Wherever PDP Goes To My Victory Will Stand

 Edo Governorship Election Tribunal Adjourns Till December 12
Edo State Governor-elect, Godwin Obaseki

The Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has said that his victory will stand regardless of where the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) carries the case to.

Obaseki said this in reaction to the Appeal Court’s judgement that validated his election as the rightful governor of the state.

Read Also: Ize Iyamu Loses At Appeal Court In Edo

The PDP candidate Ize Iyamu had challenged the result, alleging manipulation of the governorship election which held in September 2016.

“I won the elections free and fair and square and the people of Edo State voted for me overwhelmingly,” Obaseki said, adding that he would not be surprised if the PDP still went ahead to fight the battle despite the fact that the victory remained that of the APC.

“God gave me the victory, the people of Edo State voted for me, our ancestors blessed the victory, the courts in their wisdom have also reaffirmed my victory so wherever they go to, the Supreme Court, the World Court, this my victory will stand.”

“It’s unfortunate that the PDP in its characteristic manner still persists in pursuing a case where they know they have no merits and as the presiding judge ruled today, they did not have any credible evidence to prove their alleged case but having said that, since I became governor, I’ve tried to work in the interest of all Edo people and we have done a lot of infrastructure work, we are looking at the very entrails of our government and we are doing things for the people of Edo State – We have called everybody to join us to be on board in this arduous task, including the opposition party; even our royal monarch.

“I have appealed to them to join hands with me to work for the progress of Edo State but in their characteristic manner, they are trying to upset the state and upset the country as you can see at large.”

Speaking on his plans for an all-inclusive government, Mr Obaseki noted that although he has asked everyone to come on board to work in unity for the overall progress of the state, he is not planning to set up a cabinet involving members of the opposition party.

“I didn’t have a disputed election, I won fair and square on the platform of the APC, I won with overwhelming majority and I have made it clear, I am not going to set up a cabinet of a government of state unity or national unity – APC won, APC will govern the state. So in terms of my cabinet, yes it’s going to be purely APC but in terms of getting people to work with me, we’ve held series of workshops across very many policy issues. In fact, my first step was to hold a consensus workshop in which I brought everybody together including members of the opposition party and we have held series of other workshops to look at the challenges we face in Edo State and members of the opposition party have been invited and fortunately, some of them have joined us in some of the work we’ve done to date.”

Read Also: Edo State Govt Is Not Owing One Kobo Of Salaries – Obaseki

I Do Not Recognise Sheriff As PDP’s National Chairman – Ayo Fayose

I Do Not Recognise Sheriff As PDP's National Chairman - Ayo FayoseThere may not be an end in sight to the leadership crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as the reconciliation efforts by the former President, Goodluck Jonathan, appears to have hit a stalemate temporarily.

After Thursday’s walkout by the National Chairman of the party, Senator Ali-Modu Sheriff, the Chairman of the Governors Forum, Mr Ayodele Fayose, says he does not recognise Senator Sheriff as the party’s leader.

Mr Fayose who was a guest on Channels Television’s political program, Politics Today, said the best way to resolve the matter is to wait for the outcome of the Supreme Court judgement.

“Personally I don’t recognise him as the National Chairman of the PDP.”

According to him, Sheriff is only the party’s Chairman by law, however, “there is an appeal waiting. I do respect what the law says but you cannot force a chairman I don’t want on me.

“For me, we will rather wait for the court to decide the future of this party, when the court says it is Makarfi, we follow him, when the court says Sheriff, we say bye bye – Personally, I will not attend any meeting with Sherriff again.”

On February 17, a Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, ruled that the caretaker committee headed by Senator Ahmed Makarfi was illegal and could not act on behalf of the PDP.

Although the judgement has continued to trigger more controversy within the party, Senator Sheriff, has since resumed work at the National Secretariat of the party.

Members of the Kaduna State Working Committee however, unanimously threw their support behind Senator Makarfi and described the Court of Appeal’s judgement as a ‘miscarriage of justice’.

Governor Fayose had also earlier described the reinstatement of Senator Sheriff as a rape of democracy, stating his confidence in the ability of the judiciary to do justice.

Change Will Be Evident Before 2017 Ends – Femi Adesina

femi-adesina-politics-todayThe Special Adviser to the Nigerian President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina has again assured Nigerians that the end of the country’s economic challenge is nearer than ever.

Speaking on Politics Today, Mr Adesina said that all efforts of the Buhari administration to get Nigeria and Nigerians back on their feet would begin to materialize before the end of 2017.

