NEWS AND STORIES
The candidacy of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) aspirant for Kogi East Senatorial district in the 2019 general election, Dr. Victor Alewo Adoji got a major boost recently when immediate past governor of Kogi State, Captain Idris Wada and his predecessor, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris openly endorsed his nomination to run for the seat.
Adoji, a former banker and journalist, visited the former governors separately in Abuja for endorsement after obtaining the PDP nomination form.
He described the them (Wada and Idris) as credible leaders of the party who have laboured to keep hope alive in Kogi state.
The senate aspirant has so far toured six local government areas in Kogi East to declare his interest to vie for the much-coveted senate seat.
In his speech at his declaration in Ofu Local Government, Adoji said he was there as an aspirant for the people to convert him to a candidate.
He said he is worried when he sees youths without employment as what he sees are not human beings but industries.
“Manifesto was something that was built in the 50s and 60s and it is not a workable material, I will not have one for you. What I will sign with you is a social contract where you will tell me what you will want me to do for you and not what I want to do for you.
“The world is evolving and countries are moving away from oil, most developed countries of the world do not rely on mineral resources because they do not even have one, what they rely on is the strength of their innovation.
“I will sign a contract with you and will want any other person contesting with me if given the mandate to do so, after 24 months as your Senator I do not move you from where we are to where Kogi East should be, recall me,” he said.
He said he was aware that as their Senator, he will not have the budget to build schools, build hospitals, build roads, but would ask them to carry him on their shoulders to where he can drag these basic things down to the people.
Meanwhile, a coalition of political parties in Kogi state recently endorsed Dr. Adoji as their preferred candidate for the 2019 Kogi East senatorial election.
A Saudi official hinted Friday the kingdom was moving forward with a plan to dig a canal that would turn the neighbouring Qatari peninsula into an island, amid a diplomatic feud between the Gulf nations.
“I am impatiently waiting for details on the implementation of the Salwa island project, a great, historic project that will change the geography of the region,” Saud al-Qahtani, a senior adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, said on Twitter.
The plan, which would physically separate the Qatari peninsula from the Saudi mainland, is the latest stress point in a highly fractious 14-month long dispute between the two states.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar in June 2017, accusing it of supporting terrorism and being too close to Riyadh’s archrival, Iran — charges Doha denies.
In April, the pro-government Sabq news website reported government plans to build a channel -– 60 kilometres (38 miles) long and 200 metres wide –- stretching across the kingdom’s border with Qatar.
Part of the canal, which would cost up to 2.8 billion riyals ($750 million), would be reserved for a planned nuclear waste facility, it said.
Five unnamed companies that specialise in digging canals had been invited to bid for the project and the winner will be announced in September, Makkah newspaper reported in June.
Saudi authorities did not respond to requests for comment and there was no immediate reaction on the plan from Qatar.
After the dispute erupted last year, Qatar — a small peninsula nation — found its only land border closed, its state-owned airline barred from using its neighbours’ airspace, and Qatari residents expelled from the boycotting countries.
Mediation efforts led by Kuwait and the US, which has its largest Middle East air base in Qatar, have so far failed to resolve the dispute.
Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said the exit of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and others from the All Progressives Congress, APC, barely made a dent in the party’s superstructure, as they could not muster the figures they had envisaged to cause an upset, particularly in the two chambers of the National Assembly.
Buhari, who spoke at the National Executive Committee, NEC, meeting of the APC in Abuja, said despite conciliatory attempts to keep the house together, some members were hell-bent on pulling down the roofs.
“They left, plotting to go along with scores of people, thus upsetting the apple cart. But due to the yeoman’s work by the new party leadership, the exit barely made a dent in our superstructure, as they could not muster the figures they had envisaged to cause an upset, particularly in the two chambers of the National Assembly.
“APC remains in control, and increases by the day, with quality people joining our fold. I say congratulations to the new NEC members,” he said.
Buhari said the NEC was meeting to look at some major decisions that would get the party ready for an excellent performance at the polls next year, starting with party primaries at various levels, while urging all to ensure that decisions taken at the meeting were those that would avail the good of the party, and ones that met the yearnings and expectations of the teeming members and supporters nationwide, as they “they look up to us for guidance, and we must not disappoint or fail them.”
