Victor Umeh, Fasua, Others Back Calls For Restructuring

Some analysts and political stakeholders on Wednesday joined voices with opinion leaders who have previously called for restructuring in Nigeria.

Speaking on Channels Television Programme, The Core, the analysts throw their weight behind calls for restructuring citing different reasons.

Senator Victor Umeh of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) believes that Nigeria was functioning well before the division into 36 states. He added that local governments in Nigeria were not created with an even parameter.

“Before the military took over Nigeria in 1967, we had regional arrangement. At that time, Nigeria was functioning well. When the military came, the four regions were disbanded and states were created starting from 12. With successive military regimes, we now have 36 states. All these 36 states, none was created through a civilian parliamentary process. These states were established with decrees.

“So in 1999, we inherited 36 states and 774 local governments all created without any form of consultation, except by military fiat.

“To us in APGA, we feel restricting is imperative. When these states and local governments were created, they were not created with an even parameter. Some people have been disadvantaged through the process of creation of states by the military. We request that they make things more equitable. The South East should be given one additional state,” he said.

However, Mark Gbillah, a member of the House of Representatives says the calls for restructuring is born out of the conception by Nigerians that the current structure is not working and there is the need for a new structure that will work.

He stressed that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has individuals who prioritise the interest of Nigerians.

The National Chairman of the Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP) Tope Fasua, believes restructuring is not just about increasing number of states but improving the state of livelihood of Nigerians.

He noted that restructuring if properly done will fix some ills in the Nigerian society.

“Restructuring should mean that a country should look at the outcome of the policies and structures it is operating and ask if it is working for the people. If it is not, then you restructure.

“Recently, we got to hear that Nigeria has 87million poor people. If a country had independence in 1960 and up till date, you are providing the largest number of poor people for the world, then your structure is not working,” Fasua said.

A Representative of The Voice of Reason, Akin Fapohunda highlighting the economic imperatives says even Nigeria’s economy is suffering based on the current structure in Nigeria which has been unable to cater for the huge number of 36 states.

Fapohunda said Nigeria, “cannot afford bi-cameral legislature, we cannot afford 36 State of Assemblies drawing money and resources. We need to operate on modular basis so that we can handle our problems on a micro scale where it applies.”

Saraki Swears In Victor Umeh

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has sworn-in the winner of the Anambra Central Senatorial election and former National Chairman of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, (APGA), Victor Umeh, into the Senate.

The oath of office took place on Thursday at the chambers of the Senate.

Umeh on Wednesday received his Certificate of Return from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in Abuja, which was presented to him by National Commissioner in charge of South East, Prof. Ibeanu.

Umeh swept to victory in Saturday’s poll by a landslide, securing 64,879 votes. None of the 13 other contestants in the election got up to a thousand votes.

Consequently, INEC returned him as the winner of the rerun election on Sunday morning.

Victor Umeh Receives Certificate Of Return

The winner of the Anambra Central Senatorial election and former National Chairman of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, (APGA), Victor Umeh has received his Certificate of Return.

Mr Umeh who visited the office Headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in Abuja on Wednesday was presented with his certificate by National Commissioner in charge of South East, Prof. Ibeanu.

Umeh swept to victory in Saturday’s poll by a landslide, securing 64,879 votes. None of the 13 other contestants in the election got up to a thousand votes.

Consequently, INEC returned him as the winner of the rerun election on Sunday morning.

See full result as below:

1. Oyeh Mercy Uche – A – 35
2. Hon. Oby Kate Okafor – ACD – 33
3. Chief Anayo A. Nweke – ADC – 57
4. Sen. Chris Ngige – APC – 975
5. Chief Sir Victor Umeh – APGA – 64,879
6. Christopher A. Chukwendu – GPN – 48
7. Okafor Ikechukwu – ID – 14
8. Chief Denis Oguguo – KOWA -12
9. Kingsley Chukwuma Nwofor – LP – 95
10. Ekweozo C. Nkem – MPPP – 111
11. Ubakamma J. Ikenna – NCP – 72
12. Rev. Charles O. Ekwueme – PDC – 5
13. Igwilo Michael C. – PPA – 116
14. Ikechukwu F. Obiekwe – UPP – 55

#AnambraDecides: INEC Must Do Something About Failing Card Readers – Umeh

The former National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Victor Umeh, says the Independent National Electoral Commission must address the issue of failing card readers once and for all.

