Bayelsa Gov’ship: PDP Clears 21 Aspirants for Primaries

The Peoples Democratic Party has cleared 21 aspirants from Bayelsa state for the party’s governorship primaries scheduled for September 5, 2019 for the selection of its candidates in the November 16 gubernatorial elections in the state.

Speaking with news men in Abuja on Wednesday evening, the National Publicity Secretary of the Party, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, said 21 aspirants from Bayelsa State were cleared.

According to him, those cleared in Bayelsa State are Kaniebi Okoko, Great Maciver, Franklin Osaisai, Ndutime Alaibe, Benson Agadaga, Frederick Agbedi, Reuben Okoya, Diri Douye, Talford Ongolo, Kemlea Okara, Gboribiogha Jonah, Benson Konbowei, Godknows Igali, Johnson Kiyaramo, Paulker Emmanuel, Yariela Oliver, Anthony George-Ikoli, Robinson Etolor, Nimibofa Ayawei, David Alagoa and Igiri Ziperedein.

They were screened at the PDP National Secretariat Wadata, Wuse Zone 5,Abuja by the screening committee headed by the Governor of Oyo State, Mr Seyi Makinde.

Addressing the aspirants, the National Chairman of the Party, Prince Uche Secondus said that the party had no preference as to the aspirants, who emerge the governorship candidates in Kogi amd Bayelsa states, adding that the party would ensure transparent governorship primary elections in the states.

According to him, ” the election of the ad hoc delegates will resume from Thursday. The elections will be transparently done to the satisfaction of all. The party and indeed the National Working Committee has no preferred candidates. We can’t do that to the the detriment of the party.

“Our only duty is to ensure that only the best candidates emerge. We will follow the rules to the letter because we want the best. Anyone that tells you that the party has a preferred candidate is deceiving you. The era of impunity in the party is gone.

“As the National Chairman, I will not preside where anyone will claim that he or she is the preferred candidate of the party.”

Bayelsa Gov’ship: I Won’t Support Any Candidate Outside Restoration Team, Says Dickson

The Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, has insisted that he will not support any candidate outside his Restoration Team on the platform of the PDP for the November 16, governorship election in the state. The PDP governorship primary in the state has been fixed for September 3, Daily Trust reports.

There were 21 PDP gubernatorial aspirants in Bayelsa but only eight of them belonging to the Restoration Team purchased the form and now undergoing screening ahead of the primary.

Gov. Dickson said the leadership of the restoration caucus would decide on who among the aspirants to support during the PDP primary.

In a statement, Special Adviser on Media Relations to the Governor, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, quoted Gov. Dickson saying this while inaugurating the restoration governorship primary election committee at the Government House in Yenagoa.

Mr. Soriwei said it would amount to “heavy moral burden” to support any aspirant of the PDP outside the restoration group. Gov. Dickson stressed that his upbringing and values which placed emphasis on reward for sacrifice, loyalty and steadfastness would not allow him to turn his back on those who stood by him as leader of the party in the state.

He also hinged his decision to support a restoration aspirant on the imperative of continuity, effective service delivery and commitment of the restoration caucus to the socio-economic growth of the state.

The governor dismissed those accusing him of refusing to support a certain aspirant, insisting that it was his right to decide who to support during the PDP gubernatorial primary.

Gov. Dickson further said there was no law in the PDP constitution that prevented elected local government officials from becoming delegates in a primary.

He said, “There are people who fought to stop our chairmen and councillors from participating in the last election and they failed. The propaganda out there is that our elected chairmen and councillors are not going to participate as delegates in the election.

“Let me make it clear that no one by the rule of this party will prevent elected council officials from voting as delegates. No one will stop them from entering the venue to vote for a candidate of their choice.”

Supreme Court Strikes Out Atiku, PDP’s Appeal Seeking Permission To INEC Server

Atiku Abubakar and Uche Secondus, National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The Supreme Court has suspended proceedings to rule on an appeal by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the last presidential election, for permission to be allowed access to a supposed server owned by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), The Nation reports.

The Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) had on June 24, 2019 dismissed an application by Atiku and the PDP requesting permission to have access to the central server, which they claimed INEC used for the February 23 poll.

It is the decision of June 24 that Atiku and the PDP now appealed at the Supreme Court.

A panel of the Supreme Court (led by Justice Datijo Mohammed after taking arguments from Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, (for the appellants); Yunus Usman, SAN, (for INEC); Wole Olanipekun, SAN, (for President Muhammadu Buhari) and Charles Edosomwan, SAN, (for the All Progressives Congress), rose briefly to consider the arguments and return for its decision.

The Election Petition Court, at the Court of Appeal, Abuja, had, while dismissing the application by Atiku and the PDP, held that INEC, having denied the existence of the said server and insisted that results of the election were not electronically transmitted into any server as claimed by the petitioners (Atiku and PDP), granting the application would amount to deciding the central issue in the petition at the interlocutory stage.

