Wednesday, 03 March 2021

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Politics (183)

The Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers has resolved to prevail on Governor Kayode Fayemi to contest for Presidency in 2023, stressing that he is well qualified for the task of leading the nation.

The Obas said they would send a delegation at an opportune time to prevail on him to contest for the position. The monarchs took the decision at their statutory monthly meeting in Ado-Ekiti after listening to a four-man voluntary organisation, known as “Our Belief Project”, led by Aloba Abejide.

Abejide had pleaded with the traditional rulers to call on the governor to make up his mind early and declare his intention to contest in the 2023 presidential election.

The state Chairman of the Traditional Rulers Council, who is the Alawe of Ilawe-Ekiti, Oba Adebanji Ajibade Alabi Afuntade I, who welcomed the team to the Obas Council Chambers, in tandem with complimentary remarks from several traditional rulers, spoke at length on the sterling qualities of Governor Fayemi.

He stressed that the challenges confronting Nigeria today would definitely need a young, dynamic, energetic and brilliant Fayemi who has the wherewithal to be a good president.

Oba Alabi noted that Governor Fayemi was one of those who fought the military to bring back democracy to Nigeria and that a man of his calibre, with a higher degree in war studies would know how to resolve the issue of insecurity in Nigeria.

Summarising the views of his fellow Obas, the foremost traditional ruler said this was the time for an Ekiti indigene to become the President of Nigeria, adding that Ekiti people had helped many other tribes in the past to get to the top.

“All Ekiti Obas will support Fayemi wholeheartedly in the 2023 presidential election,” the Alawe stated.

Oba Alabi recalled the memorable and positive remarks made by the Sultan of Sokoto and Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State during the October 2020 Arewa Summit in Kaduna. He said they expressed implicit confidence in Governor Fayemi.

The monarchs concluded that Fayemi would make a good President to lead Nigeria at this critical period of the country’s history. They, however, advised politicians in Ekiti to be united and work together on the project.

Posted On Thursday, 25 February 2021 15:41 Written by

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has cautioned the Federal Government against further increase in fuel price in the country.

PDP said this in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan in Abuja on Saturday.

Ologbondiyan said that Nigerians were already faced with economic hardship following the November 2020 increase in the price of fuel to N170 per litre, adding that further hike in fuel price would worsen the situation.

He said that Nigerians might not survive a further fuel price increase with its attendant increase in cost of goods and services.

“This will worsen the current economic situation, where over 90 million citizen live in abject poverty, with an alarming 23 per cent unemployment rate and many more living below N500 a day,” he said.

He said there was no justication in comparing Nigeria’s fuel price with those of other countries whose citizens have better purchasing power.

“With a N30,000 monthly minimum wage, which represents N1,000 daily wage, compared to a countries like Saudi Arabia with a monthly minimum wage of 3,000 Riyals; a daily pay of100 Riyals (N10,161).

“There is no foundation to base fuel price in Nigeria with that of Saudi Arabian where citizens earn ten times higher.

“Our party therefore rejects any contemplation towards fuel price increase,” he said.

Posted On Sunday, 14 February 2021 21:52 Written by

MUIDEEN OLANIYI/ DAILYTRUST.COM

The ousted National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has said that he will decline to return to the seat if another National Executive Committee (NEC) decision or a court order reverses the dissolution of the National Working Committee (NWC) which he led.

Oshiomhole, in a statement on Monday titled ‘My Position Has Not Changed’, dismissed the insinuation that he was behind the ongoing court cases seeking to upturn the June 25 NEC decision on his dissolved leadership.

He said: “In reporting the legal action taken by a member of the dissolved NWC of the APC, some attributions have been made to the effect that the plaintiff is an “ally of Oshiomhole” or an “associate of Oshiomhole.” This is despite the fact that the court documents are clear on who the plaintiff really is.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the 21-member NWC under my leadership largely worked cohesively and harmoniously. The only exceptions were the three members used by forces desperate to take control of the party. They contrived a crisis and abused the judicial process to undermine the constitution and integrity of the party. The majority of 18 members worked as a team and not as allies or loyalists of anybody.

“When the NEC in its wisdom dissolved the NWC, I immediately announced publicly that I accepted the decision, regardless of its legality or otherwise, as it affected my position as national chairman. I was the only one at the press conference where I made the announcement. The reason, of course, was that some of my colleagues in the dissolved NWC obviously didn’t share my position not to contest the dissolution in court. “Since I could only accept responsibility for my own decision, I instructed my lawyers to withdraw the suits challenging my purported suspension from office by the proxies of those bent on removing me as chairman.