Umeh said this after voting in casts his votes in Aguzigbo Ward, Anambra central senatorial district.

Failure to resolve the issue means people will continue to be disenfranchised during elections.

This card reader stuff is something INEC must do something about. In my community here, in polling unit 013, the technician is suspecting that they brought a card reader not meant for that polling unit,” Umeh said.

“INEC should avoid this type of lapse. They have enough time to configure these card readers so that on the day of an election like this, everything would be smooth.”

Also troubling for the former APGA leader is the report he received that electoral officials are refusing to opt for manual accreditation where card readers.

“I got reports from across the state that in some places the card readers are not functioning and they have refused to do manual accreditation,” Umeh said.

“This means if they are not able to rectify the problem with the card readers, those people will be disenfranchised.”

He wondered why the officials were no longer resorting to the use of incidence forms where card readers failed as was done in previous elections.

 

Obiano Promises To Tackle Akpo Community’s Infrastructural Challenges

anambra state, properties destroyed, Ukpo, Abagana, land disputeAnambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, has assured the people of Akpo community in Aguata Local Government Area of his commitment to tackling some of the critical infrastructural projects in the community.

He believes such projects will make life more meaningful for them, but said it would begin as soon as the Federal Government released the 4.5 billion Naira it owed the state.

The Governor spoke on Saturday during the grand reception organised for him by the Akpo people where they also give an overwhelming endorsement to his leadership style and pledged their support for the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA).

They said his political party was the vehicle for onward transformation of Anambra state beyond the governor’s first term in office.

It was like a homecoming for Governor Obiano, when he arrived in Akpo community.

Exchange of pleasantries with the chieftains of the APGA was a spectacle to behold, as happiness and laughter flowed freely.

The excited traditional ruler, red cap chiefs and the members of the community, who trooped out in their hundreds to welcome the Governor in his maiden visit to their community also enjoyed a fair share of handshakes of love from him.

Traditional dancers and Akpo Choir with a special anthem also joined in welcoming the Governor.

In an address of welcome, the President General of the town, Mr Godwin Ezeno, congratulated the Governor for the mile stones he had achieved in his quest to transform Anambra State within two years as well the vigour with which he had pursued his four administrative blueprint of Agriculture, trade and commerce, oil and gas and industrialisation.

For this, they endorsed him as the best and pledge loyalty and support for him and APGA, as the 2017 governorship election in the state approaches.

The people appealed to the Governor for intervention in road construction, renovation of the community’s secondary school, rural electrification, as well as government appointments.

They showered the Governor with gifts and for a practical show and proof of support to the Governor by Akpo people, a certificate of endorsement was also presented to the Governor.

The highly elated Governor assured Akpo community of his commitment to ensuring that immediate intervention came in road infrastructure and the renovation of their school as soon as the Federal Government released monies it owed the state.

Governor Obiano commended the residents of the community for choosing agriculture and for the 20 million Naira project the state government would undertake in each of the 177 communities of Anambra state.

In his reaction to the development, the former National Chairman of APGA, Victor Umeh, expressed joy at the turn of event in Anambra State and said it was a clear indication that APGA government was working to bring the dividends of democracy to the people which is commendable.

The Akpo community declaration of support for Governor Willie Obiano and APGA is coming on the heels of several other communities’ declarations which have positive implication on the fortunes of the present administration as the 2017 governorship election beckons in Anambra state.

Obiano, John Momoh, Dogara, Others Bag 2015 Zik Prize Award

obianoThe Governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano; CEO of Channels Media Group, Mr John Momoh and others have bagged the 2015 Zik Prize award.

Governor Obiano bagged an award for Good Governance under the auspices of Public Policy Research and Analysis Center (PPRAC).

He said that the award would be an inspiration to him towards realizing the vision and mission of the state in being the first choice investment destination, and a hub for industrialization and commercial activities.

This, he said, would be achieved through the four pillars and 12 enablers of his administrative policy.