He added that projections by notable international agencies have also predicted that Nigeria would exit recession in 2017.

“World Bank has said it, IMF has said it and before those institutions, the government has said it,” he said.

Adesina refused to have the Buhari administration blamed for the recession that hit the country saying Nigeria had been ‘primed for recession’ at the time Buhari became President.

“That recession was inevitable (with) the way Nigeria had been run two to four years prior the time we went into recession. There was no way it would not have happened,” he said.

He explained that President Buhari remained committed to correcting the mistakes of the past.

“What he is doing is good governance which will translate to better life for the people. It’s not going to be by a sudden flight, it’s not a magic wand that he will wave – policies that will yield over time and lead to improvements in the life of the people,” he said.

President Not Sick

Mr Adesina also debunked the rumours that President Buhari has been ill and wondered why critics altered the sequence of the statement issued regarding the President’s trip to the UK in order to make the President appear ill.

“Don’t forget, the statement we issued said he was going on holiday and during that holiday he would do medical checkups. The sequence is very important – holiday first, medical checkups second.

“Nigerians want to turn the sequence to medical checkups instead of holiday first.”

Mr Adesina’s explanation also triggered questions regarding the President’s trust in the quality of medical services in Nigeria but he argued that it is usually important to consult doctors who have the patient’s medical history.

“Before he became President, he has been using those same set of people. So, it stands to reason that the same people continue to attend to him,” he explained.

Cabinet Rejig?

There have been questions regarding the current makeup of the President’s cabinet, with many wondering if there would be a rejig of ministerial appointments.

The death of the Kogi state-born former Minister of State for Labour, James Ocholi, and the impending exit of the Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed for her UN appointment have also fuelled the speculation that there could be a rejig.

However, Mr Adesina insisted that it remained the prerogative of the President to rejig his cabinet.

While admitting that citizens have the rights to criticize the cabinet in the face of economic challenges, he maintained that the President has the final say on who works with him.

He gave the assurance that President Buhari is in touch with the grassroots and understands the challenges Nigerians have been going through.

Governor Oshiomhole Condemns Postponement of Edo Election

Adams-Oshiomhole-on-Edo-electionEdo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has expressed surprise at the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone the state’s governorship election earlier slated for Saturday, September 10, 2016.

The agency on Thursday afternoon announced this decision after it had earlier said that it would go ahead with the polls.

Speaking on Channels TV’s Politics Today, Governor Oshiomhole described the decision as a setback for the state.

He frowned at the time it took the electoral body to make the decision, which he said had affected the parties’ programmes.

He said that if INEC had given the hint earlier that the election would be postponed, the All Progressives Congress (APC) would have also postponed its final rally to suit the new election date.

The Governor also reacted to allegations that his party was behind the postponement of the election by stating that none of the other parties was as ready as the APC for Saturday’s election.

He argued that the large turnout of supporters at the party’s final campaign rally on Tuesday was an indication that Edo State was indeed an APC state.

He maintained that the only issue that involved him as the Governor of the state was INEC’s decision to fix the election to coincide with the West African Examination Council (WAEC), GCE examination, which led to protests by students of the state.

“INEC ought to have known that the West African Examination calendar was out there. It is not something they fix two or three weeks to the time,” he said.

Nigeria Must End Habitual Addiction To Free Oil Money – Ezekwesili

EzekwesiliFormer World Bank Vice President, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, says the Federal Government of Nigeria and the states need to have a proper conversation on the structure of Nigeria’s economy for there to be a way out of its current economic challenges.

Ezekwesili was speaking on Channels TV’s Politics Today and the conversation bordered on the economic crisis across Nigeria where many state governments are unable to pay their workers’ salaries and blaming this on the drop in their monthly allocation from the central government.

She stated that a conversation has become important because the decisions the government would have to make in order to fix the economy are very difficult ones that would not make the government popular among its expectant masses.

Ezekwesili was of the view that it has become critical for Nigeria to break away from an old pattern of “habitual addiction to free oil money”.

“The kinds of policies that will make us break out of this will be forced on us. We have no choice,” she said, adding that “there is no easy solution” for the situation Nigeria is in.

The former Education Minister expressed disgust at the manner in which the country failed to respond to warning signs few years ahead, despite the knowledge of the impact the volatile global oil market could have on its economy.

While commenting on the roles played by past governments in the country’s current economic situation, she acknowledged the former Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for her consistency in drawing attention to the challenges of eroding the excess crude account.

She, however, berated the Federal Government for doing “exactly the same thing as what the states did”.

