Tag Archives: Goodluck Jonathan

Tinubu: Jonathan plotting to block me from emerging Buhari’s running mate

Bola Tinubu

A national leader of the All Progressives Congress [APC], Bola Tinubu, has accused President Goodluck Jonathan of mounting a campaign to block him from picking the vice presidential ticket of the party.

He said the president and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP], were afraid that the combination of a former Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari, and himself as the APC presidential and vice presidential candidates, could wreck them in the February 14 election.

He was responding to an article published in a popular online medium, Sahara Reporters titled, “How Jonathan Blackmailed Bola Tinubu before 2011 Presidential Election: Season of Wrong knives.”

The former Lagos governor is accusing the President of being behind the report even though Sahara Reporters  is not known to be a fan or mouth piece of Mr. Jonathan.

Mr. Tinubu, is angling to run on the same ticket in the presidential election with Mr. Buhari, who was elected the APC candidate last Thursday.

However, it is believed that some of the party’s leaders are not comfortable with the combination because both are Muslims.

The statement by the Tinubu Media Office, on Tuesday, said the unfolding “smear campaign” against the former governor did not come as a surprise.

It said the campaign against Mr. Tinubu had been in the works for years since the Jonathan-led government realized that the APC leader commanded a powerful political followership.

“The successful merger and birth of the APC posed the most potent threat to the PDP and Tinubu, an architect of the merger, has become a marked man,” the statement said.

“The thought of a Buhari-Tinubu ticket confounds the PDP hierarchy and their crisis-battered president. That Tinubu might be nominated as General Buhari’s running mate also incenses the small element within the APC who joined the party not for its progressive vision but to exploit its platform to press forward their vision of themselves.

“Having failed at halting General Buhari’s bid, the PDP disinformation machine has thrown itself into overdrive trying to stymie the selection of Tinubu. Sadly, some elements within the APC – elevating their personal ambition over party and national interests — have lent themselves to this endeavour.”

The statement recalled that during the Nazi takeover of Germany, “madman” Adolf Hitler became jealous of those within his own party who showed independent thought and who would not allow themselves to be bent just so he could satisfy his megalomania.

Outraged by the situation, Mr. Hitler engineered a purge executing the lot of them., a bloody scheme that became known as the “night of the long knives.”

It said Nigerians had entered the “season of the wrong knives.”

Reeling out some of the allegations made in the campaign against Mr. Tinubu, the statement said the one on the academic qualification of the APC leader was not new.

“What is new is how desperate they have become to stir up a new controversy using an old lie,” it said.

“In the past these allegations were successfully rebutted. Recent attempt to present them as fresh allegations will not go unchallenged.”

It said the online report also claimed that Mr. Tinubu withdrew his support for the ACN in the 2011 election due to blackmail by the president.

It however noted that it was rather odd that the report coloured the former governor as the villain.

The statement argued, “If the report were true, he would be a victim. President Jonathan and his administration would be guilty of the high crime of extortion.

“This tiny consideration seemed not to dawn on the authors of this scurrilous piece; so fixated on stabbing Tinubu, they implicate their own boss in wrongdoing. So eager to please their master, Jonathan’s mindless men further ensnare him.

“If Tinubu had been scared off in 2011, it would make no sense for him to spearhead the formation of the APC against the same president.

“If the president had such control over TInubu why didn’t the president use that leverage earlier to scuttle the APC before it gained a strong position in the political space?  The story makes no logical sense.”

The statement said while the authors of the article claimed the former governor did not attend Chicago State University, they cited as their evidence, a letter from the US Consulate.

It however said a closer look at the letter suggested that Mr. Tinubu’s name was misspelt.

It said the authors likely misspelt the last name so that the name search would reveal nothing.

“This is clever but immoral; it is a wrong knife,” it said.

“Meanwhile, Tinubu has genuine documents and pictures showing him as an award-winning student at the school. Nigeria should be proud that one of its own graduated an honor student from an American university over thirty years ago when that was more of a rarity than it is today.

“Instead, his detractors want to pretend he never set foot on campus.”

The statement recounted that as late as August 2012, Mr. Tinubu visited the university and was given a special reception and a tour by the school’s president.

It argued that this would not have been done for a stranger but for a distinguished alumnus.

It said after graduation, the former governor landed jobs with two well established international companies, one the accounting firm Deloitte and Touche and the other, ExxonMobil.

It also stated that such companies investigate applicants’ academic backgrounds and that if he had not attended the school, these companies would not have hired him.

On the allegation of drug running levelled against Mr. Tinubu, the statement said it was the lowest form of calumny.

“He has never been arrested, charged or indicted for any drug-related crime,” the statement said.

“Had any such suspicion existed, the American government would not have granted him political asylum during the Abacha era. Under American law, asylum cannot attach to anyone who has broken or offended that same law.

“Moreover, Tinubu travels frequently to the states. This means he has a visa. American law prohibits visa issuance to anyone reasonably suspected of drug dealing, let along being convicted of the same.”

“If I were Tinubu, I would place a wager with the PDP. He should offer to fly to America if the PDP would also send Mr. Kashamu. Both can fly to Chicago. Then he should bet the PDP who would return to Nigeria first. We all know the answer.”

The statement said the vicious campaign against the APC leader was being run from the PDP’s basement.

It said, “They fear him. They cannot assail his competence and experience. He has been an able senator and governor. They cannot assail his commitment to democracy. He has personally sacrificed more for democracy than all the PDP hierarchy combined.

“They fear his ability to campaign, to get out the vote and to protect that vote, especially in the southwest because they know that is the pivotal region where the election will likely be won or lost.”

The statement said the authors, who it described as “assailants” were desperately trying to scuttle Mr. Tinubu’s potential candidacy.

“In that the truth offers them no solace, they resort to lies. They seek to ambush the man under cover of innuendo and untruth. But their aim is off and their knives are wrong. In the end, what they use to injure him will turn to point against them. Such is the outcome when one engages in malice.

“Thus, they seek to prevent a person who may be controversial yet he is perhaps Nigeria’s most able and versatile politician, strategist and policy maker. For perhaps the most gifted politician of his time not to seek national office is a luxury a nation in this dire circumstance can ill afford.

“In the end, governance has little to do with religion, region or rumour. It has to do with vision and competence. The wrong knives will never be able to cut that truth.”

No time limit for returning Chibok girls alive – Nigerian Presidency

Doyin chibok

The Nigerian presidency has dismissed concerns over the prolonged abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls from Chibok, Borno State, saying the government has no time limit to return the long-suffering teenagers alive to their families.

The message, delivered Monday by a presidential spokesperson, appeared to imply that the government is taking its time to rescue the girls who have been in Boko Haram captivity for nearly nine months.

The girls were kidnapped on April 14 by the extremist group, which has recently seized territories in Nigeria and is pushing for the creation of an Islamic State.

The Nigerian government has in the past ruled out the use of force for the rescue of the girls.

Attempts at negotiations have also failed, the biggest being a ceasefire the government said it agreed with Boko Haram in October, which turned out false.

Speaking on Channels TV programme, Sunrise Daily, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Doyin Okupe, said the government had no time limit on when the girls should be expected home alive.

“There is no time limit for returning the girls alive,” Mr. Okupe said. “The issue of the Chibok girls is a national tragedy that must be borne with fortitude. Government has not given up on finding and rescuing the girls.

Mr. Okupe said the Chibok girls’ case remains a “major thorn in the flesh of this administration”, and assured that the government would have done anything possible to have them released if that were possible “yesterday”.
Mr. Okupe said the issue demanded extreme caution to avoid losing the girls.

Describing the girls’ kidnap as not the regular incident involving the seizure of one or two persons, the presidential spokesperson said the rescue of over 200 girls must be handled with utmost care.

“Any mistake will lead to their death. That is why we (the government) are caught between the devil and the deep blue sea,” he said.

He cited President Goodluck Jonathan’s visit to Chad’s President Idriss Deby, as an indication of the extent the government would be prepared to go to have the girls back.

On the security situation in the North East, particularly in states where emergency was declared, Mr. Okupe said the military was now in “total and perfect control”, as the insurgents have since been driven out from all territories, including Mubi, Baga, and Gwoza, they were said to have occupied.

According to him, the military has not only re-organised itself, it has overhauled its operational and administrative capacity with increased funding and equipment.

He said the insurgency in Nigeria has since taken a multi-national colouration, which was beyond the country, with the extremists group having contacts with networks in the Islamic Maghreb, Al Qaeda and ISIS that are ideologically highly motivated than the soldiers.

“Ideological insurgency is an extremely difficult situation to cope with. That is why I say we are in a state of war. Soldiers are not trained to kill themselves like the insurgent. They are trained to use their weapons to stave off the attack of the enemy,” he said.

“Even if the government were to line up the over 200,000 military men Nigeria has along the over 1,500 kilometres distance of the North East border, Mr. Okupe said it would not be adequate to secure the area, as they would still be about 10 metres apart from each other.”

#Nigeria2015: Nigerians ask Jonathan, Buhari to campaign on issues

Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammad Buhari during the recent Centenary celebration

Nigerians have asked the two major candidates for next year’s presidential elections, Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari, to base their campaigns on issues.

President Jonathan is the candidate of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, while Mr. Buhari, a former military head of state, is the candidate of the opposition All Progresives Congress, APC.

The Nigerians, who spoke on Saturday at separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja, appealed to the contestants not to use foul language. They said that the presidential candidates should base their campaigns on issues rather than resort to insulting each other. According to them, the two political figures must keep to the rule of law as outlined by the Electoral Act.

Anacletus Afiko, a civil servant, said the country’s democracy had moved from being nascent to a developed one, adding that “the politicians must be seen to grow with similar speed.”

“What we want is a president that can be accessible and be our friend,” he said.

Abdullahi Michi, a car dealer in Nyanya, said that the 2015 campaigns should be devoid of abuse and direct defamation of the characters of the two personalities.

“Buhari should know better, having served as Military Head of State; and Jonathan as sitting President that the sanctity of Nigeria should be uppermost and not the position,” he said.

He further said that the camp of the two contestants should ensure that their bosses were not instigated to throw caution to the wind.

“We need peace and development, violence only breeds retrogression and pain,” Mr. Michi said.

Janet Achadu, a teacher, said both candidates must ensure that their promises were achievable, adding that Nigerians are maturing very fast and they are beginning to decipher the capacities of their political leaders.

“As for me, our leaders should form the right synergy to take the country from the wood like it is done in the U.S., where former presidents are handy to assist the incumbent,” she said.

She further said that the processes leading to the 2015 general election had been peaceful so far, adding that Messrs. Jonathan and Buhari should not deviate from that path.

(NAN)

Court strikes out PDP’s suit seeking to unseat defecting governors

Amaechi group Sokoto

An Abuja Federal High Court on Friday struck out a suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, urging the court to sack its five governors who defected to APC.

Delivering his ruling, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, held that the suit’s originating processes were invalid because they were wrongly issued and served on the defendants.

“This suit is struck out as the originating summons has been declared invalid.

“It is preposterous, audacious and breath-taking for the plaintiff to argue that the defendants sued individually in personal capacity, could be served through the office of the party to which they defected.

“Having been described as governors of their respective states, who carry out most of their functions in their states’ capitals, it was wrong to assume that they reside or operate from APC headquarters in Abuja.

“Since APC is not a party in the suit meant to sack the governors, it is wrong to provide the APC’s address as the place where the governors could be served,’’ Mr. Kolawole ruled.

PDP had in Dec. 2013 sued governors: Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Abdulfatai Ahmed (Kwara).

The PDP also joined the impeached Adamawa Governor, Murtala Nyako, whose name was removed from the suit shortly after his impeachment and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as defendants.

The party had through its counsel, Alex Izinyon, prayed the court to declare the defecting governors’ seats vacant, and order INEC to conduct elections to replace them.

