Ekiti APC Lawmakers Discontinue Suit Against Fayose

fayose-The 19 members of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, under the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC), have filed a notice of discontinuance of a suit they instituted against Governor Ayo Fayose at the Federal High Court in Lagos.

The lawmakers had filed the suit against the State Governor and others, to challenge the purported impeachment of Hon. Adewale Omirin as Speaker, and running of the House by only seven members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The APC lawmakers were alleged to had earlier fled the state after Hon Omirin’s impeachment, but were directed by the party to return after the March 28 Presidential elections.

A copy of the notice of discontinuance which was signed by the 19 lawmakers was obtained on Thursday by Channels TV’s judiciary correspondent, Shola Soyele.

In the suit, the APC lawmakers had specifically argued that by the provision of the constitution, the 7 PDP lawmakers lacked the legal right to take decisions on behalf of the House.

The plaintiffs had also asked the court to declare that Hon Omirin and his deputy are entitled to occupy their offices, except removed by two-third majority votes of the assembly.

The lawmakers also sought a declaration that Governor Fayose’s alleged attempt to force them to join the PDP and denounce the APC is against their constitutional rights to freedom of association.

They then asked the court to hold that the election of the PDP’s Dele Olugbemi as Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly was illegal, saying all deliberations and actions of the seven lawmakers were invalid.

Meanwhile, Governor Fayose, in a preliminary objection filed by three of his commissioners, asked the court for an order striking out or dismissing the suit in its entirety, for lack of jurisdiction.

Osinbajo Receives Over 5,000 Defectors From PDP In Kaduna

osinbajoOver 5,000 members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kaduna State are said to have defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of Saturday’s governorship and House of Assembly elections.

The defectors were received by the Vice-President-elect, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

A statement issued by the spokesman of the APC Governorship Campaign Organisation in the state, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, noted that the defectors were received in the southern part of the state by Prof. Osinbajo during a stakeholders meeting ahead of the election.

The statement quoted Prof. Osinbajo as saying the “PDP government did great harm to the nation, using religion and playing divisive politics during its 16-year rule”.

Prof. Osinbajo also urged the people to work hard in order to bring about a rebirth of a new Nigeria where freedom of religion, law and order will be entrenched for collective good.

Prominent among the defectors are a former member of the House of Representatives, Mrs Ruth Jummai Ango, former Commissioner and Attorney General in the state, Zakari Sogfa and 114 immediate past councilors from 8 local government areas of the zone.

Meanwhile, the PDP has denied that it lost some of its members to the APC.

Spokesman for the Kaduna State governor, Ahmed Maiyaki, in a statement said that no single PDP member has left the party after the March 28 Presidential and National Assembly elections, adding that the APC fabricated the story which is aimed at deceiving the electorate ahead of Saturday’s governorship election, because of fear of the growing popularity and acceptability of the PDP in the state.

INEC, NYSC Pledge Protection Of Corps Members

inecThe Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Director General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) said adequate arrangements have been made for the safety and welfare of corps members who will serve as adhoc electoral staff for the 2015 elections.

The INEC Chairman appealed to the corps members to handle this national assignment (election) with responsibility and patriotism, and resist undemocratic practices.

INEC on the other hand, confirmed its readiness to conduct the 2015 general elections scheduled to take place on Saturday March 28.

The electoral body on Wednesday also said it has accredited 107 domestic and international observers to monitor the elections.

#Nigeria2015: Vote With Your Head, Not Your Heart – Aliyu

Umar AliyuSecurity Consultant, Captain Umar Aliyu (Rtd) on Friday called on Nigerians to vote logically and not emotionally as doing otherwise will put them at risk of falling for political propaganda.

Captain Aliyu who was a guest on Channels Television’s special 2015 election programme, Nigeria 2015, said “Go and vote with your head, not with your heart”, he warned, adding that “If you vote with your heart, you will be vulnerable to those things the politicians harp on – sentiments, emotion and what have you”.

“If you vote with your head, you’re actually going to be logical, cautious and (let me say) security conscious”.

According to him “people should understand that whichever way, whatever way, the elections are going to take a position – one of two possible outcomes and I think what parties should do is to begin to prepare their followers for the other outcome.”

Captain Aliyu also noted that most politicians across different political parties were particular about a win-win outcome, which was not possible.

“Parties would do well to begin to prepare followers for the ‘just in case it goes the other way’”.

The consultant also gave security tips to the electorate to help them stay safe while participating in the elections.

Pre-election, Aliyu advised people “to begin to pay a little more attention to their itinerary. People should begin to pay more attention to their utterances.

“People should also begin to look at trying as much as possible to put one or two things out of the way. Like posters, stickers on your vehicles. Don’t go about wearing a T shirt that is pro or anti any group, before or during the elections.

Aliyu stressed that only one candidate would emerge winner at the forthcoming Presidential election and the results may not be received well.

He also warned that although the security agencies have been deployed, citizens must take some steps to protect themselves.

