APC Planning to Influence 2019 Elections with Military Operations – PDP

2019 Elections, APC, PDP, PMB, Politics


“Our investigation shows that part of the plot is to use the military operation as a subterfuge to unleash heavy security presence to intimidate, harass and instil fear in voters in PDP strongholds across the country and pave the way for the allocation of fictitious votes to President Buhari and the APC,” the spokesman of the opposition party, Kola Ologbondiyan, said in a statement on Saturday.

Tinubu and buhari


President Muhammadu Buhari, has been accused of planning to use a military operation code named ‘Operation Python Dance 3’ to influence the results of the February 14, 2019 presidential elections in Nigeria by the opposition, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Operation Python Dance designed as a military ‘show of strength‘ exercise by the Nigerian Army directed at silencing the growing influence of Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) and other criminal associations in the South East region of the country in the first and second versions of the operation took place in the region between 2017 and 2018.

Nigerian Army parades Armoured Tanks in the streets of Port Harcourt Rivers State

Announcing the launch of a third version on Friday, the military said the exercise would now be conducted nationwide and would commence from January 1, 2019 and last till February 28.

The presidential election is billed to take place on February 16.

The army said the military operation was needed to tackle already “observed upsurge” insecurity challenges anticipated before, during and after the 2019 general election.

But kicking against the timing of the exercise, the PDP alleged that Mr Buhari was plotting to use the planned nationwide military exercise to legitimise his administration’s alleged ploy of using the military to intimidate voters and rig next year’s presidential election.

“Our investigation shows that part of the plot is to use the military operation as a subterfuge to unleash heavy security presence to intimidate, harass and instil fear in voters in PDP strongholds across the country and pave the way for the allocation of fictitious votes to President Buhari and the APC,” the spokesman of the opposition party, Kola Ologbondiyan, said in a statement on Saturday.

“Further investigation revealed that agents of the Buhari Presidency are working in cohort with some compromised top officials of the Prof. Mahmood Yakubu-led Independent National Electoral Commission to use soldiers to provide cover for diversion of electoral materials, as well as aid APC agents in their plan to unleash violence and disrupt the electoral process in areas where the PDP is winning.

“In spanning the military operation to February 28, 2019, the Buhari Presidency betrayed its anticipation of public rejection or violence, which can only come when a result that does not reflect the actual wish of the people is announced,” he said.

Ologbondiyan, who is also the Director, Media and Publicity, PDP Presidential Campaign Organization, said Nigerians are eager for a new president, having lost confidence in Buhari, due to his alleged failures in governance.

“The PDP PCO, therefore, rejects this deliberate attempt by the Buhari Presidency to set our military on a collision course with Nigerians, bearing in mind the collateral damage that usually occurs whenever the civilian population clashes with military.

“Our nation is a democratic state and we are not in a state of emergency that requires the militarization of our electoral process.

“Our military, which is cherished by Nigerians, should, therefore, foreclose any attempt by the Buhari Presidency to use it to set our country on fire.”

Advertisements

PDP Raises The Alarm Over Dino Melaye’s Safety

2019 Elections

Samuel Ogidan, Abuja Nigeria
Abuja – As police continue to lay siege to the Abuja residence of Senator Dino Melaye, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has raised the alarm over the senator’s safety.

The party said with the continued lockdown on the residence of Melaye by the police, the Muhammadu Buhari presidency was turning Nigeria into a police state where those opposed to President Buhari’s re-election were treated like enemies of the state.

The PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, in a statement by its Director of Media & Publicity, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Sunday, said: “The continued siege, which has been widely condemned as unwarranted and provocative, shows that the police under President Buhari has become an instrument of oppression to subjugate dissenting voices ahead of the 2019 general election.”

“The PDP has become extremely worried about the safety of Senator Melaye and his family members under police lockdown and charges Nigerians to hold President Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) responsible should any harm befall him or any member of his family.

“This is particularly against the background of Senator Melaye’s outcry that the police planned to arrest and inject him with poisonous substance.

“The PDP hopes that opposition figures such as Senator Melaye will not suddenly become victims of ‘accidental discharge’, unexplained assassinations or mysterious motor accidents as we move on to the general elections.”

Meanwhile, the police have again intensified manhunt for Melaye two days after storming his house.