According to Buhari, “hope is rekindled in our hearts that we will give our country purposeful leadership that will improve the quality of lives of the people. We will continue to secure the country, fight graft, and position the economy in a way that jobs can be provided for our youths, and give them a future and a hope.
“We will fulfill all the promises we have made to Nigerians. We are fulfilling them, and will continue to serve with heart and might, to build a nation where peace, justice, and prosperity shall reign.
“As we stand at the threshold of party primaries, I urge all and sundry to ensure that we play the game according to the rules. Let us come out with free, fair, and credible primaries, which will be a precursor to free, fair, and credible General Elections next year. Let us shine the light through our primaries, and the rest of the country will find the way,” he said.
Buhari said the APC’s primaries must be in complete compliance with the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, the Electoral Act and above all the constitution of the party.
“The times in which we are call for unity, harmony and togetherness. Let us all join hands to move the party forward. We must take our party to the next level, and I urge all and sundry to give support to our National Working Committee,” he said.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday submitted a revised 2019 election budget to the National Assembly for consideration and approval
The submission of the reviewed budget was in compliance with the directive of the National Assembly joint committee on electoral matters that the electoral body should rework its 2019 election budget based on the N143.5 billion the committee adopted for consideration.
The electoral umpire had before the adoption of the N143bn pressed for the approval of N189 billion for the elections.
President Muhammadu Buhari had requested the National Assembly to approve through a virement the sum of N143.5 billion for the conduct of the 2019 elections.
The President added that the balance of N45.6billion out of a total of N189 billion he presented will be inserted and approved in the 2019 national budget for INEC.
The joint committee after about two weeks of consideration of requests adopted the N143billion as sought by President Buhari with the explanation that the presidential letter was explicit that the N45.6billion difference was to be provided for in the 2019 budget.
Chairman of the joint committee, Senator Suleiman Nazif who announced the compliance of INEC to its directive, noted that the electoral body had sent a reviewed budget to the committee within the ambit of N143bn as directed.
Nazif also said that a sub-committee was set up to look into the details of the new budget submitted by INEC.
The sub committee, he said, is expected to complete its assignment today and submit it’s report for consideration by 4pm (Wednesday).
A member of the committee, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi gave said that the committee was determined to urgently complete work on the election budget.
Abdullahi denied insinuation that the committee was deliberately slowing down the process of the consideration of the INEC budget to frustrate push to make the National Assembly to reconvene.
Abdullahi who is also Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, explained that part of the reason for setting up the sub-committee was to speed up the legislative processes for final approval of the election budget.
CHAIRMAN of the Lagos State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Moshood Salvador, has dumped the opposition party for the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Addressing some party members at his office yesterday in Lagos, Salvador said the former Deputy National Chairman, Chief Olabode George, frustrated him out of the party.
He said no few than 15,000 party members would move with him to the APC, noting that he could no longer be in the same party with George.
The former Lagos PDP chieftain maintained that George was the problem of the party, stressing that he framed him up over the slain chieftain of the party, Adeniyi Aborishade.
He said: “I am not happy that I am leaving the party. But since they don’t appreciate my efforts, I have to move to where my efforts will be recognised.
“The PDP National Chairman and other party chieftains at the national level have been calling me to discourage me from leaving, but there is no going back. I have to take my people to where they will make progress, so the APC is the only party that can guarantee this.”
In his reaction, George said the party was not in crisis in Lagos State, but added that Salvador was free to move to any party.
He said Lagos PDP remains united, irrespective of the position of the minority in the party.
The former Deputy National Chairman said Salvador’s decision to move to another party was instructive, given the investigation about his alleged involvement in the murder of Aborishade.
He said: “Why is it now that the man is moving to another party? Why did he not provide security at the venue PDP was meeting when Adeniyi Aborishade was attacked and murdered?
“Those who are alleging that I am the cause of the crisis in Lagos are out of their minds. There is no crisis in Lagos; we are united in our resolve to advance the cause of the party.”
George said the killing of Aborisade was unfortunate. He called on party members to support the deceased family to overcome the pains.
He said the party would not relent in the efforts to get justice for the slain politician who was killed on July 21.
