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APC committee recommends expulsion of Ex-Zamfara gov, national deputy chairman from party

The five-member Disciplinary Committee set up by the All Progressives Congress (APC) has received a report and evidence of alleged anti party activities against its Deputy National Chairman (North) Lawal Shuaibu.

The Zamfara State Executive Committee of the APC submitted the report to the committee on Tuesday in Abuja.

The committee also received report against the former Governor of Zamfara, Abdulaziz Yari, on his alleged role in the 2019 electoral misfortune of the APC in the state.

The Zamfara APC Publicity Secretary, Mohammed Bakyasuwa, who led other officials of the party to the APC National Secretariat to submit the reports, made it available to journalists.

According to the report, the duo allegedly breached Article 21(a) 2014 of the APC Constitution as amended.

“We are going to prove that we are not just bragging, and we mean it, we have drawn the battle line with Yari’s group.

“We have realised that the two men were behind the misfortunes of the party, and we need to expel them to prepare for the challenges ahead,” he said.

The APC Zamfara Chairman, Surajo Garba, blamed the party’s misfortune on the action of the two men.

“By this letter and for the above reason, we the executive council of the APC in Zamfara have firmly resolved to expel Alhaji Abdul-Azeez Yari and the Deputy National Chairman (North), Lawal Shuaibu, from the party.

“The attitude and conduct of the personalities have brought APC in Zamfara to a state of disrepute and a clear flagrant disobedience to party,”he said.

NAN further reports that the five-member panel of the Supreme Court justices, in a unanimous judgement on May 25, declared that APC in Zamfara had no candidates in the 2019 general elections.

This, it explained, was because the party failed to conduct recognised primaries in accordance with party rules.

In the lead judgment by Justice Paul Galinji, the court held that all votes cast for the APC during the general elections in Zamfara were “wasted votes”.

He, therefore, declared that all political parties with the second highest votes in the elections and with the required spread, were elected to various elective positions in the state.

The APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomole, however, stressed that the Supreme Court declaration amounted to imposing total strangers on the people of Zamfara.

He said the right thing the court should have done was to call for a repeat of the elections if the party fell short of electoral laws.

(NAN)

We have no reason not to deliver , says Oshiomhole

Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), says the ruling party has no reason not to deliver on its electoral promises.

Oshiomhole was speaking on Tuesday following the emergence of the party’s preferred candidates as winners of the national assembly leadership poll.

The candidates anointed by the party and President Muhammadu Buhari swept the polls which held on June 11, at the national assembly.

Ahmad Lawan, erstwhile majority leader, emerged senate president, after polling 79 votes to defeat Ali Ndume, who got 28 votes — both men are from the APC.

For the deputy senate president position, Ovie Omo-Agege, Delta-central senator, polled 68 votes to defeat Ike Ekweremadu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and immediate past occupier of the position, who had 37 votes.

In the house of representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila beat Umaru Bago, both of the APC, to emerge speaker while Idris Wase of the ruling party was elected deputy speaker of the house — unopposed.

The APC had wanted Lawan as the third citizen in 2015 but ex-Senate President Bukola Saraki manoeuvered his way and emerged as senate president.

Like Lawan, Gbajabiamila was the preferred candidate of the APC in 2015 but Yakubu Dogara, who was then of the APC, had teamed up with the PDP to defeat him.

The executive and legislative arms had a severed relationship in the 8th assembly with the presidency blaming the legislature for some of its failures.

Speaking after the polls, Oshiomhole said the party will now have no excuse not to deliver on its three cardinal promises — security, anti-corruption and improved economy.

According to him, now, “we can’t say we are being blocked by the parliament”.

He said it was the “mischief” of 2015 the party was trying to correct, “and I am happy that it has been settled.”

“Nigerians with their eyes open gave the APC the executive, they also gave us overwhelming majority in the two arms of the National Assembly,” Oshiomhole said.

“And I think in doing that they also expect that this time around, APC would have no excuse not to deliver.

“We can’t say we are being blocked by the parliament; parliament is ours and those who don’t believe in change cannot be entrusted with the challenge of managing the change.

“And that is why I said we must give the position of responsibility to those who believe in our change agenda. So today, that has been translated.

“We now have no excuse not to deliver on security, not to deliver on the economy and not to deliver on prosperity because that is what the ordinary man voted for and they are our constituents.

“You can just imagine how I feel like a mother who has been carry babies and now, we are on the verge of delivering twins in the two chambers of National Assembly.

“So we must exercise our rights with a sense of responsibility and the ultimate objective must be to what extent does these actions impact on the welfare of the Nigerian people.”

Buhari, APC, INEC urge tribunal to dismiss Atiku, PDP’s petition

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday prayed the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal to dismiss petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar against his Feb.23 re-election.

Buhari made the prayer through his Counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, in a motion adopted and argued on Tuesday before Justice Mohammed Garba-led five-man panel in Abuja.

Olanipekun submitted that the petition was fundamentally defective, adding that his client won the presidential “square and clear’’.

He explained that the allegations advanced by the petitioners were mere theoretical assumptions that could not stand the test of critical legal debate.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the tribunal also entertained the president’s motion that sought to effect amendment on the identities and addresses of counsel representing him.

Another of Buhari’s application seeking to mandate the tribunal to entertain all interlocutory motions before the commencement of proper hearing of the main petition was also adopted and argued.

Similarly, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) asked the tribunal to dismiss the petition brought by PDP and Atiku against a “flawless’’ election that won by Buhari.

Mr Yunus Usman, SAN, Counsel for INEC said that the electoral commission would standby the declaration of the second respondent (Buhari) as winner of the Fbe.23 presidential election.

Usman said the petition challenging the outcome of the exercise was “misguided’’, adding that the allegations of fraud made against the electoral body was “mischievous’’.

NAN reports that INEC’s application challenging the jurisdiction and competence of the tribunal to entertain the petition.

Usman further urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition as the petitioners failed to include the vice president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, as a co-winner in the election.

“ The failure of the PDP and Atiku to include Osinbajo’s name as party should not be overlooked because whatever affects the president affects his running mate,’’ Usman said.

NAN also reports that three other interlocutory motions filed by the All Progressive Congress were argued and dispensed with.

Chief Lateef Fagbemi, SAN,  Counsel for the APC had urged the tribunal to strike out 18 paragraphs of the petition with frivolous assumptions among other prayers.

He submitted that the competence of the petition was questionable, adding that it would soon become a mere “lame duck’’.

Meanwhile, Dr Levi Uzoukwu, SAN, Counsel for the petitioners prayed the tribunal to discountenance all the arguments canvassed by the respondents, describing INEC’s position in the matter as “unusual”.

The presiding judge, therefore, fixed June 13 for the petitioners’ motions to be heard.

Shuaibu’s call for Oshiomhole’s resignation splits APC NWC

The call by the Deputy National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Senator Lawal Shuaibu, that the party’s National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, should resign due to alleged incompetence has polarised members of the party’s National Working Committee.

The demand made by Shuaibu was said to have come to some members of the NWC as a shock, while another faction in support of Shuaibu’s action was said to have expressed satisfaction with the letter.

It was gathered that the leakage of the letter to the media a few hours after it was received by Oshiomhole was said to have infuriated a faction of the NWC loyal to the former Edo State governor.

A member of the NWC, who spoke with one of our correspondents on condition of anonymity, also said it might be difficult for the party to discuss Shuaibu’s letter since it was not directed at either the party or members of its NWC.

He said if the letter had been sent to the affected NWC members, President Muhammadu Buhari, the governors elected on the platform of the party and members of its National Executive Committee, then the party might have no option but to either ask Oshiomhole to respond to issues raised in the letter or be suspended.

“But as it is, the letter was not directed at the party. It was a mere personal correspondence between the chairman and his deputy. So, it is not our business,” the source added.

But he said there were other members of the NWC that shared the views expressed by Shuaibu.

He said, “There are other members of the NWC that shared the views expressed by the deputy national chairman. As it is now, we have a polarised NWC and it is difficult for a party that is just forming a government for another term.

“Apart from that, remember that we are going into a crucial second term and we need to also go into the National Assembly with one voice, otherwise we may play into the hands of the opposition political party, the Peoples Democratic Party.

“That is the problem we are facing now. We are not sure if the disgruntled officers and members of the APC will support our choices at the National Assembly.”