He gave the assurance that he would continue in the leadership ideals of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, both in decision making and in implementation.

The Chairman/CEO of Channels Media Group, Mr John Momoh, picked up the award in the Professional Leadership Category.

John-Momoh-Channels-TV-Chairman
Chairman and CEO of Channels Media Group, Mr John Momoh

He was represented by the Assistant General Manager, International Operations and other members of staff of Channels Television.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honorable Yakubu Dogara, also got the Public Service Prize.

 

The Zik Leadership Award was set up in 1994 in honour of Nigeria’s first civilian president, Nnamdi Azikwe. It honours those in positions of authority who display exemplary leadership in Africa.

The 2015 edition honoured seven eminent personalities in different categories, including Public Service, Political Leadership, Good Governance, Professional and Business Leadership.

The Chairman of the occasion, Retired General Ike Nwachukwu drew the attention of all and sundry to the leadership ideals of the founding fathers of Nigeria.

The award ceremony took place at the Civic Center, Victoria Island Lagos.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, and several other dignitaries graced the occasion.

DSS Frees Victor Umeh

Victor-Umeh-APGAThe Department of State Services (DSS) has released the National Chairman of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Victor Umeh.

The APGA leader was arrested at his Aguluzigbo country home in Anambra State at about 9:00am local time on Thursday and taken to Abuja.

Confirming his release, the party’s Deputy Secretary, Mr Jerry Obasi, however, alleged that the arrest was politically motivated by Mr Umeh’s opponents in the forthcoming Anambra Central Senatorial re-run election.

Mr Umeh arrived into the warm embrace and rejoicing from family members and political associates.

He told Channels Television that the secret service inquired several issues from him, ranging from situation in the south-east region and some statements attributed to him.

The DSS has not given reasons for Mr Umeh’s arrest.

 

Anambra Senatorial Rerun Election: APC Insists On Participation

APCAhead of the Senatorial re-run election in Anambra slated to hold March 5, 2016, members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state are insisting that the party is not in any way disqualified from participating in the election against the widely held view of the people.

The embattled candidate of the party, Mrs Sharon Ikeazor and the state Chairman of the party, Emeka Ibe, made the announcement during a stakeholders meeting in Awka.

The meeting was called to address what they called misconceptions and the dilemma that arose from the circumstance.

They maintained that the APC remained on the list of contending political parties as talks were still ongoing as to why the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should not accept the candidate whom the party has presented to substitute Dr. Chris Ngige, who has formally withdrawn from the race.

They referred to the provisions of the constitution and maintained that APC would still run the race and whoever that was recognized would have the full support of the party.

Clog In The Wheel Of Progress

Other members of the party expressed dismay at INEC’s “clog in the wheel of progress” as according to them, APC should have launched into aggressive campaign with their flag bearer. For them, APC would go with either of the candidates.

The party members say they will soon embark on intensive campaign after INEC and the national secretariat must have made a final statement on the matter.

The dilemma of APC heightened when INEC declared that only candidates who participated in the first election are eligible to take part in the re-run, thus foreclosing the emergence of any other candidate to substitute Dr. Chris Ngige.

Members of the party from Anambra Central Senatorial zone were then faced with the challenge of finding who would represent their party at the senatorial rerun election.

Inconclusive Primary

Early in January, the party conducted a primary to choose a candidate who would substitute the former candidate, Dr Chris Ngige, who is presently a Minister and who had written formally to INEC indicating his withdrawal from the race to give way to another to substitute him.

Although the primary was declared inconclusive, the party later announced Mrs Sharon Ikeazor as the candidate, but INEC stated that fresh candidates would not run in the election but rather those that participated in the first one.

 

Meanwhile the odds in the Anambra Central Senatorial rerun election seems to be in favor of the All Progressives Grand Alliance candidate, Victor Umeh, who has no encumbrances.

The coming days is expected to unfold the gathering clouds of fierce competition for Anambra Central Senatorial seat.

Anambra Senatorial Candidates Clash Over Appeal Court Judgment

Uche Ekwunife and Victor UmehThe Anambra Central Senatorial seat candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Victor Umeh, has cautioned his opponent and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Ekwunife, to desist from further moves ahead of the fresh election ordered by the Appeal Court in the senatorial zone.