The police on Sunday intensified their search for the lawmaker with a reinforcement of security within and around his residence along 11 Sangha Street in Maitama, Abuja.

The police had arrived early Sunday with more officers and at least nine patrol vehicles to seal off all the entry and exit routes to Melaye’s house.

The police officers also occupied the entrance to an uncompleted building directly behind Melaye’s house, near the Chadian embassy on Mississippi Street.

Source: Independent Nigeria

Buhari Presidency plotting to plunge the 2019 elections into a needless controversy – PDP /PPCO

2019 Elections, Africa, Nigeria, PMB, Politics, Power

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari yesterday declined signing the Electoral (Amendment) Bill 2018 into law, saying that it was capable of derailing preparations for 2019 polls. It was the fourth time he would reject the bill as previous rejections were based on observed errors. The President said he did not want to impose on the country the electoral uncertainty his assent might cause. He said that changing the rules a few months to the next general elections could lead to disruption and confusion. He asked the National Assembly to save the nation’s democracy by ensuring that the Electoral (Amendment) Bill 2018 comes into effect after the February 2019 polls. He also raised issues on four amendments to the bill and asked the National Assembly to revisit the observations. Buhari, who made his opinion known in a December 6, 2018 letter to the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, said he had decided to place the interest of the country above any other matter. The letter was titled,‘Presidential decision to decline assent to the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2018’.

It reads: “Pursuant to Section 58(4) of Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), I hereby convey to the Senate my decision on 6th December to decline Presidential Assent to the Electoral (Amendment) Bill, 2018 recently passed by the National Assembly. “I am declining assent to the Bill principally because I am concerned that passing a new electoral bill this far into the electoral process for the 2019 general elections, which commenced under the 2015 Electoral Act, could create some uncertainty about the applicable legislation to govern the process. “Any real or apparent change to the rules this close to the election may provide an opportunity for disruption and confusion in respect of which law governs the electoral process.

“This leads me to believe that it is in the best interest of the country and our democracy for the National Assembly to specifically state in the Bill that the Electoral Act will come into effect and be applicable to elections commencing after the 2019 General Elections. “It is also important for the following drafting amendments to be made to the Bill:

•Section 5 of the Bill, amending Section 18 of the Principal Act should indicate the subsection to which the substitution of the figure “30” for the figure “60” is to be effected.

•Section 11 of the Bill, amending Section 36 should indicate the subsection in which the proviso is to be introduced.

•Section 24 of the Bill which amends Section 85(1) should be redrafted in full as the introduction of the “electing” to the sentence may be interpreted to mean that political parties may give 21 days’ notice of the intention to merge, as opposed to the 90 days provided in Section 84(2) of the Electoral Act which provides the provision for merger of political parties 

•The definition of the term “Ward Collection Officer” should be revised to reflect a more descriptive definition than the capitalised and undefined term “Registration Area Collation Officer.” “Please accept, Distinguished Senate President, the assurances of my highest consideration.”

President Buhari had refused to sign the Bill the first time as a result of the reordering of the election sequence by the National Assembly, and the second time because of what the Presidency called “drafting errors.” He also declined signing the bill the third time because of what the Presidency called “drafting issues that remained unaddressed.”

National Assembly may override Buhari There were indications yesterday that the National Assembly may override President Buhari’s withdrawal of assent on the Electoral Act, 2018. Although several calls made to obtain the reaction of the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, yielded no result, a source close to the leadership of the Senate said the National Assembly would likely override the President on the Bill. It is, however, not clear whether the two chambers of the National Assembly can muster the required two-thirds majority to override the President.

The source said: “It is obvious that the National Assembly has bent backward almost to breaking point to give the President the benefit of the doubt. “The National Assembly has no other alternative but to override the President because nobody is in doubt that he does not want to sign the Bill.” “The days ahead will determine what will happen.” Senators express divergent views Former Senate Leader, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume, and Clifford Ordia, who spoke with our correspondent in separate interviews yesterday, expressed divergent views on the refusal of the President to sign the Electoral Act amendment Bill.

Ndume said the President must have his reasons for declining assent to the Bill. But the Borno South senator said the National Assembly was at liberty to respond as it deemed fit. He added that the rejection would not affect the conduct of the 2019 general elections, saying “the President does not conduct elections.” He said that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is the body in charge of elections.