He said: “There is something terribly disturbing about our justice system. The rule of law is now being distorted, savaged, abused, treated with contempt, trampled upon with callous indifference.
“There is palpable uncertainty everywhere as no one is sure when and how right prevails over the festering wrongs, and how and the scale of justice prevails in sweeping latitude.
“Without the strict adherence to the sacrosanct largeness of the rule of law, without the natural guidance of the enlightened spectacle of societal thematic truth, we are all endangered, democracy itself becomes wobbly, teeters upon the cliffhanger of ruin.
“But this should never happen. We must all defend and protect this hard earned democracy. We can’t fold our hands and pretend a stoic indifference, while the normative essence of the democratic order is gradually being trampled and dragged in the mud.”
The people of Kogi East Senatorial District are in for a brighter future in 2019 and beyond as Dr. Victor Alewo Adoji, renowned technocrat throws the hat in the ring for the 2019 senatorial elections.
Dr. Adoji is gearing to represent the senatorial district at the National Assembly. Already, there have been wild excitements everywhere you go as the electorates believe Adoji’s representation will be a sign of good things coming to the senatorial district.
Those spoken to said they were already heaving sighs of relief even though he has not yet won the seat, as they believe in the capabilities of Dr. Adoji to turn things around at Kogi East.
Dr. VAA, as he his fondly called, is regarded as a generous man, who has affected many lives both in the state and in other parts of the country. His aspiration to contest for Kogi East Senatorial District of the state is borne out of his zeal to enhance development in the state.
It was gathered that unlike some rich men who spend their money only where business relationships and connections can be fostered, Dr. Victor is noted for his generosity especially to those exposed to the scotching heat of poverty and wretchedness.
A Kogite, who gave his name as Johnson, stated that Dr. Victor gives to those who can hardly afford three-square meals.
“Now what does this mean to a rational Kogite? Of course, it portrays Dr VAA as a true definition of cordial relationship between the rich and the poor, the low and the mighty.
“Victor, as a genuine Christian, understands that whatever God gives him is for the benefit of mankind.
“Apart from these, identifying with the poor and the vulnerable shows his staunch belief and strict adherence to equality.
“He believes that all of us are equal irrespective of religion and social differences,” the Kogite said.
Investigations revealed that Dr VAA’s humane formula is a proof that he is a talent hunter, and that he seeks and invests hugely in uncommon, but dying talents among Kogites, particularly those of Igala extraction.
Commenting on the philanthropist, one Oluwasegun from the state revealed that he received calls from employees, whose fortune had been changed dynamically by Adoji, adding that such people are currently meeting their daily needs conveniently from their various employment.
He said: “Without apology, Dr. VAA’s benevolence cannot be over-emphasized, even those sponsoring criticism against him know.
“Yet, some paid hooligans mischievously insinuated that Dr VAA hates anyone who is succeeding.
“They even went further to cite the example of an Igala guy, who suddenly became Victor’s arch-enemy because he is studying in the UK. Well, let me apologise for being unable to find a word that could best describe the sponsors of these lies from the pit of hell.”
A source in the state said that for posterity sake, Dr. Victor Adoji’s senatorial aspiration symbolises a revolution from hardship to abundance, darkness to light; political bondage to freedom amongst other numerous benefits that would accrue to the people once he gets into office.
He added that contrary to some ‘psychopathic insinuations’ that Dr. VAA was seeking riches and worldly connections with his ambition, his victory at the polls will lead to an era of transparency and accountability.
According to him, it will be the beginning of giving true dividends of democracy to the people, and that it will be a time when a leader will be accessible to the electorates.
“Kogi East Senatorial District happens to have produced the largest local government in West Africa (Dekina), yet it hasn’t witnessed any tangible development due to poor representation in the legislature.
“Hence, there is an urgent need for the right technocrat to be in charge of legislation in the district to present bills and motions in an appropriate manner for the benefit of the constituents.
“Dr. Adoji has demonstrated his capacity in these areas. He has participated fully in the duty of uniting Igalas.
“He has put strategies and suggestions forward to the betterment of our people both at home and abroad.
“Ufedo, Udama Unyogba Ane Igala, an Abuja based NGO, testified to this when it made Dr. VAA chairman at one of its annual conferences. Members of Igala Association, USA were also living witnesses when Dr. Victor served as one of the dignitaries that graced their gathering few years back.