Mr. Kolawole further upheld the argument of the governors’ counsel that the originating processes, issued by the Federal High Court, Abuja Division, meant for service outside jurisdiction ought to be endorsed.

He held that the PDP acted in violation of the provisions of Section 96 of the Sheriff and Civil Processes Act (SCPA) with respect to the serving of court processes.

The party ought to have applied for and obtained the court’s leave before engaging in substituted service, the judge said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reported that the party had served the originating processes on wrong address, which it claimed was the headquarters of the APC, which the court later set aside.

PDP again obtained an ex-parte order for substituted service of the originating processes through newspaper publication, which it published on July 3, 2014 in Thisday newspapers.

The governors faulted the procedure adopted by the PDP in serving them, arguing that the plaintiff failed to obtain the leave of the court to serve them through substituted means. (NAN)

Buhari has nothing new to offer, except ‘tired ideas, provocative utterances’ – PDP

Olisa Buhari

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has welcomed the emergence of former military Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari, as the presidential flagbearer of Bola Tinubu’s All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2015 general elections.

This will be the fourth time General Buhari will be contesting in the presidential elections. On each of the three previous occasions, he failed to articulate a vision of the future that was acceptable to
Nigerians.

On each occasion, his brand of politics was rejected across Nigeria. Apart from changing to a dinner suit, Mr. Buhari has not changed the tired ideas and provocative utterances that Nigerians rejected in previous elections.

We hope that this time round, Mr. Buhari will conduct a campaign that is issue-based and devoid of ethno-religious sentiments.

We are convinced that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, remains the only truly national political party in Nigeria, a platform on which all Nigerians can pursue their legitimate aspirations.

We also believe that despite the distractions, President Goodluck Jonathan has a genuine record of accomplishments on which to run and deserves a second term.

President Jonathan’s re-election will guarantee unity and stability for Nigerians. His second term will also deliver prosperity to Nigerians.

Finally, in the words of our own president “The choice before Nigerians in the coming election is simple: A choice between going forward or going backwards; between the new ways and the old ways; between freedom and repression; between a record of visible achievements and beneficial reforms – and desperate power-seekers with empty promises.”

Signed:
Olisa Metuh
National Publicity Secretary

Nigeria2015: Jonathan picks Vice President Namadi Sambo as running mate

Jonathan visits Sambo

President Goodluck Jonathan has named Vice President Namadi Sambo his running mate as he seeks re-election in February.

Mr. Jonathan made the announcement early Thursday after accepting his endorsement by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as the party’s candidate for the election.

Announcing a running mate was a decision closely watched at the party’s national convention, amid speculations Mr. Jonathan may opt for someone different from Mr. Sambo, whom the president first named his vice in 2010.

In his speech, Mr. Jonathan said he will not fail Nigerians if re-elected.

Mr. Jonathan said his administration will fight and win the war against corruption, a malaise he has been extensively accused of doing little to curb.

He also assured aggrieved members of the PDP that their grouses will be amicably resolved.

President Jonathan signs National Health Bill

Jonathan Goodluck, President of Nigeria

The Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, has signed the long-awaited National Health Bill.

This was confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES, via text message, by presidential spokesperson, Reuben Abati.

“Yes, he did weeks ago and the bill has since been transmitted back to the clerk of the National Assembly,” Mr. Abati said.

In July, a report on the bill was presented by a House committee assigned to consider amendments and the results of public hearings on the bill.

The committee was presided over by Deputy Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha.

However, no amendment was made by the House at plenary when it was passed. The Senate had earlier approved its version of the bill.

The bill clearly defines the various roles and functions to be played by the three tiers of government on health related issues.

It is expected to help Nigeria achieve universal health service, guarantee improvement in the health sector, regulate healthcare practice, and promote professionalism among healthcare givers.

The bill is also expected to set standards in health care services rendered across Nigeria and also help eliminate medical quacks in the system.

It seeks among others, the enablement to provide one per cent of Nigeria’s consolidated revenue fund for the development of primary health care.

The various states across Nigeria through this fund, are expected to improve on primary health care services in their states.

The bill also covers provision of health care insurance for Nigerians especially the less privileged.

About 15 percent of the one percent fund will be for the provision and maintenance of facilities, equipment and transport for PHC facilities, while 20 per cent will cover essential vaccines and consumables for all eligible primary healthcare facilities across Nigeria.

Also, 50 percent of the one percent fund that is provided for in the clause 11 under a Basic Health Care Fund will be utilized by the National Health Insurance Scheme to provide health coverage.

The bill in its entirety also takes care of the continuous crisis within professional health bodies in Nigeria.

PDP picks governorship candidates nationwide – LIVE UPDATES

President Goodluck Jonathan [Right].

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is today conducting its primary elections nationwide to elect governorship candidates that would fly its flag in the February 2015 elections.

As usual, PREMIUMT TIMES correspondents have been dispatched to the various election centres across Nigeria to bring you live updates of the primaries.

Based on current permutations, the contest is expected to be fierce in Rivers, Lagos, Nasarawa, Plateau, Ogun, Taraba, Imo, Kaduna and Akwa Ibom States because of the political gladiators angling to pick the party’s tickets in the states.

However, primaries will not hold in Edo, Ekiti, Osun, Ondo, Anambra, Bayelsa and Kogi states because there will be no election in those states in 2015. The serving governors were elected at different times over the past four years.

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12.34

LAGOS

At the venue of the gubernatorial primaries of the Lagos Peoples' Democratic Party, PDP, in Ojota.

Six aspirants are contesting to fly the party's ticket in next year's governorship election in Lagos, but Musiliu Obanikoro and Jimi Agbaje are seen as the major contenders.

Over a dozen police patrol vans and police officers, armed with AK 47 rifles, numbering over 100.

Journalists and delegates are still barred from the venue "until they are told to come in," according to a security guard at the gate.

12.40

OGUN

The stage is set for the primaries at the party secretariat located along Presidential Boulevard, Abeokuta.

Policemen and other security operatives have taken positions at different strategic locations. Police screening those qualified to enter the premises

However, there are speculations that the national secretariat of the party has ordered a  temporary suspension of the congress.

As at 11.20a.m. delegates are yet to arrive the venue.

The party chairman, Dayo Bayo, is said to be holding a closed-door meeting with one of the party officials from the headquarters of the party in Abuja.

Journalists are as at now at door step of chairman's office to interview him over update on the conflicting report about the congress

12.43

RIVERS Voting has been completed in Rivers, and counting of ballots has started. Former Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike, seems to be ahead of the other contenders.

12.51

KEBBI

Accreditation of delegates has commenced.

The exercise commenced at about 10:11 a.m at the Haliru Abdu Stadium, opposite Cabinet Office in Birnin Kebbi.

The exercise is peaceful so far, with delegates and officials conducting themselves in an orderly manner.

Twelve aspirants are expected to contest in the primaries.

12.55

OGUN

The Chairman of the PDP in Ogun State, Dayo Bayo has just ended a closed-door meeting with one of the electoral committee member, Yakubu Abdullahi.

Mr. Abdullahi later left the secretariat although he assured the chairman he would get back to him on phone.

Mr. Bayo prevented journalists from gaining access to Mr. Abdullahi  for interview.

In an interview with journalists, the chairman said he had no instruction to halt the congress.

But it is clear there is confusion of some sorts.

12.58

Armed police officers are still blocking the venue of the Lagos PDP primaries.

Delegates and journalists are still outside. And more police patrol vans and police officers are arriving.

Lagos_PDP_primary

13.03

OGUN

Delegates screening commences

12.43 p.m:  Former Deputy Governor, Salmot Badru, walked into the venue alongside Iyabo Apampa, a notable women leader of the party.

12.43 p.m: One of the governorship aspirants Kayode Amusan, walked in, accompanied by three armed mobile policemen.

12.46 p.m: Adijat Olaleye, member of Ogun State House of Assembly walks in.

12.51pm: Another governorship aspirant,Gboyega Isiaka, walks in with police escort.

13.09

Rivers

Nyesom Wike wins Rivers

Former Minister of state for Education, Nyesom Wike, has emerged as the candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Rivers state.

He scored 1083 votes out of a total of 1108 delegates votes.

“My victory is victory for democracy,” he said. "I will reclaim the stolen mandate of the PDP and recover what is rightly ours in rivers state. The era of rascality and impunity has caused Rivers state dearly.  Today, the state enjoys a pariah status.”

13.16

OGUN

1.07 P.M: Buruji Kashamu, controversial moneybag of the South-West PDP,  arrives the venue of the primaries, accompanied by about 50 bouncers.

13.26

Akwa-Ibom

Voting is expected to commence by 2:00 p.m. in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state capital city.

Although there are over 20 aspirants under the ruling PDP, immediate past Secretary to the State Government, Udom Emmanuel, is widely expected to clinch the ticket. He has the blessings of governor, Goodwill Akpabio.

13.32

Rivers

Controversy trails Rivers State PDP primaries as 17 out of the 24 aspirants cleared to contest the election boycotted the event held in Community Secondary School, Nkpolu in Port Harcourt. Only seven of the aspirants attended.

13.33

Nasarawa

The primaries in Nasarawa state is taking place at the auditorium of  the Federal Polytechnic, Nasarawa.

Delegates are being accredited at the institution's Guest House and would be  moved  to the venue afterwards.

The state chairman of the party, Yunana Iliya, arrived the venue at about 12.pm and inspected facilities.

Labaran Maku, former minister of Information, came to venue about 1.28pm in company with well armed security operatives and exchanged pleasantries with people around.

Nine aspirants are contesting namely: Aliyu Akwe Doma, Labaran Maku, Musa Husseini, Jibrin Yakubu, Solomon Ewuga, Chris Mamman, Yusuf Agabi, Damishi Luka, and Mike Abdul.

13.36

Kebbi

Accreditation of delegate for the Kebbi State Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship primaries has commenced.

The exercise commenced at about 10:11am at the Haliru Abdu Stadium opposite Cabinet office Saturday in Birnin Kebbi.

The exercise commenced in a peaceful atmosphere with delegates and officials conducting themselves in an orderly manner.

12 aspirants are expected to contest in the primaries.

Meanwhile, the primary election in the Kebbi Central Senatorial District is still inconclusive with the emergence of Abubakar Gari-Malam withdrawing from the governorship race to join the Senatorial election.

Buhari Halidu Jega was expected to emerge unopposed following the earlier withdrawal of Sen Adamu Aliero.

13.43

NASARAWA

The primaries in Nasarawa state is taking place at the auditorium of Federal Polytechnic, Nasarawa.

The state chairman of the party, Yunana Iliya, arrived the venue at noon to inspect facilities.

Labaran Maku, former minister of Information, arrived the venue at 1:28 p.m. in company of well armed security operatives.

Nine aspirants are contesting the ticket: Aliyu Akwe Doma, Labaran Maku, Musa Husseini, Jibrin Yakubu, Solomon Ewuga, Chris Mamman, Yusuf Agabi, Damishi Luka, and Mike Abdul.

13.45

Imo

The primary in Imo is taking place at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri. Accreditation of delegates is ongoing.

Already, delegates from seven out of the 27 local government areas of the state have been accredited.

The stadium is almost filled to capacity. Security operatives have taken over the gates to the stadium and are frisking those going inside.

13.51

Plateau

Journalists barred from Plateau PDP governorship primaries

Many journalists could not gain entrance to the Rwang Pam Township Stadium, Jos, Plateau State where PDP governorship primary election will hold. PREMIUM TIMES gathered that only 20 pieces of press tags were handed over to the officials of the Plateau State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists even though there are about 100 reporters from eight chapels covering the state.

Armed police officers deployed to the stadium to provide security for the exercise are chasing away journalists without press tags. The security personnel explained that they were given instruction not to allow journalists without the tag into the venue. Journalists with the National Identity Card of the NUJ and those of individual media organisations were turned away by the police.