“All the president needs to do is to provide the necessary support, which I am certain that he has done,” he said. Ndume added: “I cannot fully comment right now since I am not aware of the reasons given by the President. “I am sure his reasons will be contained in the letter addressed to the leadership of the National Assembly. Let us wait and see till next week.” Senator Ordia, on his part, noted that the rejection of the amendment bill by the President was a clear sign that the APC was not ready to conduct a free and fair election. The Edo Central senator said that the rejection will further cast doubt on the ability of the President to give Nigerians an election that will be accepted by all. Ordia said: “Many of us are not surprised. We knew the amendment bill was not going to be signed.

“The earlier excuses advanced were just to distract everyone. “Now that we know, we also need to go back to the drawing board as a party and find a way to counter any plans the APC will be hatching.” PDP campaign urges N/Assembly to override Buhari The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Organization (PPCO) yesterday charged the National Assembly to save the nation’s democracy by immediately overriding President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to sign the amendment of the Electoral Act. The PDP Campaign said the legislative action had become imperative as the President’s decision was a calculated attempt to hold the nation to ransom. In a statement signed by the spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party said the President’s action was capable of injecting crisis into the electoral process and ultimately scuttle the conduct of the 2019 general elections.

The opposition party insisted that the President was avoiding free and fair contest. The statement said: “President Buhari’s repeated refusal to sign amendments passed to check rigging in the election raises issues of his sincerity of purpose and has the capacity to trigger political unrest and violence, which can, in turn, truncate our hard-earned democracy. “The PPCO invites Nigerians to note that this is the fourth time President Buhari is withholding assent on the amendment, without any cogent reason following his rejection by Nigerians. “Nigerians can recall how the Buhari Presidency plotted to plunge the 2019 elections into a needless controversy by delaying the submission of the election budget to the National Assembly, presenting it at the time the legislators were commencing their annual vacation and asking for virement of funds already approved for development projects, instead of sending a fresh supplementary budget for the election.

“It is unfortunate that Mr. President, in his desperation to hold on to power, has resorted to taking steps that are capable of destabilising our nation, just because the people are resolute in voting him out of office democratically. “It is also instructive to note that President Buhari is mortally afraid of the amendments because they essentially checked the All Progressives Congress (APC) rigging plans, including the use of underage and alien voters, vote-buying, alteration of results and manipulation of voter register; for which the APC and the Buhari Presidency have been boasting of winning the 2019 elections. “While urging the National Assembly to save our democracy and forestall an imminent electoral crisis, the PPCO also charges all political parties, other critical stakeholders and Nigerians in general to rise in the interest of our nation and demand the entrenching of rules and processes that will guarantee the conduct of free, fair and credible elections, as nothing short of that would be accepted.”

It may affect deepening of democracy— CNPP The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) warned yesterday that the negative impact of not assenting to amendments to Nigeria’s Electoral Act as contained in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill (2018) before next year’s general elections will endanger the deepening of the country’s democracy. In its reaction to the rejection of the amendments to the bill by President Buhari, CNPP’s Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu, said in a statement issued in Abuja that “there are indications that a cabal that resents credible electoral process is bent on frustrating the signing of any amendment to the electoral laws ahead of 2019.” It urged the National Assembly to save the country’s democracy and veto the President’s assent. According to the umbrella organisation of all registered political parties and political associations in the country, “it has become obvious that while President Buhari may ordinarily wish to ensure credible electoral process, some persons around him, which constitutes the cabal, resent free and fair contest and may have again deceived him into withholding assent to the bill.

“The CNPP as a body conceived as a common platform for political parties in Nigeria shares common concerns of well-meaning Nigerians on issues bordering on rule of law, promotion and defence of democratic principles and practices. “Therefore, this singular rejection of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill (2018) by Mr. President is another repressive attempt to stem multi-party democracy and have completely removed the last hope of level playing ground for all political parties in the forthcoming elections. “It is ironical that President Muhammadu Buhari has been promising free and fair elections and at the same time refusing to give effect to the only instrument that would have proven his commitment to credible electoral process in 2019.

“As one of the greatest beneficiaries of free and fair election from the last administration, we thought that Mr. President and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) should have been at the forefront of promoting transparency in elections. “However, to save our democracy and to take Nigeria’s electoral process to the next level of free and fair polls, not the next level of rigging, we demand that the National Assembly, as a matter of urgency, override Mr. President’s veto with a two-third-majority. “As it stands, the only hope Nigerians have left now rests on the National Assembly’s willingness to do the needful at this trying moment in our democratic journey.”

