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Lagos Assembly: Finally, lone PDP lawmaker defects to APC

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Lagos Assembly: Lone PDP lawmaker defects to APC

Defection

Lagos, April 29, 2019 (NAN) The lone Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) member in the Lagos State House, Mr Dipo Olorunrinu, Amuwo-Odofin Constituency I, on Monday defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Olorunrinu lost his re-election bid to APC candidate, Mrs Mojisola Alli-Macaulay, in March 9 House of Assembly election with just 278 votes.

He vowed not to challenge the result at the election tribunal.

The lawmaker informed the House of his defection at the plenary through a letter titled: “Letter of Defection from PDP to APC, addressed to the Speaker, Mr Mudashiru Obasa.

The letter was however, read by the Clerk of the Assembly, Mr Azeez Sanni.

The letter read in part: “I have been a young progressive-minded person and I have decided to realign with the APC based on moving trend and party to reckon with taking Lagos State to the next level.

“I will like to appreciate Mr Speaker for his continuous act of service to my constituency. This explains the magnanimity of Mr Speaker.”

Olorunrinu earlier, said that in 2015, there were eight PDP members in the House but seven defected adding that, in all sincerity I made bold to say here that, I have never had any regret.

He said he was happy to still find himself in the midst of great administration.

“Sincerely, I said to myself that continuity as a young man in politics is a necessity. I said to myself that I must join the progressives’ party, which is the APC.

“Permit me to say this in this hallowed chamber that the PDP have been discovered by my humble self, as a party that is not to be reckoned with.

“Not to be reckon with because it is a party that lacks structure, it is a party that lacks visions for Nigeria of tomorrow.

“That’s the more reason why I said to myself that we must start from here and preach the good news of APC. I want to say a very big thank you to Mr Speaker for accepting me,” Olorunrinu said.

He apologised to the Speaker for his late defection.

According to Olorunrinu, he has spoken with his constituents, stakeholders of different cadres on the decision to join the moving train”.

The Speaker welcomed Olorunrinu to APC and commended him for his decision while other APC lawmakers also received the defector into the party.

“I thank you for making the decision at last. We welcome you into our midst as members of APC in the House of Assembly.

“You have always been part of us save the fact that you refused to dump the leaking umbrella but today you have decided, I welcome you on behalf of our party.

“I want to thank you for lending your voice to what have been our position from quite sometime that the best party in Nigeria today is APC.

“So there is nothing to gain from PDP, for realising this, I congratulate you.

“Distinguished colleagues, we are now 40 members of APC. Thank you for joining us,” Obasa said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that eight PDP lawmakers were elected into the 40-member Lagos Assembly in 2015 general elections but seven defected into the ruling party in 2017.

While six of the lawmakers defected on Feb.16, 2017, the seventh, Akande moved on July 10 same year, all citing the achievements of Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode and the leadership quality of Obasa.

Five of the seven defectors got the party tickets to return to the House and won their re-election while two, Akeem and Famakinwa could not get the party tickets.

The candidates of APC won the entire 40 seats in the House of Assembly during the 2019 poll, unlike in 2015 general elections when PDP clinched eight seats.(NAN)

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Ransome-Kuti wants more women in politics

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 A woman politician in Lagos State, Ms Yemisi Ransome-Kuti, on Friday advised women to get more involved in political and social activities to achieve adequate female representation in governance.

Ransome-Kuti gave the advice in Lagos at the 2019 Thrive Women Conference, with the theme: “Today’s Women: Influencing and Shaping the Future.’’

“We need more women in politics; as a woman, are you politically savvy, and are you engaged with the political and social developments of our country?

“We need to have adequate representation to sit at the table with men to draft policies and set agenda for equity and good governance.

“We need to be ready to step up and run for office, bringing to an end clapping and cheer leading for the men,’’ she said.

She urged women to inculcate in their children good morals so that political parties would not use them as thugs to cause problem in the country.

Ransome-Kuti, who was the 2011 Lagos Central Senatorial Candidate for Social Democratic Mega Party (SDMP), urged women to summon the courage and be prepared to challenge the system until there was true democracy.

The politician also advised women to live responsibly by fulfilling their duties as citizens as well as paying their taxes.

According to her, women should hold government and relevant institutions at all levels accountable to ensure the provision of democratic dividends to the people.

For this to have effect, Ransome-Kuti said, women needed to be organised at community levels to create the impact.

“Are we defending and fighting for our rights, our security, and our protection.

“We cannot go to sleep and imagine that angels are going to come and do it, we have to organize, bring discussions about democracy and good governance.