“Dr VAA’s message has been no to nepotism, marginalisation, self-centeredness, social and ethnic differences. As a matter of fact, Victor is the ladder which the people of Kogi East should climb for socio economic and political revolution,” he said.
We were informed that the battle for a better Kogi East Federal Constituency will not be won with politicos and politicking, but with purposeful, visionary candidature with well-defined attributes both intellectually and politically.
A concerned resident of the senatorial district, who simply gave his name as Jacob, said that “just as an African democratic hero puts it; I am sick and tired of the crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of those, who consider themselves my lords and masters, I want a full menu of rights.
“It is far beyond the loyalty syndrome or the crumbs of compassion mentality. The election will not be won by politics of cluelessness. But it will be won by a man with a core Godly mindset with genuine and qualitative leadership attributes.
“This is where Dr. Victor Alewo Adoji belongs as the most credible candidate for the highly demanding assignment. He has laudable achievements of immeasurable value to his credit. Above all, his life personifies an act of Godliness, which gives a leader an opportunity to serve well,” Jacob added.
We were told that Dr. Victor Alewo Adoji’s mission and vision towards Kogi East Senatorial Districts could be described as that of Moses, who was sent by God to lead the Isrealites to their Promised Land (Cannan).
It was learned that his huge investment in Igala sons’ and daughters’ academic career shows a greater light on the horizon for the confluence city.
“So, let’s see it beyond sentiment and stipends with which our destiny is always exchanged and vote Dr. VAA as the people’s senator in 2019. His campaign, which will commence shortly, is a moving train that will hold sway on every nooks and crannies of Kogi East.
“Hence, people of like minds must join this train to vote out poverty, hunger, bad road and other issues that have threatened our very existence as a people,” said a Kogite, Mr. Oluwanisola.
“As a bonafide indigene of Dekina LGA, I know the general language when it comes to infrastructural development.
“Our people are used to the dilapidated state of roads, electricity, water and other social amenities. In fact, as economically viable as the land is, no tangible developmental project has been done in the area over the years.
“Therefore, if there is anything called struggle for a better Kogi Eastern Senatorial district, that alone I am willing to shed my blood for because my root and the people of the area have fallen victims severally to economic and political misrepresentation,” Victor Adoji was quoted to have said at a gathering recently.
A Kogite, who was reacting to an article written by Mr. John Paul with the title, “Dr Victor Alewo Adoji is a star in the Darkened skies” testified to Dr. VAA’s generosity this way ; “Bros thank you for that wonderful piece. I owe everything I am presently to God and Dr Adoji.
“I lost my dad when I was in SSS two and after writing my SSCE, I lost hope of going to the university.
“So, I started living the normal guy life. But on that memorable morning, I was in the church (United Evangelical Church) playing the musical instrument as usual, when I met Dr. Adoji.
“After the people had given offering, Dr. Victor asked me publicly about what I was doing for a living. I told him I had been writing JAMB for four years now, but that I was unable to secure admission due to financial constraint.
“Behold! The man of God said to me that God told him to see me through the university. Right now, I am in 300 level in the university. We are about 10 students in my school that are being sponsored by Dr. VAA.”
Another Kogite, a Muslim-turned-Christian lady from Ogun State, said that she was subjected to constant torture by her very dedicated Muslim, but poor family, for accepting Jesus Christ.
The lady stated that she was actually able to complete her secondary school education with the help of the presiding minister in her local church before the pastor was transferred from Ogun State to Lagos State.
She however, said that her story changed completely the day she visited the pastor and his family in Lagos, where she met Dr. VAA, who she said later gave her scholarship for her university education.
Our investigations revealed further that Dr. Victor Alewo Adoji has all the qualities to represent his people at the red chamber and that he would do his best to attract more developments to the senatorial district in four years.
Dr. Victor Adoji was born on 29th May 1917. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Jos, and master’s degrees in economics, Business Administration with bias in Corporate Strategy from Bayero University, Kano, and another master’s degree in Entrepreneurship from the ITTL-DRC, University of Phoenix, USA. Adoji also obtained a PhD in credit Management.
