APC Leaders Storm Port Harcourt To Woo Amaechi

The leaders of the All Progressives Congress, APC have thrown an open invitation to the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi and the people of Rivers State to join and support the party.

The political rally was held at the Rivers State Government House, Port Harcourt, the state capital, despite the earlier challenges.

The APC delegation included Former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, Former Military Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari, the APC Interim National Chairman, Bisi Akande, National Secretary, Lai Muhamed, as well as the National Vice-Chairman South-South (APC) and Former Foreign Affairs Minister, Chief Tom Ikimi.

Thousands of Amaechi supporters, members of the National Assembly and chairmen of all Local Government Areas of the state also thronged the rally, singing his praise and reaffirming their support for the embattled governor. The leader of the state’s chapter of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Chimbiko Akarolo in his speech, declared the councils’ support for Amaechi, saying “Wherever he goes, that is where we are going to go”.

Taking turns to address the crowd, the APC leaders showered encomiums on the Rivers State Governor. National Chairman of the APC, Bisi Akande commended his courage and brilliance while Former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, refered to him as a visionary who has performed extremely well in fighting for the rights of his people. He said “a man who stands to be cheated is not a man but a pig”

Speaking further on the validity of his party’s proposition, he encouraged Governor Amaechi to consider the APC’s offer saying “this is a mission to rescue Nigeria from polarization, division, intimidation and oppression.”

Former Foreign Affairs Minister, Tom Ikimi on his part eulogized the values of the All Progressives Congress as the better option for Amaechi. He claimed that the APC provides ‘balance of power’ and an alternative platform for Nigerians.

The event climaxed with the anticipated response by Governor Rotimi Amaechi who delivered his speech amidst intermittent singing and dancing.

The visibly excited Amaechi said to the APC leaders “If I say I am not happy that you are, I am only lying”. He went on to condemn the activities of his political opponents and the many accusations against him and his administration.

Recounting his administration’s achievements and emphasizing his popularity among the masses, he dismissed threats to unseat him and called on the citizens of Rivers State to confront the Nigerian Police and end impunity.

Amechi who has long been suspended from the People’s Democratic Party alongside 6 other Governors promised that he would embark on consultations with his fellow G7 Governors, the APC leaders and the Nigerian President before responding to APC’s request to join the party.

President Jonathan Hails Oba Akiolu’s Exemplary Dedication To Service

President Goodluck Jonathan has congratulated Oba Rilwan Babatunde Akiolu I of Lagos as he marks 70 years on October 29.

In a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, Reuben Abati:

“President Jonathan joins the people of Lagos and Oba Akiolu’s friends, associates and peers across the country in felicitating with the monarch who has exhibited exemplary wisdom, courage, selflessness, philanthropy and dedication to the service of his people since his ascension to the revered throne of Lagos over 10 years ago”.

The President assures Oba Akiolu, on the occasion of his 70th birthday that the Federal Government will continue to work diligently, in cooperation with all other tiers of government in the country, towards progressively improving the living conditions of people in his domain and all other parts of Nigeria.

President Jonathan prayed that God will grant Oba Akiolu continued good health and many more years of commendable service to the people of Lagos and Nigeria.

APC Zones Presidential Slot To The North

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has ceded the presidential slot to the Northern region ahead of the 2015 elections.

The decision to cede the presidential slot to the Northern zone was reached after a series of meeting which was held last week amongst top leaders of the coalition party.

It is no longer news that opposition parties have decided on a merger which brought about the creation of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in a bid to wrestle power from the ruling People’s Democratic Party.

According to information gathered by Channels Television, some key members of the ruling party in different states of the federation are being wooed to cross over to the mega alliance party.

However, one issue generating hiccups for the party leaders is that of the national chairmanship of the alliance party as the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) was billed from the onset to produce someone to occupy the national chairman slot. All that changed as the Action Congress of Nigeria national leader, Senator Bola Tinubu, decided to lobby in favour of the ACN for the slot.

The ANPP sounded it’s objection to this, prompting party leaders to hold talks with the ANPP.

It was reported that the merging parties agreed to cede to the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) the national secretary position and it was also learnt that the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, will likely occupy the position.

APC Is Out To Grab Power, Lacks Ideology- George Ekeh

Ahead of the 2015 general elections, a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), George Ekeh has labeled the yet-to-be-registered All Progressives Congress (APC) as a party without ideology and just another political party seeking to grab power for their selfish interests.

“I have always said that they are simply coming to grab power… forget about all those progressive definitions” he said.

Ekeh accused the merging opposition parties of “Trying to elbow PDP out and then take over power”.

Ekeh, who was speaking as a guest on Sunrise Daily, a breakfast programme on Channels Television, wondered if the merging parties will be registered with the name APC after another group claimed possession of the acronym long before now.