The court’s Presiding Justice, Justice Mohammed Garba, who read the ruling, added that granting the application would imply that the court had “indeed recognised and found out that there is a central server into which results of the held on February 23, 2019 were electronically transmitted by the 1st respondent (INEC).”

Bayelsa Guber: Dickson’s Audio Record Causes Crack In PDP

Daily Post: “It appears there is major crack in the fold of the Bayelsa state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), over controversial audio tape record of Gov. Dickson’s position on the forth-coming Governorship Primaries of the Party.

“The Governor of Bayelsa State, Hon. Seriake Dickson yesterday openly berated the former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC), Chief Timi Alaibe over alleged controversial audio tape, describing him as blackmailer.

“The controversial audio tape, had the State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson addressing some party faithfuls, boasted that the former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and former National Security Adviser, Col. Aliyu Gusau had begged him on behalf of Timi Alaibe but he rejected the plea and vowed not to betray those that had worked for him.

“Governor Dickson, in a statement by the Special Adviser, Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, accused Chief Timi Alaibe of alleged circulation of ‘a cynically manipulated version of addresses he delivered during political meetings and other fora with the intent to blackmail him for assumed political benefits.’

“According to the Statement, “the former NDDC boss was resorting to blackmail out of desperation to win the gubernatorial primaries of the PDP at all costs. It was absurd that Alaibe would go to the extent of manipulating audio recordings of his speeches for distribution to respected Nigerians with the intent to blackmail him”.

“He maintained that he regards all the aspirants including Alaibe as his brothers and friends and would not do anything to destroy any one of them.

“He said, “It has come to the attention of the government that the former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Chief Timi Alaibe, has been spreading manipulated audio recordings of Governor Dickson’s public utterance during meetings.

“It is curious that Alaibe would rather dissipate energy to the propagation of mischief rather than focusing attention on his gubernatorial campaigns.

“We wish to reiterate for the umpteenth time that the Governor as a major stakeholder in the issue of the governorship primaries is entitled to his own political views and decisions. That does not preclude any politician with genuine interest from testing his popularity with the delegates.

“It is important to stress also that the Governor’s decision not to reward disloyalty with the candidacy of the party is an informed decision of conviction.

“Alaibe would do well to focus on the campaigns to actualize his aspiration rather than the spreading of a campaign of calumny against a man whose name is not on the ballot. Nigerians and leaders of the PDP should expect more of this blackmail as we move closer to the primaries.”

“Reacting to the development, the Timi Alaibe Campaign Organisation , in a statement titled ‘we are too focussed to be distracted’ and signed by its administrative Secretary, Prof. Seiyefa Birisibe, stated that the allegation leveled against the Chief Timi Alaibe is a clear attempt to incite the public against him.

“According to the statement, “For the records, let it be stated that we as a campaign organisation, take serious exception to the wrong use of tar-brush loaded words and gutter language to describe the person of our Principal with the intent to incite the public against him; particularly over an issue he knows absolutely nothing about. This is unacceptable.’

‘Neither Alaibe nor any member of his Campaign Organisation was at the meetings referred to in the public statement issued on Wednesday. If any of us has access to the recorded discussion mentioned in the public statement, such access can only be traced to the originators of the statement.

“Our focus is to conduct our campaign on issues that will lead to the development of Bayelsa State through a shred economic prosperity and not waste energy and time on commonplace matters’.

‘Since the beginning of the search for a successor to Dickson, and in spite of provocative and insulting statements by certain individuals and groups, including serving commissioners in the state, this is the first time we have decided to say enough is enough. Our silence should not be misconstrued to mean timidity, fear or any such thing. It was basically and still a measure of the respect we and our Principal have for the person and office of the Governor. Unfortunately, that respect has not been reciprocated’.

‘At the point of expressing interest in this race, we were enjoined by the party leadership to run a clean campaign. We have been faithful to that directive and will continue to be. This is an internal contest in which the eventual choice of the party would need the support of other contestants to win the governorship election. It would therefore be unhelpful to take up issues with anyone as though winning the party ticket is a matter of life and death; certainly not with the governor who is neither a contestant in the race nor expected to sponsor any of the aspirants.’

‘Let it be known that we are not desperate but determined to win this race, by the grace of God. We will not allow ourselves to be distracted neither shall we engage in any indecent act or sinister strategies for the sake of this race. We are too focused to be distracted.”

Obaseki Is My Brother, We’re Not Fighting, Says Oshiomhole

The National Chairman of All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, has blamed the media for creating friction between him and Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, The Punch reports.

Arising from a meeting with Obaseki at Oshiomhole’s Iyamoh residence in the Estako West Local Government Area of the state, which lasted late into Monday night, Oshiomhole said the rift between him and the governor was the creation of people with personal interests, while he described Obaseki as his brother.