The acting chairman of the PDP in Plateau State, Raymond Dabo, could not be reached for comments as he did not pick a call made by PREMIUM TIMES reporter, seeking to know why the press tag could not be given to all the reporters.

There is tight security in and around the Rwang Pam Township Stadium, Jos where the primary election is holding. Business places within the stadium have been shut while all streets linking the area were barricaded since Sunday evening. Meanwhile, as at 1:00 p.m. the exercise was yet to commence. No single delegate can be sighted at the venue now. Only the security personnel can be sighted.

14.10

Plateau

Plateau State has a total of 826 delegates for primaries.

Those jostling for the ticket include the incumbent Deputy Governor, Ignatius Longjan; the three serving senators, Gyang Pwajok, and Victor Lar, Sunny Tyoden; former Vice Chancellor of the University of Jos, John Clark; the immediate past Speaker of Plateau state House of Assembly, Hezekiah Jimka; a retired Commissioner of Police, Nandom Pyennap; a serving House of Assembly member, John Alkali; an architect, Haruna Dabin; and the immediate past PDP chairman in the state, Third Republic Governor of the state, Fidelis Tapguz.

Others are Godfrey Miri, a retired state Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC, Jimmy Cheto, Kemi Nshe, a serving Council chairman of Shendam, Jonathan Sheni, a retired civil servant, Rufus Bature, a pastor, Jonah Wuyep, former Chief of Air staff, Joseph Golwa, Bitrus Nabasu, Longmas Wapmuk, the immediate past Director General Industrial Training Fund ITF. One of the aspirants and a former senator, Cosmos Niagwan died a week before the final screening of governorship aspirants.

14.30

Akwa-Ibom

Voting is about to commence in Akwa Ibom primaries, holding at the International Stadium. The venue is secured by about 300 security officers.

Over 1,100 delegate from the 31 LGAs of the state are waiting to vote. The delegates were acrredited without hitches. Delegates are already seated waiting to votes.

The state governor, Godswill Akpabio, has arrived the venue.

14.34

BAUCHI

The PDP gubernatorial primary in Bauchi State is yet to commence.

There are few party officials inside the Multipurpose Hall, Wunti, venue of the event. Security personnel are all over the place.

The aspirants include a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Yahyale Ahmed, former Minister of State for Health, Ali Pate, Auwal Jatau, Senator Adamu Gumba, Alhaji Bappa Azare and Senator Babayo Gamawa.

There are indications the former SSG to Bauchi State, Aminu Hammayo has withdrawn from the race.

14.37

LAGOS

As at 1.30 p.m., still nothing in Lagos.

Armed police officers are still blocking the entry to the venue. In fact, their duty has been bolstered by the arrival of two police dogs.

The crowd outside the venue has increased to hundreds of delegates, party supporters, and area boys.

No aspirant has arrived yet.

But a Black Maria is here.

14.39

LAGOS

Gun shots and tear gas by the police.

14.40

Bode George and his wife, accompanied by about half a dozen police escort vehicles, have just arrived.

The gunshots and tear gas canisters fired by the police have stopped.

But journalists, who had huddled by the gate during the police shootings, remain locked outside the venue.

14.48

Kaduna

In Kaduna State, the Chairman of the Electoral Panel, Steve Oru, has addressed the delegates and journalists on the rules and procedure for the primary election.

The Vice President, Namadi Sambo, the state governor, Mukhtar Yero, and other top members of the PDP members from the state are at the Murtala Square, Kaduna, venue of the elections.

Voting has commenced with statutory and ad-hoc delegates from Sanga Local Government Area of the state.

Among the contestants are Mr. Yero, former senator, Haruna Aziz, Hassan Hyat, Lawal Yakawada and John Ajeye, a retired Air Commander have all stepped down for the governor.

Unconfirmed reports say Messrs. Hyat, Yakawada and Ajeye stepped down for Mr. Yero following the vice president's intervention at a meeting held last night.

Meanwhile, the governor has earlier declared today a work-free day to enable citizens who have not collected their Permanent Voters Card, PVC, to do so.

15.06

Plateau

As at 2:30 p.m., no delegate or party officials has arrived Rwang Pam Township Stadium, venue of the PDP governorship primaries holding in Plateau state.

A musician hired to perform at the event is currently entertaining the security personnel and a few journalists who could gain entrance to the venue.

Some journalists have left the venue because the exercise is yet to commence.

Meanwhile, it was gathered that delegates of the PDP governorship primaries are confined to an undisclosed hotel within Jos. Some of the delegates cannot be reached on their mobile phones.

15.35

Nasarawa

The Nasarawa State PDP gubernatorial primary election has been moved from the auditorium of the Federal Polytechnic, Nasarawa, to the institution’s Guest House where the accreditation is going on.

The Publicity Secretary of the party, Mark Neto, said that the change in venue was effected to forestall the disruption of the exercise by the students of the institution.

15.36

Akwa-Ibom

Voting has commenced in Akwa Ibom State with delegates from Abak Local Government Area taking their turns.

Delegates are filling out in queues to cast their vote. Delegates from some other Councils are also voting now.

Some of them that are breaching the process have been asked to take their seats. The process is going on smoothly.

15.38

Sokoto

In Sokoto, accreditation of delegates has just begun at the Giginya Memorial Stadium.

Those in contention for the PDP governorship ticket in the state are the incumbent Deputy Governor, Mukthar Shagari, former Nigeria’s Ambassador to Morocco and former senator, Abdallah Wali, former Minister of Sports, Yusuf Suleiman, and a former senator, Abubakar Gada.

15.41

Nasarawa

An aspirant in Nasarawa State and serving senator, Solomon Ewuga, has complained that a woman who was not as delegate was allowed to come into the venue of the primary election. The woman whose name is not known has been walked out of the venue by the police.

15.44

Ogun

PDP NWC Cancels Ogun Governorship Primaries

A press release from the headquarters of the People's Democratic Party is claiming the Ogun governorship primaries have been cancelled. The release is published below.

The National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has cancelled the conduct of the Governorship Primary election in Ogun state. For the avoidance of doubt, the NWC hereby states that it did not authorise any governorship primary in Ogun state. Consequently, any such exercise held in Ogun state is hereby declared null and void and of no effect. A new date will be communicated for the primaries. Signed: Olisa Metuh National Publicity Secretary.

16.09

Cross River

Frontline aspirant, Goddy Agba, walks out of Cross River primary election venue

The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship contest in Cross River State, took a turn for the worse on Monday, when a leading contender for the governorship seat of the state, Goddy Agba, opted out at the twilight of the primary election.

The aspirant, in a statement issued in Calabar by his media consultant, Phrank Shaibu, said that his withdrawal was hinged on the grounds that the delegates’ congress list was fraught with irregularities.

"The party has confirmed our initial suspicion and fears that they were desperately committed to excluding Prince Goddy Jedy Agba from all democratic processes leading up the fulfilment of his gubernatorial ambition," the statement said.

"From the initial proclamation that he was not a member of the party to the cancellation of the November 1st ad hoc delegate congress, his purported suspension from the party and now, the mutilation of the delegates list, it is doubtful that the playing field for the intended Cross River State PDP Governorship primaries would be sufficiently balanced, rather it is likely to lean in favour of the outgoing state Governor’s purported choice of candidate.

“Anyone, that understands Nigerian politics a little should know how important it is for an incumbent State Governor to see that his successor covers his tracks.

“However, this should not be a crucial role for the PDP’s appointed panel in redefining how a democratic process of electing the next governor of a State in a civilized society should be. Otherwise, if allowed, it will amount to deprivation and oppression of the electorate. In turn, this may bring about chaos and active or passive rebellion by many people.

“Even when one does not feel a sense of worry for the PDP if it loses Cross River State to another Party in the governorship and general elections, it is time our political leaders learnt how to take decisions that would build our democracy than destroy it. Democracy is about more than holding elections. A real and true democracy should reflect the will of the people.”

16.13

Ogun

Voting in progress in Ogun despite order by the PDP national leadership to suspend the exercise. At the time it did, former Governor Gbenga Daniel, who is a delegate was absent.

Also absent were some governorship aspirants such as Tony Ojesina, Yanju Lipedem Remilekun Bakare, Sarafa Ishola, Yomi Majekodunmi, David Bamgbose, Isiaq Akilade and Rafiu Ogunleye. Similarly, there was no member of the Electoral Committee from the party's national secretariats to conduct the election.

16.13

AKWA IBOM 21 governorship aspirants, led by Ambassador Assam Assam, walk out in protest in Uyo over what they called adulterated delegates list. Governor Godswill Akpabio's anointed candidate, Udom Emmanuel, may be declared winner.

16.19

Akwa-Ibom

Voting ends in Akwa Ibom

Voting ends in Akwa Ibom State and collation is in progress. Frontline aspirant, Udom Emmanuel, hailed the process. He says he had never seen a primary election that was as peaceful as the ongoing process. Senators Effion Bob, Emmanuel Ibok Essien, Aloycius Etuk and the incumbent Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Udo Kirean, also commended the process.

16.22

AKWA Ibom

Vote sorting has been completed, counting now in progress. So far, the name of Governor Goodwill Akpabio’s preferred candidate, Emmanuel Udom, is a frequent occurrence in the vote count.

16.31

LAGOS

Things have become calmer now. But the gate into the venue remain blocked by police.

Police have continued to harass journalists, this time using dogs to chase them from the gate of the venue. And journalists are threatening to boycott the event.

Earlier, before police began firing shots, some hoodlums were seen sharing guns out of a bag.

About half a dozen people are now locked up inside the Black Maria.

16.33

Kaduna

Former Minister of Aviation, Hassan Hyet, Abdullahi Yakawada and Samson Ajeye have stepped down for incumbent, Ramalan Yero, we have onfirmed. The contest is now between incumbent  and Haruna Zego Aziz. [caption id="attachment_172701" align="aligncenter" width="526"]Kaduna state governor, Ramallan Yero, in White cap, voting at the primaries. Kaduna state governor, Ramallan Yero, in White cap, voting at the primaries.[/caption]  

16.39

Katsina

Reports we are reaching from katsina state say eight out of the nine contestants for PDP Governorship has stormed out of the venue of the election protesting irregularities.

16.41

Akwa-Ibom

As counting progress, Governor Akpabio’s candidate have scored 87 votes in the two local governments of Issien Udim and Ikot Okpene Local government.

The other 24 candidates are yet to score a vote.

16.46

Akwa-Ibom

I'll still be around as an elder statesman - Akpabio

Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State has commended the ongoing primary election in the state, saying the process has been transparent.

The governor, who emerged a senatorial candidate of the PDP on Sunday, said he would support whoever emerges after the exercise because he wanted the will of God and that of the people to prevail.

He said he needed somebody who could sustain the good governance in the states and improve the living standard of the people.

He prayed for the state to get money to enable his successor to continue with the development and legacies he already initiated.

Mr. Akpabio, who leaves office at the expiration of his second term in office next May, said he would still be around as an elder statement to offer advice on what should be done in the state.

17.00

KADNUNA

Voting has been duly completed by 1009 delegates from the 23 Local Govt Areas of Kaduna State. Counting has also commenced with Chair, Electoral Panel, Steve Oru sorting out ballot papers while Agents watch keenly.

17.20

Taraba

From all indications, the primary election in Taraba state may not hold today as the state’s acting governor, Sani Danladi, just led a delegation to the Wadata Plaza secretariat of the PDP in Abuja.

PREMIUM TIMES was told that the acting governor and other top members of the party are protesting the composition of the approved delegates list which they say favours the immediate past acting governor, Garba Umar.

A source, who declined to be named because he was not authorised to speak and who is in the delegation to PDP headquarters told this newspaper that “if the leadership of the party refuses to do something about this apparent bias, we will have no option than to leave the party”.

17.29

Kano

Screening yet to commence

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Kano is yet to commence full screening of delegates that will elect the party’s flag bearer for the February 2015 governorship poll.

The exercise will be conducted at Marhaba Cinema located at Firm Center and it will commence between 6 and 7pm.