He however said “what is in a name if their intention is right”, pointing to the fact that the figures in the opposition are the same.

“The people who people the parties are the same.. For purposes of emphasis they are the same. The only way you can know is that you can see how people meander from this party to the other one. The moment you don’t have the platform to contest in this party, you end up in another one” he continued.

Ekeh said for the PDP to survive they should be able to send Trojan Horses into the camps of other political parties, as it is a strategy that will help confuse the opposing camps.

He also wondered why the National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) would oppose the formation of the PDP Governors Forum as there are other issues he needs to contend with within the ACN and APC.

On the issue of ideologies in Nigerian political parties, Ekeh said “the issue of ideology does not exist”.

Re-Instate Me As Ekiti Governor, Oni Appeals To Supreme Court

Former governor of Ekiti State, Segun Oni has asked the Supreme Court to re-instate him as the governor of Ekiti state.

The former governor filed an application at the apex court seeking to set aside the judgment of the appellate court which removed him as governor.

He also asked the court to set aside a ruling by the court which refused to reverse the decision of the Appeal Court Election Petition Tribunal, even after it made a case, following findings of alleged bias on the part of the former president of the court of appeal, Justice Ayo Salami who presided over the election appeal tribunal

The Counsel to the former governor, Joe-Kyari Gadzama, leading 45 other lawyers including four Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), while adopting his brief of argument on Monday at the Supreme court, Abuja asked the apex jurists for a consequential order that Mr Oni should be reinstated as the governor f Ekiti state by virtue of the tribunal judgment delivered on 5 May 2010.

Mr Gadzama, in an alternative, asked the court to order that the Speaker of Ekiti state House of Assembly to be made acting governor.

Mr Oni challenged his removal on the grounds that the suspended President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami, who constituted and presided over the panel, wrote the judgment of the Appeals Court that sacked him from office had close affinity with former Lagos State Governor Bola Tinubu, the alter ego of the incymbent Governor Kayode Fayemi’s party, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).

According to Mr Gadzama, Justice Salami was biased and favoured ACN in the judgment and that such judgment should be set aside on the ground of judicial bias.

Mr Oni believes there are good reasons to subject the verdict to judicial review and therefore approached the Supreme Court alleging bias in the matter against the Chairman of the Court of Appeal panel and suspended President of the Court.

Mr Oni told the seven-man panel of the Supreme Court led by Justice Tanko Mohammed that he has a fundamental right to fair hearing and there is judicial bias in Justice Salami’s judgment and if established, that judgment will be a nullity.

ACN Reclaims Ikoyi/Obalende From PDP

The Appeal Tribunal on Lagos Local Government Elections has upturned the lower tribunal’s ruling on Ikoyi/Obalende Local Council Development Area (LCDA) polls held on the 22nd of October 2011, declaring the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) as the winner of the election.

The tribunal on Thursday ruled that ACN’s candidate, Wale Adeniji should remain in office thereby annulling the hope of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Ibrahim Obanikoro, to claim the seat.

The lead judgment was read by Justice Candide-Johnson and the four other justices on the Appeal Panel concurred with the judgment, making it a unanimous judgment.

The Lagos State Election Petition Tribunal had in October 2012, declared Ibrahim Obanikoro, as the duly elected Chairman of the Ikoyi/Obalende LCDA where the national leader of ACN and former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu resides.

In a unanimous judgment read by Justice Babajide Candide-Johnson on behalf of the five men Appeal Tribunal, the judges faulted the lower tribunal for going ahead to hear Obanikoro’s petition after the expiration of the 30 day time limit for hearing of election petitions in accordance with Section 14 (1) of the Local Government Election Petitions Tribunal Law, 2011.

This move aimed at forestalling lawyers’ antics to delay proceedings meant that Obanikoro’s petition should have been decided by the 14th of December, 2011.

The PDP’s Ibrahim Babajide Obanikoro had filed his petition challenging the results of the Ikoyi/Obalende polls held on the 14th of Nov, 2011. The polls held on the 22nd of Oct of the same year.

Section 54 (1) and (2) of the same law however gives some discretion for judges hearing petitions to extend the time limit for another 60days provided there is an application from the petitioner for such a request.

This according to the judges was where lawyers to Ibrahim Obanikoro erred.

They filed a notice seeking the extension of time but failed to move an application for it at the lower tribunal.

The Appeal Court in a judgment read by Justice Babajide Candide-Johnson described it as an unpardonable blunder and a grave error after the weighty petition they had filed.

The Appeal Tribunal also faulted the lower tribunal for going ahead to hear the petition after the expiration of the 30 day time limit and without an application for extension of time.