Saraki to Nigerian government: Scrap ‘Trader moni’ now, APC reacts

2019 Elections, APC, PDP, PMB, Politics, Power

Senate President and Director General of the Atiku Abubakar PDP Presidential Campaign Council Dr. Bukola Saraki has directed the Federal Government of Nigeria and the All Peoples’ Party to stop the criminal act of distributing money to market women as free Trader Moni. 


Senate President Bukola Saraki tells the Nigerian government to scrap Trader Moni, says it is a “sophisticated vote buying.”

What Is The Red Card Movement?

2019 Elections, News, Politics
Red-Cad
2018 will be an eventful year on the Nigerian political scene and that’s an understatement. After the ruckus of 2017 involving a plethora of stories from the comical and embarrassing, to the potentially disastrous, this full year of political campaigning before the 2019 elections next February should throw up more rancor.
The prime exchanges on the battle front will be between the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). No other political party in the country is expected to be as prominent in the arm wrestles around the country within the next 14 months, but a movement is growing to upend the status quo.
The Red Card Movement is a Twitter campaign initiated by former Minister of Education and Vice President of the World Bank, Dr Oby Ezekwesili. According to her tweet on the 4th of January 2018, the movement is the expression of her political agenda for the year, aimed specifically at the disadvantage of the nation’s two most recognized parties.
Dr Ezekwesili is not new to the trade of mass mobilization for a cause she believes in. The Bring Back Our Girls Movement and its hashtag took root from a speech she gave on the 23rd of April 2014 at Port Harcourt, creating one of the most universally acclaimed online campaigns on social media. Last year, the former Minister rallied support for a pro-environmental campaign #PickThatTrash which has gone from a mere twitter thing with its icon as a hashtag, to documenting its codes and holding an offline clean-up event in Lagos with Mrs Ezekwesili in participation.
None of the above has taken the form of a political party and the Red Card Movement will not likely deviate from that. As Aisha Yesufu once explained about BBOG, we can expect the “movement” to be an open door with free entry and exit whose lifespan terminates as soon as its agenda is achieved.
WILL THE TWEETS HIT THE STREETS?
How will the Red Card Movement organize itself into a real force to affect the kind of change set out in its agenda by its founder? Every momentous and ground-breaking twitter campaign eventually must go offline to create the sufficient outreach necessary for maximum impact. Compared to Nigeria’s population, the numbers of persons who are on twitter are just about the size of a local government in Ekiti state. Hence, a strictly online movement will definitely come up short in its ambition.
Should we expect to hear sponsored programmes on radio and TV stations on the red card movement soon, and how would the financing be done?
VOTER APATHY and OTHER CONCERNS
Critics of the movement have questioned the rationale behind wanting to kick out both parties with the 2019 General Elections in view. A situation where citizens “wave their red cards” to both the APC and the PDP will result in less numbers turning out to the polling stations where candidates of both parties are clear front runners. That could be the case with the Presidential elections where President Buhari is expected to retain the APC’s flag while the PDP’s ticket will be contested by former VP Atiku Abubakar and others.
Actively declining to support any candidate of either party, perhaps by voting candidates of other parties (such as APGA or GNPP) could inadvertently tilt the scale to a particular candidate (perhaps the less desirable of the top two), which will turn out to be – in theory – counter-productive to the set goals of the movement.
Another factor which comes into scrutiny on the prospects of the movement is the sheer number of beneficiaries that depend on the godfathers and establishment personalities of both parties for their survival. Political thugs usually find campaign season most lucrative, so it will be a wonder to see how they are convinced against making themselves available for use by the politicians. Then there are the market women and traders who form the base of the delegates of these parties at the ward levels, most of whom are not on twitter anyway. They don’t have the world at their feet but these delegates are made to feel somewhat valued by the trappings that come with their duties that it would be interesting to see how they are convinced away from their benefactor parties.
To add to these is a personal observation: will the waving of the red card to both parties produce a permanent solution through an overhaul or just a temporary relief for 2019, since a player issued a red card is only denied a few games at most but can always return subsequently and still win the competition?
The founder, Dr Ezekwesili, makes it clear the agenda is an “individual effort”:
My individual effort to CAMPAIGN AGAINST APC and PDP in the 2019 Elections may not amount to much, but it is at least a DEFINITE EXPRESSION of my personal CONVICTION. My CONVICTION is that it is TIME to END the tyranny of rulership of a WICKED minority Political elite class.
Hence it would appear there is no pressure to become strained by some of the criticisms of the movement. She has had to reply to some of the critics herself, but has also cautiously avoided the more caustic stabs such as those which advice people not to be “anyone’s mugu”
However, her over-600,000 followers, many of whom are Nigerian, are buying in to the campaign. It has not become a mega trend in the sense that political topics take a life of their own on social media, but what the antecedents of the founder say is that she cannot be overlooked.
Movements do not necessarily start off with a bang to create a resonating effect. Keep an eye on this
  • Share

