The Cross River State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Dr. Mathew Achigbe, was killed in an autocrash along Afikpo Road in Ebonyi State, the Nation reported on Saturday night.
Even though details of the incident could not be immediately ascertained, it was learnt a couple of other people died in the crash with him.
He was travelling to his hometown in Obubra Local Government Area for a meeting when the accident occurred, it was learnt.
Meanwhile, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Raheem Olawuyi, was on Saturday declared the winner of the Ekiti/Irepodun/Isin/Oke-Ero Federal Constituency bye-election held across the four councils in Kwara.
The Returning Officer for the election, Prof. Abimbola Adesoji, while declaring the result at the Irepodun Local Government Secretariat in Omu-Aran, said Olawuyi polled 21, 236 to emerge winner.
He defeated his closest rival, Saheed Damilare of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who polled 18, 095.
Abimbola, who is of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, said Olawuyi having scored the highest number of votes in the election was declared winner.
Other contestants in the election were Femi Ona-Ara of Labour Party, Ajadi Olayemi of Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN) as well as Olaniyan Ayorinde of Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN).
Abimbola gave the total number of total registered voters as collated as 168, 707, accredited voters as 41,185, the total valid votes as 39,599, total number of rejected votes as 1, 331 and total number of votes cast as 40,930.
A senatorial aspirant of the All Progressives Congress(APC) in Ondo State, Dr. Tunji Abayomi has dumped the ruling party for the Action Alliance(AA), alleging irregularities, marginalisation and unconstitutional action by the APC leadership.
The incumbent Ondo North Senator, Prof Ajayi Boroffice was cleared by the National Working Committee(NWC) to re-contest the seat for the senatorial district in 2019 while the APC leadership in the state favoured Abayomi as its candidate for the seat.
Abayomi in a letter to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, described as unacceptable to his people the denial of their constitutional rights which was against the laid down constitution and rules of the party.
His words ” It is never the leaders who at any rate are expected to be chosen by the people that impose candidates in democracy. This is why the constitution of APC defines candidates as “any person who has been nominated at a primary or party election to contest at a general election”.
“In keeping with long standing determination to fight for my right and your right, I will run for Senate in Ondo North Senatorial Zone on the platform of Action Alliance,” he said.
Pastor Tonye Cole, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State, and his team on ward-to-ward consultation narrowly escaped assassination at Bakana-Kalabari in the state, according to a report monitored via the Nation.
Cole, a businessman and co-founder of Sahara Group, however, said yesterday in Port Harcourt, that he remained undeterred in his determination to ensure good governance in Rivers.
The Director-General of Tonye Cole Campaign Organisation, Dr. Chidi Lloyd, also stated that the standard bearer of APC in Rivers would pull the state out of backwardness, poverty and the abyss of bad governance.
He disclosed that it took the security detachment attached to the APC’s governorship candidate to repel the attackers from advancing to kill Cole, a Pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG).
The campaign organisation’s chief said: “Bloodbath was averted at Old Bakana, as gunmen alleged to be sponsored by a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) serving commissioner in Nyesom Wike’s government from the area, opened heavy gunfire on Pastor Cole and his team, as they were carrying out ward-to-ward consultation in the community.
“On arrival at the community and as is usual with the team, Pastor Cole and other leaders of the APC on the delegation had gone to pay a courtesy visit on the traditional head of the community, prior to commencement of the exercise, when heavy gunfire erupted from all directions of the community.
“Cole immediately showed courage and leadership by ordering his team members to remain calm indoors, while the security detachment attached to the team was allowed to repel the advancing armed attackers.
“It took a while before the marauding gunmen were repelled by the security men and the area secured. Subsequently, Cole directed that the exercise must go on at the designated arena, after which the team departed for Bakana to continue with the exercise.
“Tonye Cole Campaign Organisation and APC vehemently condemn the dastardly act, reminiscent of what was carried out in 2015 against the APC and its governorship candidate (Dr. Dakuku Peterside) in Okrika and other similar incidents carried out by PDP and their gunmen across Rivers State.”
Lloyd also reiterated that just on Thursday, instead of the PDP members to tackle its internal crisis that had snowballed into open confrontation between them in Ikwerre Local Government, they found it convenient to blame APC members for the violence and killing of two persons at Ipo in the LGA.