He is a fellow of Institute of Credit Administration (FICA) and an International Certified Credit Fellow (ICCF). He is a member of several professional and academic bodies in Nigeria and beyond. He has won numerous awards over the years in recognition of his meritorious and excellent.
He was deputy editor, the business section of the Northern-based Concern magazine and joined the services of Zenith Bank Plc in 2000.
Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Monday assured that the coming together of various opposition political parties to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) would rescue Nigeria in 2019.
He said that the coming together of the parties would also restore the country on the path of democratic freedoms, joy, security, and development.
A statement by his media aide, Uche Anichukwu said that Ekweremadu gave the assurance during the signing of the MoU by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Reformed-All Progressives Congress (rAPC), Social Democratic Party (SDP), among other opposition political parties in Abuja on Monday.
He said that the mammoth crowd outside the venue which had gathered to witness the birth of a new Nigeria, showed that Nigerians now saw hope again and urged the grand alliance not be disappoint the people.
He said: “For three years, what I see on the faces of Nigerians is frustration and anguish. But for the first time, I tell you that I saw joy. I saw people laughing and smiling for the first time in three years.
“Those our brothers and sisters, and investors, who left Nigeria in the last three years are also rejoicing with you because by this time next year, they will all be back.
“Those factories that were closed are going to come back alive by this time next year and Nigerians will rejoice.
“The people of the South East whom the programmes and practices of this government are forcing them to have a rethink on their membership of this country, today will rejoice and be happy that a new country that will be fair to all is coming; a country that they will be proud to be part of and continue to contribute to her development.
“All our people in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps, who have been wondering or believe that they will spend the rest of their lives in the IDP camps are happy today because their stay there is almost over; because next year, we will enthrone a government that will take them to their homes and protect them there.
“The media houses, all the instruments and institutions of democracy that have been trampled and muzzled in this country, they will be free again to do their work without fear of intimidation.
“Those, who are being persecuted on account of their political views or insisting that the right thing should be done, are also going to rejoice because a new dawn is here,. One of them is my brother, Senator Dino Melaye, who went through hell, but today, he is a free man.
“Also, remember that Nelson Mandela said that unless Nigeria earns the respect of the world, no one would respect Africa. So, various countries of Africa, who have looked up to Nigeria to provide leadership will have a good dinner in their houses today, happy that we are coming back again to retake our place again as the foremost country in Africa and to provide leadership”.
He enjoyed Nigerians to keep faith with the new movement as they days of their anguish and sufferings were numbered.
A 39-year old Nigerian woman Eunice Atuejide has said President Muhammadu Buhari must not be allowed to continue in office beyond May 2019.
Atuejide, a lawyer, with practices in the United Kingdom and Nigeria, is the presidential candidate of National Interest Pary, which she founded.
“We need men and women from every corner of the country bound by a common objective to create a Nigeria which works for every Nigerian,” she said on Saturday.
Atuejide will be one of the first beneficiaries of a new law that cuts the age limits for those contesting elective offices. The law reduces the minimum age for presidential candidates from 40 to 35, and state governors and senators from 35 to 30.
75-year Buhari old said he will stand for reelection next and is expected to be favoured by his All Progressives Congress as its candidate.
But Atuejide said Nigeria was in need of a fresh set of leaders. She insisted that the “current crop of politician” were responsible for the “incessant deaths and misery and misery in the country .”
Her party said it is “committed to fight, by all means necessary, the mismanagement of our national wealth, to recover as much of our stolen wealth as we can find, to eradicate the abysmal levels of corruption in our national life; the unequal treatment of our people at all levels.”
Atuejide is not the only youthful Nigerian seeking to unseat Buhari. Thursday, New York-based Chike Ukaegbu announced plans to contest for the presidency next year.
“Chike Ukaegbu announced his candidacy for President of Nigeria — a country with over 60 percent of the population between the ages of 18 and 35,” his publicist said in a statement.
“At the age of 35, Chike aspires to become the youngest civilian president of the youthful African nation.”