Speaking to journalists after the closed-door meeting, which lasted for about an hour, Oshiomhole said the meeting was not unusual as he was in constant touch with Obaseki.

The APC chairman said, “It is not an unusual visit; the meeting afforded me the opportunity to meet with my brother and with people I have worked with.”

Obaseki also noted that the visit was to celebrate the Islamic holiday with his former boss.

“There is nothing unusual about this meeting; we decided to come here to celebrate Sallah with my predecessor,” the governor said.

He added that people who thought there was a rift between him and his predecessor should “stop thinking.”

Bayelsa: APC Replies PDP, Says Allegations Are Wild And Unfounded

The Bayelsa state All Progressives Congress (APC) Chairman, Jothan Amos, has said that allegations from the state PDP chairman Moses Cleopas, accusing the APC of attempt to subvert justice in the election petition tribunal, are wild and unfounded.

The PDP chairman had alleged that there are moves by the ruling party to influence the decision of the Elections Petition Tribunal, in the petition filed by the candidate of the PDP in the last National Assembly election, Rt. Hon. Konbowei Friday Benson, the immediate past Speaker of Bayelsa State House of Assembly, against Hon Preye Influence Oseke.

In a reaction on Tuesday, Jothan Amos said the allegations are a product of the “PDP chairman’s imagination, perhaps hallucination.

“The PDP candidate in the Federal House of Representatives election, for Southern Ijaw Federal Constituency, Friday Konbowei Benson lost fair and squarely to our candidate Hon. Preye Oseke,” he said.

Mr Amos noted that every true son and daughter of Southern Ijaw can attest to the fact that Hon. Konbowei’s 12 years sojourn at the state house of assembly was a disaster and had no bearing on the people of Southern Ijaw.

“The people of Southern Ijaw rejected him at the polls because he failed them woefully. We don’t need to subvert justice in order to affirm our victory, the facts we laid before the election tribunal speaks volume and we believe our victory would be upheld by the tribunal”

He said the wild allegations by the PDP, has constrained them to be worried going by their antecedents.

“Our experience with the PDP has shown that whatever they accuse you of, is actually what they are carrying out against you. As much as we would want to be confident in the incorruptibility of the eminent jurists at the National Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal, we would at this juncture appeal to the conscience of the eminent jurists, to resist any attempt by the PDP and its agents to have them compromised.”

“With these wild and unfounded allegations, we are sure that the PDP are desperately trying to subvert justice. While we would love to believe in the incorruptibility of the jurists at the tribunal, we are on account of our past experiences with the PDP compelled to appeal to the jurists not to soil their hard earned reputation with the PDP’s filthy lucre”

Jothan Amos also cautioned his PDP counterpart, to desist from making unfounded allegations, advising rather that they allow the case that is before a competent court to be treated on its merit, rather than deliberately attempting to pre-empt the eminent jurists, saying such action amounts to contempt of the court.

He further asked the public to disregard the PDP chairman’s baseless allegations, saying it is quite a shame that a supposed Pastor would turn himself into an agent of falsehood and mischief, acts that are clearly against the tenets of the Christian faith.

He also challenged the academic qualifications of Hon. Konbowei Benson, wondering how he could have obtained his OND and HND in the same year 2003.

“The PDP as a party is known for the sponsorship of unqualified and bad candidates. Can Moses Cleopas explain to Bayelsans how one of its celebrated governorship aspirants obtained two corresponding degrees the same year and is without the mandatory NYSC certificate or exemption letter?

“Bayelsans deserve the best, unfortunately the PDP thinks otherwise but the end of their evil plan for Bayelsans has come.” the Bayelsa APC Chairman said.

Oseke of the All Progressives Congress was declared winner of the February 23, 2019 House of Representatives election in Southern Ijaw Federal Constituency by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Rt. Hon. Konbowei Friday Benson of the Peoples Democratic Party, the immediate past Speaker of Bayelsa State House of Assembly, is challenging the victory of Hon Preye Influence Oseke, who won on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, at the Tribunal.

Ask Oyo Civil Servants About Missing Vehicles, Ajimobi Tells Makinde

Former Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, yesterday called on his successor, Governor Seyi Makinde, to beam his searchlight on the activities of civil servants and those working in his government instead of accusing officials who served in his administration of carting away government properties after the expiration of their tenure, THISDAY reports.

He said the advice became imperative because of the repeated claims of the present administration and its efforts to allegedly tarnish his (Ajimobi’s) image and that of his aides over missing government properties, especially vehicles.

The former governor made the call while speaking with journalists at his Oluyole, Ibadan residence, after observing the Eid-el-Kabir prayer at the Ansar-Ur-Deen prayer ground at Oke Ado area of the capital city.