He noted that Rivers APC leaders also alerted the world that the PDP leaders were merely pointing at the APC to cover up their internal turmoil, while emphasising the fact that it was a ploy to prepare the grounds for them to commence another round of bloody attacks on APC members in the state, declaring that in just about 24 hours, their fears had manifested.
The Director-General of Tonye Cole campaign organisation said: “The governorship candidate of our party, Pastor Cole, is a God-fearing gentleman, whose only driving force to lead Rivers State is hinged on his conviction that every aspect of Rivers society is broken and needs urgent mending. He believes that if our youths are given jobs, they will not make themselves available for criminal enterprise.
“Let us serve notice that forces of darkness behind the violence and their allies will never be able to deter, intimidate or stop Pastor Cole and his supporters from the task of providing the enabling environment to mend and pull our society out of backwardness, poverty and from the abyss of bad governance.
“We call on the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Director of the Department of State Service and other security agencies to thoroughly and diligently investigate the incident and all such incidents, with a view to bringing to justice those directly and indirectly behind them.”
Lloyd assured that APC’s governorship candidate would be Rivers governor from May 29 next year, through the massive support of the state’s electorate, who he said were yearning for positive and impactful change.
Nigeria is said to practice the most expensive democracy in the world with office holders earning upto N15million or more but outgoing Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has claimed that he did not earn salaries throughout the eight years of his administration.
Speaking during an interactive programme tagged ‘Ogbeni Till Day Break’, the governor who is handing over to his successor Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola on November 27, said since it was the state that was feeding him, fuelling his cars and provided him with accommodation, there was no need for him to be paid.
Aregbesola also said that he did not have bank accounts where money was kept in any part of the world.
He said, “I have not collected salaries since I became the governor of the state. The state feeds me, fuels my car and provided me accommodation. With all these, I don’t need money. I have no money and bank account anywhere.
“I have no house except the one I built before I became the governor. Anyone can go out there to investigate if I have bank accounts.”
He said he would vacate the government house tomorrow adding that the decision to leave the government house earlier was to give his successor enough time to do necessary renovations.
When asked what his regrets were as a governor in the last eight years, he said he had no regrets.
He said, “If you give me another four years to rule again, I will still do what I did before and I will not do anything differently.”
On his next political plans after office, Aregbesola said he was going to rest for awhile from politics.
“I have been in politics since my secondary school days. I have been an absentee husband for many years because of politics but for now, I want to be with my wife,” Aregbesola said.
On his achievements, the governor said he was happy that his social investment programmes supported and transformed the lives of the people in the state.
He also said that the infrastructure development his administration embarked upon would continue to be a reference point in the state, adding that all the roads he built would last for the next 50 years.
Aregbesola, however described his successor as a silent achiever and a goal-getter expected to build on his legacies.
He said “Oyetola is not radical like me but he is a silent achiever. He contributed immensely to the success of my administration and I know he will do well in office.”
Is Senate President Bukola Saraki losing his grip in Kwara State which has traditionally been his stronghold?
That is the question on the lips of many as the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC late Saturday night declared Mr Tunji Olawuyi of All Progressive Congress APC as the winner of the bye-election for Irepodu /Isin/Ole Ero/Ekiti Federal Constituency to fill the vacant seat of Late Finke Adedoyin who passed on recently.
The INEC returning officer, Prof Abimbola Adedoji who announced the result said Mr Tunji Olawuyi of the All Progressive Congress APC polled 21,236 votes to defeat its rival Saheed Alatishe of People Democratic Party PDP who polled 18,095
Earlier, there was massive turn out of voters in most polling units in communities in Oke-Ero Local Government Area.
The atmosphere was peaceful as voters conduct themselves orderly while security agents were seen at polling centres and some other strategic areas monitoring security.
Voters who came to polling centres with temporary voter’s cards could not however vote as card readers did not authenticate their cards.
Speaking with journalists after casting his vote at Oro ward II, Onikoyi polling unit, Oro town, minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, commended the conduct of the election, saying that he was impressed with massive turn out.
The minister, who expressed the APC to win the election, said that people of the area were mobilized before the poll.
Also speaking at Ajase Ipo ward 1, in front of Olupo palace, the PDP stalwart and commissioner for Finance, Alhaji Demola Banu, who said that the election witnessed impressive turn out of voters, however, said that people complained of malfunctioning of card readers in some areas.
Traditional ruler of Odo-Owa in Ekiti local government area of the state, Oba Joshua Akinyemi Adimula, condemned use of only card reader machine, saying that alternative of manual accreditation ought to be allowed.