About 2,000 delegates are expected to participate in the exercise. The breakdown of the figure shows that there are 1,452 Ad hoc delegates; 220 other delegates, who include are former chairmen of local governments; secretaries; treasurers; youth and women leaders; and 50 special delegates who are ministers, ambassadors, former Speakers of the National Assembly and the current serving House of Assembly members.

Eight governorship aspirants are vying for the ticket. Some of them are Mohammed Abacha, son of the late Head of State, Sani Abacha; Salihu Takai, Akilu Indabawa, and Mansur Ahmad. Others are Mustapha Mantaleta, Abba Muhammad and Bello Gwarzo.

The PDP State Publicity Secretary, Musa Danbimi, told PREMIUM TIMES that negotiation for withdrawal of some of the candidates was ongoing.

17.31

Nasarawa

Aspirants of the Eggon extraction, namely Labaran Maku, Chris Mamman, Solomon Ewuga, are currently holding a meeting at the venue, presumably to pick a consensus candidate among them.

17.33

Adamawa

Delegates have began voting at the Adamawa State governorship primary election holding at Old Parade Ground, Area 10, Abuja.

The election was moved to the federal capital after the party cited security challenges in the North East state.

In the meantime, only one aspirant, Nuhu Ribadu, a former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is at the venue of the event.

17.49

Taraba

Delegates waiting to vote at the Taraba PDP governorship primary in Jalingo, the state capital, have been told that the election committee members were yet to arrive.

The acting governor, Sani Danladi, took some of the state lawmakers and local government chairmen to Abuja to demand the postponement of the primary. Mr. Danladi is alleged to be working for a powerful cabal opposed to the former acting governor, Garba Umar.

Mr. Umar is believed to be favoured by majority of the delegates.

17.55

Plateau

The Organizing Secretary of PDP in Plateau State, Michael Dachung, has given reasons for the delay in commencement of the primaries in Plateau state.

Mr. Dachung, who spoke exclusively with PREMIUM TIMES at the Rwang Pam Stadium at about 4;27 pm, said the delay was as a result of late arrival of electoral officials charge with the responsibility of conducting the primaries from the national headquarters of the party.

"The officials arrived late, which necessitated the delay, but we have concluded screening of delegates, they are already seated, they were screen at the three senatorial zones of the state," he said.

Meanwhile, some aspirants said they not comfortable with the ballot boxes provided. Victor Lar, Godfrey Miri and Chris Bature, in separate interviews with journalists shortly after they arrived the venue, observed that the transparent ballot boxes provided could compel delegates to vote for the candidate sponsored by the state government for fear of victimization.

Aspirants who arrived venue of the primaries as at 4:30 pm including the lgnatius Longjan, Gyang Pwajok, Sunny Tyoden, Victor Lar, Chris Bature, Kemi Nshe, Godfrey Miri, Hafuna Dabin, John Clark and John Alkali has arrived venue of the Primaries at about 4:pm.

Also, a former Deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Mantu and Speaker of the Plateau state House of Assembly, Titus Alams, came in at about 4:27 pm and are already seated.

Meanwhile, a few journalists have been allow assess into the venue, though many do not have the approved press tag.

18.01

Plateau

Governor Jonah Jang and his wife, Talatu, and the National Legal Adviser of the PDP arrived venue of the governorship primaries at about 4:53 p.m. The acting Chairman of the party in the state, Raymond Dabo, has since arrived. The national anthem has been sang signifying the commencement of the exercise.

18.07

Adamawa - Abuja

‎L-R Speaker of the Adamawa State House of Assembly, Ahmadu Fintiri, Adamawa governorship aspirant, Nuhu Ribadu, and Senator representing Adamawa North, Ahmed Barata, at the venue of ongoing PDP Adamawa governorship primary election in Abuja. Ribadu at Adamawa PDP primaries

18.09

Nasarawa

One of the nine aspirants on the platform of the PDP in Nasarawa State, Musa Husseini, has withdrawn from the race.

Mr .Husseini who addressed the panel headed by Adolphus Wabara, a former Senate President, in the presence of the other eight aspirants, said he withdrew for Aliyu Akwe Doma, a former governor of the state.

Mr. Husseini, is a former attorney general and commissioner for Justice in the administration of former Governor Abdullahi Adamu.

18.11

Sokoto

In Sokoto, the primary election has commenced. So far, only delegates from three out of the 23 local governments have been accredited.

18.15

Lagos

Delegates screening still ongoing at the gate of the venue of the primaries.

Jimi Agbaje arrived five minutes ago to chants of "JK is OK. JK is Ok!"

Gani Taofeek, the Lagos PDP Publicity Secretary, have allowed some selected media houses - print and electronic only - into the venue.

18.19

Nasarawa

Former information minister, Labaran Maku, is protesting the delegate list of Akwanga West ward in Akwanga local government.

Mr. Maku was frantically raising his hand to complain but the chairman Mr. Wabara said that the list was given to him from the national headquarters of the party and that he has no power to change it.

18.19

OGUN
Ogun PDP elect Gboyega Isiaka as 2015 governorship candidate

The Ogun PDP has elected Gboyega Isiaka as its governorship candidate for the 2015 general elections.

Mr. Isiaka, who recently defected to the party from the Labour Party, LP, defeated his major opponent, Kayode Amusan, scoring 705 votes against Mr. Amusan's 150.

The primary was conducted in spite of  a statement by the national secretariat of the party, ordering a postponement.

18.28

ABIA

Abia PDP elects governorship candidate

Okezie Ikpeazu wins Abia PDP governorship election ticket, securing 487 votes to beat seven other aspirants at a primary in Umuahia

18.30

Kaduna

Incumbent Yero wins in Kaduna

Gov. Yero has emerged winner of the PDP gubernatorial primaries with 970 votes to defeat Sen. Aziz who got 1 vote.

Total number of votes cast 972. Mukhtar Ramalan Yero :970 Zego Aziz: 1 Invalid vote: 1

37 delegates abstained.

Governor Yero have been declared winner in Kaduna primaries.

18.46

Delta 

Voting has commenced in Delta State. Delegates are filling out according to their local governments to cast their votes. There are 25 Local Government Areas in the state.

18.53

Plateau

Pandemonium has broken out at the PDP governorship primaries in Plateau state; as aspirants and agents reject ballot boxes provided because they label with names of local governments.

All the aspirants threatened to workout of the venue of the election should the electoral panel insist on using the labelled transparent ballot boxes.

Reacting to the protest, the Chairman of the Panel, Abdullahi Ohioma, said: "After due consultation, we have decide to removed the label on the ballot boxes, so that the election can commence."

The chairman could not, however, stop the protest, as the venue has become rowdy.

The Commissioner of Police, Nasiru Oki, addressed security officials deployed to the venue to maintain law and order. The security personnel are manning the empty ballot boxes.

Meanwhile, Mr. Ohioma, in a welcome address shortly before the protest, said the panel had accredited 818 delegates who would be voting by open secret ballot secret, in accordance with their local governments.

The election is to commence with Wase, Mango and Riyom. Delegates have been allowed to cast their votes in any ballot box.

Other members of the panel are Rifkatu Samson, Salisu Magaji, Garba Ibrahim and state acting PDP chairman Raymond Dabo.

A total of 16 aspirants are contesting the Plateau state governorship seat.

Mr. Joshua Dariye who got the PDP ticket to contest the central Plateau senatorial district has arrived.

19.02

Akwa-Ibom

Akpabio's candidate, Udom Emmanuel picks Akwa Ibom PDP governorship ticket

The immediate past Secretary to the Government of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, has been declared winner of the PDP primary election in the state. Mr. Emmanuel polled 1,201 votes to defeat 24 other aspirants. The result was declared by the Chairman of the Election Panel, Bola Oyebowale.

19.10

Plateau

The 16 PDP Aspirants in Plateau state have identified some agents whom they described as “fake.” Responding to the development, one of the aspirants and a former governor of the state, Fidelis Tapgun, demanded that all the agents should be thoroughly screened.

"We have a lot of people here with agents tags who are not agents,” Mr. Tapgum told the Electoral Panel."The electoral panel should have brief and identify genuine agents." The former governor also said he will not accept night voting, saying "this place has no light, and it is getting late. So we will not do election in the dark."

Meanwhile, as at 6:25 p.m., the process had not commenced. Delegates and aspirants are in engage in discussions with panel members. Police and other security agents are not allowing close access to the aspirants and members of the panel.

19.15

Lagos

Aspirant wears bullet proof vest to primaries

One of the PDP Governorship aspirants, Babatunde Gbadamosi, popularly known as BOG, told journalists he wore a bullet proof vest to the primaries to avoid being hit by a stray bullet from the violence earlier today.

Although the party leadership had blamed the incident on thugs from the opposition party, Mr. Gbadamosi said it was PDP thugs that were responsible for the violence.

"I am wearing the bulletproof vest because I am afraid of being shot at but I am urging all my supporters to come and should not be intimidated," he said.

"There is fear of intimidation and some people in the party want to intimidate the delegates but we will ensure that everyone will vote fearlessly and as it pleases them."

He described as "unfortunate" the decision by the party leadership in Lagos to support Jimi Agbaje.

When asked if he was confident of winning, he said, "Would I have paid over N11m to purchase the form if I was not confident?"

19.26

Lagos

Voting begins in Lagos

The state chairman introduces all the six aspirants, with Agbaje and Obanikoro getting the loudest cheers from the delegates.

Initially, 20 ballot boxes, representing the LGAs in the state were placed before the delegates.

But the chairman said it would be reduced to ten boxes due to "popular opinion."

"Have confidence in the system. We want to build a greater Lagos, people who would ensure that things are done rightly in Lagos.

In the photograph below, some of the aspirants exchange banters before voting began

Lagos PDP Primaries - conestants exchange banters

19.40

Lagos

Modupe Chukwuneke, the only female aspirant, announces her withdrawal from the race.

"I want to thank PDP because it has given me an opportunity to aspire. I believe it has broken a myth.

"The reason I came out is because of the outcry by the non-indigenes regarding injustice and ill treatment by the APC.

"I have taken time to look at other aspirants and I have seen someone who I believe will have the interest of non indigenes at heart."

20.15

Sokoto

Former Sports Minister, Yusuf Suleiman, boycotts Sokoto State PDP governorship election primary, a statement says.

20.15

ADAMAWA

Voting has been concluded, officials are now counting the votes in the Adamawa governorship primary holding at the Old Parade ground, Abuja. The candidates running for the election include, Governor Bala Ngillari, Nuhu Ribadu, Ahmed Modibbo, Awwal Tukur, Marcus Gundiri and Aliyu Kama. After the results are announced, the delegates will begin voting for aspirants to the state House of Assembly.

20.24

TARABA

Ex-Taraba Acting Governor raises alarm over plot to subvert the will of the people A PRESS STATEMENT BY THE GARBA UMAR GUBERNATORIAL CAMPAIGN ORGANISATION Emerging reports have revealed that there is a fresh plot to subvert the will of Tarabans and disregard all well-known principles of democracy by unilaterally awarding the governorship ticket to a neutral candidate. Report reaching us indicates that faced with eminent defeat in the governorship primaries, some opportunistic politicians who have foisted their power on the people of the state have dubiously devised a new plan to pick a Muslim governorship candidate from the Southern Senatorial Zone on the pretext of satisfying the nebulous agitation for power shift. This is not only a slap on the integrity of the state but a brazen attempt to subvert the democratic right and will of the people, This is the latest in the plethora of frustrating plots to stop Alhaji Garba Umar from generously and democratically being elected as the PDP gubernatorial candidate in the state. While we are not against power shift, the constitutional power to take this decision rest squarely with the electorates of Taraba State and not on a select group of privilege people plotting to subvert the rights of the people, just to satisfy their personal interest. As far as we know, zoning political office is not constitutional and therefore cannot be foisted on the state by desperate politicians pursuing their personal and hateful agenda. The right of every electorate to choose their leader is a sacred responsibility or duty and not at the whims and caprices of any individual or group. We strongly believe that one day the governorship seat will move naturally to any part of the state including the Southern zone, depending on the credibility of the candidates. The members of the People’s Democratic Party PDP, in the state have already elected their delegates and the delegates are poised to elect their candidates for election into various offices during the forth-coming general elections. This process which is guided by the Nigerian Constitution is uniform throughout the country and therefore the right of every Taraban cannot be taken away under any guise as this will neither be tolerated nor accepted. We therefore warn that we will neither accept nor tolerate any attempt to impose candidates on the people without going through the democratic process, as any attempt to do so will be resisted with every option available to us. The beauty of democracy is to accord the people their right to elect candidates of their choice and not to narrow their choices to people who have not declared interest in contesting election let alone articulating any programme of development for the state. We wish to advise all aspirants to various offices to subject themselves to the electoral process instead of seeking to get to office through the window. We are also convinced that Tarabans are matured enough to decide the movement of political offices to various zones in the state, and at the appropriate time power will shift to credible candidates in any part of the state.