“We also have to discuss social issues, domestic violence and drug abuse. We are the ones that have to own the problems and propose the change and implement it,’’ Ransome-kuti said.

Also speaking, Ms Anike Odunlami, Chevron Nigeria General Manager, Content Development, urged women to make good use of every available opportunities that came their way.

“Women need to be prepared so that when opportunity presents itself, it will not meet them unprepared.

“Preparations mean you have to be eager to learn and build your career and take calculated risk to try new things.

“Never limit yourself; even when the opportunity is not within your comfort zone, take the bold step, sacrifice, evaluate and reevaluate it and you will be successful,’’ she said.

The Executive Director, Royal Roots Communication, Mrs Debbie Odutayo, advised women to develop passion for whatever it was they were planning to do.

“Women should be passionate, confident, committed and be consistent about what they do in their different fields if they want to shape a better future.

“We must also change our attitudes in all aspects of our life. We should not always wait for husbands to provide before we are able to do things.

“We should stand and be the person that we want to be, this can be achieved if we update ourselves and stay dedicated,’’ she said.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the event was sponsored by Zenith Bank, Nestle, Noxie Limited, among others, and supported by ACCION Microfinance Bank as well as Women Advocates and Documentation Centre.

Edited by Wale Ojetimi

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Akinyele contributed immensely to Nigeria’s development – Tinubu

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All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on Friday, commiserated with the family and professional colleagues of former Information Minister, Chief Alex Akinyele.

Tinubu, in a statement signed by Mr Tunde Rahman, his media aide, described Akinyele as an elder statesman who contributed immensely to Nigeria’s development.

Akinyele died on Thursday at the age of 81.

“The late minister would be deeply missed by the country he served to the best of his abilities.

“Chief Alex Akinyele was an elder statesman. He served the country to the best of his abilities.

“He did his best as minister of Information and later Chairman of the Nigerian Sports Commission.

“He was also one leader who was very proud of his Yoruba, indeed Ondo heritage, and demonstrated this often in his appearance and conduct.”

The former Lagos State governor said that Akinyele radiated warmth and tenderness.

“To meet him is to like him. He was full of life and was unmistakable with his sartorial elegance.

“The country he did his best for will sorely miss him.

“I commiserate with his family, friends and relations at this moment.

“I mourn with his professional colleagues, the Public Relations practitioners and members of the Nigeria Institute of Public Relations.

“My condolences also go to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and the government and people of Ondo State.

“May they find the strength to live through his passing and may the soul of Chief Akinyele find eternal rest in the bosom of the Lord,” Tinubu said.

Edited by Saidu Adamu/Oluwole Sogunle

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Sen. Olujimi lauds judiciary for upholding justice

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Olujimi

Abuja, Nov. 15, 2019 Sen. Biodun Olujimi, (PDPEkiti South), who was newly sworn in, has lauded Nigeria’s judiciary for upholding the course of justice in the country.

Olujimi gave the commendation on Friday during a visit by a delegation from Ekiti State to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Olujimi was sworn in on Thursday following a judgement of the Court of Appeal in Kaduna which declared her winner of the Ekiti South senatorial election held on Feb. 23.

Olujimi replaced the former Senate spokesperson, Adedayo Adeyeye.

She said that winning her appeal had further strengthened her confidence in the Nigerian judiciary.

The senator called on her opponent to join hands with her in working for the good of their contitutuents.

“I went to it (Judiciary) without the necessary confidence, being a female, two; without a governor, three; without the ruling government at the centre behind me and yet, justice was done.

“I doff my hat to the judiciary.

“I also want to use this opportunity to call on my brother, my friend, who was my opponent in the race and at the tribunal, Sen. Adeyeye, to please let us put all hands on deck and ensure that the senatorial district is promoted because it is by doing this that the future will be bright for us and for the people.

“What has happened is just the travails of democracy, which we all subscribed unto it,” she said.

Olujimi, who thanked her constituents for their support, pledged to do more for them and ensure that there was development in the Ekiti South Senatorial District.

Earlier in his remarks, the traditional ruler of Omuo-Ekiti, Oba Noah Okinbaloye, said that they were in the Presidential Villa to intimate the vice president on some of their needs such as roads, electricity and having a tertiary institution in Omuo kingdom.

The monarch said Osinbajo promised to look into their plight and do his best to address them.

Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz

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Plateau crisis: Sango formally resigns as PDP Chairman

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Chief Damishi Sango, the embattled Plateau Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Friday formally stepped aside by handing over to his deputy, Mr Amos Gombe.