Adams Oshiomhole – National Chairman
Mai Mala Buni – National Secretary
Niyi Adebayo – Deputy National Chairman
Babatunde Ogala – National Legal Adviser
Bankole Oluwajana – National Vice Chairman (South West)
Mohammed Sani – Deputy National Organizing Secretary
Tunde Bello – National Financial Secretary
Ibrahim Masari – National Welfare Secretary
Jock Alamba – Deputy National Welfare Secretary
*North Central: Nelson Alapa (Ex-Officio ); Hassana Abdullahi (National Women Leader ); Zakari Mohammed (Zonal Secretary); Ibrahim Abdul (Zonal Organizing Secretary); Makop Masoic Danladi (Zonal Special Leader).
*North East: Mohammed Abba Isa (Zonal Special Leader); Abubakar Sadiq Ajiya (Zonal Secretary); Mamman Isa Azare (Ex-Officio).
*North West: Nasiru Dano (Ex-Officio); Misbahu Lainan Didi (National Special Leader); Abdulmunaf Mohammed (Zonal Organising Secretary); Tukur Abdulkadir Gusau (Zonal Secretary).
*South-South: Rachael Akpabio (Zonal Women Leader); Koteten Ibadan (Ex-Officio); Johnson Maafo (Zonal Special Leader).
*South -West: Olu Kemi Titilola Nelson (Zonal Women Leader); Olusegun Tomorin (Zonal Youth Leader); Tajudeen Lamboye (Zonal Organising Secretary); Tajudeen Bello (National Financial Secretary); Omolaoye Oluremi Akintola (Ex-Officio); Adelabu Paul Ayolade (Zonal Special Leader).
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has expressed surprise over what it called the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) new found proclivity for spewing falsehood in the name of opposition rhetoric and politics.
“Whatever is left of PDP, after years of suicidal gluttony, can only whine about imaginary persecution while wilfully ignoring the efforts being made to literally clear the mess they created and build a new Nigeria in line with the change agenda promised the electorate,” the APC National Publicity Secretary, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, said in a statement issued on Sunday in Abuja.
Abdullahi was reacting to a recent statement credited to the PDP spokesperson in which the APC was accused of among others; corruption, sectionalism and opposition clampdown, in the leadup to the 2019 elections.
He said the APC had not inherited ‘undemocratic practice’ in its governance style both in its internal politics and the country’s administration, under President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said that it was a ‘widely-known fact’ that suppressing the opposition was the stock in trade of the PDP during its defunct 16-year rule.
Abdullahi said the past PDP administrations used state apparatus to harass opposition figures as seen in the attack on the APC data centre, blockade of the air and road routes to prevent movement of then opposition leaders in the leadup to the 2015 elections, among other clampdowns.
“The PDP without an iota of proof, rather spewing laughable conspiracies accuses the APC-led administration of ‘barefaced looting’. Elections are around the corner and Nigerians are not gullible. They see through the PDP’s diversionary antics aimed at deflecting attention from the wanton culture of impunity and corruption it instituted when it held sway.
“Do we forget the PDP administration’s unwillingness to operate the now implemented Treasury Single Account (TSA) which has greatly plugged government revenue leakages? Do we forget the voodoo economics, reckless fiscal policies and shocking pillage of the public treasury perpetuated during past PDP administrations?
“Do we forget confessions by the immediate-past finance minister and coordinating minister of the economy, reporting “zero political will to save” under the immediate-past administration. Do we forget the $2.2 billion anti-insurgency funds fraudulently diverted and disbursed by the erstwhile National Security Adviser to political associates of the immediate-past President and PDP members, while our military personnel on the frontlines were ill-equipped and demoralized, resulting in many avoidable deaths and the maiming of our gallant men in uniform?
“PDP's narrative is anchored on the belief that if they continue to throw these wild allegations around, somehow Nigerians will forget what they truly represent and the atrocities that they have committed against the country. Alas, Nigerians are wiser now and our memories are longer. We can forgive, but we will not forget.
“Change is perhaps the most difficult idea to implement in our societies, but sometimes, it becomes necessary or even inevitable, just as Nigeria found itself in 2015 because of PDP misrule,” the statement further read.
The party, which urged Nigerians to remain steadfast, promised to propel the country on the path of growth in all facets.
The growing anxiety over the 2019 general elections appears to be having serious effects on the economy. No doubt, whatever happens in the political arena is bound to affect the market positively or negatively. Politicians are therefore warned to desist from actions and utterances that could negatively impact the nation’s fragile democracy and the even more fragile economy.