20.25

ADAMAWA

Ribadu wins Adamawa PDP governorship ticket

A former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Nuhu Ribadu, has clinched the governorship ticket of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] in Adamawa state.

Mr. Ribadu beat six other contestants, including the state governor, Bala Ngilari in an election which held at the Old Parade ground, Abuja‎.

The party’s National Working Committee, NWC, had moved the election to Abuja after Mr. Ngilari was accused by a panel sent to the state to conduct primary election for state Assembly aspirants of holding them hostage.

Monday's election results which was announced by the chairman of the election panel, Rufai Hanga, showed that Mr. Ribadu got 688 votes while Governor Ngilari got 26 votes.

Awwal Tukur, the son of a former chairman of the PDP, Bamanga Tukur, got 24 votes, a former Executive Secretary of the Universal Basic Education, Commission, UBE‎C, Ahmed Modibbo, had 30 votes while retired General Aliyu Kama got 3 votes.

Another candidate, Marcus Gundiri, who ran for governor on the platform of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria in the 2011‎ election, got 33 votes.

20.57

AKWAIBOM

21 gov aspirants in Akwa Ibom protest result, accuse State Govt of bribing delegates with N1m each to vote winner, Udom Emmanuel.

The 21 governorship aspirants who staged a walk out during the primary election of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, have rejected the result of the exercise, alleging that it was full of irregularities.

The aspirants specifically alleged that delegates to the primary election were induced with a bribe of N1 million to vote for the winner of the election, Udom Emmanuel.

The aspirants made the allegation in a letter they jointly signed and addressed to the Chairman of the PDP Governorship Electoral Panel, Bola Oyebowale, on Monday night.

Mr. Emmanuel emerged winner of the election by securing 1,201 votes.

The signatories are Nsima Ekere, Helen Esuene, Assam assam, Patrick Ekpotu, Chris Abasi-Eyo, Ekpeyong Ntekim, Effiong Abia, Richard King, Asuquo Okpo, Anietie Ufot, Larry Esin, Samuel Udonsak, Jerome Isandedighi, Peter Esuh and Effiong Esin.

Others are David Okpon, Ita Udoh, Ime Ekanem, Michael Etuk, O. Etteh and Benjamin Okoko.

Copies of the protest letter were sent to President Goodluck Jonathan, the National Chairman of the PDP, Adamu Mu’azu, the PDP National Organising Secretary, Abubakar Mustapha, the party’s National Legal Adviser, Victor Kwon.

The State Director of State Security Service, SSS, Commissioner of Police and the Resident Electoral Commissioner were also copied.

22.00

DELTA

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Ifeanyi Okowa, has won the governorship ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Delta State. Mr. Okowa a former Secretary to the Delta State Government and former Commissioner of Health, secured 406 votes to emerged victorious at the primary election in Asaba.

He beat Anthony Obuh and Dave Edevbie, both of who were preferred candidates of the governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, at different times.

22.02

ABIA

A former Deputy General Manager of Abia State Environmental Protection Agency, ASEPA, Aba Zone, Victor Ikpeazu, has emerged as the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, flag bearer in Abia State.

Mr. Ikepeazu defeated the immediate past Minister of Labour and Productivity, Emeka Wogu, and Uche Ogah to pick the ticket.

22.06

BORNO

Borno PDP guber primaries not holding, party plans consensus

The PDP governorship primary election expected to hold today nation wide has not taken place in Borno state as parties in contest are still horn-locked on how to agree and field consensus candidate.

Repeated visit to the party's state office revealed that the primary election may not hold any time soon.

An official of the party who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES under condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to do so, said the party is yet to fix a date for the gubernatorial primaries, as leaders are still discussing ways out without negative spill-over.

The source said "all that the party leaders wanted was emergence of a consensus candidate; but from all indication the only way out is to hold a primaries since they all have gotten to this stage".

He added that the primaries may not hold in Borno state capital giving the security situation.

"Borno state delegates may be conveyed to Abuja where they could as well cast their votes, because most of them are still there brainstorming over the Future of our party".

Those vying for the Borno PDP gubernatorial ticket are Kashim Imam, Mohammed Imam, Muhammed Bulama, Muhammed Makinta; Kakai Gujbawu, Abba Jato, Mala Sheriff (a younger brother to Senator Ali Modu Sheriff) and Muhammed Abuna, a former Commissioner for works in Kashim Shettima's government.

22.31

DELTA
Senator Ifeanyi Okowawins Delta PDP governorship primary election with 406 votes, beats David Edevwire who scored 299 votes

22.36

CROSS RIVER
Senator Ben Ayade wins Cross River PDPprimary for 2015 gubernatorial election after polling 752 votes to beat closest rival, Joe Agi, who had 11 votes. A frontline aspirant had withdrawn from the race in protest and then proceeded to petition the Independent National Electoral Commission.

22.56

OYO

Tesleem Folarin clinches PDP guber ticket for Oyo state as Alao-Akala, Seyi Makinde others boycotts exer‎cise.‎ Senator Ayo Adeseun withdraws for Folarin, gets Oyo Central Senatorial ticket.

Mr Fatai Buhari, Oyo state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, won APC ticket for Oyo North Senatorial District. He defeated Mr. Wale Okediran.

APC Oyo North Senatorial District primary:

Dr. Wale Okediran: 220

Fatai Buhari: 2843

APC Oyo South Senatorial District: Adesoji Akanbi: 2189

Femi Olaore 394

Fola Akinosun 114.

APC Oyo Central primary still being counted

22.59

NASARAWA

Alh Yusuf Agabi has emerged the winner of the Nasarawa state PDP gubernatorial primaries held in Nasarawa town.

Mr. polled 214 votes to defeat Labaran Maku and former governor Aliyu Akwe Doma and six others.

Announcing the result , the panel chairman Adolphus Wabara said Maku scored 160, Solomon Ewuga 31, Doma129, Damishi Luka 12, Bala Yakubu 4, Chris Mamman 1, and Mike Abdul 28 votes respectively.

23.00

Lagos

Heated argument over discrepancy in delegates' numbers

There is a war of words going on inside the venue of the primaries. Earlier, it was announced that a total of 806 delegates would vote. But at the end of sorting of votes, the figure rose to 863.

Mr. Gbadamosi, an aspirant, said that the election "has been concluded."

"From start to finish, there was intimidation, tear gassing of delegates."

The head of the election committee said: "We have to count the votes first. Then after we discuss this issue.

"Election has taken place. So counting must take place. You can't stop the counting. We can sort it out later."

Now there are shouts of "we must count" quickly replied by "no" inside the hall.

23.02

PLATEAU

Gyang Pwajok has won the gubernatorial the PDP primaries with 435 votes to defects his immediate contender, the incumbent deputy governor of Plateau state Ignatius Longjan, Mr. Longjan scored 163 votes.

The results were announced by the chairman electoral panel for Plateau PDP gubernatorial election Abdullahi Ohioma.

Victor Lar, came third with 109 votes Haruna Dabin scored 16 votes; John Clark 6 votes, Rufus Bature 5 votes John Alkali 3 votes, Fidelis Tapgun got 1 vote, John Alkali 2 votes Godfrey Miri 4 votes, Sunny Tyoden 7 votes, Kemi Nshe, 31, Nandom Pyennap also got 1 vote Jimmy Cheto, got no vote, Joseph Golwa 2 votes, Bitrus Nabasu 10 votes Longmas Wapmuk also got no vote; and one invalid vote recorded.

Ignatius Longjan had left the venue in protest, as the arrested Lawmaker by security agents, Joe Dawan was his agent monitoring the election.

A total number of 818 were accredited to participate in the primaries elections which commence at about 7:43 pm after series of complains by aspirants and agents; the polls lasted for about an hour and a half.

Agents of aspirants keenly watched as delegates cast their votes.

23.04

Nasarawa

Yusuf Agabi defeats Maku, others, emerge Nasarawa PDP governorship candidate

Yusuf Agabi has emerged the winner of the Nasarawa state PDP governorship primaries held in Nasarawa town. Mr. Agabi polled 214 votes to defeat Labaran Maku and former governor Aliyu Akwe Doma and six others. Announcing the result, the panel chairman Adolphus Wabara said Maku scored 160, Solomon Ewuga 31, Doma 129, Damishi Luka 12, Bala Yakubu 4, Chris Mamman 1, and Mike Abdul 28 votes respectively.

23.39

Lagos

Jimi Agbaje wins in Lagos

Doherty - 21 votes Gbadamosi - 21 votes Obanikoro - 343 votes Agbaje - 432 votes Mr. Gbadamosi kept shouting "fraud fraud, shameless fraud" as the votes were counted.

23.56

SOKOTO

In Sokoto state, there appears to be a stalemate as the state's deputy governor, Muktar Shagari, has forced a stoppage of the commencement of voting after accreditation has been completed.

Mr. Shagari is alleging irregularities in the manner the accreditation was conducted. He suspects that some of the accredited delegates ‎are fake.

23.58

SOKOTO

We have been able to confirm that Deputy Governor, Muktar Shagari, has formerly submitted a petition to the Chairman of the Sokoto state PDP election panel, Senator U. U. Dukku, complaining over the composition of the delegates list.

Our correspondent reports that election is not likely to take place tonight.

00.11

ENUGU
There were two parallel governorship congresses in Enugu. At one of the congresses, Senator Ayogu Eze emerged victorious. In the other, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi triumphed. It is not clear which of the congresses the national headquarters will recognise.

00.15

LAGOS
Violence trails the announcement of Jimi Agbaje as winner of the PDP governorship primary in Lagos with some contestants saying there were more votes counted than the number of delegates accredited.

00.21

NIGER
Umar Nasko, a former Chief of Staff to the Niger State Governor, wins the PDP governorship primary in the state

06.36

BENUE

Terhemen Terzoohor, believed to be the anointed candidate of Governor Gabriel Suswam,  has won the Benue gubernatorial PDP primaries elections with 517 votes.

He defeated incumbent deputy governor, Steven Lawani, who polled 311 votes; and the immediate past Minister of Trade and Investment, Samuel Ortom.

One of the aspirants, Eugene Aliegba, stepped down before the commencement of voting.

The primary elections were held at the Aparaku stadium in Makurdi, the Benue state capital.

Voting commenced midnight of Monday, and ended early hours of Tuesday.

Results were announced at about 5:15 a.m. Tuesday.

07.25

KATSINA

Nashuni wins PDP guber primary election in Katsina State as eight aspirants walk out

Musa Nashuni on Monday won the PDP gubernatorial election in Katsina State for the 2015 elections.

The Chairman of the Electoral Committee, Abubakar Mua’zu, said in Katsina that Mr. Nashuni scored 1,309 votes to clinch the PDP ticket in the state.