Breaking: Court remands PDP senator in prison

News, PDP, Politics

nwaoboshi.jpgSenator Peter Nwaoboshi  of the PDP has been remanded in Prison pending next hearing by a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos/ The senator’s ordeal began with an arraignment in court for money lundering and sundry other offenses by the EFCC – Nwaoboshi is alleged to have been involved in several fraudulent activities  The senator representing Delta North senatorial district at the current eight Senate was remanded at the Ikoyi Prison in Lagos state.

The senator whose name appeared on federal government’s looters’ list was arrested by the anti-graft agency recently. media reports had it that the lawmaker was detained by the EFCC before his arraignment in court on Wednesday, April 25. According to the charge sheet, Nwaoboshi is charged alongside two companies, Golden Touch Construction Projects Ltd, and Suiming Electricals Ltd on a two-count charge of money laundering. One of the charges against him alleged that the senator and Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd fraudulently acquired a property known as Guinea House situated at Marine Road, Apapa in Lagos, between May and June 2014, at a cost N805 million.  According to the charge, the defendants ought to have known that N322 million out of the purchase price formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act under the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.

APC group, PDP, SDP, Obasanjo’s CNM, others to form new party

2019 Elections, Africa, News, Nigeria, PDP, PMB, Politics, Power

obj

A grand coalition of opposition political parties, including a chunk of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and influential political stakeholders across the country is being firmed up ahead of the 2019 general election to wrest power from President Muhammadu Buhari’s party.
The new coalition may be unveiled in the next few weeks in a move designed to jolt all political permutations towards the next general election.
In the unfolding coalition are the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), certain leaders of the APC, the Social Democratic Party (SDP), about 23 other smaller parties and the Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM) formed by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The coalition is also said to enjoy the backing of other former presidents and retired generals, including General T. Y. Danjuma.
“This is not like the arrangement that produced the APC. We are not considering sending any application for change of name to INEC. There are not less than eight brand new political parties in the pockets of people across the various groups. We are thinking of fusing into one of them as the new platform. You know, such a new party will give all sides equal opportunity. We will also avoid traps of the APC which is waiting to frustrate any attempt by, especially, the PDP to apply to the INEC for a change of its name,” a key figure in the coalition told Saturday Tribune on Friday.
The coalition is said to enjoy the support of some leaders of the National Assembly, about 19 governors, including some from the APC and about 60 percent of the membership of the legislature across the country.
The last four weeks have seen persons involved in the plan holding strategic meetings at various levels at which, competent sources said, significant concessions were granted by the various groups to accommodate one another and move forward.
“One of such meetings was held in London last month. Two of these governors and some legislators were present,” another source told Saturday Tribune during the week.
National Chairman of the PDP, Chief Uche Secondus, on Thursday, confirmed that his party would soon go into a coalition with other like minds to defeat Buhari’s APC next year.
It was learnt that leaders of the PDP moved away from the initial ‘we can do it alone’ posture when they saw the resolve of the APC “to remain in power at all costs” even with the myriad of problems besetting the country.
“The PDP thereafter commenced merger or coalition talks with national political leaders, former officeholders and influential voices across the land. The new rapprochement will soon engineer a broad-based coalition that will give the APC the red card next year,” a PDP source said on Friday.
Obasanjo to launch Coalition Movement in Ogun
Members of the National Executive Committee of the PDP were on Thursday briefed on the developments so far by the National Chairman, Secondus, who told the meeting that the party was already working with former presidents, other leaders and like minds to unseat the APC in 2019.