“It is, therefore, the height of mischief to insinuate, as it is being done in some quarters, that I would publicly accept the decision and later surreptitiously seek to contest it in court. That chapter of my political life is closed.

“Even if another NEC decision or a court order reverses the dissolution, I will, with utmost humility, decline to return as APC National Chairman. I am proud of the accomplishments of the NWC under my leadership and I am grateful to the principled 18 members who worked as a team committed to the cause of the party.

“Above all, I bear no grudge against any one for the manner of my removal. Instead, I am grateful and loyal to President Muhammadu Buhari who in the first place encouraged me to contest the chairmanship of the party.

“I am particularly appreciative of the presidential support and encouragement which enabled me to assert the authority of the party without fear or favour. Indeed, I would not have lasted as long as I did as national chairman but for the President’s support.

“I will therefore continue to support his administration to succeed in serving the common good of the people of Nigeria.”

Posted On Monday, 07 December 2020 23:09 Written by

By Eric Ikhilae, Abuja/ THE NATION

The 36 state governors have resolved to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari “as soon as possible to address security challenges across the country, particularly in the light of the carnage in Borno State”.

The governors took the decision at the 22nd meeting of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) held on Wednesday.

They had been briefed by the delegation they sent to commiserate with Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State on December 1, 2020, over the killing of more than 40 rice farmers in Garin Kwashebe in Jere Local Government Area of the state.

The victims were harvesting rice when the terrorists unexpectedly pounced on them, killing them in gruesome manner.

The terror sect has since claimed responsibility for the massacre, claiming that the farmers once arrested one of its members and handed him over to the authorities.

The NGF, in a communiqué issued in Abuja on Friday, also elected to support the necessary reforms that will result in a police force that works for all.

“As an immediate to medium-term measure, members agreed to pay close attention to the conduct of police officers across the country in order to get them and other internal security operatives fully back to work as they have not been functioning to full capacity since the EndSARS protests with the attendant security exposure to the safety of lives and properties of the ordinary citizens,” they said.

The governors also discussed the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) industrial action and urged the Federal Government and the union to urgently resolve their differences to allow for immediate reopening of the nation’s tertiary institutions.

They asked both sides to “hasten the implementation of the truce elements in their resolutions so as to allow schools reopen immediately.”

They faulted the practice where the Federal Government is currently collecting stamp duties, insisting that stamp duties “belong primarily to states and the various collection platforms are channels of payment to the states; while aligning with the guidance provided by its lawyers and experts.”

The governors also endorsed the two proposals canvassing infrastructure development by both the Governor Nasir el Rufai Committee and the Central Bank Nigeria (CBN) governor, Godwin Emefiele.

The el-Rufai’s Adhoc Committee Leverage Portion of Accumulated Pension Funds for Investment in Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) is proposing the creation of a National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF) such that a total sum of N2 trillion at 9% interest can be accessed through the NSIA.

The Governors’ Forum Chairman, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, told the meeting about a similar proposal by the CBN Governor to enable states access N15 trillion naira for national infrastructure funding through INFRACREDIT at a lower interest rate of 5%.

The governors agreed to keep active and operational the State COVID -19 Task Force Teams and Emergency Operation Centers (EOCs) in addition to ensuring the prompt release of funds as outlined in the State Incidence Action Plans (IAP).

They also agreed to keep temporary treatment centres open, ensure ramping up COVID-19 testing across the country and support the planned “COVID-19 Testing Week’ to be launched by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.

The governors expressed their commitment to achieving the second Eligibility Criteria (EC) requirement of publishing online their approved FY21 Annual State Budget prepared under the National Chart of Accounts by January 31, 2021.

Besides, they restated their commitment to implementing reforms associated with the programme, including the deployment of a Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to support effective land administration and an efficient property tax system and resolved to inaugurate the NGF-NESG Economic Roundtable (NNER) Steering Committee, whose technical committee is to commence the implementation of the strategic plan, which includes but not limited to the national mapping of sub-national endowments, global mapping of sub-national entities for global competitiveness and development of competitiveness toolkits.

Posted On Saturday, 05 December 2020 02:20 Written by

Our Reporter

POLLS closed in Burkina Faso on Sunday after a presidential and parliamentary election dominated by the threat of Islamist violence that prevented voting in hundreds of villages.

President Roch Kabore is seeking a second five-year term, campaigning on achievements such as free healthcare for children under the age of five and paving some of the red dirt roads that snake across the arid West African country.

But a surge in attacks by groups with links to al Qaeda and Islamic State has eclipsed everything. The violence has cost more than 2,000 lives this year alone.