Feelers from the stock market show that investors have lost a whooping N729 billion to election anxiety in just three months of decline, obviously in response to the rising political intrigues ahead of the elections. The development is contrary to the general expectations of positive earnings in 2018 after the troubled economy apparently emerged from a recession at the end of 2017.
Indication is that the decline occurred between February and April, after a January rise triggered strong anticipations amid improving macro-economic indications in domestic and global economies.
Analysts, operators and investors alike have linked the decline to “extraneous factors” and “profit taking,” because the subsisting market “fundamentals and upbeat economic data failed to support a much-expected healthy stock price recovery.”
As it were, investors and traders who are mostly foreigners are concerned about the political risks associated with the 2019 elections. The fear of the unknown may have forced many of them to prefer to sit on the fence and watch as things unfold.
After the January and mid-February rally, surprisingly, the market reportedly recorded unprecedented reversal in performance contrary to predictions. This has been blamed, not incorrectly, on the tension that has plagued the political space in recent times.
Of particular note are the killings by the Fulani herdsmen and cases of political thuggery, which have aggravated apathy in investment. Investors are expectedly walking in fear of political risks, believing that violence in the country could trigger panic and lead to massive dumping of shares.
There are signs that the political situation is worsening as evidenced in the ward congresses of the ruling party held across the country the other day, which were marred by conflicts and recriminations leading to cancellations and rescheduling of polls in some states. Besides, the Ekiti and Osun state gubernatorial polls in the coming months this year are being mired in an atmosphere of tension.
Consequently, there is indifference in the market as foreign investors that play a dominant role have resorted to massive sell-off of shares. Indications are that the weak response to earnings is evidence of low liquidity, given, especially, that Nigeria’s 2018 budget passed only last week is yet to be assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari, thereby, leaving the economy to run entirely on monetary stimulus.
One way out of a possible backlash on the economy is that government should adopt pragmatic strategies that would guarantee peaceful campaigns and stabilise the polity to ensure a sustainable market rebound.
Furthermore, it needs to be recognised that insecurity and social disorder are disincentives to investment. Government should rise to the challenge of tackling, with all seriousness, the unfortunate developments in order to restore investors’ confidence.
The polity must be calm. Politicians need to be upright and play by the rule by following due process to ensure a peaceful atmosphere ahead of the elections.
Politicians need not overheat the polity. They need not come up with frivolities that would generate conflict and crises as these affect the capital market and the economy as a whole.
Besides, as the elections draw nearer, law enforcement officers should be more proactive. They should be able to identify flashpoints and ensure that a robust security arrangement is implemented to prevent the breakdown of law and order.
Faced with all the uncertainties, only the most daring of investors could come at this time of uncertainty and fear. Even local investors people are scared of investing.
Government should, of course, stop the growing spate of killings across the country since government alone has the capacity to stop it. There is no way a credible election could be held amid the bloodbath in many parts of the country.
Needless to say that the 2019 elections could make or mar the country depending on how politicians carry themselves. Would they allow patriotism and love for fatherland to dictate their actions and utterances or grant selfish interest to becloud their reasoning? Elections in Nigeria are often associated with gloom.
Certainly, Nigeria’s fragile economy cannot absorb any politically motivated upheaval wisdom demands that elections are conducted in a rancour-free atmosphere and manner, so that democracy and of course, the economy do not go up in smoke.
Mr Hillary Ekeh has been re-elected as Imo APC party Chairman in the just concluded APC state congress in Imo.
The party delegates who described the congress election as peaceful and successful also re-elected Deputy Chairman Mr Ugochukwu Nzekwe.
But Gov. Rochas Okorocha described the election as illegal claiming that there was a court injunction restraining the party from conducting the election.
Okorocha’s Chief press Secretary Mr Sam Onwuemeodo yesterday issued a statement that the governor had obtained an injunction from an Owerri high court to stop the congress.
The party Chairman Hillary Ekeh countered the claim by saying neither he nor any member of the executive was served the injunction notice.
But the Imo police command claimed an injunction notice was served them and appealed that the congress be put on hold.
Andrew Enwerem, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) who disclosed this added that police will not allow any illegal gathering in the state.
Speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) after the election, Sen Ifeanyi Araraume described the congress election as peaceful and well-coordinated.