In a swift reaction, the Lagos state PDP described the judgment as a miscarriage of justice done deliberately to satisfy the ruling ACN.

The PDP also said it has resolved to report the five judges of the tribunal to the National Judicial Council.

Fashola describes Adesina as a fighter for justice

The Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola has eulogised the former governor of Oyo state and a National leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Lam Adeshina; who died at St. Nicholas Hospital in Lagos after a protracted illness saying the former governor is an honest politician, dogged fighter for justice and progressive causes.

Mr Fashola along with his counterparts from Oyo, Ogun and Ekiti states and the national leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Bola Tinubu joined hundreds of well-wishers in Felele, Ibadan to bid farewell to a former Governor of Oyo State, Alhaji Lam Adeshina on Sunday.

In a condolence message, Mr Fashola described Adeshina as a loyal disciple of the sage, Obafemi Awolowo, and a consummate administrator who was thoroughly grounded in the dialectics of the Yoruba.

While condoling with the family of the departed, his Oyo State counterpart, Abiola Ajimobi and the people of the South West in general, Mr Fashola said the former governor was a honest but shrewd politician who takes time to make up his mind on any issue adding that once convinced about the rightness of his decision it becomes difficult to dissuade him.

“Alhaji Lam Adeshina held his political beliefs firmly. He recognized the need to groom the younger generation and was never found wanting in promoting the interest of the youths”, he said.

Mr Fashola said Adeshina was a fighter who never shies away from a good cause, especially when it comes to the Yoruba cause.

“As the Governor of Oyo State, he left indelible marks in various facets, most especially in the education sector where he brought his professional acumen to bear. He would be remembered for his doggedness and steadfastness in ensuring that a progressive party runs the affairs of the South-West”, he said.

The Lagos State governor, who along with other governors and dignitaries condoled with the widow and family of the deceased shortly before the Janazah prayers, prayed that Almighty Allah would grant the Adesina’s soul Al-Janah Firdaus.

Hero of democracy

The Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun also joined other Nigerians to mourn the death of Adesina.

Mr Amosun described the ex-governor as one of the heroes of the democratic struggles in Nigeria. The governor noted that “his death came to us all as a rude shock.”

In a press statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Funmi Wakama, Mr Amosun said he joined millions of Nigerians to mourn the demise of an icon of democracy, whose tenure as governor of Oyo State was remarkable in every quarter of governance.

The governor however recalled the personal sacrifices made by late Adesina during the fight against military dictatorship, saying that “the reserve of democracy crusaders in the country has once again been depleted.”

He condoled with the family, friends and associates of the late politician as well as the leadership of the ACN in Oyo State and Nigeria, urging them to take solace in the fact that Adesina led an exemplary life.

The late Adeshina governed Oyo State from 1999 till 2003 under the Alliance for Democracy (AD) party.

 

We will reclaim all lost states in 2015 – PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has declared that it will reclaim the states it lost in previous polls in the 2015 general elections.

According to the Chairman of the party, Dr. Bamanga Tukur, the PDP National Working Committee had started making electoral reforms to achieve the aim.

Tukur spoke when PDP members from the South-West, led by Chief Oyewole Fasawe, visited him in his Abuja residence on Tuesday evening.

He told the delegation that the party would not field any “discredited candidate” in any of the elections.

He said with the supremacy status being enjoyed by the PDP, the sky would be its limit for it in executing its progressive agenda.

Tukur said, “Some people are accusing us of not doing anything. But you and I know that we need not rush in embarking on actions aimed at making our great party regain its groove in political engineering and operations.

“We are, at the moment, in consultation with PDP elders, youths, women and every relevant group on how best to take off so that we begin to regain lost grounds, henceforth. By 2015, we wish to regain all the states we lost before.

“I am saying that we have started reconstructing our beautiful umbrella and in the process, we will pluck all loopholes, we will extend the shelter; we will strengthen the structure and make it more attractive to everybody.

“At the end of it all, PDP will rise up powerfully and prove its strength as the only national party in Nigeria through subsequent elections that will be devoid of rigging.”

Tukur added that the expected openness would also make those who have defected to other political parties to have a rethink on whether they would like to return or not.

Already, he said, the party was planning to hold a summit which would be attended by its founding fathers and governors.

The summit, according to him, will enable the party to discuss modalities for its reform and how to consolidate on its electoral fortunes before 2015.

Apart from Fasawe, among those at the meeting were Prof. Ishola Odelola, Chief Remilekun Iyiola and Chief Ademola Adepegba.

Meanwhile, the PDP has insisted that there was no formal invitation sent to the National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu by the Democratic Party of the United States to attend its recent national convention.

A statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Chief Olisa Metuh, on Wednesday asked the ACN to apologise to Nigerians for allegedly deceiving them with the claim.