After voting in a school in Ouagadougou, Kabore told reporters: “I call on all Burkinabe to vote, whatever their leaning. It’s about the democracy of Burkina Faso, it’s about development, it’s about peace.”

The election went smoothly in the capital and there were no reports of large-scale violence elsewhere during the vote. But some polling stations in insecure eastern areas had to be closed because of threats, the electoral commission said.

“People were threatened. They told them: ‘those who put their fingers in the ink can say goodbye to their finger’,” the commission’s chief, Newton Ahmed Barry, said at a press conference, referring to the ink marks people are given to show they have voted.

At least 400,000 people – nearly 7% of the electorate – are expected to have been unable to vote due to polling stations not opening for fear of violence, official data forecast ahead of the vote.

“Before we had peace, now we have none,” said 48-year-old security guard Gilbert Alalinga at nightfall outside a polling station in Ouagadougou.

“I didn’t hear of violence today, that was encouraging. I want to be able to travel to the north, the east, the south without problem,” he said as children raced on bicycles in a sandy field beyond.

Election officials began counting immediately after the polls closed, chalking up each vote on school blackboards across the city.

Kabore faces stiff opposition from former finance minister and 2015 runner-up Zephirin Diabre as well as Eddie Komboigo, head of Blaise Campaore’s party. Campaore was president for 27 years until a 2014 revolution.

Komboigo yesterday joined Diabre in claiming the vote had been marred by fraud. Both vowed to challenge the results by filing a formal complaint today. They have not provided evidence for their claims.

Analysts expect a tight race that could go to a second round if no candidate wins more than 50% of the vote.

Overall provisional results from the first round are expected by the middle of the week.

Posted On Monday, 23 November 2020 04:20 Written by

The US’ Federal Election Commission, FEC, has punctured claims by President Donald Trump that there is fraud in the presidential election.

Trump has consistently claimed that illegal votes were being counted in favour of challenger, Joe Biden.

He said if legal votes were counted, he truly won the election, but noted that several illegal votes were being counted at the moment.

But Ellen Weintraub, Commissioner of the Federal Election Commission, wants Americans to know that “there really has been no evidence of fraud” in the election this year.

“State and local officials and poll workers throughout the country really stepped up. And there have been very few complaints about how this election was run,” Weintraub told CNN Saturday morning.

“Very few substantiated complaints, let me put it that way. There is no evidence of any kind of voter fraud. There is no evidence of illegal votes being cast.

“In fact, and you don’t have to take my word for it, because people throughout the country, non-partisan election experts, have come out and handled this election and how it was run.”

Weintraub added: “There really has been no evidence of fraud. None of the complaints have attached any evidence of fraud.”

Posted On Saturday, 07 November 2020 16:17 Written by

By Chris Njoku, Owerri/ THE NATION

Leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu has said that the convergence of the diverse core value systems of the North, West and East is posing a serious obstacle for Nigeria to function as a viable state.

Kanu who said this on Friday in an interview with an publisher of Ovation magazine, Chief Dele Momodu on an IPoB community radio, argued that bringing Nigerians together without paying attention to the core value system of these ethnic groups was the bane of development and unrests in the country.

”So, these are the anomalies that Africans particularly educated Nigerians need to sit down to address. That’s why we have unrested development, that’s why nothing seems to be working because the convergence of these diverse core value system of Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo is making it impossible for Nigeria to function as a viable state.”

The IPOB leader made it clear that he would not have been agitating for sovereign state of Biafra if Nigeria was created by a Yoruba, Igbo or Hausa man.

“Nigeria was not constructed by a Yoruba man, if it were I would have accepted it, Nigeria was not created by a Fulani man, if that was the case who knows I might have accepted that, Nigeria was not created by an Hausa man either, Nigeria was created by a white man and named by a woman.”

“Nobody came from these ethnic groups, they never got together to say our name should be Nigeria. A white man determined that. I cannot get to England to say to the English people I want to rename Liverpool, I want to give it another name, I am sure they will think I am mentally ill or unstable and put me in jail.

Now the problem is why should Nigerians or Africans accept the name Nigeria, which does not mean anything in Yoruba, Igbo or Hausa language,” he stated.

Posted On Sunday, 01 November 2020 00:40 Written by

BY DENNIS EREZI/ GUARDIAN.NG

Kano State governor Umaru Ganduje has suspended his media aide for “unguarded utterances on the person of President Muhammadu Buhari on the social media platform.”

