APGA Condemns APC Leaders Blockage Of Budget Directive

The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has condemned a directive by the leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to federal lawmakers of the party, asking them to block proceedings on the 2014 budget and the ratification of Service Chiefs submitted to the National Assembly by the Nigerian president.

The APGA reaction, contained in a statement released by the party’s leader, Mr Victor Umeh, is the latest bashing on the APC since it gave the directive.

Mr Victor Umeh said that the directive by the APC was callous and unpatriotic.

The APC is accusing the ruling Peoples Democratic Party and the presidency of using the apparatus of state to harass and intimidate its members.

However, Mr Umeh also said that the APC’S decision to frustrate Executive Bills sent to the National Assembly was insensitive and capable of crippling the economy of Nigeria thereby dehumanising Nigerians.

The APGA leader further said: “We had in the past alerted Nigerians about the undemocratic credentials of APC, as the party is a conglomerate of odd characters and undemocratic elements”.

The ruling PDP and the Labour Party have also condemned the action of the APC National Executive Council.

One of the stands of the Labour Party is that such blockage of the budget will affect the salary of government workers, a situation it said would lead to more crisis.

The National Assembly is expected to commence deliberations on the Appropriation Bill and the rectification of the Service Chiefs within the next few days.

Atiku Plans Nationwide Consultation

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar

A former Vice President of Nigeria, Mr Atiku Abubakar, says he is embarking on a nationwide formal and informal consultative meeting with Nigerians to reinforce the nation’s shared values.

The tour is to also enable the former leader throw up a new way forward for Nigeria.

In a statement made available to Channels Television in Abuja on Sunday, Atiku stressed the need for Nigeria as a nation to retrace her steps and begin on a new slate, saying “Nigeria is going through trying moments that requires hard work”.

“I have been engaged in formal and informal meetings with Nigerians for a while and will for the next few weeks, be travelling across the country in continuation of the consultative process,” the statement read.

The statement adds that he will continue to listen to the hopes and fears of Nigerians in order to build a future that all Nigerians can be proud of.

DPD In Nigeria’s South-west Holds Emergency Meeting

An emergency meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Nigeria’s south-west has ended with a call on the National Working Committee (NWC) to expedite action on a new date for the congress of the party in the zone in order to put executives in place.

The meeting noted that only the south-west zone of the party had no substantive executives in place.

It urged the NWC to abide by the mandate given to it at the last NEC meeting and set up a date for south-west congress.

The chairman PDP in Ogun State, Mr Dayo Lawal reiterated the zone’s support for President Goodluck Jonathan and Prof. Wale Oladipo who replaced Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola.

Mr Lawal further stated that serious efforts were being made by all factionalised leaders of the party to broker peace and unite all estranged members.

 

 

Okorocha Emerges Chairman Of Progressive Governors Forum

The Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), comprising 16 state governors who are members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), on Friday announced the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha as Chairman of the Forum.

An official statement signed by the Director General of the Progressive Governors Forum, Salihu Moh. Lukman, revealed that Governor Okorocha emerged Chairman following a unanimous election.

“The election of Okorocha is in furtherance of the commitment of the 16 Progressive Governors to strengthen democratic governance structures in the country with the overriding goal of rescuing Nigeria and facilitating the emergence of accountable leadership at all levels, led by APC,” the statement read.

As the Chairman of the forum, Okorocha is expected to provide leadership to help the PGF realise the collective vision of the members, as well as to “engender expeditiously exemplary human development programmes and policies in all APC states.”

The statement further read that: “Considering how consistently the PDP has attacked the foundations of our democracy, and the subsequent erosion of Nigerians’ hard-won freedoms, the PGF under Okorocha’s leadership pledges to mobilize citizens towards expanding and deepening democratic structures by focusing on initiatives to guarantee the development of participatory governance structures as well as the guarantee of transparent, credible elections and the results of which will reflect the votes of Nigerian people.”

 

 

Anambra: Groups Reject Call For Poll Cancellation

Several individuals from the traditional institution in Anambra state as well as, political parties, youth organisations and some governorship candidates have rejected the call for the cancellation of the governorship election which was tagged ‘inconclusive’ by INEC.

Although the electoral umpire has said it would conduct a supplementary election in a bid to cover up lapses encountered in the first election, some groups as well as the PDP have called for the outright cancelation of the election.

They cited cases of financial inducement during the election and the non-conduct of the election in some wards in Idemili North as well as the issues of voters not finding their names in the register and as such were unable to cast their votes.

A former governor of Anambra state, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, who monitored the election highlighted both the good and the ugly side of the election and maintained that it would be senseless to cancel it.

From the traditional institution, the traditional rulers of Nteje (Rowland Odigbo) and Awka (Gibson Nwosu) stressed that the election was peaceful and saw no reason for the call for cancellation.

They said that those insisting on cancellation should seek redress in the appropriate quarters without disturbing the peace of the state.