“If the Federal Government could show that (from) its own portion of the distribution of federation money, it has put away some significant savings, then it will have the moral pedestal on which to stand and say the governors were completely reckless and therefore were not seeing that the signs were clear.”

She went further; “If anything I saw in some of the states is anything to go by, there were some of these frivolous projects that they embarked upon. Why do they need that?

“At a time they have those kinds of resources, those were the times to really invest in the things that drive economic growth. They could have invested in those critical infrastructure that would enable the diversification of their states’ economy.

“Every state has an economy, we haven’t treated them that way. What we have currently in our nation is that the state levels are revenue distribution units – revenue expenditure levels and that shouldn’t be so.”

She also identified the cost of governance as one of the reasons why there must be a conversation on restructuring the economy as she maintained that there are no easy options available.

“The productivity of the public sector needs to be questioned. We need to look at how to achieve efficiency of governance and policy making with resources enough to give us the space for capital investment,” she said.

 

UN Tasks Politicians On Peaceful Elections

unThe United Nations (UN) Under-Secretary, Mr Jeffery Feltham, has appealed to all political actors in Nigeria to ensure that the general elections are held under a peaceful atmosphere.

The appeal comes barely two weeks to the general elections rescheduled for March 28.

Fielding questions from journalists in Abuja, after meeting the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari, behind closed doors, Mr Feltham said that the Secretary General of the UN, Mr Ban Ki-Moon and the UN are interested in the conduct of a peaceful election in Nigeria.

Court Refuses To Make Interim Order Against Use Of Card Readers

card readersA Federal High Court in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, has refused an application brought by four registered political parties, seeking to restrain the electoral commission from using Smart Card Readers in the conduct of the general elections.

The United Democratic Party, Action Alliance, Allied Congress Party of Nigeria and Alliance for Democracy filed the suit.

The parties, through their counsel Alex Iziyon, told the court that the proposed use of the readers was contrary to the provisions of the constitution, as well as the amended 2010 Electoral Act.

In the suit, the political parties challenged the powers of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to introduce a process not specifically provided for in the constitution, as it prepares for the rescheduled polls.

Mr Iziyon told the court that the Electoral Act, in section 52(1), prohibited electronic voting, but that the electoral body had gone ahead to introduce electronic voter’s card reader.

The counsel urged the court to temporarily restrain the INEC from implementing the use of the card reader machine in the forthcoming elections, pending the determination of the suit.

He further urged the court to bridge the time within which INEC would be allowed to file a response, in view of the nature of the case which according to him had a robust electoral jurisprudence.

In his ruling on the exparte motion, the trial judge, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, noted that the political parties had shown that they had legal rights, showing that the case is triable, but observed that the parties would not suffer any irreparable harm if the electoral body is given the opportunity to be heard before the interim orders being sought could be granted.

Consequently, the court declined to make any interim orders against INEC on the proposed use of the Smart Card Readers.

However, it abridged the time for INEC to file its response to four days, after receiving court papers on the matter.

Hearing on the substantive motion on notice was thereafter adjourned until Tuesday, Mar 10.

INEC To Test Card reader

In a statement on Monday, the INEC said it will conduct a field testing of the functionality of the Smart Card Readers to be deployed for the accreditation of voters on Election Day. The General Elections was re-scheduled for March 28 and April 11.

According to the Commission’s Decision Extract issued on February 26 and signed by the Director of the Commission’s Secretariat, Ishiaku Gali, the field testing will take place in two states of each of the six geopolitical zones of the federation.

He said the testing would take place simultaneously on Saturday, March 7.

The states selected for the exercise are: Ekiti and Lagos, South West; Anambra and Ebonyi, South East; Delta and Rivers, South South; Kano and Kebbi, North West; Bauchi and Taraba, North East; Niger and Nasarawa, North Central.

 

 

Ghana: Jonathan & Buhari Billboards Removed For Security Concerns

jona buhaThe campaign billboards of President Goodluck Jonathan, the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate and Muhammadu Buhari, the All Progressives Congress’ presidential candidate which were located on different roads in Accra, Ghana, have been pulled down for security  reasons.

The Ghana’s National Security Agency ordered that the billboards be removed, showing concerns for the welfare of the citizens.

Kwesi Annin, a security expert at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, reportedly implied that by pulling down the billboards, the country is being preserved from a possible attack by terrorist group, Boko Haram.

Kwesi Annin also stated that the precautionary action taken by the country was to promote the peaceful relationship between Ghana and Nigeria, not making it seem as favouring one party over the other.