In his letter calling on Oshiomhole to resign, Shuaibu had claimed that the former Edo governor lacked the composure to lead the APC.

Shuaibu said the APC under Oshiomhole had become badly fractured in virtually every constituency in the country and was fast losing the goodwill it enjoyed before Oshiomhole’s emergence.

The letter dated May 27 and delivered to Oshiomhole on May 28 was titled “APC: Its fortunes versus misfortunes, time to act.”

Shuaibu stressed that he wrote the letter in his personal capacity with very deep heart and high sense of responsibility, as a critical stakeholder in the APC project.

He said he had no choice but to write the letter after realising that the APC project “I sincerely believe in with all my heart” was failing under Oshiomhole.

The former National Secretary of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria accused Oshiomhole of running the party like his private fiefdom without recourse to party’s organs and structures.

Besides, he alleged that many decisions attributed to the NWC were personally taken by the national chairman without any formal meeting with members.

He stated, “It is expected that for every decision credited to the party, it should be the result of a meeting where resolutions are passed by the working committee.

“It is also expected that policies by the party are always alI-inclusive and never one-sided and to cap it up, no unilateral decisions should be made to represent the opinion of the National Working Committee, the National Executive Committee or even the least, the National Caucus. The national chairman cannot assume the powers of the National Working Committee.

“The last congresses in states, unfortunately, represented a complete lack of knowledge, let alone of experience on how due process in political electoral process is adhered to.

“The National Working Committee is saddled with the responsibility of recommending guidelines for every electoral process and appointing committees that will embark on conducting primary elections for every constituency and submit report and thereafter an appeal committee will attend to complaints and petitions and also submit its report to the NWC.

“The National Working Committee is then expected to perform the duty of the final adjudicatory body on each electoral matter and from there you have the final list of candidates.

“The national chairman cannot, in any circumstances be the chairman of any committee, be it screening committee or any other committee contrary to what you did. The chairman presides over the meetings of the National Working Committee in which each matter disposed of by any appeal committee is examined and decision reached.

“If the national chairman should chair any of these committees, what if there is a complaint about his own conduct, who do you send your petition to? He cannot be a judge in his own matter!”

Shuaibu said the electoral fortunes of the APC had dwindled because of the leadership style of Oshiomhole, whom he accused of conducting the NWC meetings at a private residence instead of the party’s national secretariat.

He added, “We had 23 states in 2015, but after the 2019 elections we lost seven states! We also had 60 senators in 2015 at the end of the elections; we now end up with 57 senators in 2019! You were not brought in to lose election. It is absolutely unacceptable!

“What this entails is that for any senator to become a presiding officer he needs to go and kneel down before the PDP senators and beg for support! And to make things worse, you announced that the APC will not allow any PDP senator to be appointed as committee chairman except the committees statutorily meant for the opposition members of the Senate. That is never the tradition of the legislature anywhere! The legislature is the house of collaboration and lobby and you can never succeed with hostile approach, you must lobby to seek for cooperation of members across party divides.

“If you don’t know, you have made the situation worse than it seems. Try and use your calculator and you will find that as at now, if anybody, backed by the PDP members, wants to become the Senate President, all he needs is the support of only six APC senators to win the election on the floor of the Senate! Chairman, strategies are not announced on television, they are discussed at caucuses.”

Shuaibu pointed out that the maturity exhibited throughout the 2015 political rallies by the APC, together with the aura of the party’s presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, attracted massive goodwill for the party, and the value addition to that, were unquantifiable.

These, he said, were lacking in the 2019 elections under Oshiomhole.

He stated, “Under normal circumstances, when you take over as a project manager, it is expected that you bring to bear your wealth of experience to the new job which will be seen in your capacity and capabilities as value addition.

“In a political party like the APC, you are expected to also introduce a new approach to strategies through committees that will work and submit recommendations to you towards improving on the current fortunes of the party.”

Shuaibu added, “It is my honest opinion that your ability to ensure this party flourishes is deficient as you lack the necessary composure and you also don’t possess the capabilities and the requisite experience to run a political party.

“The respect the APC was commanding among its members and sympathisers has been completely eroded, while the goodwill has equally evaporated with the type of attitude of threats to members you deploy, including senior members such as governors, senators, ministers and other government officials whose functions do not fall within your jurisdiction.

“As I know, the relationship between the party and government are cooperation and collaboration to ensure that government programmes are implemented in line with the party manifesto, but not shouting and giving marching instructions to government officials on television screens or on the pages of newspapers, and more often than not, they call your bluff and make you look helplessly unimportant in the scheme of things.”

Breaking: Speakership: Plaintiff withdraws suit against Gbajabiamila

The plaintiff in the suit filed against the eligibility of Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila to contest for the position of the Speaker of the House of Representatives in the 9th National Assembly has withdrawn the suit.

The plaintiff, Philip Undie, in a letter titled: Authorization To File My Withdrawal From Suit Number: FHC/ABJ/CS/539/2019,” said he honourably discontinued the suit following the emergence of more facts indicating that the first defendant in the suit he filed, Gbajabiamila, has no criminal record in the United States.
Undie said in the letter dated May 27, 2019 and signed by him: “It is important I honourably discontinue the suit following the emergence of more facts indicating that the first defendant in the suit, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, was cleared of no criminal conviction in the state of Georgia or any other part of the United States of America in a letter dated August 30, 2010. I am also in possession of an order of the Federal High Court, Abuja dated May 22, 2018, delivered by Justice Abdu-Kafarati in favour of Femi Gbajabiamila.”

The plaintiff had in a suit he filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja challenged the eligibility of Gbajabiamila to contest for the Speaker of the House of Representatives in the 9th National Assembly.

Gbajabiamila is one of the leading candidates for that position since the results of the last general elections were released.
In the suit, other defendants apart from Gbajabiamila are the House of Representatives, Attorney General of the Federation and the All progressives Congress.

In the suit, Undie accused Gbajabiamila of being convicted in the state of Georgia in the US on February 26, 2007.
Apart from the letter of withdrawal, the plaintiff also in a press statement he personally signed said the suit was filed in his innocent belief that Gbajabiamila ought not to be allowed to contest for the position of speaker based on the initial information at his disposal.

Undie in the statement said: “The suit was filed in my innocent belief that the first defendant, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila ought not to be allowed to contest for the position of the Speaker of the House of Representatives based on information then at my disposal that he had been criminally convicted by the Supreme Court of the State of Georgia, United States of America.
“Since the matter was filed at the Federal High Court, I have come into possession of more facts on the alleged criminal conviction which show beyond all doubt that the basis of the suit is found on misinformation and misrepresentation of facts.

“One of the documents I now have is a letter dated as far back as August 30th, 2010 issued by the State Bar of Georgia, the body involved in this matter and which regulate legal practice in Georgia, United States of America, indicating that the first defendant, Femi Gbajabiamila has no record of criminal conviction in the State of Georgia or any part of America. In fact, the letter state s categorically that Femi Gbajabiamila ”is currently an active member in good standing of the State Bar of Georgia.

“In addition, I am also in possession of a copy of decision of Federal High Court, Abuja in suit FHC/ABJ/CS/501/2015 decided by Justice Adamu Abdu-Kafarati in favour of Gbajabiamila on May 22,2018 as the plaintiff in that case was un able to diligently prosecute the case.

“The suit in reference was based on the same facts as the one in which I am now the plaintiff. In view of the above therefore, I which to honourably announce my decision to immediately discontinue and terminate the suit I initiated at the Federal High Court, Abuja against Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila (1st Defendant); House of Representatives (2nd Defendant); Attorney-General of the Federation (3rd Defendant); All Progressives Congress (4th Defendant).”

BREAKING: Supreme Court declares PDP candidates winners in Zamfara elections

It was a lucky day for the Peoples’Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria’s main opposition party, as the Supreme Court on Friday morning declared all its candidates winners of governorship, National Assembly, and State House of Assembly of the Zamfara state general elections.

The PDP came a distant second in all the elections which saw the All Progressives Congress (APC)  winning all the seats and even producing a governor-elect.

Moreover, PDP was not a party to the suit before the Supreme Court. It was the internal wrangling within APC over primary elections that got to the court, but in a surprising judgement, the Apex court declared the Party that came second the winners.

n th elections of all the candidates of th All Progressives Congress Zamfara State in the 2019 general election

Delivering a unanimous judgment of the five-man panel led by the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, the apex court declared the the first runners-up as the winners.