Representatives of the Ohaneze and the Association of Town Union, Innocent Onwubuya, Chris Eluemuno and Chinelo Okechukwu condemned the idea in its entirety.

Members of the Coalition of accredited civil society group and state chapter of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, NYCN, said that there won’t be total cancellation of the election.

Chairman, International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law, a civil society group led by Mr Emeka Umeagbalasi expressed surprise at the sudden lack of boldness by INEC under the law to conduct the election.

He reminded INEC that it has no power to cancel the elections as only the Tribunal has such powers. He also warned that Anambra people will never participate in any fresh poll.

 

 

PDP Replies INEC On Issue Of Missing Names In Voters Register

The Director, Strategy Planning of the Tony Nwoye Campaign Organisation, Jude Onyeka, on Thursday responded to INEC’s claim that voters who failed to confirm their names on the displayed register were to blame for their missing names on the register, disenfranchising on Election Day.

Mr Onyeka who was speaking on Sunrise daily, from Channels Television’s Abuja studio said the electoral umpire is to be held responsible for the names which were missing from the register because the updated register presented to political parties three days before election was not the same as the one presented initially.

INEC, which had blamed the issue of missing names of voters who had failed to confirm their names during display, also absolved itself from any blame by saying it had presented a revised voters register to political parties three days before the election.

Speaking on Sunrise Daily on Wednesday, the spokesman for the commission, Mr. Kayode Idowu, had explained that a glitch in the system necessitated an upgrade in the voters register as the system cut out 2 years from voters’ ages.

The voters register was compiled in 2011 but the system was not updated hence in 2013, the same age voters filled was the same on the register which was to be used for the Anambra election.

However, Mr Onyeka said the revised register was presented too late as there wasn’t enough time to send duplicate copies to all the wards, for voters to verify their names, three days before election.

It took the party one week to print and circulate the first register INEC presented 30 days before the election.

Onyeka claimed that the updated register was not the same as the first but asked if he had raised any alarm or complain to INEC, he said, there was no time to carry out a thorough check and they were busy canvassing for votes.

He alleged that up to 60 per cent of voters were disenfranchised on the day of election.

A lot of voters who saw their names on the voters register, which was displayed (in some polling stations) prior to the election, could not find it on the register on Election Day.

He averred that the election was not free and fair owing to a ‘massive disenfranchisement of voters.”

The election, he said, was a ‘monumental failure.’

National Confab: Fashola Calls For Clear Agenda

The governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, has stressed the need to set a clear agenda for the proposed National Conference in order to be certain of its purpose.

In a meeting with the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue, held in his office, governor Fashola maintained that it was impossible to say with any exactitude if the President was right or wrong on his decision to embark on the initiative.

Fashola expressed resentments about the timing of the conference and pointed out that dialogue by its very definition demands that all views, both agreeable and disagreeable must be listened to.

“If those that do not agree are heckled and shouted down, then the platform for dialogue is immediately weakened,” he said, making reference to the heckling down of the governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, in Benin City during a similar visit by the committee.

“If we refuse to listen to the views of those who don’t think that we should be doing what we are doing, it portends for me great concern about whether or not we can dialogue and indeed if we should be having one,” he emphasised.

The governor insisted that the onset of the exercise “is the strongest implication on the challenge of leadership question that we face as a nation.

“If we do not believe that our elected leaders in the National Assembly can undertake the task for us then we must begin to imagine how many possible people and groups seek to.”

He stated that the position taken by the Edo State governor was the one that appealed to him.

Issues Of Dissatisfaction

“The reason I stand by governor Oshiomhole’s position in Edo is the underlying question we are both asking; what are we supposed to be talking about?

Governor Fashola further said that some of the issues of dissatisfaction in Nigeria lie in areas where there is no need to talk.

He listed the areas of concern to include unemployment, education, inefficient transportation system, irregular power supply, hunger and national security.

All these, he pointed out, could be resolved with “concrete economic plans of action, a clear roadmap for addressing all stakeholders, parents, teachers and students in that sector, urgent infrastructural renewal plan for the country and a vigorous and impassioned implementation of the power sector reform agenda.

“I believe that what Nigerians want is not just a better document but a better life.”

He also advised the committee to take a critical look at the report of the constitutional conference held in 2006, as many areas were vigorously and passionately defended, compromised and agreed.

Edo Council Election: Aggrieved Parties Should Go To court – Afegbua

the Special Adviser to the Edo State Governor on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Kassim Afegbua.The government of Edo State, on Tuesday, advised aggrieved parties in the Esan North-east Council By-election to follow due process and seek redress in court.

The State government expressed satisfaction with the election results and insisted that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was trying to muddle up the election process.

Speaking on Channels Television breakfast programme, ‘Sunrise Daily’, the Special Adviser to the Edo State Governor on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Kassim Afegbua, alleged that the PDP arrested electoral officers when they realised they were losing to make the process cumbersome and discredit the outcome of the election.

“Over 25 persons where put behind bars,” he said, with the help of “the ‘imported’ police officers from Lagos and Abuja.

