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Bayelsa Gubernatorial Race: SSG explains suitability to succeed Gov. Dickson



A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant in Bayelsa, Mr Kemela Okara, on Monday said that he remained the preferred contestant in the Nov. 16 polls in the state.

Okara is one of the 21 jostling for the PDP ticket ahead of the party’s Sept. 3 primaries.

He said he had enjoyed a front row position in the restoration administration in Bayelsa as a two-time Commissioner for Trade and Investment as well as Secretary to State Government.

The governorship hopeful spoke at the Federated Correspondents Chapel Media Forum for governorship aspirants in the state.

He noted that he had been an integral part of Gov. Seriake Dickson-led administration and possessed the requisite skills set to succeed the outgoing governor.

Okara pledged to harness the abundant gas deposits in the state by attracting industries to process gas for industrial and domestic use.

He added that his administration would also pursue industrialisation to create jobs.

On his plans to tackle insecurity and drug abuse, he said that he believed that an employment opportunity was a disincentive to crime.

Okara, who contested the governorship position in 2011 under the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), recalled that he was brought into the PDP by Gov. Dickson.

“I had contested the governorship of Bayelsa on the platform of Action Congress of Nigeria in 2011, which I didn’t win.

“Afterwards, I was approached by Gov. Dickson to join the PDP-led government as Commissioner for Trade and Investment.

“After his re-election in 2015, I was reappointed in the same capacity, until in 2017 when he appointed me as Secretary to State Government.

“So, I have been involved and I fully understand the workings of this government, therefore, well positioned to consolidate the gains.

“If you say that I have been primed by Dickson to succeed him, then I am eternally grateful to him.

“I share his passion and courage and will be guided by the desire to use the instrumentality of government for the good of all,” Okara said.

Speaking earlier, Mr Julius Osahon, Chairman of Correspondents Chapel said that the Media Forum for the aspirants was an avenue for them to showcase their dreams and plans for the state.

Osahon said that the forum was open to all aspirants across the political parties canvassing for votes in the forthcoming parties’ primaries and the Nov. 16 governorship polls.


 PDP screens governorship aspirants for Bayelsa, Kogi



The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday began screening of its governorship aspirants for Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections scheduled for Nov. 16.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the exercise was being held at two separate venues simultaneously.

Aspirants from Bayelsa were undergoing screening at the party’s National Secretariat, Wadata Plaza, Wuse zone 5; while aspirants from Kogi were being screened at Legacy House, the party’s presidential campaign office in Maitama.

The Chairman of the Screening Committee for Kogi is the Governor of Taraba, Dirus Ishaku, while the Chairman for Bayelsa Screening Committee is the Governor of Oyo, Mr Seyi Makinde.

Speaking separately with newsmen after going through the screening, the aspirants expressed confidence in the screening and satisfaction with the process.

Former Governor of Kogi, Capt. Idris Wada, who was the first aspirant, said that the exercise was satisfactory.

“I am confidence in the screening committee chair by Ishaku which is doing a thorough and professional job.

“I am satisfied with the process and I am confidence in the panel. I have very positive disposition to what they have done,’’ he said.

Wada said that so far his candidacy was being embraced across the state and he was sure of wining the primaries.

He expressed confidence that whoever emerged as the party’s candidate would be supported by all other aspirants.

Sen. Dino Melaiye, representing Kogi West, who is also an aspirant, said that the committee was doing professional work.

“The committee was very professional and I met all the requirements by the screening committee and the party,’’ Dino said.

Another aspirant from Kogi, Muhammed Tetes, said that from the interaction at the screening, he believed the committee would do the right thing.

He said that all the aspirants were qualified to rule the state and they were ready to work together.

“We have discussed among ourselves while we are waiting for the screening exercise that after the outcome of the primary, we should be ready to work together.

“We need to work together in the interest of the masses and development of the grassroots.

“As you are aware, Kogi is at the state of disarray and it is only through team work and common understanding that we would be able to move the state forward. This is a task that must be done by PDP,’’ he said.

Mr Victor Adoje, another aspirant from Kogi commended the screening process, expressing confidence he was going to pass the screening.


Edited by Kayode Olaitan

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Ministers designate inauguration: AGA calls dedication, selfless service



All Grassroots Alliance (AGA) National Chairman Olukayode Oshiariyo has advised ministers designate to demonstrate selfless service in the discharge of their duties.

Oshiariyo gave this advice in a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Mr Kehinde Ojoawo in Abuja on Monday.

He observed that the call was necessary as the ministers designate would be inaugurated on Aug. 21by President Muhammadu Buhari at State House, Abuja.

“We must work as a team. Working as a team demands that we know what the next person is doing. You must open communication with your colleagues; lack of communication leads to lack of cooperation and sub-optimal performance,’’ he said.

Oshiariyo noted that it was important for the incoming ministers to be more concerned with the wishes and aspirations of Nigerians than with their own.

He added those cases such as corruption, nepotism and other evil act, capable of destroying the peace and unity of the country must be shunned by them.

He also called on Buhari and the National Assembly to initiate new mechanisms for assessing the performance of the ministers from time to time saying “such assessment would enhance optimum performance on their part.

“The president and his cabinet members should be diligent in generating new ideas that can move the country forward, especially in the areas of economy and national security.

“The tasks ahead of them are enormous and they must be up and doing, they cannot afford to disappoint the nation.

“The president should also be willing to accommodate fresh ideas from the ministers and his special advisers in steering the affairs of the country’’.