Justice Paul Adamu Galinje, who read the lead judgment upheld the decision of the Sokoto Division of the Court of Appeal to the effect that the APC did not conduct any valid primary elections in the state and as such had no candidate for any of the elections in the state.

He declared that the votes polled by the APC candidates in the elections as wasted, adding that the party and the candidates with the second highest votes and the spread in the various elections were the valid winners.

All the three appeals challenging the judgment  of the Sokoto D‎ivision of the Court of Appeal were dismissed by the apex court in three judgments on Friday.

The judgments centre on the governorship, state House of Assembly and the National Assembly elections conducted in Zamfara State on February 23 and March 11, 2019.

APC candidates, including the outgoing governor of the Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, who was elected to the Senate, had won most of the offices contested for in the 2019 elections with the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidates, placing first runners-up in the polls.

Facebook’s revelation has exposed APC, Buhari – PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) of using Facebook as a platform for weakening the growth of democracy in Nigeria.

The main opposition party said Facebook’s revelation detailing the manipulations and disinformation in the 2019 general election are indications that Buhari and APC will go as far as any length to sustain power, no matter who gets hurt.

Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP’s national publicity secretary, said this in a statement.

He said Buhari and his party did not only make effort to negatively change the perception of Nigerians against Atiku Abubakar, PDP presidential candidate, but also resorted to accusing Atiku with false claims to divert attention.

He added that such effort will result in nothing, as Nigerians are more aware of the evils of the APC administration.

“Our party notes that there are more damning  revelations against the APC, not only on its rigging of the general election, but also on how it is working against our nation, which will come to light at the appropriate time,” the statement reads.

“The APC, which engaged in manipulation to foist itself, will do anything, no matter how vile, to sustain itself in office, not minding the social, economic and collateral damages such could cause our dear nation.

“It is, however, to say the least, despicable that in their desperation to hold on to power at all costs, President Buhari’s handlers and the APC engaged in this sneaky disinformation, internet lies and smear campaigns against the PDP’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

“The Facebook’s revelation exposes how President Buhari, in his claimed integrity, allowed the enlisting of criminals, hackers and Internet fraudsters in the desperate attempt to manipulate the views of Nigerians against Atiku Abubakar.

“The scheme failed as Nigerians had already made up their minds to do away with the incompetent, deceptive, vindictive and corrupt APC administration.

“The APC has now commenced a renewed plot to engage in fabricated security accusations against the PDP and our presidential candidate in another desperate stunt to play the victim and divert attention from its endless election manipulations, all in the ill-fated attempt to demonise the PDP, hoodwink Nigerians and confer legitimacy on the outcome of the rigged election.

“Since the Facebook’s revelation, the Federal Government and the Presidency have suddenly gone dumb, having been exposed and shown in their true colours.”

Four Speakership contenders step down for Gbajabiamila

The route to the Speakership of the 9th House of Representatives seems to be getting smoother for Femi Gbajabiamila (APC, Surulere, Lagos State).

Four of his co-contestants for the position have pulled out of the race for him but two others are still in the contest with him.

The battle for the Senate Presidency remains a three-way affair for Dr. Ahmad Lawan, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Danjuma Goje and a former Senate Leader, Ali Ndume.

Sources said Idris Ahmed Wase (Plateau), Abdulrazak Namdas (Adamawa), Aliyu Betara Mukhtar (Borno), and Yusuf Yakubu Buba (Borno) have stood down their ambition for Gbajabiamila who is favoured by the APC hierarchy for the job.

Umar Mohammed Bago (Niger) and John Dyegh (Benue) are yet to withdraw from the race.

Although Wase has been adopted for the office of Deputy Speaker, he faces a fresh hurdle from the camp of outgoing Speaker Yakubu Dogara which is demanding the slot for a Christian candidate.

But some members-elect are insisting that religion should not be a factor for Wase because, according to them, there had been a Christian-Christian mandate in the House in the past.

They said merit and capacity, rather than religion, should be the overriding factor.

Investigation by our correspondent revealed that the withdrawal of the four ranking Reps for Gbajabiamila is a fallout of ongoing negotiation between the Gbajabiamila camp and critical stakeholders in the chambers.

A source called it a major breakthrough in the quest to install Gbajabiamila as the next Speaker.

The four have also agreed to join forces to work for Gbajabiamila whose party (APC) has over 226 of the 360 members-elect.

Gbajabiamila, who also has associates in PDP, needs about 181 votes (if there is a full house of elected members) to emerge as Speaker.

A well-placed source said: “So far, the campaign for the office of the Speaker is taking a good shape for Gbajabiamila with the withdrawal of these four heavyweights from the race.

“We are however not taking things for granted. There is a little relief in the APC camp because the PDP appears not keen any more for the office of Speaker because of the intense lobbying from Gbajabiamila’s friends, associates and strategists.

“About three weeks to the election of principal officers, most PDP lawmakers-elect are still awaiting directive on who to vote for. Instead of losing out, some of them have decided to align with Gbajabiamila to be in good stead for the House politics.

“Notwithstanding, the campaign team of Gbajabiamila has sustained its outreach by paying more attention to his sterling legislative qualities than sentiments around his recommendation for the office by the party.

“We have spent quality time to clarify the godfather allegation being circulated to prove that Gbajabiamila is a cosmopolitan candidate.”

On Umar Mohammed Bago and John Dyegh who are still in the race, another source – a returning Rep – said: “The APC and its leaders at all levels are trying to prevail on these two candidates to step down. We will still take advantage of the next three weeks to lobby them accordingly.

“We are hopeful that they will defer to the APC and concede the slot to Gbajabiamila.

“Alternatively, if all entreaties fail, we will go ahead for outright election between Gbajabiamila and the two candidates. We know their limit but we are only appeasing them to have a united House.

“Take the case of Bago, he does not enjoy the backing of Governor Abubakar Sani Bello and all members-elect from Niger State. His best bet is to face the reality of the futility of his aspiration.

“In the case of John Dyegh, he is the only elected member of the House from Benue State. Where does he draw his electoral strength from? We cannot afford to ignore him but he has not come to terms with the pervasiveness of the ongoing intrigues in favour of Gbajabiamila.”

Responding to a question, the source admitted that although Wase has been adopted for the office of Deputy Speaker, he faces a fresh hurdle from the camp of outgoing Speaker, Yakubu Dogara which wants a Christian for the position.

“Some forces are trying to give religious colouration to the race for the office of Deputy Speaker to stop Wase but the parliament is not made for such sentiments,” he said.

“We are always broader in our perspectives. Of the 12 Speakers we have had six were Christians and six were Muslims. They all came on merit without religious imputations.

“The Deputy Speakers so far have been eight with five Muslims and three Christians without animosity. Many political factors, including zoning by parties, interplay more than ethno-religious indices. We hope those promoting religious division in the legislature will stop it.

“Wase has sacrificed by stepping down for Gbajabiamila despite the fact that he is also a strong candidate for the Speaker slot. We will not allow mischief-makers to whip up religious sentiments.”

The Nation

Gbajabiamila: I have comfortable lead to become speaker

Femi Gbajabiamila, majority leader of the house of representatives, says he has a “comfortable lead” to become speaker in the 9th assembly.

Addressing journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, Gbajabiamila who spoke through Abdulmumin Jibrin, his campaign spokesman, said his support cuts across party lines.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) which is expected to produce the next speaker had endorsed Gbajabiamila as its choice for the position.

He was also endorsed for the position in 2015 but was eventually beaten to it by Yakubu Dogara.

Gbajabiamila said he is also consulting with his colleagues in the APC who are in the race with the hope to win them over before the election.

He said: “Now we have the numbers to win the election on June 10. We have applied different kind of modules to weigh our numbers. In all the instances we have applied, we have arrived at a very comfortable number that will win us the eleciton. We have gotten all the numbers we require.

“We also have large number of members from PDP and other opposition parties. Femi and (Mohammed) Wase are foing to run all inclusive house. We believe we will get PDP and others to join the train.

“If not for the fact that we have to keep our guards, we would have asked my colelagues to go and sleep and come back in June, that victory is ours. But we are not taking anything for granted.

