committee to reconcile the aggrieved PDP members in the zone.

A communique issued at the Fayose faction’s meeting of party leaders in the zone held in Lagos resolved that the group

took due notice of the efforts of the National Working Committee geared towards sustaining the party.

the 15 pending bye-elections in 11 States in Nigeria would be conducted on Saturday December 5 2020, the Independent National Electoral Commission has said.

The commission also appealed for the cooperation of voters and stakeholders in the states with pending bye-elections in its efforts to deliver credible elections under a safe environment.

INEC National Commissioner and chairman (Information and Voter Education Committee), Festus Okoye, made the announcement in a statement issued after its meeting which held in Abuja on Friday.

The meeting, among other things, reviewed the outcome of its quarterly engagements and consultations with critical stakeholders in the electoral process, and further reviewed the security situation and other challenges regarding the 15 pending bye-elections in 11 States.

It was reported that following the #EndSARS nationwide protests, INEC had announced the indefinite postponement of the bye-elections in the six Senatorial Districts and nine State Constituencies.

The commission then said it would continue to monitor the situation in all the states and constituencies, consult with relevant stakeholders and meet again in two weeks to review the situation and decide on a feasible date for the elections.

The pending by-elections are Bayelsa Central Senatorial District; Bayelsa West Senatorial District; Nganzai and Bayo Constituencies in Borno State; Cross River North Senatorial District; Obudu Constituency in Cross River.

Others are Imo North Senatorial District; Lagos East Senatorial District; Kosofe II Constituency in Lagos State; Plateau South Senatorial District; Bakura Constituency in Zamfara; and Ibaji Constituency in Kogi.

The bye-elections in the federal and state legislative houses were due to the resignation or death of members in eight states of the federation.

He said, “The commission met again on Thursday, November 5 2020 and reviewed the situation. It noted among other things, the extensive damage to and vandalization of its local government offices and facilities, which affected some areas where the bye-elections are scheduled to hold.

“Based on these consultations, the commission believes that security in the affected States has improved while the environmental challenges have reasonably abated. Consequently, the commission has decided to hold all the pending bye-elections on Saturday December 5, 2020.

“The commission acknowledges the support, understanding and cooperation of political parties, the security agencies, the media civil society organizations and the general public as it considers the scheduling of the bye-elections and in its overall efforts to reposition the electoral process and give meaning and value to the votes of the people.

“We appeal to voters and stakeholders in the states with pending bye-elections to continue to cooperate with the commission in its efforts to deliver credible elections under a safe environment.”

Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa has said there are no plans by his administration to stop pensions of former governors and their deputies.

Okowa said this while addressing newsmen on Wednesday in Asaba.

On Tuesday, DAILY POST reported that Sanwo-Olu announced that a bill on the abrogation of pension for ex-governors in Lagos State would be sent to the House of Assembly in a few weeks for legislative approval.

On the other hand, Okowa said his counterpart in Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, may have reasons to repeal theirs but there is an existing law in Delta state on pension for ex-governors and he does not intend to touch it.

The Governor said, “There is an existing law in our State on what accrued to the governors and their deputies, that I do not want to touch.

“We are not thinking in that direction, my counterpart in Lagos State may have reasons he wants the law repealed but we in Delta don’t want to go into that.

“I don’t want to comment on the decision of the Lagos State Governor. Each state has the power to make a decision concerning its governance.”


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