He said insistence on the card reader alone denied many people of the right to vote.
Chairman of the local government, Joseph Oni, who voted in his Idofin-Igbana community expressed satisfaction with turn out of voters and the conduct of the election.
Oni, who said that there was no vote buying or any other malpractice in the exercise, explained that replacement of the machines were made by INEC officials where card readers were not functioning properly.
There was however a clash among party supporters in Ekan-meje community but security agents quickly came in to douse tension.
Also speaking, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Kwara State, Alhaji Attahiru Madami, commended voters for their peaceful conduct .
Madami, who spoke to journalists at Osi 07 Unit 0001, S.D.A school , Osi in Ekiti local government area of the state noted that “The electoral process as been so peaceful, perfect and encouraging. In fact, I am highly impressed and it is my hope that Nigerians will emulate Kwara State in future elections.
“Card readers are functioning well and security agents are in full charge. It is my advice that politicians are to accept the outcome of the polls humbly and with the spirit of sportsmanship.”
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has totally condemned the bye-election that held in Kwara State, today, citing heavy intimidation by Security Agents on the order of the All Progressives Congress, APC, coupled with thugs, who were employed to manipulate the entire process, in favour of the APC, allegedly.
The Senate President however, thanked the people of Ekiti/Oke Ero/Isin/Irepodun who came out to vote, despite the siege laid by the Security Agents and Thugs.
The statement reads in full:
We thank the people of Ekiti/Oke Ero/Isin/Irepodun, who came out to vote today, defying the heavy intimidation and the siege laid by the Security Agents and thugs, invited into the 4 LGAs by the APC.
The public should note that today’s #KwaraByElection was simply between the PDP and Security Agents, plus APC. This was due to the heavy deployment of Police, Soldiers, and other Security Agents, who gathered to support the APC, and harass PDP Leaders and supporters.
This is the first time that elections in Kwara State will be held under such charged, tensed, and militarised conditions. We had INEC Officials complaining about their own safety; and PDP supporters were brazenly intimidated, which resulted in low turn out of voters.
It is important to reiterate that ahead of the 2019 elections, such open displays of intimidation are sending wrong signals. Our democracy is being undermined with this misuse of our nation’s security apparatus. #KwaraByElection
Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, arrived Yola, the Adamawa State capital on Saturday, and was welcomed by a crowd consisting of supporters of various political parties.
His supporters were only allowed to queue at the area from the airport gate to PZ roundabout, as officials of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and security operatives barricaded the entrance into the airport, and allowed only selected persons access.
The former vice-president was driven in a convoy to his Dougirei residence, where he addressed a crowd on the need to vote for the PDP.
“My victory at Port Harcourt is your own victory and the North-East. But the task is far from over; you have to vote for PDP from top to bottom. Vote for me, our governorship candidate and other candidates of our party,” Atiku said.
Immediate past chairman of the PDP in Adamawa, Chief Joel Madaki, confirmed to newsmen that the crowd was constituted by members of various political parties.
He also dismissed the claim that President Muhammadu Buhari was more popular in Adamawa, stating that those who thought so “must be day-dreaming”.
“From the calibre of the people you see in this place, it clearly tells what Adamawa people will be doing on February 16 next year,” he said.
Our correspondent sighted several aides of Governor Jibrilla Bindo at the airport and later at Atiku’s residence.
The North East Development Association (NEDA), a political group, has passed a vote of confidence on the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration and called for the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
The group made the called in a statement jointly signed by its Chairman and Secretary, Messrs Mohammed Bulama and Bitako Umar, and issued to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Bauchi on Saturday.
It said their decision was garnered through consultation with all the stakeholders in every sector of the region, influenced by brain cracking, arguments and counter arguments as well as careful researched efforts which formed the basis that the APC administration led by Buhari qualified for re-election.
“This is because the history of governance in Nigeria, APC under President Buhari has done tremendously well in the sub-region,” it said.
According to the statement, Buhari’s laudable projects had direct bearing on the lives of people in the North East and Nigerians.
It explained that their support was based on the president’s numerous achievements in the areas of security, corruption, agriculture and economy, among others, in the region and the entire country at large.
The group said the need for a second term was in order to also sustain the ongoing war against corruption and effective management of Nigeria’s resources.
“Buhari’s re-election would ensure continuity in the positive affairs of the nation.