Also, he said the decision was taken based on the consideration on whether  the law permits foreign political entities to campaign in Ghana.

Buhari Instigated Post 2011 Election Violence – Adeyeye

adeyey_dayoThe Minister of State for Works, Mr Dayo Ayeye on Sunday blamed the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) General Muhammadu Buhari for the violence that occurred after the 2011 general elections.

“I want to say without any fear of contradiction that that violence (post 2007 election violence) was instigated by the candidate of the CPC then and now the candidate of the APC, General Muhammadu Buhari”, he said on Politics Today.

Mr Adeyeye further noted that prior to the election “he (Buhari) had said that if he did not win, he will make Nigeria ungovernable and his supporters keyed into that and immediately their man did not win the election, they started to unleash mayhem on innocent citizens”, he said.

He also noted that despite several calls made to General Buhari to calm his supporters during the post election violence “he refused and so the mayhem continued”.

Presidential candidates of all the political parties in Nigeria signed an accord to prevent electoral violence before, during and after the February 14 elections, but Mr Adeyeye remained adamant that the candidate of the APC will not respect the accord if he loses the election.

“I do not believe that General Buhari and his co-travelers in the APC will keep faith with that document” adding that “it is one thing to append your signature to a document and another to act on the tenets and wordings of the document”, he said.

He maintained that comments credited to the opposition APC that they will “form a parallel government is treasonable” insisting that members of the PDP “will never talk like that”.

The Minister maintained that “it will be difficult for General Buhari to wash himself clean from the violence in 2011, because it is so glaring that prior to that election, General Buhari made inflammatory statements that virtually encouraged people to be violent.

PDP Is Resolutely Confident

Mr Adeyeye also said the ruling PDP is not not “jittery” but “resolutely confident and very assured that we are going to win the election”.

He hinged his party’s resolute confidence on the performance of President Goodluck Jonathan.

“President Goodluck Jonathan has performed creditably very well in the past four years”, he said adding that “I believe since the beginning of this democratic dispensation, he has done better than any other person”, he maintained.

He also accused the APC of not believing in democratic processes, citing the office of the party raided by the Department of State Services, alleging that the APC is trying to clone Permanent Voters Cards.

The Worst Military Ruler

Mr Adeyeye, who lambasted the APC presidential candidate for being on the side of “dictatorship during the trying time of Nigeria’s political history” further added that General Buhari is the worst military Head of State Nigeria has produced.

“We have had many military leaders in Nigeria, but I will say that the worst of them all is General Buhari.

“Point to one single project that General Buhari executed during his two years in office” adding that he was “rather concerned with flogging Nigerians who are queuing for rice” he said.

Scale Fence Again, If You Are Stopped By Police, Lai Tells Reps

Tambuwal 2The National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Sunday urged members of the House of Representatives, who scaled the gate of the National Assembly to gain access into the hallowed chambers, to do it again if the police should stop them from gaining access.

“If the police repeats this again, I will encourage them to do exactly the same”, he said on Politics Today.

He said the lawmakers “outsmarted the police, the PDP and the Presidency, whose game plan was to get the Speaker impeached”.

He also urged Nigerians not to be carried away by the way and manner the members gained entrance into the complex, but “look at what actually led to this”.

He noted that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal put “national interest over that of his personal security” and reconvened the House at the request of President Jonathan to extend the State of Emergerncy in Adamawa, Yobe and Borno States, knowing that “the President and his party want to impeach him.

“But he got to the second gate of the Complex and he was prevented from getting into the National Assembly”, adding that “he got down from his vehicle, introduced himself, but all the policemen there turned deaf ears”.

He defended the action of the lawmakers, maintaining that the act of the lawmakers has “preserved democracy, otherwise what we would have been facing now will be a situation where either the Speaker would have been impeached by now or there will be chaos all over the country”.

He further noted that the reason given by the police to deploy officers to the complex was baseless, insisting that “I did not see any motley crowd neither did I see thugs from the footage”, adding that it would have been wrong for the lawmakers to seek redress elsewhere at that point in time.

Mr Mohammed, who alleged that the Sergeant-At-Arms of the National Assembly was detained for hours due t his refusal to submit the Mace to the police, wondered what the “business the Nigeria Police has with the Mace on the eve of that incident”.

He also said treasonable charges should be leveled against “those policemen who caused the mayhem at the National Assembly that day by preventing the Principal person in the House access into the House”.

He maintained that if the people in Ekiti had done the same, seven persons wouldn’t have been able to impeach the Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly.