Jibrin said Dogara who is of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is also being lobbied to ensure a “common ground”.

According to him, “we are also lobbying the incumbent speaker. We appreciate the value he can bring on board. He has a support base and controls a particular bloc of the house.

“We have opened up negotiations with him and we are pretty sure because of the love he has for this parliament, we will reach a common ground.”

9th Assembly: APC clears Lawan, others to consult PDP colleagues

All Progressives Congress (APC) National Assembly members on Sunday got the nod to negotiate with the opposition in their bid for principal positions in the Ninth Assembly.

It is democratic to do so, the party said in a statement signed by National Publicity Secretary Lanre Issa-Onilu, who stressed that the party has nothing against its members seeking cooperation with other legislators as it is confident that they will not betray the party.

There has been reports of Senate Leader Ahmad Lawan, who has been adopted for Senate President, holding meetings with members of the opposition, but Issa-Onilu said that Lawan was adopted by the party for the position in the first place because of his ability to carry everyone along, which is needed for such a position.

He also said that the party will announce its zoning arrangement for the National Assembly leadership in the coming days.

The statement reads: “We are inundated with reports of our members in the National Assembly holding consultations with members of the opposition over the election of leaders into the Ninth National Assembly. Let me state that our party has no objection to such consultations.

“It is a normal democratic practice world over to stretch hands across the divides.  And contrary to some media reports, the actions of our members do not contradict the party’s position. APC has a comfortable majority in both chambers. Therefore; we have the number to produce the leadership.

“But democracy recognises the importance of the opposition, especially when you do not have two-third, which would be required at some very critical situations. For us as a ruling party, we understand that a stable and peaceful National Assembly would enhance our capacity to deliver more for the people of Nigeria.

“So, the party is not averse to negotiation by Senator Ahmed Lawan and our other senators-elect working to fulfil the position taken by our party.

“It is important to note that one of the key considerations for adopting him as the party’s candidate for the Senate presidency is his ability to carry everyone along. On top of that, the party has confidence in him not to compromise the progressive ideology of APC. So, clearly, Senator Ahmed Lawan is capable of conducting his negotiations within the prism of APC’s objectives.”

On zoning and the leadership of the House of Representatives, Issa-Onilu  assured Nigerians that the party will put to rest ongoing agitations and “will soon release the zoning arrangements for the principal positions of the incoming Ninth National Assembly.

“The party will also make its position clear in the coming days on the principal positions in the House of Representatives,” the party’s spokesman said.

He said that the nationwide consultations being championed by the Senate Leader and Leader of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila, who is seeking to become the Speaker of the Green Chamber, were in line with the party’s policy of inclusiveness.

According to him, national interest is guiding the ongoing rapprochement between APC’s candidates and members-elect from the opposition.

Issa-Onilu said: “It is just part of politics and in a democracy, consensus is a key element. To have a smooth sail in the National Assembly, you don’t go to the floor pretending that the opposition parties do not exist.

“Even if the opposition parties cannot defeat you, in the spirit of national interest, you must work with them. We want to run a government of inclusiveness, we need every party.

“We will support every effort by our candidates for principal offices in the Senate and the House of Representatives to carry elected members from the opposition along.

“As long as we can, we will keep our members-elect united to present common candidates to lead the National Assembly. The fact that we are saying that we can go it alone is not the same thing as saying that the opposition does not matter.

“We have the numbers to achieve our aim but we have to ensure comfort for the opposition too. Unlike in the past, what we are pushing before the 9th National Assembly is a national interest agenda.

“We want them to see our candidates within the prism of the national agenda we are pursuing.”

The Senate Leader at the weekend had audience with more senators-elect from PDP.

He was busy selling his vision of a united Ninth National Assembly.

A PDP senator-elect said: “Actually, Lawan met with us to seek our support. He tried to make a few clarifications which boosted our confidence in him.

“It is not a party affair at all. It is left to individual senator to decide who to vote for.”

Atiku denies hiring US lobbyist, blames APC for ‘fabrication’

Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has denied hiring a US lobbyist firm to advance in his bid to take over power from President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a statement on Wednesday, Atiku, a former vice-president, said the reports of the alleged contract is a handiwork of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Atiku is at the presidential election tribunal to challenge the declaration of Buhari as winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

According to a report by Centre for Responsive Politics (CRP), Bruce Fein, former justice department official and his firm Fein & DelValle PLLC registered as foreign agents of PDP and Atiku on March 24.

The report said the firm is expected to “encourage Congress and the executive to forbear from a final declaration and recognition of Nigeria’s February 23, 209 presidential election until outstanding legal challenges to the initial government of Nigeria assertion that incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari was the victor are impartially and independently resolved by the supreme court of Nigeria without political or military influence, intimidation or manipulation.”

But in the statement issued on his behalf by Paul Ibe, his spokesman, Atiku dismissed the report as “total fabrication” by the APC, adding that it “didn’t come as a surprise to us because lying has become their only bragging rights of competence.”

The statement added that “since Atiku resisted pressure not to go to court, the APC has been behaving like a cat on hot bricks because the outcome of the 2019 elections has exposed and shattered the facade of their dubious integrity.”

“The APC are behaving nervously like a thief living under the fear of being exposed and shamed; they are now using fake news against Atiku instead of focusing on defending themselves in the court,” the statement read.

“For a party that has broken the worst record in election rigging, the APC doesn’t have any iota of integrity to be taken seriously by anybody.

“Atiku’s court case has become their biggest burden because it exposes their integrity as a sham, and instead of defending their stolen mandate in court, they are now using fake news to divert public attention from the historic electoral heist they have committed against Nigerians.

“No amount of diversionary propaganda and fake news campaign by APC will stop Atiku Abubakar from continuing the court action he started to reclaim the stolen mandate.”

Ogun Assembly Majority Leader quits APM, returns to APC

Mr Adeyinka Mafe,  the Majority Leader in the Ogun State House of Assembly,  on Tuesday, announced the withdrawal of  his membership of  the Allied Peoples Movement (APM).

Mafe, who represents Sagamu 1 State Constituency in the Assembly, stated in his withdrawal letter read at plenary by Mr Suraj Adekunbi, the Speaker of the House, that he had returned to the All Progressives  Congress (APC).

“I had earlier written a letter  to leave APC.

“I write to officially withdraw the letter and I wish to notify you that I remain a member of APC Next Level, ” he stated.

Mafe and three other members  on November 29, 2018  resigned their membership of APC  and defected to the APM.

The lawmakers announced their defection in separate letters read by the Speaker  during  plenary.

The three other  defectors were  the Chief Whip, Idowu Olowofuja who represents Abeokuta South II,   Ganiyu Oyedeji (Ifo II) and Tunde Sanusi (Obafemi Owode).

Since Mafe’s defection to APM,  a new Majority Leader had  not been  elected.

Also during plenary,  the Deputy Speaker, Mr Olakunle Oluomo,  explained that it was important for the assembly to assess  Ministries, Departments and Agencies,  saying that the present administration was winding up.

“It is obvious that the state government is winding up.

“There is need for the House to carry out an assessment of MDAs so that we can know where we are in the state before the government winds up, ” Oluomo, who represents  Ifo 1,  said.

Yakasai: APC might field Tinubu or Osinbajo in 2023

Tanko Yakasai, elder statesman and political adviser in the second Republic, says the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) might field Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo or Bola Tinubu, a national leader of APC, in 2023.

Speaking with The Interview, Yakasai said the region played a key role in the emergence of Buhari in 2019.

On the possibility of the APC fielding a presidential candidate from the south-east in 2013, Yakasai said the region will be sidelined for the south-west.

“The current calculation is that the vice-president is from the Southwest. Clearly, there is an unwritten understanding that when Buhari finishes, the Vice President will likely be the next presidential candidate of the APC,” he said.

“The Vice President is a Yoruba man. Even if it is not Osinbajo, somebody from there, probably Tinubu, will likely emerge as the candidate of the party.

“And with the performance of the party in the southeast, I don’t see any possibility that the party will think of giving its candidacy to the southeast as against the support it earned from the southwest.

“Apart from voting, don’t forget that there were some material support which APC enjoyed from the Southwest.”

Defending his choice of Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the elections, the elder statesman  said he supported Atiku because of his experience in governance and business.