He said there was no fracas or any form of violence during the process and commended the party chairman for his re-election.
He also lauded party delegates who in their wisdom decided to retain Ekeh as their chairman.
Asked if he has any idea of the injunction notice, Araraume said there was nothing like injunction stopping the conduct of the election.
“We the party stakeholders have no idea of any injunction, but even if there is an injunction nobody had been served so our election has to move on,” he said.
Sen Hope Uzodinma in a telephone interview said that there was no hitch during the conduct of the election, adding that the congress in Imo indicated that democracy is growing in Imo.
Deputy Governor Mr Eze Madumere said the state congress was held successfully and the mandate of the people has been protected.
But the Deputy Chief of Staff to Gov. Okorocha, Kingsley Uju insisted that a faction of the party went into an unknown place to hold state congress even when a court injunction was served against the conduct of the election.
Lagos State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Saturday held two separate congresses that led to the emergence of two executives.
While one congress, the clearly dominant one, held at the party’s secretariat on Acme Road, Ogba, another congress, by a splinter group held at the Airport Hotel, Ikeja.
The congress at the State Secretariat produced Alhaji Tunde Balogun, a former commissioner, as chairman while the one at the Airport Hotel produced Fuad Oki as chairman.
It was not clear whether Oki’s congress was supervised by officials sent by the National secretariat of the APC .
The National Leader of APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s group produced the Balogun led executive at a congress conducted at the party secretariat on ACME Road, by the State Congress Committee headed by Senator Uche Ekwunife.
At the congress held at the APC Secretariat on ACME Road, Balogun became the party chairman, Chief Sunny Ajose (Deputy Chairman), Chief Funsho Ologunde (vice-chairman, West), Mr Kayode Olusanya (vice-chairman, East), Mr Hakeem Bamigbala (vice-chaiman, Central), Dr. Wale Ahmed (secretary), Ms Olasunmbo (treasurer), Barrister Joana Adebobuyi (assistant treasurer), Mr Joe Igbokwe (publicity secretary), Hon. Abiodun Salami (assistant publicity secretary), Ademola Sadiq (legal adviser).
They were all elected by affirmation, as all of them were consensus candidates.
Chairman of the State Congress Committee, Senator Ekwunife lauded the arrangements for the exercise that ensured that it went on peacefully without any rancour, expressing her gratitude to party leadership in the state for the cooperation and support for her committee, even as she promised to sell Lagos to other states of the Federation on the way to go about having a rancour-free transition.
According to her, “We are going to suggest to others the need to emulate Lagos on how to have a smooth transition,” adding that the outgoing party chairman, Otunba Henry Ajomale, was happy leaving the position for others to take over.
She thanked Ajomale for his leadership role, which she said had seen Lagos growing from strength to strength.
Ajomale, who spoke earlier, thanked party members and leaders for their support and cooperation that had ensured he and his team delivered their best for APC, declaring that the speech he was giving would not be his valedictory since “we are still part and parcel of the party membership.”
Ajomale, while welcoming the state governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode; party chieftains, the about 1,500 delegates, contestants, among others to the exercise, charged incoming leadership to do more and excel, pointing out that Lagos held the prestigious position of being “chairman of chairmen of all state chapters of APC in Nigeria.”
However, at the parallel congress held at Lagos Hotel, Ikeja, Mr, Fuad Oki, a former Campaign Director for Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Raji Fashola and Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, emerged as the chairman, while Mr. Sanni Oloye and Mr Wole Oshodi became deputy chairman and secretary respectively.
Oki was also a past vice-chairman (Central) of APC in the state.
In separate interviews, the new chairman of APC, Alhaji Balogun; spokesman Mr Joe Igbokwe and member of the House of Representatives, Abiodun Faleke dismissed the Oki congress. The trio said whichever congress held outside the party office was null and void.
Oki, however said that the congress held by his group was authentic, declaring that the exercise that took place at the Airport Hotel could not be described as parallel in whatever way.
According to him, the congress held at Airport Hotel was the only legitimate one, saying he was not aware of any parallel congress.
‘What we did here was the election of one party, the APC. This is a coalition of different groups, namely; Justice Forum, the Mandate and United Group,” he said.