“The people of the region must also play their parts in the task of nation-building by supporting President Buhari-led government’s effort at moving the country forward.’’
The group reiterated that its decision was based partly in recognition of the laudable achievements of the president and his team in the last three years.
“We resolved that the region would remain committed to the unity of the entity called Nigeria, despite we have our son who is jostling for same seat,” the statement said.
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While many are still scratching their heads to predict who the next governor of Lagos State will after the exit of Akinwunmi Ambode, Business mogul, Femi Otedola seems to have the answer already as he has announced the ‘governor in waiting’.
Otedola has ‘formally’ endorsed the Lagos State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu for governor.
Otedola, who is the Chairman of Forte Oil PLC, was only last month rumoured to be running for governor on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, a report which he neither denied nor confirmed.
Media entrepreneur, Mr. Dele Momodu had said in September that Otedola had personally confirmed to him that he would be contesting the governorship seat.
Already, the PDP has given the Lagos Guber ticket to Jimi Agbaje and it is not clear if this is what informed the move made by Otedola this weekend.
In a post on his official Instagram handle on Saturday, Otedola described Sanwo-Olu as his childhood friend and the incoming governor of Lagos State.
A caption which was placed beneath a photo he took with Sanwo-Olu read in part, “Dinner at my residence yesterday evening with my childhood friend, APC governorship candidate, Jide Sanwo-Olu; the governor in waiting.”
Fully aware that the endorsement by Otedola is not all that he needs, Sanwo-Olu has stressed the need for various campaign groups of the three senatorial districts to embark on reconciliatory moves of all aggrieved members to engender total victory for the party’s candidates in the 2019 general polls.
Sanwo-Olu gave the task while addressing Executives of the West Senatorial District of the Buhari, Sanwo-Olu Independent Campaign Group, ICG, led by former Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Lagos chapter, Moshood Salvador and other stakeholders, held at the campaign Secretariat, Maryland, Onigbogbo Local Council Development Area, LCDA of the state.
Sanwo noted that any victory recorded in 2019 would not be for him alone but all members of the party, adding that he had extended an olive branch to everyone who felt cheated or shortchanged so that they would work as a team and build a formidable party that would be victorious at the polls. According to him: “We will campaign together, get victory for Lagos State and get the victory for President Muhammadu Buhari and for all other contestants, that is our target and we will achieve that if we work as a family.”
The Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is to kick-start his campaign for 2019 general election through an address to Nigerians on Facebook on Monday.
A statement issued by Atiku Presidential Campaign Organisation, on Saturday in Abuja, said that Abubakar would use the address to launch his policy document.
“In his address, the PDP presidential candidate will present his vision for Nigeria and his action plan to achieve it as encapsulated in his policy document.”
The organisation said that the decision of Abubakar to kick-start his presidential campaign with the launch of his policy document is to reiterate his commitment to run an issue-based campaign.
“The intention is to take our policy directly to Nigerians and to register the belief of Abubakar that it will take the collective efforts of every Nigerian to rebuild the country.
“That is why we want Nigerians to access the policy directly and ultimately take ownership of it,” the statement said.
It added that the campaign of the organisation would offer a simple message: “united, the people of Nigeria can begin anew, creating a prosperous and secure future and a better life for every Nigerian”.
It stated that on the first working day of the campaign, the PDP and its candidate, Abubakar would put forward his plan to get Nigeria working again.
“We have chosen to do this by having the PDP Presidential candidate speaking directly to the Nigerian people on Facebook.
“This medium came about as part of the telecommunications revolution that he helped start as Vice President in 1999-2007.
“We have also chosen to have our candidate speak online as it facilitates the ability for anyone to download a copy of his policy document at no cost, as we intend this to be the policy of every Nigerian.
“Our policy document focuses on creating jobs, ensuring security, growing business, developing power and water infrastructure, agriculture and education and how we will empower women.
“Our policies outline the goals and methods for developing and revitalising Nigeria as the foundation of our campaign.
“This policy document is being launched to encourage a dialogue with the people of Nigeria, inviting everyone to join us in helping to get Nigeria working again.”
It said that Abubakar looked forward to conducting vital discussions as he travels across the length and breadth of Nigeria, meeting and talking with stakeholders.
The stakeholders according to the organisation, include farmers, small business people, workers, students, mothers, and children.
“We recognise that this will be a vigorous and hard fought election. We are completely confident that with peaceful, free and fair elections, we will be victorious.”
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