2015 Elections: Academics, Others Call For Peaceful Polls

ElectionsAppeals have continued to come from different quotas for peaceful polls in the rescheduled March 28 and April 11 general elections.

‎The University of Port-Harcourt Alumni Association, members of the civil society and other concerned individuals on Thursday, asked Nigerians to come out en mass to vote without causing trouble.

They also appealed to security operatives to be on the alert.

‎Acknowledging the transformation agenda of the present administration, the group advised voters not to be intimidated by tension in the atmosphere, noting that they have the freedom to make their choice by going to the polls.

The Nigerian Chief of Army Staff had on the previous day, warned that any one who threatens violence, no matter his position, would be met with organised violence by the Nigerian Army.

Lieutenant-General Kenneth Minimah stated that the Armed Forces, the Police and other security agencies have made adequate arrangements for security, ahead of the general elections commencing on Saturday.

He urged Nigerians to turn out en masse and vote candidates of their choice without fear for their safety.

INEC Accredits 107 Observers To Monitor Polls

inec-4The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has accredited 107 domestic and international observers to monitor the general elections slated for March 28 and April 11, 2015.

Among the observers accredited on Tuesday were embassies of 11 foreign nations of the United States of America, Switzerland, Britain, Germany, France, Japan, Canada, Ireland, Australia, Ghana and the Republic of Korea.

The commission also listed 14 international and regional organisations as part of the accredited observers, while the remaining 82 observers are domestic groups.

The international and regional organisations include: National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, Commonwealth Observers Mission, International Republican Institute, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, Kenya, Africa Students Association of Ireland, ECOWAS Mission, among others.

Similarly, the 82 domestic observers accredited for the election were: Police Service Commission, Justice Development and Peace Commission (Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria), Centre for Strategic Conflict Management, Election Monitor, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, among others.

Going by the plans of the Electoral umpire (INEC), ballot papers for Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections are to be moved from the vaults of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Wednesday.

The Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr Kayode Idowu said all the non-sensitive materials had already been distributed to the appropriate destinations.

The INEC spokesman emphasised, the ballot papers for the different positions and locations had been customised in such a way that it would be difficult to be faked.

However, this is in line with preparations for the forthcoming general elections slated for March 28 and April 11, 2015.

Governor Okorocha Urges APC Supporters To Wait After Voting

OkorochaImo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has urged the All Progressives Congress (APC) supporters to wait behind after voting in the course of the forthcoming March 28 and April 11 general elections.

The Governor made the appeal while speaking at the south-east presidential rally on Monday, which held in Owerri, the Imo State capital.

During the occasion, Governor Okorocha also welcomed into the party’s fold, new members, who have defected from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The presidential candidate of the opposition party, General Mohammed Buhari, in his statement, asked the party supporters to vote out the PDP.

Major political parties in Nigeria have continued to extend their drag net, making last ditch efforts to woo voters ahead of Saturday’s presidential election.

The Imo State Governor, had earlier promised Imo indigenes schooling in all tertiary institutions in the state that if re-elected, he would ensure the continuity of his free education programme in all Imo State owned tertiary institutions.

While receiving hundreds of students from the Imo State University (IMSU) at the Government House in Owerri, the Imo State capital, the Governor said that his achievements in the advancement and development of education in the state remains unbeatable and laudable.

The Governor also said that his administration would remain committed to empowering the less privileged and the down-trodden.

More APC Governors, Deputies Will Join PDP Soon – Secondus

pdp-apc-1The Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, has said that subsequent to the party’s latest nationwide consultations, some All Progressives Congress (APC) governors and their deputies would soon return to the PDP.

Secondus, who made the claim in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Sunday, said that towards the last days of campaigns, the APC would totally crumble, pointing that defection of Rivers State Deputy Governor, Tele Ikuru, to the PDP was a clear indication that President Goodluck Jonathan has the vision to take Nigeria to the next level.

He further stressed that Ikuru and other candidates’ exit from the APC in Rivers State was an indication that the State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, was not providing any governance adding that the people had lost confidence in him.

The Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Tele Ikuru, declared his defection on Sunday, six days to the general elections.

In an address entitled “A Call On The Conscience Of The People of Rivers State”, the Deputy Governor said the address was delivered out of the fullness of his heart.

He said: “Ever since, as the true nature and motives of APC are unveiled, I have continued to twist and turn in extreme mental and emotional agony.

“The more I struggle to belong, the more the Rivers man in me rejects the APC.

“After carefully studying, interacting and analyzing the leadership of the party, I have come to the sad conclusion that the APC is a party of rebels, insurgents and anarchists, clothed in robes of pretence and deceit. APC is a party founded on deception and it thrives on unholy propaganda and falsehood.”

However, Mr Ikuru said his decision was centred on the fact that he would not want to be listed as part of a generation that would witch hunt and hound down the very first ever President from the region, apparently referring to the incumbent President seeking re-election in the presidential election that will hold on March 28.