He urged the Federal Government to put an end to the rising cases of banditry, armed robbery, kidnapping, killings and other organised crimes across the country.

The 43 ministers designate who were earlier screened and confirmed by the Senate would be inaugurated by the President Buhari on Wednesday and they are presently attending a two-day retreat.

The president, while opening the session on Wednesday, said that the country and the administration would rely on them to implement policies and programmes to lift Nigerians out of poverty.

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PRP needs total reform, says Shehu Sani



A member of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), Sen, Shehu Sani, on Monday said the party needs major reform to enable it contest every elective post in all constituencies across the country.

Sani said this when he received executive members of the party in Kaduna state who paid him Sallah homage at his home in Kaduna.

“The task before us is how to reform our party, and make it possible for men of honour and integrity to take over relevant positions in the move towards winning elections,” he said.

He however cautioned that “the PRP is not a party for anybody”, as it was founded on progressive socialist ideas with defined directions and goals.

“If you are not of the socialist Marxist progressives left,  don’t think of yourself as a PRP member, you are in the wrong place; its ideology is clearly defined.

“You cannot be a leader of PRP if you think and behave like bourgeoisie,” he said.

According to the former senator, Nigeria’s future depends  on a political party with clear ideological direction of which the PRP represents.

He cautioned party members against ethnic and religious politics, saying that “we need to consider all members of the party as one, and work together under one banner and ideology of PRP to free our country.

“PRP must resolve to embarce all as one and unite to defeat all forces of decisiveness and injustice that have taken over the reign of leadership in the state,” he said.

Sani also spoke on the policies of the Buhari administration.

According to him, there are some policies of President Muhammadu Buhari that are good and those that are not.

“We should identify with good policies and openly condemn and reject bad policies, we must not sit on the fence on matters of right and wrong, we must be neutral on matters of justice and injustice,” Sani said.

He assured the delegation of his unwavering commitment to the PRP and its desire to seize power at all levels in 2023.

Sani thanked the state executive council members of the party for their steadfastness and good leadership.

According to him, the PRP is the only party that has survived since the second republic to today without compromising its principle of honour and integrity.

He therefore urged the party leaders to continue to uphold the intergrity of the party, “until we return the PRP to power not only in Kaduna state but in the whole of Nigeria.

“History beckons on you to stand up to reach out to the people historically attached to the PRP, to free the people of Nigeria from deception and misrepresentation.”

He cautioned President Muhammadu Buhari to be wary of most politicians in APC, saying they were there because of the perks of office not service to the people.

” They are with Buhari because he is in power and they will leave Buhari the very day he leaves power.

“They are with Buhari not because of his ideas, integrity or thinking, but because he is the President of Nigeria.”

Earlier, the state PRP Chairman, Alhaji Abdulraham Danbirni, said that the visit was to pay Sallah homage and thank Sani for his support to the party.

“You have distinguished yourself as the vocal advocate of the masses and the conscience of the people,” he said, adding that the leadership will support the former senator’s aspirations.

The chairman said the leadership has been working hard to unite all members after the crisis that engulfed the party prior to the last general elections.

He expressed optimism that the PRP’s grassroots support and alleged failure of Gov. Nasiru El-Rufai will swing the next election to the party.

He added that the current administration in the state lacks  focus and is running anti people policies and programmes.

Edited by Maharazu Ahmed

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Akeredolu begins 14-day working vacation



The Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu on Monday begins a 14-day working vacation.

The Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr Segun Ajiboye, who disclosed this in a statement issued on Monday in Akure added that the governor would resume on Sept. 14.

Ajiboye disclosed that the governor had transmitted a letter on the vacation to the state House of Assembly before proceeding on the annual leave.

He said the governor notified the Assembly that his deputy, Agboola Ajayi , would perform the functions of the governor on his absent.

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General news

Kogi governorship: Group seeks support for Gov. Bello’s re-election



A socio-political organisation, FairWin, on Monday urged the people of Kogi to support Gov. Yahaya Bello’s re-election bid to enable him to consolidate on his achievements in the state.

Mr Abdulkareem Onyekehi, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Special Projects, who spoke on behalf of the group after a solidarity walk for the governor in Lokoja, described the event as ”a peaceful and historic procession”.

He said that the solidarity walk was organised to canvass support for Bello’s re-election in the Nov. 16 governorship election.

Onyekehi, who doubles as the State Focal Person on National Social Investment Programme (SIP), said the group’s philosophy was an ideology designed to support varying degrees of social, political and economic development that Bello had brought to Kogi.

He, therefore, called on all well-meaning people of the State to support the New Direction government and the re-election of the governor, saying he had attracted massive infrastructure development to the state.

”This historic procession is a solidarity for Gov. Yahaya Bello for his laudable achievements by FairWin Group, whose membership are drawn from the three senatorial districts of the State”.

”The governor has successfully broken the jinx of ethnic divides in the state; Kogi is now witnessing good governance in the critical areas of infrastructure development, and the security of lives and property of the citizens is now guaranteed,” he said.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the procession commenced from the premises of the Ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and terminated at GRA in Lokoja, where a big balloon was hoisted.

Other government officials who took part in the programme were: the Secretary to the State Government, Dr (Mrs) Folashade Ayoade; Commissioner for Finance, Mr Idris Asiru; and Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Information Services and Grassroots Sensitisation, Mr Suleiman Babango, among others.

Edited by Abdullahi Yusuf

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