Yakasai was asked: “You supported former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and the PDP at the just concluded election. Do you believe the eventual winner, Muhammadu Buhari, won fair and square?”

He replied: “No, I do not. Quite alright, I supported Atiku because I don’t believe that Buhari has the capacity and the competence to handle the Nigerian problem.”

On the issue of the leadership of the 9th senate, Yakasai said it would not favour theAll Progressives Congress (APC) to insist on Ahmed Lawan.

Lawan, senate majority leader, has been given the blessings of the APC to succeed Bukola Saraki as the leader of the red chamber.

Yakasai said he expected the ruling party to have learnt from its mistakes.

He argued that the lawmakers should be allowed to who will lead them, and not a person imposed on them.

“Well, they have been touting this idea for a long time. Remember when the current Senate was convened after the 2015 election, they wanted Ahmad Lawan to be the Senate president,” he said.

“It was the rupture in the party that led a chunk of party senators to team up with PDP senators to get Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu as president and deputy president of the Senate.

“What I am surprised about, I thought what happened to them in the last dispensation would have been a lesson for them to allow legislators to decide who should be their leaders.

“I worked with National Assembly for four years. I know the mindset of members of the National Assembly. They believe that they have their own mandate separate from the mandate of the President.”

APC insists Lawan is choice for Senate Presidency

The All Progressives Congress (APC) says it will be an exercise in futility for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to nurse the ambition of producing the President of the 9th Senate.

Malam Lanre Issa-Onilu, APC National Publicity Secretary, stated this at an interactive session with newsmen on Wednesday at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja.

Issa-Onilu said that the APC would not share legislative powers with the PDP because, according to him, it is capable of running the government alone.

He said that in every democracy, any party that has the majority number automatically produced the President of the Senate, and that Nigeria would not be an exception.

Issa-Onilu said the APC already had the number to produce the President of the Senate and other leadership positions in the Senate and House of Representatives.

“Nigerians had given us more than we had in the outgoing Senate, so we have enough in terms of numbers of Senators to elect all our officers.

“It will be an exercise in futility for the PDP to want to share from what Nigerians had taken away from them.

“We don’t need a single vote from the PDP, and in any case, we don’t actually envisage any election on that day,” the APC National Publicity Secretary said.

He said that all the APC needed to do was to present its members to occupy the leadership positions in the Senate and House of Representatives as a collective decision of the party in line with its Constitution.

Issa-Onilu, however, said that the PDP was free to also nominate its candidates if it desired, but stated that the APC would not contest any position in the Senate with it, or any other opposition party.

According to him, Senator Lawan Ahmed remained the APC’s choice for the President of the Senate in the 9th Senate.

He said that the decision had not been controverted since it was taken by the party’s leadership.

The APC spokesman said that notwithstanding the party had several other elected and returning senators with huge pedigree to choose from, Lawan was favoured among them.

“There is nothing Lawan has in the open that others don’t have, but we have to make just one choice,” he said.

On Senator Ali Ndume’s reaction to the party’s choice of Lawan as the next President of the Senate, that the decision was not democratic, Issa-Onilu said he was free as an individual to air his grievance.

He said that as a respected member of the APC, though Ndume had a right to his views, the senator must nevertheless abide by the party’s decision following the principle of party supremacy.

The APC spokesman said the party’s leadership was considering the zoning arrangement for other leadership positions in the Senate and the House of Representatives.

He re-emphasised that the APC would not share any committee Chairmanship position with the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“What the PDP called juicy committees which we prefer to call strategic committees is exclusive to the APC.

“We are not going to share power with the people that Nigerians have rejected or compromise on the promises we have made to Nigerians.

“Nigerians cannot give us a mandate and we go share the mandate with those they rejected,”he said.

Issa-Onilu thanked Nigerians for their confidence in the APC and for re-electing President Muhammadu Buhari for another four-year term.

He assured that the APC-led Federal Government would re-double its efforts to move Nigeria to the next level of economy and infrastructure development.

On the non issuance of certificate of return to Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Issa-Onilu said the APC could not intervene in the issue.

“The party cannot take any action because he is in the first instance on suspension and until that is vacated, we cannot step in on his behalf,” he said.

Speaking on the alleged involvement of Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation in Rivers politics, Issa-Onilu said the minister had not engaged in any anti-party activities.

He added that though the APC does not have governorship candidate in Rivers, the people of the state were very important to the party.
“If we have the opportunity of working with a party that will abide by our principles, it is within our right to work with such a party to ensure that we free the people of Rivers from hardship.

“Whatever has happened in Rivers, and whatever Rotimi Amaechi has done, is completely normal and acceptable to this party,” the APC Publicity Secretary said.

INEC suspends issuance of certificates to Zamfara APC candidates

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended the presentation of certificates of return to candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Zamfara state.

The electoral commission disclosed this in a tweet on Tuesday.

 

More to follow…

Adamawa APC rejects new date for supplementary poll

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Adamawa state has rejected the March 28 date the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) fixed for the supplementary governorship election in the state.

Ahmed Lawal, organising secretary of the party, announced the party’s decision in an interview with NAN in Yola on Tuesday.

Lawal said INEC did not consult the party before fixing the new date for the poll.

He alleged that information had filtered out earlier that the election would be held on Thursday, March 28.

“INEC failed to consult with political parties involved in this election before going ahead to fix a new date for the re-run,” he said.

“We, therefore, became suspicious due to rumours in town earlier that supplementary election would be conducted on Thursday and it turned out to be true.

“We are not afraid of re-run election but INEC should have done the right thing. How can you fix an election on a working day. Are civil servants not going to participate in the election. We are going to forward our protest on the matter to INEC.”

An Adamawa high court sitting in Yola had earlier vacated an order restraining INEC from conducting a supplementary election in the state.

INEC, therefore, fixed March 28 for the election.

APC wins state assembly supplementary election in Lagos

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for Ibeju-Lekki State Constituency I, Mr Fatai Mojeed,  winner of the supplementary election in the area.
INEC conducted supplementary election in nine polling units of the state constituency on Saturday.

The commission had declared the March 9 election in the constituency inconclusive, because of over-voting in the nine polling units, covering two Registration Areas (Ward).

Prof. Rasheed Ojikutu the Returning Officer for the election, announced the result for the election at the Collation Centre located in INEC office in Ibeju-Lekki council at about 6:30 p.m.

Ojikutu, of the Department of Actuarial Science and Insurance, Faculty of Business Administration, University of Lagos,  first read out scores of each political party on March 9 election, before announcing the total votes in the supplementary poll.

According to him, on March 9 election, APC polled 8,525 votes and PDP scored 1, 786, SDP got 63, ADP scored 54 votes, Accord got 50 votes, AD polled 59 votes while other political parties scored less than 40 votes each.

He said that Mojeed polled a total of votes 9,484 to defeat his closest rival from the Peoples Democratic Party (NAN)  Mrs Tare Oliver who got 1,901 votes.

“I, Prof. Rasheed Kola Ojikutu, hereby certify that I am  the returning officer for the constituency I of Ibeju-Lekki in the election held on the 23rd Day of March 2019.

“I declare that Mojeed Fatai Adebola of APC, haven  satisfied the requirements of the law and scored the highest number of votes is hereby declared the winner and he is returned elected,” Ojikutu said.

He added that Accord Party scored 51 votes, AD polled 60 votes, ADC polled 26 votes, SDP got 64 votes, AAC polled 27 votes, ADP got only 55 votes while others got less than 10 votes each.
Ojikutu said that the total registered voters were 122, 442, while the total accredited voters for the election were 12,245.

The party agents took turns to sign the results.
Earlier, Dr Adeola Afonja, the Collation Officer for Ibeju Ward I, reeled out the scores obtained by each of the parties in the six polling units where supplementary election was held in the ward.
According to Afonja, APC polled 520, PDP scored 43 votes, ADC got 2 votes, Accord and ADP got one vote each while other parties got no vote.

She said that the total registered votes of the six polling units where the supplementary election took place were 3,989.
Afonja added that the total accredited voters were 592, total valid votes were 567, rejected votes 22, while the total votes cast were 589.

Also, Dr Ijeoma Patience, the Collation Officer for Iwerekun I,  reeled out the scores obtained by each of the parties in the three polling units where supplementary election was held in the ward.