Mr. Mu’azu said that Senator Ibrahim Ida came second with 16 votes; Tukur Jikamshi, seven votes; while Kabir Barkiya and Abdullahi Umar Tata, got two votes each.

He said the election was free, fair and conducted in accordance with the party’s constitution and the electoral law.

Mr. Mu’azu urged aspirants who lost the election to take heart and support the party candidate for the progress of the party.

In his acceptance speech, Mr. Nashuni commended the delegates for electing him for the the 2015 elections.

He urged the aspirants that lost the election to cooperate and support him for the progress of the party.

Mr. Nashuni also urged PDP supporters to collect their Permanent Voter Cards, while those who had reached 18 years should register their names for the forthcoming general elections.

He also assured people of the state that he would complete all the development projects initiated by Governor Ibrahim Shema if elected governor in 2015.

Also speaking, Governor Shema, solicited the support of the aggrieved aspirants because they were considered as great party men.

He urged them to consider Mr. Nashuni’s victory as something destined by the Almighty God.

Eight aspirants had walked out of the election venue because they were not satisfied with the arrangements made by the party for the election.

07.35

GOMBE 

Gov. Dankwambo wins PDP guber primaries for Gombe State

Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State has been elected the gubernatorial flag bearer of the PDP in the 2015 general Elections.

Mr. Dankwambo was elected through an affirmation poll held at the PDP secretariat on Monday in Gombe.

The governor polled 492 votes out of the 504 delegates, while eight votes were invalid and four delegates were absent.

Announcing the result, the Returning Officer and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Na’Abba, said the delegates had affirmed Mr. Dankwambo as the gubernatorial flag bearer of the party in the 2015 elections.

"Delegates have today given the mandate to His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Gombe State, Alhaji Ibrahim Dankwambo, to contest on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party for a second term.”

The returning officer congratulated the delegates for the affirmation.

In his remarks, Mr. Dankwambo thanked the delegates and supporters of the party for the confidence reposed in him to re-contest as governor.

He assured party supporters and the people of the state that he would consolidate on the development of the state if re-elected as governor.

Mr. Dankwambo called on the PDP supporters to go to their various villages, wards and local government areas to mobilise the electorate for the 2015 elections.

Mr. Dankwambo was the sole aspirant in the state that purchased nomination form for the governorship position.

Unlike Jonathan, APC will not tolerate corruption – Oyegun

APC Chairman  John Odigie Oyegun

The Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, John Odigie-Oyegun, has said the party would fight corruption with every resource and vehemence that it could muster, if voted into power next year.

Mr. Odigie-Oyegun stated this at a media briefing in Abuja on Thursday.

Declaring corruption as “evil”, he said the party would promote personal integrity, government integrity and national integrity.

He said since independence, Nigeria had experienced varying degrees of corruption to the extent that it had been one of the recurring reasons for change of national leadership.

He noted that in spite of strong public disapproval of corruption, the cancer of corruption had continued to spread.

The APC national chairman said in the last 16 years, corruption had grown exponentially to the point that the world had come to stigmatize Nigeria and Nigerians as synonymous with corruption.

“Our national institutions have been compromised and the continued survival of the country is threatened,” he said.

“The operation of the national budget and the maintenance of the military forces have been so severely compromised by corruption that national development and security have been massively undermined under the Jonathan administration of the last six years.

“Using the corruption perception index {cpi} of Transparency international, Nigeria has maintained a score in the range of 25 percent and ranked amongst the bottom level of corrupt countries deteriorating from a bad score of 27 percent in 2011 to 25 percent in 2013.”

Mr. Odigie-Oyegun said evidence of widespread and rampant corruption abounds in the nation’s everyday life.

He recounted that following the last public demonstration against the increase in fuel prices in 2012, a probe into the operations of the fuel subsidy program of the Jonathan administration revealed massive fraud and corruption but no conviction had been secured by this government.

He said the various reports of investigation of corrupt practices on the national pension scheme, the power sector, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, government ministries and departments abound “and nothing has been done about them.”

“The (Jonathan) administration has demonstrated, both in its body language and explicit actions, a disgusting lack of will and competence to arrest and reverse the debilitating grip of corruption on our national life,” he said.

“Public officials have developed and sustained chummy relationships with society figures being investigated for corruption and former public officials, convicted for corruption, have been selectively pardoned by the presidency. Some of these persons, following their pardon, have been appointed to high positions of influence by the PDP administration and offered their platform to contest for high public office.

“This is the issue of corruption, an evil that flourished under state – sponsorship and the patronage of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). We have a historic opportunity during the forthcoming elections to begin a serious and decisive fight to end this cancer, or submit to its destructive inroads into every facet of our lives.”

Explaining how the APC would tackle the menace if elected, Mr. Odigie-Oyegun, said any officer in the party’s government accused of corruption would be thoroughly investigated and severely sanctioned if found guilty.

“Our government shall lead by example and signal, through its explicit conduct, a zero tolerance for corruption. All APC governments at all levels shall mandatorily operate an open budgetary process with quarterly report of budget performance,” he said.

“The spirit and letter of public procurement laws/processes shall be scrupulously complied with. Our government shall as an article of faith honour all contractual obligations and ensure strict compliance with all court orders/judgments.

“In the international fora, our government shall abide with agreements freely entered into and our foreign missions must honour all contracts so that the image of Nigeria as a corrupt, lawless and undisciplined country will be changed.”

Vowing that the fight against corruption would be total and rooted in the belief that all major religions in Nigeria and our culture abhor corruption and impunity, Mr. Odigie-Oyegun, said an APC government would do so within the rule of law and respect for the fundamental rights of all citizens.

According to him, “We shall fight for change and we must change Nigeria.

“We believe that an environment of poverty and ignorance is a fertile ground for corruption and impunity, consequently, our economic program of inclusive growth, qualitative education and equitable distribution of the national wealth shall constitute a potent weapon in the fight against corruption.”

Dosumu, Pearse, drop governorship ambition for Obanikoro

Obanikoro

Two governorship aspirants under the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ade Dosumu and Adetokunbo Pearse, have dropped their governorship ambition to support a former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro.

According to Taofik Gani, who is the Lagos state publicity secretary of PDP, Messrs Dosumu and Pearse have dropped their ambition and are teaming up with Mr. Obanikoro due to the former minister’s passionate bid to win the state for the party.

“Yes, both Mr. Dosumu and Mr Pearse are no longer governorship aspirants” he told PREMIUM TIMES over the phone. Meanwhile, Mr. Obanikoro’s public declaration to run for the Lagos governorship election has been rescheduled to next week Tuesday.

The declaration, which was earlier slated for Friday, PREMIUM TIMES learnt, was moved due to President Goodluck Jonathan’s scheduled visit to the Southwest this weekend.

“In light of latest developments of a scheduled visit by President Goodluck Jonathan to the Southwest and most pressingly, the decision by INEC to resume the issuance of the Permanent Voters Card, PVC, in areas like Alimosho, Agege, Epe, etc, the Koro Campaign Organisation (KCO) has decided to postpone the declaration” Mr. Obanikoro’s spokesperson, Ohimai Amaize, said in a statement.

He said the former minister had answered the call of his people to rescue Lagos State from political and economic bondage.

“We are very confident that based on his overwhelming goodwill among the people of Lagos, especially the downtrodden masses, as well as his impeccable record in public service, he is the best prepared for the job”, the statement said.

The declaration event would be themed “Walk With Me” and is expected to be attended by Mr. Obanikoro’s friends, political supporters and special guests.

Jonathan has not given Rivers even ‘half’ project – Amaechi

Rotimi Amaechi

The Rivers State governor, Chibuike Amaechi, has again accused President Goodluck Jonathan of not implementing any federal project in Rivers State, challenging the president to prove him wrong by showing even “half” a project the state has benefitted from his administration.

Mr. Amaechi spoke Monday when he met students of the Rivers State University.

He appealed to the students to be part of the forthcoming Permanent Voters Card, PVC, collection and fresh voters registration exercise to enable them exercise their civic right in the 2015 elections.

“I am aware that from Friday, we would start collecting what they call the permanent voter’s card. I am aware that after the collection of permanent voter’s card, they would start fresh registration of voters. That’s part of what brought me (to your university).

“I have come to say to those who are 16, don’t go and vote but those who are up to 18, go and vote; but to vote, you must first and foremost, go to collect your permanent voter’s card. If you don’t have a permanent voter’s card, then you need to go and register as they start registration,” he said.

The governor explained that he parted ways with the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, because the PDP-led federal government failed to address the challenges facing Rivers State.

“Now, the reason why there is a disagreement between us and the federal government is one question we have always been asking in public – can a federal government led by our own brother who comes from Bayelsa, can they show us one project that they have done in Rivers State? And I said again to the federal government, if you can’t show us one, show us half, that is, the one you started and you abandoned and you forgot it; none, and Rivers State gave our President the highest vote in the country, 1.8million votes,” Mr. Amaechi said.

He continued: “If nothing else, repair our airport. What have we done against the President that an airport they started the same time with Abuja, with Lagos, with Enugu. They have finished Lagos, they have finished Abuja, they have finished Enugu, our own is abandoned, what did we do?

“Our oil well in the Kalabari area, they have taken, so the basic quarrel is that the federal government is not addressing our problems. So, we said to the federal government, if you have not done those projects and you have done nothing for Rivers State, why do we need to remain in PDP and work with the federal government, so we left PDP and joined APC.”

“We joined APC because we need to get back our oil wells. So, one thing you owe us is to go and collect your card. When you collect your card, you must help us do one thing – don’t vote for PDP,” Mr. Amaechi said.

The governor said his administration has positively affected the lives of Rivers people in different sectors. He said he was impressed with improvements recorded in the university and recalled efforts made by his administration to accredit all courses offered by the university.

“By the time I became governor, sixty to seventy per cent of your departments and courses and faculties were not accredited and I said it is either we are ready for a university or we are not ready for a university. If we are not ready for a university, we close down, but if we need to educate our children, we need to educate our children. It means that whatever is the requirement for accreditation in the university, government must meet it and we met it. They came here, they inspected, they confirmed that we have met it”.

PDP screens 43 governorship aspirants in South-East

Chris-Anyanwu

Forty three Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship aspirants in the South-East were screened to contest the 2015 governorship election in the state, Austin Akobundu , the party’s National Vice Chairman in the zone, has said.

Mr. Akobundu said this in Enugu on Sunday.

He said the exercise was successful as the aspirants conducted themselves as expected.

On the N1 million screening fee paid by each of the 43 aspirants, Mr. Akobundu said the N1 million screening fee paid by each of the 43 aspirants should be seen as “party dues”.

“The aspirants only paid their party dues. Party dues are collected everywhere for aspirants wishing to contest elections at the state Houses of Assembly, the House of Representatives and Senate,” he said.

“Party chairmen from different states demand the money from the aspirants and remit same to the zonal office,” Mr. Akobundu said.

Meanwhile, the 43 aspirants are yet to collect their certificates of clearance from the screening committee.

Some of the aspirants screened by the committee included Emeka Ihedioha, Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Chris Anyanwu (Imo – Senator) and Ayogu Eze (Enugu -Senator), Ifeanyi Ararume (Imo – Senator).

(NAN)

I have hope in Nigerian youth – Jonathan

Thousands of young Nigerians jostled for 11 job positions in UNTH Enugu, South East Nigeria

President Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday expressed confidence in the ability of youth in the country to contribute to national development, if given the necessary encouragement.

Mr. Jonathan stated this in his goodwill message to the sixth convocation of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia.

Congratulating the graduates for their “remarkable achievement,” Mr. Jonathan said, “I have hope in the Nigerian youth.”

“I believe that with proper parental, communal and governmental support, our youths will not only excel academically but will also flourish in their chosen professions,” he said.

The president, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, MacJohn Nwaobiala, charged universities in the country to efficiently deploy National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy, NEEDS, funds to infrastructure needs.

He expressed happiness that public universities in the country were “much better now” following recent financial releases made to them in line with their NEEDS assessments.