Olusegun-Obasanjo.jpg
“Consultations with various groups are useful and in coming days, a broader platform will be raised to wrest power from APC. We commend our elder statesmen and other patriotic Nigerians who have spoken up on the urgent need to rid the country of the current APC government and enthrone a government that will serve the people’s needs.
“We, therefore, invite our brothers, sisters, youths and women from other political parties to join us to rescue our country that is in distress socially, politically, economically and security wise.
“Our consultations have taken us to meet with various interest groups who are willing to do business with us and I can report to you that they are very fruitful. We expect, in coming days, to have a broader political family working dedicatedly to rescue this democracy and our beloved country from the hands of APC,” Secondus said.
It, was however, gathered that some state chairmen of the party objected to the likely name change as a source added that the matter could not be resolved at the NEC meeting.
“The matter is only on the table but we are determined to accommodate all interests willing to work with us. The idea of name change is tricky. We are discussing the matter further and we will get to the right decision at the end of the day,” a source in the PDP said .
Some sources however said that rather than dissipate energy on name change, the party “should adopt a more positive outlook towards national development and roll out its plans to oust the APC. One thing is sure, we will not allow the name debate to derail the emerging coalition ahead of 2019.”

ApdReports reaching SW shows that there are moves by the Peoples Democratic Party towards changing its name. This was to accommodate one of the conditions given by those who left the party before the 2015 general elections, This decision is said to be the outcome of its discussions with defectors and other members of other political parties that had been contacted to return to the party Ahead of 2019 general elections.

Reports in the media has it that the Name change is  one of the issues to be discussed by the party at an emergency meeting of the National Executive Committee slater for Thursday,  Kola Ologbondiyan, the national publicity secretary of the party, in a statement said the NEC meeting would hold at the party’s national secretariat. However, the reports did not include any mention of the agenda of the meeting.

Going further, it also reported that the national leadership of the party would use the meeting to brief the PDP’s NEC on the outcome of its discussions with defectors and other members of other political parties that had been contacted to return to the party ahead of the elections. A member of the National Working Committee of the party, who spoke on condition of anonymity, was said to have confirmed that the issue of name-changing is real. “It is true that some people are asking us to change our name. We are considering it. But we can’t do it alone. We need to consult widely on it. While doing that, we also need to be careful so that we are not misled. “Is the advice genuine or is it borne out of hatred to mislead us ahead of the elections? We are looking at many possibilities. Are some people trying to mislead us, or they want to really join us to win power back in 2019, or they are planning to mislead us? We will also look at the legal possibilities and encumbrance.”

However, Ologbondiyan, when contacted said he did not know the agenda for the meeting. “The agenda will be known tomorrow. It is not something I can tell you now. In fact, I don’t know it,” he said.

2019 Elections, News, Nigeria, PDP

Two Reps members dump PDP for APGA

2019 Elections, Nigeria, PDP, Politics

House of RepsThe Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has lost two of its members in the House of Representatives to the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).

The two members, Ben Nwankwo and Anayo Nnebe, both from Anambra State made their decisions known in separate letters read on the floor of the House by the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara.

The duo claimed that there was division in the state chapter of the PDP, a party which sponsored their election to the House of Representatives.

The defection of Messrs Nwankwo and Nnebe is the first in favour of APGA since the inauguration of the 8th Assembly in 2015.

PDP has been the major casualty of defection of members since 2015 as it has lost at least 15 of its members and gained only 1 from the APC.

APGA now has three members in the House of Representatives, making it the third political party with representation in the National Assembly after APC and PDP.

Sheriff’s supporters threaten to quit PDP

PDP, personality, Politics, Power
Sheriff’s supporters threaten to quit PDP

Members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Yobe State loyal to a former national chairman of the party, Ali Sheriff, have threatened to pull out of the PDP over alleged imposition of the state executive committee by its national working committee.

The members also said Mr Sheriff remains their leader and would decide their next political direction.

They made this declaration on Sunday at a press conference in Damaturu, Yobe State capital, after their faction led by Lawan Karasuwa and a former minister of finance, Yerima Ngama, held a closed door meeting that lasted several hours.

The meeting was in reaction to a federal high court judgment in Abuja on Thursday dismissing their challenge of the legitimacy of the state executive committee.