According to her, APC polled 439, PDP scored 72 votes, while other parties got less than 2 votes.
Patience said that the registered voters of the three polling units where the supplementary election took place were 8,722

She added that the total accredited voters were 529, total valid votes 521, rejected votes were 8, while the total vote cast were 529.
Out of 12, 711 registered voters in the nine polling units, only 1,118 voters came out to vote in the supplementary election.
Prince Wasiu Elemoro, candidate of PDP for Ibeju-Lekki Federal Constituency, described the election as being far better than the previous polls.

Elemoro said that the supplementary election was free, fair and peaceful.
Also speaking, Mr Rasak Alatishe, the APC party agent at the collation centre, commended the peaceful conduct of the voters, expressing satisfaction with the outcome, which Mr Femi Asia, his counterpart from the PDP corroborated.

After being declared winner, Mojeed, who could not hide his joy, thanked the people for the trust reposed in him and promised not to disappoint them.

1.6 million votes claim: APC says PDP inflicted by ‘post-defeat hallucination’

The All Progressives Congress (APC) says the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Atiku Abubakar, its presidential candidate, have “slipped into severe depression”.

The APC said this in reaction to PDP’s claim that it won the presidential poll by 1.6 million votes.

The opposition party based its claims on the server of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

It filed the claim in its petition before the presidential election tribunal.

But reacting in a statement, Lanre Issa-Onilu, APC spokesman, said the claim is ridiculous.

“While the APC is not oblivious of the PDP’s antics to discredit the credible presidential electoral process, acknowledged by local and international observers, we sympathise with Atiku for the crushing defeat handed him by President Buhari through the votes of Nigerians,” Issa-Onilu said.

“Judging by Atiku and PDP’s recent utterances and actions, it is now clear that they have slipped into severe depression and post-defeat hallucination that have left many Nigerians questioning their current state of mind.

“After weeks of dilly-dallying, the PDP has woken up to the stark reality of its electoral defeat and decided to follow the constitutional path of filing a petition at the election tribunal.

“However, of all the prayers of Atiku before the election tribunal, which are at best hollow, the most ridiculous is his claim that the server of the INEC indicated he won the presidential election by 1.6million votes.

“A few questions would suffice – is this phantom figure of 1.6 million votes Dubai-invented? Was the result sold to Atiku by his numerous marabouts, who we understand, had assured him that the last election was a done deal for him?”

Issa-Onilu said the PDP’s “consistent reference” to INEC server should be a cause for concern.

He said it is possible that the opposition party has plans to jeopardise INEC’s database, calling on security agencies to foil the “evil plan”.

“Most importantly, we note Atiku’s consistent reference to the INEC server as if he is the custodian of that platform. Indeed, Atiku’s constant reference to the INEC server should raise concerns as it is becoming apparent that he and the PDP are up for some dastard activities that are targeted at jeopardising the INEC database and internal storage system,” he said.

“We recall the widespread reported cases of several programmed card readers that were retrieved from some PDP agents and their failed attempt to hack the INEC database in the leadup to the then postponed presidential election.

“We remind the Atiku and PDP that Nigerians saw through the devious schemes aimed at thwarting their will. Consequently, majority of the voters handed them a harsh verdict — that verdict remains sacrosanct.”

Guber polls: APC takes Lagos, Ogun, Niger while PDP wins in Oyo, Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi … Bauchi inconclusive

Results released so far in the Governorship and States Houses of Assembly elections held in the country on Saturday  have revealed some surprises and upsets across the country.

For instance, the ruling All Progressives Congress in Oyo State lost the governorship poll to the Peoples Democratic Party. The APC candidate, Adebayo Adelabu, backed by the incumbent Governor Abiola Ajimobi, lost scandalously to his PDP’s counterpart, Seyi Makinde, with a margin of 157, 635 votes. While Makinde polled 515,621 votes, Adelabu came second with 357,982 votes.

Also, as it was during the February 23 presidential and National Assembly elections in Kwara State where the incumbent Senate President, Bukola Saraki, lost his bid to return to the Senate, his party lost all elective positions in the March 9 polls.

The Kwara State APC governorship candidate, Abdulrahman Abdulrazak, swept the poll to beat his PDP counterpart, Abdulrazak Atunwa, with a margin of 216,792 votes.

Also, the APC governorship candidate in Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, won a landslide victory over his closest rival, Jimi Agbaje of the PDP. Observers had expected Agbaje to give Sanwo-Olu a run for his money, but this was not to be as the political machinery of the national leader of the APC, Bola Tinubu that backed the new comer was too much for Agbaje.

The PDP candidate was beaten with over 500,000 votes.

But as the people of Rivers State were waiting for the outcome of the polls, INEC announced the suspension of the governorship and House of Assembly elections in the state till further notice

It cited violence that marred the exercise as reason for its actions.

Protest from the national headquarters of the PDP is, however, trailing the electoral umpire’s decision.

However, INEC had declared winners in some of the 29 states where the governorship poll was conducted on Saturday as of the time of filing this report this morning. These states include Lagos, Kwara, Gombe, Enugu, Oyo, Abia, Kebbi, Jigawa, Katsina , Ogun, Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi and Niger.

Other states where the results have not been fully released include Benue, Nasarawa, Sokoto.

But the results so far declared have  stirred protest as opposition parties in some states rejected the outcome citing vote-buying, supporters’ harassment and alleged bias by the electoral umpire and the security agencies as reasons.

INEC declares Sanwo-Olu as new Lagos governor

INEC on Sunday declared the APC candidate, Sanwo-Olu, as the winner of the March 9 governorship election held in the state on Saturday.

Sanwo-Olu, who scored 739,445 out of the 977,476 total valid votes in the election, defeated 44 other candidates to emerge as the governor-elect in the state.

The candidate of the PDP in the election, Agbaje, polled the second highest votes in the election with 206,141 votes.

Declaring the result of the election at the state collation centre in Yaba at about 8.40pm on Sunday, the state Returning Officer, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, said Sanwo-Olu, scored the highest number of votes to win the election.

Ogunbodede, who is the Vice-Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, said, “That Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, of the All Progressives Congress, having satisfied the requirements of the law and scored the highest number of votes is hereby declared the winner and is returned elected.”

He said the number of registered voters was 6,505,512; number of accredited voters was 1,006,074; total number of votes cast was 998,715, rejected votes was 21,239, while the total number of valid votes was 977,476.

Ogunmodede pointed out that 31 party agents signed the result sheet.

Sanwo-Olu thanked residents of the state for electing him in the March 9 governorship election.

Addressing party stakeholders in Ikeja after he was declared the winner by INEC, Sanwo-Olu said he was honoured by the overwhelming support of residents.

He said though “the victory carries my name,” his success in the election was actually victory for all residents.

Sanwo-Olu said he viewed the mandate given to him as a call to service to improve the lives of the people.

“I accept the mandate given to me and I understand that it bestows the most profound honour and sober responsibility on me. I thank and commend those who contributed to this campaign. You have laboured and toiled countless hours and done so much.

“You have exerted yourself not just for me but because you believe in the vision that we share.

“You are too numerous to name at this time; in the next few days, I wish to personally thank each one of you for this progressive and collective efforts.

“Most of all, I must commend the voters and honour them; though this victory bears my name, the victory actually belongs to you dear Lagosians,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu thanked President Muhammadu Buhari, the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and the party National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, for believing in his vision.

He said he would not disappoint those who had invested their trust in him, as he was focused on development.

He faulted what he called unhealthy statements and actions made by some of his rivals before the election.

Sanwo-Olu said some of the statements and actions were capable of causing disunity in the state and affecting peaceful co-existence.

He said it was time for all to put the pre-election politics aside and join him in efforts to birth a better Lagos.

APC’s Abdulrazaq wins Kwara gov poll

In Kwara State, the APC governorship candidate, Abdulrazaq, has been declared winner of the governorship election.

Declaring the results of the poll on Sunday, the state Returning Officer and Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University, Lafia, Nasarawa State, Prof. Muhammad Liman, said Abdulrazaq polled 331,546 votes to emerge as the winner of the election.

His PDP counterpart, Atunwa, polled 114,754 votes to emerge as the runner-up.

From the official results declared in all the 16 LGAs in the state, Abdulrazaq led Atunwa with a margin of 216,792 votes.

Also, the APC beat the PDP in all the 16 Local Government Areas of the state and thus won all the seats in the state House of Assembly.

