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Bayelsa Guber Poll: Jonathan urges Okara to bring experience to bear on governance if elected



Former President Goodluck Jonathan has urged Mr Kemela Okara to bring his wealth of experience to bear on governance in Bayelsa, if he was elected as governor in the upcoming gubernatorial elections.
Okara, who is the immediate past Secretary to the State Government (SSG), visited the former president in his Yenagoa residence on Wednesday night, to formally inform him of his desire to run for office in the Nov. 16 elections.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the primaries for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will hold on Sept. 3, while the gubernatorial election will hold on Nov. 16.
The visit by Okara to Jonathan was part of his statewide consultations with critical stakeholders in Bayelsa ahead of the gubernatorial election.
Jonathan, who was the immediate past president of Nigeria, expressed confidence in Okara’s capabilities as a two-time Commissioner for Trade Industry and Investments, and SSG to run the state competently.
“As the immediate past secretary to the state government and from your exposure as a lawyer in Lagos, the commercial nerve centre of the nation, I expect you to perform well as a governor.
“Just know that my doors are open anytime you wish to see me for counsel and consultations,” the former president said.
Earlier, Okara had thanked Jonathan for finding time to host him and his entourage amid his busy schedule.
“Your Excellency, there is no way that I will not seek your blessings as I strive to run for the office of the governor.
“I came to you because of your wealth of experience and rich political pedigree.
“It is for this singular reason that I have come to inform you of my desire to contest for the office of the governor of Bayelsa State and for your blessing,” Okara added.

(Editing by Peter Ejiofor)


Lagos SDP gets acting Chairman, Publicity Secretary



  The Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Lagos State has appointed Mr Olufemi Olaniyi, popularly known as Ferrari, as its acting Chairman.

The party’s state Publicity Secretary, Lekan Adebiyi, said in a statement issued on Friday in Lagos that the appointment was sequel to the suspension of the chairman, Chief Tunde Onakoya, for alleged anti-party activities.

He said that Olaniyi’s appointment was ratified at an appraisal meeting held by the new executive members, party leaders and elders from the South-West, local government chairmen and other party faithful.

Adebiyi said that the party also appointed him as the new publicity secretary at the meeting held at Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.

He said that the acting chairman, in his remarks, charged all party leaders to contribute their quota towards rebuilding the party in the state.

He quoted Olaniyi as pledging to ensure reconciliation between leaders and aggrieved members and that members should stop the blame game and accept the challenge of rebranding the party.

“The party will improve on the existing structures and generate new ideas to improve efficiency and effectiveness. We shall work in synergy with our national leaders to ensure that the party attain greater heights,” he further quoted him as saying.

Edited by Chioma Ugboma and ‘Wale Sadeeq




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PDM suspends 3 national executive members for alleged anti-party activities, fraud



The Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) has suspended three of its national executive members for alleged anti-party activities and forging of party documents.

The officials are former National Secretary, Mr Gwada Abubarkar, the National Financial Secretary, Mr Habu Aminchin, who was the Presidential flag-bearer of the party and the National Youth leader, Mr Eke Ken.

Briefing newsmen in Abuja on Friday after its extraordinary NEC meeting, the Chairman of the party, Chief Frank Igwebuike said there was no faction in the party, adding that the party remained united.

Igwebuike said that the decision was a bi-product of the disciplinary committee set up by the party and was ratified by the NEC in the presence of INEC official.

“The national chairman has equally been given additional powers as the chief executive of the party, and no decision of the party will be executed without the approval of the party chairman, which must be put in writing.

“The party has also taken a decision that all those who have left the party because of accident or any other reasons, their positions will be filled immediately.

“It was a robust meeting and relationship was cordial throughout the NEC meeting.

I wish all those who came from far and near including INEC safe trip back.

“This is the first time INEC has attended and monitored our extraordinary congress meeting.

“There is no faction in the party, you can see that INEC is here and this shows that this party doesn’t have two leaders. If you go to INEC office, the only name you will find there is Chief Frank Igwebuike as the national chairman,’’ he said.

The PDM chairman said the petition before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal was withdrawn by the suspended party members with advise from other party members.

He said it was necessary to withdraw the petition because the document used in filling the petition were all forged, adding that they could not stand the test of time.

“The allegation that I don’t carry other members along in running of the party is baseless with no iota of truth.

“There are different types of leadership style. if I don’t carry people along, you will not see members from different states for the NEC meeting. People from different states are all here.

“It’s better to remove persons that will destroy the party; we cannot allow our party to be labelled party of forgers, insubordination and misappropriation of party funds.

“I will not take that, if that is what makes people think I am autocratic, that is what I term discipline.

“What we are here to do is to build a very strong party, where people are disciplined and show absolute loyalty,” he said.

He assured that the party would come out stronger in 2023 with the new orientation and mobilisation with good party manifesto.

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Buhari, others to attend Odigie-Oyegun’s birthday



President Muhammadu Buhari, state governors, diplomats and other eminent Nigerians, have indicated interest to attend the 80th birthday of the former National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.

The Chairman,  Organising Committee of the event, Mr Ray Morphy, said this in Abuja on Friday at a news conference.

He announced the committee’s plan to mark Odigie-Oyegun’s birthday in Abuja on Aug. 17.

“These eminent personalities have indicated  interest to grace the occasion due to virtues  Odigie-Oyegun’s has added to  democratic development in the country,” Morphy said.

He urged younger Nigerians to emulate leadership qualities and values demonstrated by Odigie-Oyegun when he was the Permanent Secretary, governor of Edo and National Chairman of APC.

“Chief Odigie-Oyegun has kept his name clean right and fair over the years. Even as he left office as National Chairman of the APC, you noticed that he has never engaged in any battle with anybody in the party.

“This celebration is a recognition of God’s blessing on him and his family, recognition of the contributions he has made in our democratic development,” he said.

Morphy, who recalled that Edo  Government had on Aug. 12, begun a weeklong celebration of Odigie-Oyegun’s 80-year birthday in the state, said that the function was organised by APC governors ant it would end in Abuja.

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C’River REC’s resignation is unacceptable, INEC insists



“What happened was that our REC in Cross River did not forward any letter to any of the appointing authorities.

“He did not have any communication with the supervising National Commissioner, the Chairman of the Commission, but organised a send-off party for himself on  Aug. 8.

“He announced that he had joined partisan politics and announced that he had formally joined one of the registered political parties.

“We consider this unacceptable; we have a code of conduct that binds every national commissioner and REC. We cannot be partisan and at the same time be umpires,” he said.

He said  that all INEC RECs  were appointed by the President, subject to confirmation by  Senate and could only be removed in the same process.

“All those powers now reside with the Administrative Secretary in the state,” he added.

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Ensure good governance via your voting power, aspirant tells residents of Kogi



Alhaji Mohammed Yakubu, a Kogi governorship aspirant on the platform of  All Progressives Congress (APC), has pleaded with the lectorate to use their voting power in ensuring good govetnance in the state.

Yakubu, a former Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, said this on Friday at a news conference after he picked his expression of interest and nomination forms at the APC National Secretariat in Abuja.

He bought the form for N22.5 millions to contest for primaries for selection of party’s flag bearer in the Nov. 16 governorship election in Kogi.

The aspirant said that he would use his experiences to improve the lives of  people and transform the state.

“The Kogi that we desire when Kogi was created in 1991 was a place that will be a place of harmony, a place of excellence that we bring all the ethnic groups together as a family.

“We aspire to be a hub of economic development because of  the strategic location of Kogi,” he said.

Edited by Chioma Ugboma/Kayode Olaitan

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