“I’ve never seen a govt with zero empathy like that of Buhari,” Salihu Tanko Yakasai, a special adviser to Ganduje on media, tweeted with his verified Twitter handle @Dawisu on Saturday.

“So many times when his people are going through difficult time and expect some sort of shoulder to reassure them that he is in charge, but he failed to do so.”

One of the the tweets has been deleted.

Kano State commissioner for information Muhammad Garba said in a statement that said the suspension of Yakasai took immediate effect.

He said that, although the media aide has owned up the indiscreet comment as his personal opinion, it may be difficult to differentiate between personal opinion and official stand on matters of public concern.

Yakasai posted the tweet at the height of #EndSARS protests across the country.

The now-disbanded controversial SARS police unit was the point of global attention since last Saturday over cases of brutality, extortion, extrajudicial killing and harassment of Nigerians.

Street protests against SARS received a boost from several countries after many celebrities joined the advocacy.

Nigerian youths in thousands led protests in different parts of the country, demanding total scrapping of the controversial police unit. Many of these protests were held overnight, most especially in Lagos State – in front of the state House of Assembly.

President Buhari only reacted to the global advocacy against the misuse of power by the Nigeria Police on Thursday night.

“I am being briefed regularly on the reform efforts ongoing to end police brutality and unethical conduct, and ensure that the Police are fully accountable to the people,” Buhari said in a tweet.

The president’s promise was not relied upon as more Nigerians and the international community joined the #EndSARS protests.

Reacting, Ganduje’s aide – Yakasai said, “This I-dont-care attitude is on another level.”

“To speak to ur own ppl (sic) over issues that are bedevilling them has become something like a favour u’re doing to them,” Yakasai said in a follow-up tweet to the former.

“Over & over again, u cannot spare 5mins & address the nation to calm them down, the same people u went to the 36 states to beg for their votes, its heartbreaking.”

Posted On Sunday, 11 October 2020 18:22 Written by

Gov. Gboyega Oyetola of Osun has congratulated his Ondo State counterpart, Rotimi Akeredolu, on his re-election as governor of the state, saying his victory did not come as a surprise.

Oyetola, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, on Sunday in Osogbo, also described Akeredolu’s victory as sweet and well deserved.

The governor is a member of the National Caretaker Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Chairman, Contact, and Mobilisation for the Ondo Governorship National Campaign Council.

He also congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari, national leaders of the party, members, and supporters of the party on the electoral victory.

Oyetola said the outcome of the election was a true reflection of the wishes and aspirations of the people of Ondo.

He added that the sterling performance and achievements of Akeredolu in his first term also informed the decision of the Ondo electorate to re-elect him for another term.

Oyetola also expressed confidence that Akeredolu would continue to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people.

“I heartily congratulate Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu on his well-deserved re-election as Governor of Ondo State.

“I also congratulate Mr President, the National Caretaker Committee, and other leaders of our great party including Baba Bisi Akande, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, members and supporters of the APC, on this sweet victory at the just- concluded Ondo State governorship election.

“This victory is a true reflection of the wishes and aspirations of the people of Ondo.

“It is apparent that Gov. Akeredolu’s sterling performance and achievements in his first tenure informed the decision of Ondo people to vote him for another term.

“I’m confident that Gov. Akeredolu will continue to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people of Ondo State,” Oyetola said.

The governor also lauded the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the security agencies, political parties, and their candidates, and the people of Ondo for the peaceful and successful conduct of the election.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission on Sunday declared Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu winner of Saturday’s governorship election in the state, having polled the highest score of 292,830 votes.

Posted On Sunday, 11 October 2020 18:18 Written by

By Jethro Ibileke/ PM NEWS

With less than 24 hours to the commencement of the governorship election in Ondo State, three key gladiators are favourite to hold sway. After a careful examination and sifting of the candidates of the 17 political parties contesting the poll, opinions narrow the chances to three candidates, namely, the incumbent Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of the APC; his erstwhile deputy, Agboola Ajayi of the Zenith Labour Party; and Eyitayo Jegede of the PDP.

The three main contestants are busy strategising and plotting the defeat of their opponents. The big question is, who wins the race at the end of the voting exercise, who wins the battle for the soul of Ondo State?

The trio have one thing in common; they are lawyers. They also have one goal in common, they set their eyes on the governorship seat. But, only one of these three gladiators will be declared winner of the election come Saturday.

Below is a careful analysis of the three favourite candidates.

Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu

Sixty-four-year old Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, graduated from the prestigious University of Ife (now named Obafemi Awolowo University in 1977. He hailed from Owo town, in the northern senatorial district of the state. His campaign slogan, when translated from Yoruba language, means “let’s do it once more”.