“One commander of the Mobile Police in Lagos, Patrick Ejededawe, an indigene of Uromi, came with some policemen to supervise elections in Uromi,” he explained.

Considering the fact that the Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees is from the Esan North local council, tempers will naturally be high because they wouldn’t want him to lose a local government election, he stated.

He said that the election results were collated at the designated centres contrary to the claims of the PDP.

The All Progressives Congress, APC, Chairmanship candidate, Sam Oboh, was declared winner of the by-election, held on 22 October with 12, 67 votes.

The leadership of the state is of the APC.

APC Youths Embark On S/West Senstisation Tour

The south west youth leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Enilolobo Abdullahi has called on youths in Osun state to see themselves as agents who will play significant roles  in the enforcement, maintenance and sustenance of  good governance ahead of the 2014 governorship election  in the state.

Speaking to Channels television in Osogbo, Abdullahi said youths should endeavour to make positive impact in the governance of Nigeria rather than allow themselves to be used as instruments of destruction.

He was speaking after over two thousand youths of the party from Lagos and Osun state converged in Osun state.

The gathering was organised to sensitise people and particularly the youths about the ideals of the party.

The youths also called on the electorates to give the governor of the state another chance to transform the state totally.

The party loyalists who had been to Ekiti and Ogun states for similar mission said Aregbesola deserves to be given another chance for the total transformation of Osun state.

The group is set to take the campaign to Oyo state as the next port for sensitisation.

Saraki Describes A.P.C As Necessary National Opposition Party

The chairman of the senate committee on environment, Senator Bukola Saraki has described the newly registered All Progressive Congress [APC] as ‘necessary national opposition party’ for the growth of democratic structure in the country.

In an interview with Channels Television, the former Kwara governor-turned Senator, who represents Kwara central in the National Assembly, said that that no serious politician would leave a strong party like the People’s Democratic Party to an uncertain one.

He added that APC poses no threat to the ruling party.

He urged the new party to brace up for the challenges ahead, adding that transforming from regional parties to a national party requires much sacrifice on the part of the leaders.

 

Founders Of New Parties Looted Funds To Do So – Afenifere

Spokesman of the Pan Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin has linked the proliferation of political parties in Nigeria to the abundance of funds looted by founders of the parties.

Odumakin, a former spokesman of the presidential candidate of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Gen Muhammadu Buhari, said this during an interview on Channels Television’s morning flagship programme, Sunrise Daily on Tuesday.

“The people who can afford to form new parties are the ones who have looted resources and funds to play around with,” he said.

The politician said the rise of new parties spells doom for politics as it is known in Nigeria adding that “I think we are seeing the end of politics in Nigeria.”

The aftermath of the successful registration of the All Progressive’s Congress (APC) by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has caused an upsurge of many other groups who have signed up for registration by the electoral body.

This is happening because “the day the elephant dies, you see all manner of knives.” Mr Odumakin said “everybody wants to grab this thing” because there is distrust amongst politicians, which has resulted in “all manner of parties”.

However, this new era has resulted in fewer choices for the masses because all the parties look and speak the same way. “I have learned to watch what men are doing rather than what they are saying”

Although there are new parties, there is a dearth of fresh blood as members of the new parties are the “same set of people dividing themselves into new formations”.

He described “most of the so called new parties” as “old wine in new bottles,” adding that in Nigeria “the more things change, the more they remain the same”

Although the APC has been touted as the party to unseat the ruling PDP, Mr Odumakin regards the party’s promises as ‘empty platitudes’ with “no ideology defining all these things”.

After a read through the 31-page manifesto the APC produced “you will see some wish list but if you look at it there is no ideological thread tying all these things together”.

The former CPC member stated that the 1999 constitution, which has accommodated corruption and the likes, is the country’s greatest problem. In his opinion, a total change and not an amendment is the only solution.

He accused Nigerians of reproducing bad leaders as he asked “why have Nigerians continued to continually produce worst set of leaders than the previous ones?”

Analyst Says Rise Of New Parties A Sign Of ‘Heated’ 2015

A political analyst, Anthony Onyeoghane, has said that the rise of new political parties in the country is a sure sign of ‘heated’ general elections in 2015.

This he said while speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.

The recent addition to Nigeria’s existing 63 political parties shows that “a lot of people want to get into the political space to see what they can do to help the country”.

However, he stated that their manifestos, agendas and what they stand for is not clear-cut. “They are still trying to find out where they stand”.

He also described the proliferation of political groups as a recycling of individuals who have been in the system.

“If you look at where we want to be and we are, you begin to ask yourself: aren’t these the same persons that we have always known all our lives; who are now going by different names?

The reshuffling going on in the political scene is a sign that 2015 is going to be ‘heated’, he said.

He attributed politicians’ acts of jumping ship as a ‘restructuring of opportunities’ when a particular political structure is no longer favourable.

“There’s so much with government coffers that everybody wants to get in the show”.