According to Umeh, the judgment cited that Mrs Ekwunife was not a product of a valid party primary and therefore, was disqualified from running in the race as there was no window for primaries again.

Reacting to the development, Mrs Ekwunife advised Mr Umeh to desist from illusion and seek better interpretation to the judgment as she is still in the race as soon as her party, the PDP, concludes its upcoming primary slated for January 9 in which she expressed confidence that it would be in her favor.

The Court of Appeal had on December 7, upheld the suit brought to it by the APGA candidate, and nullified Senator Ekwunife’s election as Senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial Zone on the basis that she was not a product of a valid party primary and therefore not duly and legitimately nominated.

The court ordered for a fresh election within 90 days of the judgment.

Anambra Tribunal Declares Senator Ekwunife Winner

EkwunifeSenator Uche Ekwunife, representing Anambra Central Senatorial zone, has been declared winner of the March 28 Senatorial Election by the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Awka, Anambra State.

Justice Naiyi Aganaba, who read the over 2-hour judgment held that the petitioners, Victor Umeh of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and APGA failed to establish their case which they hinged on alleged mutilations and incorrect figures from which INEC declared Senator Ekwunife winner of the senatorial election.

The court also struck out the relief sought by Mr Umeh, urging the court to declare him winner on the grounds that he got the highest number of lawful votes cast.

Concluding the judgment, Justice Aganaba ruled that the petitioners failed to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt as to have the election nullified and insisted that it lacked merit.

Senator Uche Ekwunife, reacting to her victory, commended the judiciary for restoring hope, once again, to the common man and said that the judgment was a reflection of the wishes of the people.

Earlier, the tribunal had nullified the result of the PDP candidate for Anaocha/Dunukofia/Njikoka Federal Constituency, Prince Emeka Eze and declared the APGA candidate, Mr Dozie Nwankwo, winner of the House of Representatives election.

APGA Elects Victor Ike Oye As New Chairman

apgaDr. Victor Ike Oye has emerged the new National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), with the former Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, clinching the National Secretary position.

Before the event started, there were rumours of a court order stopping the convention but after a directive from the outgoing National Chairman, the party’s legal adviser cleared the air.

The convention, which took place at the Women Development Center, Awka, had a total of 740 delegates from the six geopolitical zones of the country and happened eight years after the last convention was held, laying to rest projections of disintegration of the party.

The new National Chairman promised to take the party to new heights through building a new and cohesive political movement founded on mutual love, peace and fraternity, devoid of bitterness and acrimony.

The outgoing National Chairman, Victor Umeh, made a well-tailored speech on the achievements of the party and urged the new executive to continue in a higher dimension.

Moving further, the convention moved for the dissolution of the existing body of the National Working Committee, after which the Speaker of Anambra State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Chinwe Nwaebili, moved a motion for the approval of the election of the members of the National Working Committee of the party.

The nominees were called upon and with an unanimous voice vote, they were elected and sworn in.

Obiano Declares APGA Next Opposition Party

governor obianoAnambra State Governor, Mr Willie Obiano, on Tuesday said the recent in- road and victories recorded by the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) during the general elections have positioned it as the next opposition party in Nigeria.

Mr Obiano made the statement when the House of Representatives members-elect from the state and Taraba State paid him a courtesy call at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia.

Introducing the winning members to the governor, the National Chairman of APGA, Victor Umeh, also announced the victory of APGA House of Assembly candidates in Taraba and Bayelsa states.

The National Chairman of APGA introduced the members-elect to the governor, beginning with the candidate from Taraba State, Mr Isaac Usman Danjuma, who won Wukari/Ibi Federal Constituency.

Also receiving congratulations from the Governor were Gabriel Onyenwife and Peter Mmadubueze, members elect from Oyi/Ayamelum and Anambra East and West Federal Constituencies respectively.

While the National Chairman assured the governor of victory in the upcoming Abia State supplementary election next Saturday, the governor declared APGA as the next opposition political party in Nigeria.

The members elect, however, made reassuring speeches of ensuring good representation to the people when sittings begin.