Yoruba Leaders Say Election Must Hold As Rescheduled

yoruba leadersYoruba leaders in south-west Nigeria have stressed the need for the rescheduled elections to hold without any delay on March 28 and April 11, expressing their commitment to a smooth transition and purposeful leadership.

After an extensive summit at the historic parliament building in Ibadan on Thursday, it was concluded that no excuse would be entertained for any shift of the date, as it could be a recipe for disaster.

In his address at the Pan Yoruba Summit that, the convener of the conference, General Alani Akinrinade (Rtd), said the summit was necessary because the current leadership had made Yorubas “victims of arrested development, with significant retrogression which must be stopped”.

He expressed hopes that the meeting would arrive at a common narrative that would outline the demand of the Yorubas for development in an emerging Nigeria, with purpose driven goals for regional and national progress.

Retrogressive Measures Of The Government

The Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, who hosted the event, condemned recent violent protest involving OPC in Lagos. He lamented what he called a state of servitude of his people which made it possible to turn them against one another .

Governor Ajimobi further said that despite the rich historical repertoire of the Yorubas and its contribution to national development, the region had suffered a great deal in the last 16 years of democracy.

The convergence of eminent Sons and Daughters of the Yoruba race at the House of Chiefs, Parliament Buildings Secretariat in Ibadan was called by the Yoruba elders to urgently address issues affecting the growth and unity of the race.

It was an avenue for the Yoruba leaders to register their displeasure with the retrogressive measures of the government at the centre to the south-west and by extension all Yoruba kits and kins across the world.

In a communique signed by the convener at the end of the summit, the elders agreed unequivocally that; elections must hold as scheduled, states must be allowed to grow and prosper at their pace while an end must be put to alienation and repression of the race.

Buhari Assures Of Media Freedom If Elected

buhariFormer Military Head of State and Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari, has assured the Nigerian Media that the industry and its practitioners will not suffer any harassment under his government, should he emerge winner of the March 28 presidential election.

General Buhari, who gave the assurance in Abuja, at a special interactive session with the Nigerian Press Organisation (NPO), however, refused to apologise to the media for the harassment suffered during his term as the military Head of State between 1983 and 1984.

He added that dictatorship goes with military rule, so he cannot change his past but can change the present and the future.

Buhari, who said he is subjecting himself to the rigours of democratic elections for the fourth time, added that if elected, he would continue to promote the consolidation of democracy in Nigeria, by guaranteeing that the media’s freedom is not compromised in any way.

General Buhari further applauded the media for sustaining the nation’s democracy, saying that the constant reminder of those in position of authority of the alleged ills in the society has really helped in bringing some level of sanity.

Nigerian Government Expresses Renewed Confidence In Armed Forces

armed forcesThe Security Council Meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan has ended with the Federal Government expressing renewed confidence in the Nigerian Armed Forces.

This is following the news that Yobe and Adamawa states have been completely liberated from the Boko Haram insurgency.

Briefing State House correspondents after the meeting, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Kenneth Minimah, said that the council commended the Armed Forces and looked forward to the reinstatement of the structures of government in the areas.

The Lieutenant General said that three local governments were still remaining, but shared the optimism that those areas would soon be liberated.

While responding to questions on whether elections would still hold on March 28, the Chief of Army Staff said that INEC would have to re-evaluate the areas that have been liberated and when the citizens have returned to their villages and the structures of government are reinstated, then INEC can allow them to execute their rights as voters.

He also confirmed that Nigerian Soldiers have advisers and instructors on the handling of the new equipment that have been deployed for the war against insurgency.

He prayed that the operations would be concluded before March 28 but also noted that in war situations, permutations don’t usually follow.

On the rescue of the abducted Chibok girls, Gen Minimah said that the terrorists fled with their families, but he was optimistic that details of their whereabouts would soon emerge.

APC Accuses PDP Of Planning To Scuttle Elections

APC youthThe All Progressives Congress has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of doing all it can to scuttle the March 28, presidential elections.

The Director of the Buhari Campaign Organisation, Garba Shehu, said the newly registered Young Democratic Party is an appendage of the PDP.

He said the PDP was deliberately using the new party to frustrate the elections.

Mr Shehu said the claims by the ruling PDP that it had no intention of sacking the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, was not true.

“Rrecent utterances by members of the party is an indication that the ruling party is still scheme and might go ahead to change the IENC chairman all in a bid to sway the elections their way,” he said.

The Director of the Buhari Campaign Organisation, however, said that all of the efforts of the PDP would come to naught as Nigerians had resolved to ensure that through the exercise of their franchise change will come.

Last week, the governor of Ekiti State and a member of the PDP, Mr Ayodele Fayose, described outbursts of the APC over the possible removal of Professor Jega as “mere comedy“, stressing that President Goodluck Jonathan could “sack him if he wishes”.

Fayose said: “By turning themselves to advocates and defenders of the INEC Chairman, the APC and its agents have shown that they have a deal with Jega to manipulate the elections and that deal will be frustrated if he is asked to leave office”.