The Nigeria News Agency , reports that Sango’s resignation was announced by retired Lt.-Gen. Jeremiah Useni, the leader of the party in the state.

Useni, also PDP governorship candidate in the 2019 general elections disclosed this at a stakeholders meeting in Jos on Friday.

“Sango is no more our state chairman as directed by the National Secretariat but now a member of PDP Board of Trustees (BOT).

“Mr Amos Gombi, his deputy, is now the acting chairman of PDP in the state. This was done to settle whatever crisis we were having.

“Left for us the leaders of the party in the state, there is nothing like PDP I and PDP II because we are one big family undivided.

“The allegation that Sango collected money from the headquarters for 2019 general elections was not true because three of us signed for whatever stipends given to us by the National Secretariat.

“So, the insinuations raised against him (Sango) were but false and a disservice to him,” he stated.

Useni, who was flanked by his running mate, Mr James Dalok, described PDP as a big family devoid of any form of division and ready to reclaim its stolen mandate at the Court of Appeal.

“Our appeal is coming up on Nov. 22, with great and strong belief that we shall emerge victorious.

“But no matter the outcome of the appeal, we shall end up at the Supreme Court because I will never give up the fight.

“I am a dogged fighter, and never give up. That’s why I attended all the sittings at the Election Petition Tribunal to the end.

“What I want from you people is your continuous prayers for God to help us reclaim our stolen mandate,” Useni said.

Edited by Ali Baba-Inuwa

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Appeal Court’s verdict: Okowa restates call on Ogboru to join him in building Delta

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Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta has again urged his challenger, Chief Great Ogboru of the All Progressive Congress (APC), to join hands with him to build the state.

Okowa, who was  a candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the March 9 governorship election, made the appeal on Friday in Asaba.

He  thanked God for  the Appeal Court’s verdict of Friday in Abuja, upholding his victory as duly elected governor of  the state.

The governor was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Chiedu Ebie.

“This is a reaffirmation of the events of the March 9th when more than  900,000 Deltans voted for the re-election of my  administration.

“On the Sept. 20, the Tribunal ruled that I (Okowa) was validly elected and today, Nov. 15 is further reaffirmation of that by the Appeal Court.

“We asked the opposition to join us in building a stronger Delta,” he said..

Edited by Shittu Obassa

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Kogi Election: CDD cautions electorate against vote selling

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The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) on Friday cautioned Kogi electorate not to sell their votes in Saturday’s governorship election.

CDD Director, Ms Idayat Hassan disclosed this in a statement by the Election Analysis Centre (EAC) of the organisation.

She said concerns were mounting as vote buying raised its ugly head in the Kogi election.

Hassan said less than 24 hours to the opening of poll for the election, CDD accredited and trained observers had been keeping close watch on the electoral process.

“The good people of Kogi should be aware that if they sell their votes, they are mortgaging their future and compromising the possibility of good governance for their own benefits.

“This is because there are indications that a lot of money has been set aside for vote buying on Saturday.

“Already, our observers have noted the distribution of gift items such as Ankara textile materials and rice in Lokoja and Koton Karfe Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.

“In addition, the latest report we are receiving from our observers indicate massive inducement of INEC Supervising Presiding Officers (SPOs) across the 21 LGAs of the state.

“The report indicate that one of the parties has made overtures, and has been inducing the SPOs with bribes in foreign currency to buy them over, and get them (the SPOs) to do its bidding on Election Day,’’ he said.

Hassan said that the report was further confirmed by Bureau de Change (BDC) operators in the state who were interviewed and they attested that there were upsurge in the number of customers calling to change foreign currencies to naira.

She said that the use of financial inducement to subvert the credibility of the electoral process was antithetical to the democratic ethos.

“CDD condemns in the strongest possible terms all forms of inducement of poll officials, the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) expressly frowns at bribery and all forms of inducement of poll officials.

“Specifically, Section 124(4) of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended states: “Any person who commits the offence of bribery is liable on conviction to a maximum fine of N500, 000 or imprisonment for 12 months or both,” he said.

Hassan called on anti-corruption agencies, particularly the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to thoroughly investigate the report.

She urged the anti-graft agencies to do the investigation in order to hold to account perpetrators of the electoral crimes.

She also advised EFCC, ICPC and the police to closely monitor financial transactions with a view to arresting all suspects inducing voters and electoral officials.

She urged INEC to fine tune its monitoring mechanisms to ensure that all compromised electoral officials were removed from the process immediately.

Edited by Abiemwense Moru/Ali Baba-Inuwa

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