The Karasuwa-led committee came into force during the reign of Mr Sheriff. But when the former Borno State governor was removed from office as national chairman by the Supreme Court, his successor, Mr Makarfi, ordered composition of fresh state working committees.

But the Karasuwa-led committee contended that it was not duly dissolved before a new state working committee was “imposed” on the state.

The current executive committee led by Sani Nguru, a former chairman of APC in Yobe State, is believed to be loyal to a former minister of police affairs, Adamu Waziri, a serial governorship candidate of the party in Yobe.

Following the court ruling in favoru of Mr. Waziri’s faction, the aggrieved members vowed never again to be in the same party with the former minister whom they blamed for the 20 years woes of the PDP in Yobe State.

They also foreclosed any dialogue or truce with Mr. Waziri.

Though the group did not clearly state its next direction, PREMIUM TIMES learnt from multiple sources at the meeting that it was concluded they will be joining the ruling APC.

Yermima Ngama, a former Managing Director of First Bank, read the resolution of the meeting during the press conference.

“Since its inception in 1998, the PDP was well received in Yobe state”, he said. “In 1999 when the local government elections were conducted, PDP won in ten local government areas in Yobe state out of the 17 local governments.

“Unfortunately since that time our fortune continued to dwindle and we were unable to clinch the leadership in Yobe State, because the party has been in one crisis or the other up till today. And this is basically because of selfishness of some certain persons, and also the selfishness of some national party leaders who decided to pitch camp with those individuals.

“The history of crisis, rancour, anti-party activities, failures has been our plight. With all this, fingers have been pointing towards one direction of people who believe that things must always be their way. They would never follow anybody and everybody has to follow them. And that crisis has continued till this day.

“During my leadership as minister of finance from Yobe state, I did everything within my reach to bring together the three factions that I inherited – the Adamu Waziri faction, Senator Albishir faction and the neutral group; and we were able to conduct a well accepted congress in 2012.

“However, immediately the national leadership crisis set in in 2014, the then national chairman of the PDP, Adamu Muazu, who is well known for his impunity, unilaterally dissolved our Exco in Yobe State, and set up a so-called caretaker committee, and we lost the general election.

“After that, the party went into several crisis and Ali Modu Sheriff came in to salvage this party. Under the leadership of Senator Sheriff, because all the tenure of excos had expired, a new round of congress was conducted and the one in Yobe state was held successfully, but towards the end, some group withdrew because they don’t like the result that came out of the Yobe congress. Since then, the party was divided.

“The coming in of Senator Ahmed Makarfi also saw a further division within the party where by some 90 percent of PDP members in Yobe State who were loyal to Senator Ali Modu Sheriff were disenfranchised. It was interesting to note that in other states, Makarfi dissolved their Excos before he ordered for fresh elections, but in our own, we didn’t even have that recognition. He unilaterally asked Adamu Waziri to form his own Exco.

“Given that crisis the entire membership of PDP met in Karasuwa town of Yobe state where we reviewed everything about the party from 1999 to that time and resolved that there is only one way for PDP as a party to succeed and to even attracting other people to join it, before thinking of forming state government.

“An and to do that we have to take a far-reaching decision which we now call the Karasuwa declaration – which is, we as party members will never, ever have anything to do with Alhaji Adamu Maziri and his group. With that Karasuwa declaration, our leader, Senator Muhammed Dambu, advised us to go to court to challenge the existence of two excos in one state.

“And last Thursday the court gave its own judgment. Though the judgment came to us as very funny and surprising, after a careful examination of the ruling, we found out that what the judge told us was true because any political crisis can only be judged in accordance to what is contained in the constitution of the party.

“So if the party has a defective constitution, the judge can only judge on the basis of that defective constitution. So the presiding judge ruled that the state executive council under the leadership of Lawan Gana karasuwa was properly constituted and were properly sworn in and they were properly given certificate of return. With that, the PDP in Yobe state has been handed over to Alhaji Adamu Maina Waziri who controlled less than ten percent of the membership of the party.

“So what we did here today is to review all that happened to the party, and in doing that we have all the members of the state Exco under Lawan Gana Karasuwa, we have party chairmen from the 17 local government areas of Yobe state and their Exco, we other stake holders and we have communicated with other stakeholders who have not been able to make it here to tell them about our resolution which they endorsed and have given us permission to speak on their behalf.