Beside being a senior advocate of no mean repute, Aketi, as he is popularly called, is actually not a green horn in politics, having been in politics for over a decade. He served as the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, during the first tenure of former Governor Olusegun Mimiko, who won his election on the platform of the Labour Party, but later defected to the PDP.

In 2013, Akeredolu contested for the governorship seat on the platform of the APC, but lost to his former boss, Mimiko, who won the election for a second term with a landslide. He, however, got lucky on his second attempt, and was sworn-in as governor on 24 February 2017.

This APC candidate obviously enjoys the support of his party, President Muhammadu Buhari and other APC governors. During the grand finale of his electioneering campaign rally which held inside the main bowl of Akure Stadium on Wednesday, Buhari in a goodwill message, described Akeredolu as a good brand who should be reelected for a second term.

“No doubt, our candidate is a good brand. I am particularly delighted with his approach to governance, he is a good brand. I join you to declare that Governor Rotimi Akeredolu deserves to be reelected for a second term,” Buhari had said.

The presence of 10 APC governors at the campaign is a further attestation of his acceptance in his party.

To win the support of the people of Ondo South Senatorial District where one of his main challengers, Agboola Ajayi hailed from, Akeredolu argued that they ought to give him their support, for the governorship rotation to get to their turn at the end of his second term. He reasoned that voting for the PDP candidate, Eyitayo Jegede, would jeopardise their chance of getting it in 2025.

Agboola Ajayi

Agboola Ajayi

The 52-year-old Igbinedion University, Okada-trained lawyer who hailed from Kiribo, in Ese-Odo Local Government Area of Ondo State, is an astute and a grassroots politician. He was called to bar in 2010 after his graduation from the Nigerian Law School, Abuja.

Ajayi though began his political career in 1989 when he was elected ward chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), in the Old Apoi. When the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was formed in 1998, he was made Secretary of the party in Ilaje/Ese-Odo Local Government between 1998 and 1999.

In 2004, Ajayi was elected chairman of Ese-Odo Local Government Council, and was made the Treasurer of Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Ondo State chapter between 2004 and 2007.

Ajayi who dumped the PDP for the APC in 2016, was nominated as running mate of Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and together, they were sworn-in on February 24, 2017.

In the build-up to the 2020 governorship election, Ajayi clashed with his boss, when he declared interest in gunning for the Ondo top job. Following the rivalry that ensued, Ajayi dumped APC for the PDP on June 20, where he declared his interest to contest against Akeredolu during the governorship election. But when the PDP primary election was conducted on July 22, Ajayi lost to Eyitayo Jegede.

Few days later, Agboola Ajayi decamped to Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), where he is currently seeking election. He is banking on the over 514,000 voting strength of his home base of Ondo South, and whatever votes he could win in other parts of the state, to unseat his boss as governor.

Eyitayo Jegede

Eyitayo Jegede

The PDP candidate for the gubernatorial election, Eyitayo Jegede, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, was born to the family of late Chief Johnson Bosede, the Odopetu of Isinkan, Akure, in the central senatorial district of the state. He graduated from the University of Lagos in 1983.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria in 1992 appointed him as a Notary Public, before being elevated to the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria on 16th December, 2008. He was a two-time chairman of the Adamawa State chapter of the Nigerian Bar Association.

He served as a former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice during the second tenure of Olusegun Mimiko.

On Monday, August 22, 2016, Eyitayo Jegede was voted as the PDP governorship candidate but Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court judgement issued on October 14, 2016, recognised Jimoh Ibrahim as the candidate of the PDP for the governorship of Ondo State. But on November 23, 2016, the Court of Appeal reversed the judgement of the lower Court, pronouncing Jegede as the PDP’s gubernatorial flag bearer.

Jegede emerged the flag bearer of PDP’s Governorship Primary for Ondo State in the October 2020 election after polling a total of 888 votes, defeating the Deputy Governor Agboola Ajayi who emerged second with 657 votes.

There is no gainsaying that Jegede’s presence in the governorship race is not only a nightmare to Governor Akeredolu, but a threat to his ambition of getting re-elected.

In summary, the fate of Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, Agboola Ajayi, Eyitayo Jegede, and indeed, that of the other candidates in the election, now depends on the decision of the over 514,000 eligible voters in Ondo South, the over 816,000 in Ondo Central and the over 485,000 in the North.

There is no doubt, however, that one of the three gladiators will emerge victorious on Saturday. We can only wait to see who finally wins the battle for the soul of Ondo.

Posted On Friday, 09 October 2020 21:17 Written by
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