“As we work to sustain this approach, it is my hope that most tertiary institutions will be able to develop infrastructurally, and also improve on their academic service delivery,” he said.

The president commended the governing council and management of the institution for transforming it “within the context of enhanced government support to the education sector”.

“They could not have been achieved without prudent management of resources,” he said.

He also expressed delight with the university authorities for constructing 10 hostel blocks of 500-bed space capacity with internally generated revenue, describing the achievement as “a rare feat.”

In his speech, the Abia State Governor, Theodore Orji, called for the diversification of the nation’s economy.

Mr. Orji, who was represented by his deputy, Emeka Ananaba, said Nigeria should look beyond oil and immediately commence the harnessing of its agricultural potential in order to save the economy from collapse.

He said that the essence of establishing universities of agriculture in the country was to produce needed manpower for the development of the agricultural sector.

He said that the state government had enunciated major policies and programmes to boost agricultural production and ensure food security.

Earlier, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Hilary Edeoga, thanked the Federal Government for releasing N2.7 billion to the school for the tackling of its “teething problems’’.

Mr. Edeoga said that the institution also received N500 million to facilitate the payment of allowances to its staff.

He, however, appealed to the government to approve the payment of the balance of the NEEDS Assessment fund and the allowance to the university.

A total of 17 graduands, out of the 1878, graduated in the First Class division.

(NAN)

Jonathan’s performance as President Below Average – Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo answering questions at the Ake Book and Arts Festival in Abeokuta on  Friday... Photo: Courtesy Ake Arts and Books Festiva (via twitter)

Nigeria’s former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, on Friday delivered a damning verdict on the performance of the Goodluck Jonathan administration, describing it as “below average”.

Speaking at the ongoing Ake Arts and Book Festival in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Mr. Obasanjo also said security is the greatest danger Nigeria is currently facing.

“I rate this current administration below average,” Mr. Obasanjo said in response to a question about Mr. Jonathan’s performance.

The former president also said he deserved credit for helping an individual from a minority tribe become Nigeria’s President.

“Rather than take blame for bringing Jonathan to power, I should be taking credit,” he added.

The book chat session of the Festival, which ends on Saturday, was titled ‘Defining a legacy,’ and Mr. Obasanjo used the opportunity to note some of the highlights of his eight-year presidency.

He specifically underlined his refusal to sign death warrants during his tenure.

Mr. Obasanjo also shared some stories about his childhood and about his time in the military.

He then lamented that Nigeria has had a problem of leadership right from Independence in 1960.

“The biggest problem we have in Nigeria is that we have regional leaders, but no national leader.

“I have always believed that our problem as a country is that at independence we did not have a true leader.”

The former President denied speculations that he deliberately foisted a successor he knew was sick on the country.

“Yar’Adua gave me concrete evidence that he was healthy,” Mr. Obasanjo said.

On why he did not field a former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, as Vice President in 2007, the former President said, “You know Donald Duke is my boy. In my own life, I don’t put all my eggs in one basket.

“Donald Duke needs to tone down and have his feet on ground, now he is having his feet on the ground…”

Despite being instrumental to Mr. Jonathan becoming president in 2010, Mr. Obasanjo has continued to be one of his fiercest critics.

Last December, the former President wrote a strongly worded letter to President Jonathan expressing dissatisfaction with the administration and warning him about the “danger that may be lurking in the corner”.

“Move away from culture of denials, cover-ups and proxies and deal honestly, sincerely and transparently with Nigerians to regain their trust and confidence,” Mr. Obasanjo wrote in the 18-page letter.

In the letter, Mr. Obasanjo also frowned at President Jonathan’s “deceit and deception” by stating that he had promised not to run for president in 2015, whereas his body language was showing a different stance.

“Although you have not formally informed me one way or the other, it will be necessary to refresh your memory of what transpired in 2011.

Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo at the ongoing Ake Arts and Books Festival in Abeokuta on Friday... Photo: Courtesy Victor Ehikhamenor
Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo at the ongoing Ake Arts and Books Festival in Abeokuta on Friday… Photo: Courtesy Victor Ehikhamenor

“I had gone to Benue State for the marriage of one of my staff, Vitalis Ortese, in the state. Governor Suswam was my hospitable host. He told me that you had accepted a one-term presidency to allow for ease of getting support across the board in the North.

“I decided to cross check with you. You did not hesitate to confirm to me that you are a strong believer in a one term of six years for the President and that by the time you have used the unexpired time of your predecessor and the four years of your first term, you would have almost used up six years and you would not need any more term or time.

“As a leader, two things you must cherish and hold dear among others are trust and honour both of which are important ingredients of character.”

However, on November 11, Mr. Jonathan officially declared his intention to contest for president next year.

“History has shown that the path of honour for any true leader is not to walk away from his people in moments of challenges,” Mr. Jonathan had said before a mammoth crowd in Abuja.

“After seeking the face of God, in quiet reflection with my family and after listening to the calls of our people nationwide to run, I have accepted to present myself to run.”

Mr. Jonathan has repeatedly dismissed criticism by Mr. Obasanjo and other critics, saying he has done his best for Nigeria and delivered on his electoral promises to the electorate.

“We have advanced our regional, continental and global objectives,” Mr. Jonathan said on November 11 while formally declaring his intention to seek reelection.

“I am convinced that I have kept my pact with Nigerians, and it is now time to look to the future. With your tremendous support, we have collectively done so much in the last three and half years, but to take our country to the next level, there is still more to be done.”

But Mr. Obasanjo said in his famous December 2, 2013 letter that it would be “fatally morally flawed” for Mr. Jonathan to contest in 2015, adding, “… I will want to see anyone in the Office of the Presidency of Nigeria as a man or woman who can be trusted, a person of honour in his words and character.”

Amaechi should be in jail but for immunity – Presidency, PDP

Recently, the police warned Amaechi to remain  in his state.

The Presidency on Thursday lambasted the Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi, over his threat that the All Progressives Congress, APC, would form a parallel government if next year’s general elections are rigged.

At the “Salvation Rally,” organised by the APC in Abuja, Mr. Amaechi, had warned that “if the 2015 elections are rigged, his party will not seek redress in court but would rather carry out what he called civil disobedience as well as form a parallel government.”

The rally was attended by leaders of the opposition party who lampooned the peoples Democratic Party-led Federal Government for alleged under-performance.

They also marched round some parts of the nation’s capital, including the headquarters of the Nigeria Police Force, NPF.

Addressing a press conference in Abuja, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Doyin Okupe, said but for the immunity Mr. Amaechi enjoys ”the governor would have been in jail for his comments”.

He said the governor’s utterances bother on incitement, treason and gross rascality, which were enough to land him behind bars.

Mr. Okupe said there was no basis for Mr. Amaechi to suggest that the elections would be rigged by the PDP. He said it was a shame for the governor to denigrate himself.

The presidential aide noted that the governor’s utterances were a further proof that he was not only lawless but loves anarchy in his unbridled pursuit for power.

“It is curious and unthinkable that a man who was himself a beneficiary of the court process would disdain the very platform through which he acquired the opportunity to make his reckless and provocative statement,” Mr. Okupe said.

“With statements like this it is clear that Amaechi is more of liability to his party than asset and has the potential to bring his party to further opprobrium and disrepute.

“For someone who aspires to become the Vice President of this country, his disdain for law and order is not only unfortunate but also patently dangerous and sends dark signals about the survival of our democracy.”

The presidential aide said discerning Nigerians knew that comments like those made by the governor, do not augur well for any democracy and “also portray Mr. Amaechi as a reckless, power hungry individual who lacks both the democratic temper and respect for constituted authority and institutions.”

He wondered how the APC could be comfortable “with a loose cannon like Governor Amaechi.”

Mr. Okupe said it was clear to any discerning mind that Mr. Amaechi’s indecorous outbursts and his obvious disregard and contempt for the rule of law, had defined him as unfit to hold any serious public office in this country let alone the Vice Presidency of Nigeria to which he aspires.

He said, “If Mr. Amaechi is so much afraid of his party crashing to defeat in the general elections, what he needs to do is to advise the leadership of his party to either give up in good time or repackage itself in order to appeal to the Nigerian voters who must definitely have the final say in the democratic process.

“We also want to sound a note of warning to Mr. Amaechi and other desperate players on our political scene that Nigeria has moved away from the dark days of dictatorship and resort to brigandage and that any attempt for any individual or group of individuals to resort to extra legal means of acquiring power, would be dealt with by the laws of the land.”

Also in a statement by its spokesperson, Olisa Metuh, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said it was shocked and stunned by Mr. Amaechi’s utterances at the rally, especially because the governor was an elected public officer.

It cautioned the governor against unduly overheating the system and urged him to concentrate on his duties in his state.

Stating that Mr. Amaechi was a democrat when he was in the PDP, the ruling party advised him not to allow the undemocratic attitude of the APC to becloud him.

“He is a different person from who he was when he was in the PDP. When he was in PDP, he was much more guarded in his statements. We urge him to desist from utterances capable of derailing our democracy”, the statement said.

The party however restated that it would continue to resist the provocations from the opposition and remain focused in its commitment in consolidating a peaceful, prosperous and democratic Nigeria.

South East APC tackles Nnamani over Jonathan comment

Ken Nnamani

The South East chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has expressed outrage over the claim by a former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, that the zone would support President Goodluck Jonathan’s second term bid to enable him complete the second Niger Bridge.

Mr. Nnamani, who spoke for the South East members of the People Democratic Party, PDP, at Mr. Jonathan’s declaration on Tuesday, said the region was backing the president in the February presidential election to avoid the abandonment of the bridge.

He also expressed worry that the president had not rehabilitated the Enugu-Onitsha Highway, which is the busiest highway in the region.

The party, in a statement by its spokesperson, Osita Okechukwu, said it was yet to recover from Mr. Nnamani’s double-speak on one hand indicting Mr. Jonathan for neglecting the highway, which is in terrible condition, and on the other hand that it was only the president that could fix it.

It regretted that the former senate president’s hinged the support of the South East zone for the president on the fear that the 2nd Niger Bridge would be abandoned.

“We rate this as grave insult to our collective intelligence, a double-speak and corrupted propaganda; coming from someone we thought we can follow to battle, blind,” the APC said.

“May we ask, is Senator Nnamani and cohorts not aware that President Jonathan followed due process and funded the Oweto bridge over successive federal budgets?

“Why is the 2nd Niger Bridge not in any federal budget? Is the 2nd Niger Bridge not dead on arrival, for Julius Berger is not known for borrowing?”

The party said Mr. Nnamani’s position exposed the underbelly as one of those yet to appreciate that there are two major parties prevailing in the country, the PDP and the APC, and that the 2015 presidential race would be close to call.

It argued that no reasonable and responsible leadership would “put all its eggs of their people in one basket,” as the Ndigbo are trying to do.

“To say that we are highly disappointed with Senator Nnamani is to say the least. For how long will Igbo leaders sell their people for stomach infrastructure?” the APC said.

“It is our considered view that it will be fool hardy for the South East region to vote again for a president who lives under the illusion that if you settle their leaders you have settled them; hence taking our support for granted.”

Child rights groups attack Jonathan for declaring for second term despite Yobe massacre

President-Goodluck-Jonathan-360x225

Two child rights non-governmental organisations have lambasted President Goodluck Jonathan, for going ahead with his public declaration for a second term in office a day after 47 students of Government Science Secondary School, Potiskum, Yobe State were killed by a suspected Boko Haram suicide bomber.

Mr. Jonathan, on Tuesday, formally declared his bid for a second term in office on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, at a rally held at Eagles Square, Abuja and attended by a crowd of supporters and party leaders.

The United Kingdom-based Africans Unite Against Child Abuse, AFRUCA, and the Nigerian-based Centre for Children’s Health Education, Orientation and Protection, CEE-HOPE, faulted what they described as another round of government’s insensitivity in the face of unprecedented and preventable waste of Nigerian lives in recent times.