“And the resolution we reached is as follows:-

That all the stakeholders have agreed to stand by the earlier Karasuwa declaration that we will no work with Alhaji Adamu Maina waziri and his faction; also we will never get involved in anything that has to do with Adamu Maina Waziri; that is to say even if by tomorrow, the exco calls for a reconciliation with Adamu Maina Waziri, we will not go.

“We also resolved to support our leader, Senator Muhammed Danbu to pursue further legal action to appeal on the decision of the federal high court and we have asked him to pursue it until we reach the Supreme court.

“However, we have also resolved that we have unanimously and without any reservation handed over our political future to Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, we will, without any hesitation, automatically abide by any directive given to us by Senator Ali Modu Sheriff concerning our political future. Whatever he says, that is what we are going to do”.

The chairman of the PDP in the state, Mr Nguru, did not immediately respond to several calls to his mobile phone. But when he eventually picked, he said he would only speak at a later time as he was busy.

Yakasai, Waku, Na’Abba, seek IBB’s support for new association

2019 Elections, Africa, Celebrity Gists, personality, Politics, Power

ibb.png

The Chairman of Northern Leaders and Stakeholders Assembly (NLSA), Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, yesterday led members of the Steering Committee to Minna, to seek the support of former military President Ibrahim Badamasi Babaginda.

On the entourage of the chairman were former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Umar Na’aba, two former ministers of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Muhammad and Mohammed Abba Gana; former Minister of Commerce Alhaji Mustapha Bello, as well as Senator Joseph Waku.

Others were two former ministers of Women Affairs, Hajiya Mayam Inna Ciroma and Hajiya Zainab Maina; former Minister of National Planning Dr Mohammed Shata, former Governor of Niger State Dr Muazu Babaginda Aliyu.

In his address, Alhaji Yakasai said the organization was established in February 10, 2018 as a direct response to the dire need to promote the cultural and political unity among all northerners and by extension Nigeria.

He said the group was political but not partisan, explaining, “The door of the assembly is open to all northerners irrespective of their ethnicity, differences in religious and political beliefs or sectional backgrounds.”

He said although the idea to form the body came months to 2019 general elections, “We are aiming far beyond this year’s electioneering.” He said the body was interested in coming up with an agenda that would form the basis for its support for anybody aspiring for an elective office at any level of governance.

He added that the body intended to convene a northern political summit to address the disquiet, distrust and loss of confidence of Nigerians against the political class which he said was creating a serious threat to the survival of democracy.

Responding, General Babaginda commended the body for its vision of a united and prosperous Nigeria, and promised to support the initiative. The former military president also accepted to be one of the patrons of the body.

Fayose faction floors Kashamu in battle for Ekiti PDP

2019 Elections, Africa, personality, Politics

The battle of which faction is the authentic state executive of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti has been won by the Barrister Gboyega Oguntuase group, that is loyal to Governor Ayodele Fayose.

Prince-Buruji-Kashamu.jpg

The development followed the Court of Appeal ruling on Wednesday, which quashed the earlier judgment given by Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court in Ado Ekiti, affirming Chief Williams Ajayi-led faction as the validly elected state working committee of the party.

In the party state congress which held on March 9, 2017, two parallel executives had emerged. While Oguntuase emerged chairman of one of the factions, Ajayi emerged as chairman for the other factions and both groups had since been laying claim to the chairmanship seat.

A Federal High Court ruling on the matter had declared Ajayi faction, said to be loyal to Senator Buruji Kashamu, who represents Ogun East in the Senate, as the validly elected chairman of the party.

Not satisfied with that judgment, Oguntuase faction had approached the appellate court and prayed it to set aside the judgment of Justice Taiwo which held the Ajayi faction as the state’s authentic executives.

In his appeal through his counsel, Obafemi Adewale; Oguntuase contended that the Federal high Court acted ultra vires by poke-nosing into internal affairs of the party, contrary to a Supreme Court ruling that every party can regulate itself.

In its ruling on the matter, the three-man justices of the Appeal Court, led by Justice Ahmed Belgore, agreed with the position canvassed by the appellant, saying the PDP has the power to regulate itself.

According to Belgore, the lower court failed to take into cognizance the Supreme Court judgment which had earlier described the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee to superintend over the party for over a year as a legal and legitimate body.