Though the PDP boycotted the venue where the result was announced, Saraki later congratulated the Kwara State Governor-elect, Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq, on his victory at the poll.

Saraki also congratulated the people of the state for coming out to exercise their franchise.

The Senate President wrote, “I thank all Kwarans, particularly the PDP supporters, who worked for the party in the just-concluded elections. My congratulations go to Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq and all those who emerged at all levels. I wish them all the best.”

PDP’s Makinde floors APC’s Adelabu in Oyo

Also, the PDP’s candidate in Oyo State, Makinde, was declared elected by INEC’s Returning Officer, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, having polled the highest number of votes in the election.

Ogundipe is the Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos.

While Makinde secured 515,621 votes, his closest contestant, Adelabu of the APC, came second with 357,982 votes. Makinde led with 157,635 votes.

The results showed that out of the 33 LGAs in the state, Makinde won in 28 councils, including that of his rival’s, while Adelabu won in five LGAs.

While announcing the winner, Ogundipe said, “I state that Seyi Makinde of the PDP, having satisfied the requirements of the law and scored the highest number of votes, is hereby declared the winner and is returned elected.”

Ogundipe put the number of registered voters at 2,934,107 out of which 940,211 voters were accredited. Total valid votes were 916,860; total rejected votes, 20,688; while total votes cast stood at 937,545.

Meanwhile, out of the 32 seats in the state House of Assembly, the PDP won 25 seats, the APC secured five seats while the Action Democratic Party got one.

The state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mutiu Agboke, who made the disclosure, stated that the commission was fair to all political parties.

He said the commission resisted intimidation from some quarters in respect of the polls, adding that “INEC will continue to do the right thing at the right time in the best interest of voters.”

However, there was palpable fear around Ibadan in the wake of the killing of a House of Representatives member from Lagelu/Akinyele Federal Constituency, Temitope Olatoye, aka Sugar.

As of 9pm on Sunday, our correspondents observed that the roads had been deserted as residents stayed indoors.

Earlier on Sunday, rumours were rife that the wife of a National Union of Road Transport Workers leader, Lamidi Mukaila, aka Auxiliary, was killed, but the Oyo State Police Command spokesperson, SP Fadeyi Olugbenga, dispelled the rumours.

He said it was an attempt to heat up the already tensed polity, urging the people to be calm.

APC’s Dapo Abiodun wins Ogun gov

Meanwhile, the governorship candidate of the APC in Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun, has emerged winner of the 2019 governorship.

The Returning Officer, Prof. Idowu Olayinka, who announced the result and declared Abiodun winner, said the APC governorship candidate polled 241,670 votes to defeat the candidate of the Allied Peoples Movement, Adekunle Akinlade, who scored 222,153, leaving a margin of 19,517 votes.

Olayinka, who is also the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, said the  APC won in 11 of the 20 Local Government Areas, while the APM had six LGAs.

Ugwuanyi triumphs over Ayogu Eze, wins Enugu gov poll

In Enugu State, the incumbent Governor Ifeanyi Ugwanyi of the PDP also won his re-election bid as he beat his opponents to win the governorship poll. Ugwuanyi cleared all the 17 Local Government Areas results.

Announcing the results, the state Returning Officer, who is also the Vice-Chancellor, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Prof. Joseph Ahaneku, said the PDP candidate polled 449,935 to defeat the APC’s Ayogu Eze who polled 10,423 to come a distant second.

Our correspondents reported that the results of the 17 LGAs as announced by Ahaneku showed that the PDP polled over 98 per cent of the total votes in the election.

Ahaneku noted that though the total accredited voters was 478,241, it was less than 30 per cent of the total registered voters in the state which, he said, stood at 1,944,803.

“By the power vested on me, I, Prof. Joesph Ahaneku, hereby declare Mr Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of the PDP, the winner of the March 9, 2019 governorship election held in Enugu State having scored the highest number of votes cast he is hereby returned elected,” he said.

Bagudu wins Kebbi gov poll again

INEC has also declared Governor Atiku Bagudu of the APC winner of Saturday’s governorship election in Kebbi State.

The results was announced at the state Collation Centre for the 2019 governorship election by the Collation Officer for Governorship and State Assembly Elections, Prof. Hamisu Bichi, on Sunday in Birnin Kebbi.

He said Bagudu scored 673,717 votes, while his closest rival, Isah Galaudu of the PDP, polled 106,633 votes.

Bichi said, “Atiku Bagudu of the APC, having certified the requirement of the law and scored the highest number of votes is hereby returned elected and declared the winner of the March 9, Saturday governorship election in the state.”

Bichi said 1,789,975 voters were registered; 820,078 accredited, while 814,084 votes were cast; with 793,388 valid votes and 20,696 votes rejected.

According to the results, Bagudu won in all the LGAs of the state.

INEC declares Inuwa Yahaya of APC winner

In Gombe State, Alhaji Inuwa Yahaya of the APC won the state governorship election.

The INEC Returning Officer in the state, Prof. Saminu Abdulrahaman, who declared the result in Gombe on Sunday, said Yahaya scored 364,179 votes to defeat his closest rival of the PDP, Usman Nafada, who polled 222,868 votes and was returned elected.

He said there were 1,394,386 registered voters, 627,457 accredited voters, 608,846 valid votes, 14,384 rejected votes and 623,230 total votes cast.

Abdulrahman, who is also the Vice-Chancellor, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, added that Yahaya won in 10 of the 11 LGAs of the state.

Ikpeazu wins Abia gov election, APC, APGA rejects result

Also, the candidate of the PDP in Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, has been declared the winner of the governorship election in the state.

INEC’s Returning Officer, Prof. Benjamin Ozumba, who is also the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, declared him winner after polling 261, 127 to defeat his closest rival and candidate of  the APC, Uche Ogah, who garnered 99,574 votes.

He also announced that the candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, Alex Otti, polled 64, 366 votes to come third in the election.

Meanwhile, the candidates of the APC and APGA have called for the cancellation of the election.

Addressing journalists shortly after the results were declared in Umuahia, the state capital, the opposition candidates alleged that INEC breached its guidelines for the conduct of the elections in the state.

In a statement jointly signed by the candidates, they stated that they had expected INEC to cancel results from polling units where votes did not match what was on  the smart card readers, adding that reverse was the case.

The statement partly read, “The results were highly tempered with to favour the PDP, even where some of us in the opposition had warned that INEC connived with security agencies to change the result in favour of the PDP.

“We reject in totality the results of the 2019 governorship election as announced by INEC and demand its total cancellation in the entire state.”

Badaru wins re-election in Jigawa

Meanwhile, the incumbent Governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Muhammad Badaru, has won the governorship election in the state.

The Returning Officer for the governorship election in Jigawa, Prof. Azubike Nwankwo, who is the Provost, Nigeria Defence Academy, Kaduna, declared the result in Dutse on Sunday.

Nwankwo said Badaru, of the APC, was returned elected with 810, 933 votes to beat his closest rival, Alhaji Aminu Ringim of the PDP, who scored 288, 356 votes, followed by Alhaji Bashir Adamu of the Social Democratic Party, who got 32,894 votes.

He explained that the total number of registered voters was 2,109,477, accredited voters, 1,169,924, total votes cast, 1, 163, 206, while valid votes stood at 1, 139, 054, and rejected votes, 24, 152.

The Returning Officer stated that the election was free and fair, adding that due process was followed before the declaration of the result.

Nwankwo had also announced that the APC won all the 30 seats for the state House of Assembly.

Emmanuel re-elected, wins in A’ Ibom

Meanwhile, the governorship candidate of the PDP in Akwa Ibom State, Governor Udom Emmanuel, has been re-elected for a second term in office.

Emmanuel secured 519,712 votes and won in the 30 LGAs in the governorship results announced by INEC, while his closest rival and candidate of the APC, Mr Nsima Ekere, garnered 171,978 and won only in Essien Udim, which is the LGA of the former Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio.

Declaring Emmanuel winner at 12.30am on Monday, the state Returning Officer, Prof. Faraday Osasere, the Vice-Chancellor, University of Benin, Benin, Edo State, said out of the 2,119,727 registered voters in the state, only 720,064 were accredited for the election, while the total vote cast was 712,037.

All other political party agents signed the result sheet with the exception of the APC state agent, Mr Sam Akpan, who walked out of the collation centre.