“PDP advises the ACN to apologise to Nigerians for embarrassing the nation and for bridging our proud people to ridicule before a foreign political party,” the PDP said.

Tinubu is new LAUTECH Chancellor

The governments of Oyo and Osun States, Tuesday, appointed former Lagos State governor and National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Bola Tinubu, as the Chancellor of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, LAUTECH, Ogbomoso.

LAUTECH, jointly owned by the two state governments, was established by the old Oyo State in 1988.

A statement in Ibadan, by Festus Adedayo, Special Adviser to Governor Abiola Ajimobi on Media, said the choice of Mr Tinubu, a financial expert, accountant and administrator, was arrived at after extensive deliberations between the governments of the two owner-states.

He said Mr Tinubu is expected to bring his administrative ingenuity and vast experience in public management to bear on the running of the institution and reposition it to meet the standard of its peers all over the world.

Tinubu urges Edo voters to defend their votes ahead of July polls

The former governor of Lagos State and national leader of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Bola Tinubu urged voters in Edo state to defend their votes in the forthcoming July 14 governorship election in the state.

Addressing a crowd of supporters at an ACN ward rally for Governor Adams Oshiomole at Uwelu Spare Parts Market in Benin City, the ACN leader and other state governors who joined the campaign rally said the electorate should be watchful and not allow the opposition party carry out any rigging plot in the election.

He urged the people not to put the state on reverse by succumbing to the antics of riggers. He urged them to vote and defend their votes.

Also present at the rally was a two time governorship aspirant of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), in Edo state, Professor Julius Ihonvbere, who recently decamped to ACN.

Comrade Adams Oshiomhole who welcomed the new party member assured Professor Ihonvbere that they will partner towards delivering the dividend of democracy to the people of the state.

Professsor Ihonvbere said he decided to join the ACN to unite with the state governor for the fight to free the state from people who are not inclined towards its development.

The former Special Adviser to former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Policy and Strategy also said he decided to pitch tent with the ACN to be part of the historic development of Edo State. He said the PDP in Edo State represents ‘oppression, intimidation, repression and decay.

2015: Tinubu meets Buhari to begin ACN-CPC merger talks

Leaders of two leading opposition parties; Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), have met and expressed their determination to work out a merger ahead of the 2015 presidential election.

ACN’s national leader, Bola Tinubu on Thursday met with the leader of the CPC, Muhammadu Buhari, at his residence in Kaduna for a meeting which was held behind closed doors

In his address to journalists after the meeting, Mr. Tinubu stated that the meeting centred on how to work out an acceptable leadership to steer the affairs of the country.

Hinting on the willingness to reach a compromise for the merger talks ahead of the next presidential election, Mr Tinubu stated that “if we have security agencies that are charged with the protection of the sovereignty of the country at the expense of their own lives, then the leaders must be able to make sacrifices and be flexible enough to help redirect.”

“Not just anybody can steer the ship of a nation, but it takes exceptional leadership to chart the course and steer the ship to a proper destination” he added.

“I am not going to be specific, but we discuss on the national patriotism and the direction the nation is going and the need for a change. That change may be about us, forming a government of our own”.

He also revealed that the meeting centred on the need to have a credible election in 2015 because “the conduct of free and fair elections is critical to the growth of democracy and development in Nigeria.”

“Every democrat must be able to work hard and sacrifice for a free and fair election. Any democrat must be able to celebrate and accept the result of free and fair elections in order to deserve the joy of victory” he averred, adding that “but every democracy must resist the abuse of power, manipulation and rigging in the election. We have areas that even if we are not in the same political party, we can collaborate”.

Common agenda

Mr Tinubu also expressed the determination of the two parties to resist being perpetual opposition, saying “we are working for a positive change in 2015. We don’t want to perpetually be in opposition, every politician wants the opportunity to govern,” he said as he explained that both parties were working for a change in the nation’s political history in 2015 that will lead to the formation of a government led by progressive minds.

He declined to give further details of their discussions saying “as politicians we discussed in general the situation in the country and how we can help ameliorate the problems facing the nation.”

“The doors are open and politics is not about a dark room event. It is about transparency and our ability to work with one another for a common agenda and that is the purpose; we are still looking at areas where we can help our nation. As you all know, patriotism is about putting the national interest above self” he said.

Accompanying the former governor of Lagos state on the trip to Kaduna were the governors of Ogun and Ekiti states. Former Minister of the FCT, Nasir El-rufai represented the CPC.

Both parties were involved in a possible merger talks, weeks to the April 2011 presidential election, but the talks collapsed days to the final round of campaigns, owing to irreconcilable differences. The party’s presidential candidates both came second and third respectively in the poll that was adjudged free and fair.