But in a swift reaction on Politics Today, former Aviation Minister, Mr Femi Fani Kayode disagreed with the APC scribe insisting that “the premise on which Alahaji Lai Mohammed has chose to justify the action of some members of the House that day are faulty” and “he does not have the right information”.

He said there was no plan to impeach the Speaker as alleged by Mr Mohammed and noted that “it was not only the Speaker that was shut out. The Senate President himself was also shut out and took him a lot of efforts to get in”.

He noted that “regardless of whatever reasons that were given by the police, legitimate or illegitimate, the most fundamental issue is that when a cordon has been established, we are all expected to behave in a lawful and a refined manner.

“We are not expected to defy the police, break the line, jump over fences and break down walls and act as if we are in a market place”, he said.

PDP Will Continue To Be Consigned Losers In Lagos State – Fashola

Governor-FasholaLagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Sunday said the  All Progressives Congress (APC) will work hard to ensure the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State continue to be consigned losers, as they wont rest on their oars despite the success recorded in the state since Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999.

“One understands that as you improve, you must never be complacent, we will ensure that we put them in their place as consigned losers as we have always done” he said, while speaking as a guest on Politics Today.

Mr Fashola, whose second term will end in May 2015, also noted that he is not perturbed by the challenge being posed by the PDP, noting that “the louder the opposition have made noise whenever it comes to election time, the more resounding and wider has been the margin of defeat.

He said the same way the opposition parties are vowing to wrestle power from the APC has not changed from 2007, where he always won with margins far beyond their reach.

“At that time during the 2007 election, I won the election with 800, 000 votes, the largest member of the opposition scored 300, 000 votes. Added together with all the other votes in the election then, they didn’t make 500, 000.

“By 2011, our votes had literally doubled. From 800,000, I was elected with 1.5 million votes and the opposition was still at 300, 000”, he said.

Mr Fashola said he is very confident that he has added value to the lives of Lagos residents since taking over power in 2007, just like his predecessor did from 1999- 2007.

“If you go out there and ask the average Lagosian that are you better off today than you were eight years ago?, the answer clearly and overwhelmingly will be yes.

“If you ask Lagosians too in 2007, when my predecessor was leaving office, if they were better of than in 1999, the answer also would have been a yes and one is hopeful that by 2019, when we ask residents of Lagos the answer will be a much more overwhelming yes”, he said.

He further noted that “it is a handing over and torch passing” adding that it represents “building on what was left behind and pushing forward with new ideas, freshness and energies.

“Embracing technology and embracing new methods”, he maintained.

Tambuwal Wants To Eat His Cake And Have It – Obanikoro

Obanikoro_PoliticsFormer Minister of State for Defence, Mr Musiliu Obanikoro on Sunday said the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal should have resigned his position after decamping to the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), insisting that “he wants to eat his cake and have it”.

Mr Obanikoro added that the PDP already knew the Speaker would decamp to the APC, maintaing that “there is no surprise in that. We knew he was going to go, it was just a question of when and we needed for him t o officially stand up and own up to the fact that his body is somewhere else and the body is just with us (PDP) and we glad that finally he has let the cat out of the bag”, he said on Politics Today on Sunday.

He however noted that though the party has “lost the man, it is not losing the position”, adding that “I believe that the most honourable thing for him to have done is to resigne and then cross over to the other side and remain there.

“You don’t have to be a speaker to function in the National Assembly” he added.

He further noted that the “rule is very clear; you cannot be in a minority in the House of Representatives and become the presiding officer”.

Mr Obanikoro also noted that all PDP members were elected to execute the manifesto of the party “and that is why it becomes very important for him (Tambuwal) to recognise that and save the institution from unnecessary crisis.

“Because what is going to happen right now is that the members of our party (PDP) will not sit back and allow him to preside”, insisting that “Tambuwal should do the needful and save himself the embarrassment and save the institution the crisis that will follow this situation that he has created”, he said.

Mr Obanikoro also praised the police for “acting rightly” by withdrawing the security details of Mr Tambuwal, adding that “they must be pro active” in carrying out their duty.

The Nigerian Police Force had redeployed all of its personnel attached to the Speaker, barely 48 hours after he announced his defection to the APC.

In a statement signed by the Force Public Relations Officer, Mr Emmanuel Ojukwu, noted that the action of the Inspector –General of Police is in line with  the provision of section 68(1)(g) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.

Mr Tambuwal had cited his political future and political consideration of Sokoto, his home state, as reasons for his decision to decamp to the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).