There had been accusations and counter-accusations between the immediate past and present political administrations in the state over missing government vehicles.

Ajimobi, who recounted that he did not meet home appliances, furniture, kitchen utensils among others at the Government House in 2011, said he tried to avoid a repetition of the same because he worked till the last day of his tenure in office on May 28, 2019.

According to him, “Again, if we are talking about vehicles, I think papers have been documented. When you are in government, there are policies and decisions to be taken. We’ve taken the decisions that anybody using government vehicle at that time should pay and take it away. And that was what we did. Go to every state of the federation, there is nowhere in the world that people will work and not take away their vehicles when they are leaving.

“Bayo Adelabu, our governorship candidate, who will still be the governor by God’s grace, was given 14 vehicles by the corporate organisations that he left. I left my last corporate organisation with eight vehicles, and that is not even in government. So what is all the noise about vehicles? When I got there, did I meet any vehicle?

 “My brother Alao-Akala took his vehicles and I didn’t talk or make any noise about it, so what is this noise about it? More so, they are all old vehicles for that matter.

“So, let them go and check many of those people (civil servants) in government. When I moved into the Government House, I didn’t meet any furniture; they took the whole curtains, chairs, tables, televisions, other home appliances even table spoon. Ask Governor Makinde if they took anything from the Government House when he got there-even spoons and knives-I left them there, because it was because I worked up till the last day in office.

 “But Akala left few days before I came, so the civil servants cleared everything. So who took all those buses they show on television to mechanic workshop, if not civil servants.

When asked if he had any regrets after leaving office, he said his only regret was that he tried to be perfect in an imperfect world, but that if given the chance again to govern, he would take the same decisions he took.

Kogi Gov’ship: Those Challenging Me Should Have Equal Opportunity, Says Bello

Governor Yahaya Bello has assured the people of Kogi State of adequate security of lives and property ahead of the November 16, governorship election in the state. Gov. Bello who spoke to journalists yesterday after observing Eid-el-Kabir prayers at his Okene country home, urged politicians, aspirants and their supporters to go about their campaigns peacefully, Daily Trust reports.

He warned that whoever indulged in electoral violence before, during and after the election would be treated like “a common criminal.”

The governor equally urged his supporters not to view those who indicated interest to contest in the election with him as having committed an “offence”, adding that democracy was all about giving people opportunity to make choice. 

He said, “Those challenging me in the forthcoming APC primary should be given an equal opportunity to contest. “As a responsible government, the security of lives and property is our priority and we will extend it to all aspirants.” He, therefore, cautioned some leaders in the country to desist from inciting the public against President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, saying the president was doing his best and should be supported by all Nigerians to enable him succeed.

AAC Expels Sowore Over Anti-Party Activities

The African Action Congress on Friday expelled its National Chairman and publisher of Sahara Reporters, Mr Omoyele Sowore, from the party over allegations of anti-part activities and insubordination.

The AAC, at its nation convention held in Owerri, the Imo State capital, also expelled 28 other members of the party for acts inimical to the growth of the party.

The party immediately announced its secretary, Leonard Nzenwa, as Sowore’s successor.

The motion to expel Sowore and others was moved by Chief Emeka Ezeife and seconded by Mr Nasiru Abdul Rahman.

Ezeife said Sowore should not be allowed to continue to bring public shame to AAC.

Speaking after he was sworn in, Nzenwa said he would not be the kind of chairman Sowore was.

He said, “The AAC is  poised to take over power in 2023 through the ballot and not through any unconstitutional means. We acknowledge the constitutional rights of citizens to peaceful protest against the government, but we are aware that this constitutional right does not include the right to resort to unconstitutional takeover of the government of the country or any part thereof.

“We as a law-abiding party dissociates from any move to unconstitutionally topple the government and any individual who may have done that in the name of the party did so without our consent and clearly did not do so in the name of the party or on its behalf.”

INEC To Begin Deregistration Of Political Parties

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it is set to begin deregistering a number of political parties in the country, TVC News reports.

INEC said this is because a number of them did not get the amount of votes in the last general election, as required by law.

Nigeria had 93 political parties at the beginning of the year, but only 73 fielded presidential candidates in the general election.

As the ballots were counted in February, it was clear the battle was between two parties – the All Progressives Congress and the People’s Democratic Party.

About 85 percent of the political parties were left to share just 30 thousand votes; and that is out of the 29 million votes cast.

With their poor showing, INEC has decided to unregister them in line with section 225 of the 1999 constitution as amended.

The electoral commissioner has the power to do that if a party fails to win 25 percent of the votes cast in one state of the federation in a presidential election or one local government in a state governorship election or fails to win one ward in the chairmanship election or a seat in the state house of assembly or Councillor election.

The proposed move has got politicians talking.

Parties may no longer exist, if INEC goes ahead with its plan unchallenged.