Akpan, however, rejected the results, claiming that they were not a true reflection of the exercise.

He called for the cancellation of the result of the governorship election in the state.

Bello floors Nasko to win re-election in Niger

Also, the Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, who contested for a second tenure on the ticket of the APC, has won the bid, according to the results of the Saturday polls announced by the Returning Officer, Prof. Angela Freeman-Mary.

Freeman-Mary, the Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University, Lokoja, Kogi State, who announced the result on Sunday in Minna, said Bello won the polls in all the 25 LGAs of the state.

According to the VC, Bello polled 526,412 votes as against Umar Nasko’s 298,065 thereby defeating the PDP candidate with a margin of 228,347 votes.

The result was declared in Minna at about 11pm on Sunday.

Umahi floors Ogbuoji, wins Ebonyi gov poll again

Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State of the PDP has been declared winner of the state governorship poll.

The Returning Officer for the state governorship poll, Prof. Frank Chukwuemeka, announced Umahi winner on Sunday in Abakaliki.

According to the result, Umahi polled 393,043 votes to defeat his closest rival, Sonni Ogbuoji of the APC who polled 81,703 votes to emerge the winner.

“I, Prof. Frank Chukwuemeka, state Returning Officer for the Ebonyi State governorship election held on Saturday, March 9, hereby declare the candidate of the PDP, Chief Dave Umahi, winner of the governorship election having won the highest number of votes cast in the election.

“He has fulfilled the requirements of the law and is hereby declared winner and returned elected,” Chukwuemeka said.

APC’s Masari wins Katsina gov election

The Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, has won the governorship poll in all the 34 LGAs of the state announced by INEC on Sunday.

Masari, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, sought re-election for another term of four years on the platform of the APC last Saturday.

The PDP’s candidate is Senator Yakubu Lado-Danmarke.

In the results announced by the State Returning Officer, Prof. Abdullahi Zuru, the APC scored 22,482 votes in Dutsi Local Government Area, while the PDP came second with 10,564 votes.

The re-elected governor was awaiting formal declaration of his victory by INEC as of the time of filing this report.

Ortom leads in Benue

Meanwhile, the governorship candidate of the PDP in Benue State, Mr Samuel Ortom, has won in nine of the 19 LGAs result declared as of the time of filing this report.

From the result so far announced on Sunday at the state headquarters of INEC in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, Ortom scored over 300,000 votes, while his closest rival, Mr Emmanuel Jime of the APC, won in 10 LGAs with a total votes of over 270,000.

The results of four remaining LGs were being awaited as of the time of filing the report.

APC sweeps Nasarawa gov poll

In Nasarawa State, the APC candidate in the governorship election, Abdullahi Sule, has been declared winner by INEC.

The APC candidate got 327,229 votes to beat his PDP challenger, David Ombugadu, who came a distant second with 184, 281 votes.

The state Returning Officer, Prof Abdullahi Bala, who is also the Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State, declared the result some minutes to 1am on Tuesday.

Tambuwal leads in 12 LGAs

INEC has announced results of 20 out of 23 LGAs of Sokoto State in Saturday’s governorship election.

The News Agency of Nigeria reported that LGAs Collation Officers announced the results before the state’s Chief Returning Officer, Prof. Fatima Muktar, on Sunday in Sokoto.

Muktar is the Vice-Chancellor, Federal University, Dutse, FUD, Jigawa State.

In the results declared so far, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of the PDP  won  in 12 out of the 20 LGAs while the APC was leading in eight LGAs.

NAN reports that Tambuwal polled a total of 429, 526 votes while Alhaji Ahmad Aliyu of the APC scored 416, 082 votes in the declared results from the 20 LGAs received.

However, the PDP is leading the APC with a margin of 13,444 votes in the results so far declared.

The figure of cancelled votes so far is 50,530 at different polling units across the state based on the results announced.

NEC declares Bauchi gov poll inconclusive

However, the governorship election of Bauchi State has been declared inconclusive.

The Returning Officer for the state, Prof. Mohammed Kyari, made the announcement at exactly 12am on Tuesday.

He said that the total registered voters were 2, 323, 603, while the accredited voters stood at 1, 056, 729.

According to him, the candidate of the PDP,  Bala Mohammed, got 469, 512 votes to defeat Governor Mohammed Abubabakar of the APC, who scored 465, 453 votes.

He added that the total valid votes are 1, 026, 901, the number of rejected votes was 21, 419 while the number of  total votes cast was 1, 048, 220.

Kyari of the Federal University of Technology, Yola, Adamawa State, said he declared the poll inconclusive because the margin of lead between the PDP and the APC candidates was 4, 059 votes.

He added, “Secondly, the number of cancelled votes even without that of Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area which he had earlier cancelled was 45, 312.

“Thirdly, the total number of registered voters in the affected areas is 139, 240.

“Therefore, based on Section 26 Part 53 of the Electoral Act, I hereby declare this result inconclusive.”

He therefore directed INEC to immediately conduct a re-run in the affected areas within 21 days.

APC leads in Borno, wins 24 declared LGAs results

The candidate of the APC, Prof. Babagana Zulum, has maintained his lead in the ongoing collation of results of  Saturday’s governorship election in Borno State.

The News Agency of Nigeria reported that the APC candidate won 24 of the 27 LGAs in the ongoing collation exercise at the Kashim Ibrahim College of Education, Maiduguri.

The collation exercise presided over by the INEC Returning Officer in the state, Prof. Alhassan Gali, was conducted smoothly in the presence of party agents, election observers, security agents and journalists.

NAN reports that election results from 24 of the 27 LGAs of the state were submitted for collation by their respective returning officers.

The governorship election results so far collated indicated that Zulum garnered more votes than his closest opponent, Muhammad Imam of the PDP.

The results as announced by the Returning Officer in charge of Nganzai, Dr Ibrahim  Mustapha, showed that the APC candidate scored 20, 196 as against the 907 votes scored by the PDP candidate.

INEC suspends Rivers polls, PDP fumes

Meanwhile, INEC has suspended the governorship and House of Assembly elections in Rivers State till further notice.

The commission premised its action on the widespread disruption of elections and violence.

INEC has, therefore, set up a fact-finding committee to assess the situation and report back within 48 hours.

This is contained in a statement issued on Sunday by INEC National Commissioner and chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye.

The statement partly read, “Initial reports suggest that violence occurred in a substantial number of polling units and collation centres, our members of staff have been taken hostage and materials including result sheets have either been seized or destroyed by unauthorised persons.

“In addition, safety of our workers appears to be in jeopardy all over the state and the commission is concerned about the credibility of the process.

“Consequently, at a meeting held today, Sunday, March 10, 2019, the commission has decided to suspend all electoral processes in the state until further notice.

“This is in line with Section 26 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) and Clause 47(e) of the regulations and guidelines of the commission.

“The commission has also established a fact-finding committee to assess the situation and report back within 48 hours.”

However, the PDP has charged INEC to end what it described as manipulative schemes and immediately declare the result.

The party rejected INEC’s decision to suspend the electoral process in the state, after it claimed that results had been collated.

The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement in Abuja on Sunday, asked President Muhammadu Buhari to caution the security agencies in the state.

He said, “Our party contends that elections have been concluded in Rivers State; results of the Governorship and House of Assembly polls have been declared at the various polling units, wards and local government collation centres and all returning officers and political parties in the ballot conclusively have the figures.

“It is therefore directly incumbent on INEC to declare the final results instead of deliberately creating openings for the subversion of the final process; a development, which exposes the commission’s complicity with the Buhari Presidency and the APC to enmesh the election into unnecessary crisis.”

 

APC Plateau lawmaker Ezekiel Afon dies after winning re-election

Mr Ezekiel Afon, a lawmaker representing Pengana Constituency in the Plateau State House of Assembly has died hours after he was re-elected to represent the constituency.

Mr Bashir Sati, the Secretary of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state confirmed the lawmaker’s death to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Jos.

According to Sati, Afon died Sunday afternoon after a brief illness.

“It is unfortunate that we lost Afon, one of the most dedicated members of our party and a committed lawmaker just after he was declared winner to occupy his seat again.

“Though he has been sick for a while but we received the news of his demise with rude shock,” he said.

NAN reports that Afon was first elected into the Assembly under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015, but defected to the ruling APC in 2017. (NAN)