This was contained in a joint statement on Tuesday by the Chief Executive of AFRUCA, Debbie Ariyo, and the Executive Director of CEE-HOPE, Betty Abah.

The groups noted that the pattern was too often and too unbecoming.

“Last time the president went on to celebrate at a centenary party after the murder of 59 male students at Government Secondary School, Buni Yadi,” the statement said. “He then flew to Kano for another round of celebration following the gruesome attack in Nyanya which claimed about 200 lives, and then on to Ibadan for a birthday bash.

“Unfortunately, the president is also celebrating yet another bash to announce his nomination to contest the Presidency for another four years. We believe this is wholly insensitive, and is absolutely unacceptable.”

They described the cold-blooded murder of students in their school assembly as “one massacre too many of defenceless and hapless Nigerian children.”

The organisations expressed deep shock and unreservedly condemn the cold-blooded murder of innocent children in their school assembly as “one massacre too many of defenceless and hapless Nigerian children.”

The statement stated further, “This is one massacre of defenceless children too many and the Nigerian government must rise to the occasion in performing its constitutional duty of ensuring full protection for its citizens, especially the very vulnerable, including school children, who have a fundamental right to acquiring education without violence, and these constitutional rights must be upheld by all.

“It is the height of insanity for any group waging a war against a state to have, as its sole characteristic, the brutal annihilation of harmless and completely hapless citizens. It beats every human imagination and these wanton destructions should attract global condemnation and action.”

The organisations wondered what became of the highly publicized Safer School Initiative launched at the UK House of Commons by Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on July 2 and why school children would be exposed to harm when the government responsible for their security had no adequate safeguard structure in place.

They said, “It is truly incredible that since the Chibok Secondary School abductions in April 2014, nothing seemed to have been done to ensure better protection for schools in the areas where Boko Haram are known to be operating. There are many well qualified Nigerians in the diaspora who can be called upon to help but this is not happening. Instead, we have to contend with gory details of schools being attacked and children being massacred.

“It is not enough to make an already scripted message perennially ‘condemning’ acts of terrorism against innocent Nigerians and this time, vulnerable children whose only crime is aspiring for an education that would better their lives.

“The government must show that it is capable of not only protecting Nigerians in every corner of the country but is also sensitive to their sufferings and grief, and respects the memory of the needlessly slain.”

The groups further questioned the point of the state of emergency imposed on states in the North East which instead have experienced unabated attacks by terrorist groups.

They called on the United Nations to intervene in order to ensure the protection of lives especially children and vulnerable people.

I’ve fulfilled my promises to Nigerians – Jonathan

Jonathan Declaration

President Goodluck Jonathan, on Tuesday, said he has delivered on the promises he made to Nigerians four years ago as he declared to seek a new term.

Speaking at the Eagles Square, Abuja, Mr. Jonathan assured that Nigeria will not go back in its old ways, but move to greater heights, if he was elected.

He also promised not to intimidate any Nigerian, but ensure the rule of law, expand the democratic space, give voice to the voiceless and uphold the weak.

Mr. Jonathan was adopted by all the organs of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in September as the party’s lone candidate in the February 14 presidential contest.

He assumed office as president on May 6, 2010, following the death of late President Umaru Yar’Adua and was elected in 2011 to the position.

The president rounds off his current tenure on May 29, 2015.

At the Eagles Square, Abuja, Mr. Jonathan told his supporters from the 36 states of the federation that he accepted to contest the coming presidential poll after seeking the face of God, held wide consultations and made deep reflection on the matter with his family.

Mr. Jonathan recounted his administration’s achievements since it came to office, saying infrastructure had been its major area of focus.

He listed some major achievements in critical sectors such as the water, agricultural, transport, road, housing, oil and gas, health, education, food production, anti-corruption crusade, youth development, military, entertainment, economy and electoral reforms.

He also praised his administration for the giant strides it made on the international scene.

“We have advanced our regional, continental and global objectives,” he said. “I am convinced that I have kept my pact with Nigerians, and it is now time to look to the future. With your tremendous support, we have collectively done so much in the last three and half years, but to take our country to the next level, there is still more to be done.

“History has shown that the path of honour for any true leader is not to walk away from his people in moments of challenges. We must stand together in adversity and overcome all threats to our development. We must defend our future, for the sake of our children.”

The president, who called for a minute silence in honour of the students of the Government Science Secondary School in Yobe State on Monday, however, lamented the lingering security challenge in the country, which he said had led to the loss of lives and property.

He said, “Clearly, this has cast a dark cloud on our Nation but we will surely win the war against terror. A number of young men and women have been kidnapped by these criminal elements including our daughters from Chibok. We will free our daughters and defeat terrorism.

“We are equipping the armed forces and deploying special forces to engage the terrorist and end this senseless war. We must protect our country. We must save our people. I will do everything humanly possible to end this criminal violence in our nation.”

Mr. Jonathan explained that to ensure the long term stability and development of the affected areas, government had launched three programmes, namely the Presidential Initiative for the North East, the Victim Support Fund and the Safe School Initiative.

He expressed gratitude “to all Nigerians for standing with me.”

The president said in furtherance of a peaceful, participatory and inclusive democracy that he signed the Freedom of Information, FoI, Bill into law, to expand the frontiers of the fundamental rights of Nigerians.

He affirmed that under his presidency, “your views, no matter how freely expressed, will not send you to prison or into exile.”

He said the support by the party would enable him continue the conversation of development he began in the country.

Stating that democracy was a collective action, energized by individual responsibility, Mr. Jonathan said the mandate that would be given to him this time would inspire in him the strength to complete the good work his administration had begun.

He said he would ensure that the poor is lifted out of the depth of want and place their feet on the ladder of prosperity.

While noting that leaders must always show temperance at all times, the president promised “That is a virtue, one which I treasure, and will always uphold.”

On the coming election, Mr. Jonathan, who thanked those who contributed their meagre resources towards his re-election bid, appealed to his supporters not to harm, maim or kill or incite any kind of violence.

He reiterated that his election bid does not worth the blood of any Nigerian.

“We must forget our common bond, one people from the womb of one Nigeria. Again I say: My ambition to serve you is not worth the blood of any Nigeria. I remain committed to this principle of non-violence,” he said.

The president said he would be ready to continue in service to the people if they believed that a country that works for everybody must be built, where the strong lift up the weak, and not trample upon them, where the vote of every citizen determines who governs or represents them, and where democratic space is open to all citizens, irrespective of their aspirations and circumstances of birth.

He said the country would not return to its dark days, but must move forward.

He told the crowd, “Do you want to go back to the old ways? We cannot go back to the old ways where individual freedoms were trampled upon and citizens were locked up for expressing their views or criticising government.

“Do you want to go back to the old ways? We cannot go back to the old ways! We must continue to have free and fair elections. We cannot go back to the era where ballot box snatching and stuffing became the norm, where your votes never counted.

“Certainly, we cannot! We have to move forward! Only forward!!, my dear people, forward!!!

The president said in moving forward, “I see a Nigeria that thirsts for progress with children across the nation, eager for knowledge and safely in schools!

“I see a Nigeria where all who have taken up arms, would again embrace peace! I see a Nigeria where our women can aspire to any heights, without hindrance! I see a Nigeria where the flames in the Eagles will rekindle, and the Falcons soaring higher in victory!

Mr. Jonathan also stated that he sees a Nigeria “where the children of Mustapha, and Christopher, Ade and Ada, Timi and Bunmi, Nnamdi and Namadi, do not go hungry!

“I see a Nigeria where all, no matter their beliefs, live in peace and harmony!

“I see a Nigeria where the green passport is accorded a royal reception the world over!

“I see a Nigeria where one day the next generation will take us to outer space.”

Both the vice president, Namadi Sambo and the Senate President, David Mark, also delivered speeches at the event. Mr. Mark spoke on behalf of the PDP members of the National Assembly, who pledge support for the president for having performed well since he assumed office.

The Senate President lamented the security challenge in the country, but assured that it was not insurmountable.

Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State, who spoke on behalf of the PDP governors, said the governors were solidly behind the president.

Solidarity messages were also delivered on zonal basis by a former Minister of Environment, Hassan Adamu, North East; former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa, North West; former Information Minister, Jerry Gana, North Central; former military governor of the old Ondo State, Bode George, South West; former governor of Rivers State, Peter Odili, South South; and former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, South East.

#Nigeria2015: Goodluck Jonathan presidential declaration – Live Update

President Goodluck Jonathan

Nigeria’s president, Goodluck Jonathan, is declaring his intention to contest the February 2015 presidential election today.

Mr. Jonathan, 57, will most likely be the candidate of his party in next year’s election. If reelected, Mr. Jonathan would remain in power till 2019. That would be a record almost 10 years in office as president.

Mr. Jonathan, an immensely lucky man, was sworn-in as late President Umaru Yar’Adua’s deputy on May 27, 2007. But after his boss fell ill, he became Acting President on February 9 2010.

Following the passage of Mr. Yar’Adua on May 6, 2010, Mr. Jonathan was sworn-in as President. He was then elected for a fresh term of four years in 2011, which runs out in May next year.

The president is now seeking a fresh term. After several months of preliminaries, the journey officially begins today with a formal declaration of his intention at the premium event venue in the nation’s capital, Eagles Square.

Follow the event as it unfolds through the eyes of our reporters who are at the Eagle Square, Abuja, venue of the event.

=====================

11.14

The president is yet arrive but the ‎crowd is large and seemingly uncontrollable. The Eagle Square venue of the declaration is already full and people outside the venue are possibly more than the ones inside.

Security personnel have now closed the main entrance to the Square, asking people to go and sit in one of the large tents outside the Square and monitor proceedings on the three giant screens provided.

People are however adamant they want to go in. A lot of people are pushing to get in.

The President could not have wished for more than this mammoth crowd.

11.17

‎Many governors, Ministers, Senator and members of the House of Representatives, as well as top members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party are in the Square awaiting the arrival of the President while Kannywood super star, Sani Danja, entertains the crowd with a Goodluck Jonathan song.

11.20

‎The crowd has overpowered the police officers at the gate and are forcing themselves into the Eagles Square.

11.37

President Goodluck Jonathan arrives the Eagle Square in a long convoy of cars and buses. The crowd is overpowering and security is tight.

11.39

Abuja has virtually been locked down for the presidential declaration. Motorists coming into Abuja from all entry points are going through hell. Major roads have been blocked .

11.42

President Jonathan alighted from a bus, accompanied by his wife, party chieftains and state governors. Sandwiched between dark-googled security operatives, he is waving to the crowd as he walked towards the VIP stand.

11.43

‎President Goodluck Jonathan has arrived Eagle Square accompanied by PDP Governors and. He was received by his deputy, Namadi Sanbo and wife. Also on the President’s entourage is the First Lady, Patience Jonathan.

11.44

‎The president is going round the Eagle Square hailing the thousands of supporters who have thronged the Square to witness the declaration.

11.44

State governors and party chieftains are seen going to First Lady Patience Jonathan, some of them bowing in reverence to her.

It is a festival of sorts here. All manners of entertainment on display.

11.47

The president just alighted from his tour vehicle and walking amidst a large crowd.

His security aides works hard to move him through the crowd.

11.48

Before today, former Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari [APC], former Vice President Atiku [APC] and Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso [APC] have declared their presidential ambition in Abuja.

Residents are wondering why the federal capital was never locked down this way. But security experts say in the face of the insecurity in the land, extra measures need be taken at all times to secure the president and other important government functionaries.

11.54

‎The President has returned to the VIPS stand After his tour. After a brief exchange of pleasantries with dignitaries at the VIP section, the national anthem is sang, paving way for the declaration speeches.

11.59

The PDP issued a statement Monday saying Jonathan is the best presidential candidate for Nigeria in the run-up to the 2015 election.

But many of the president’s critics disagree. They say he has failed to check the growing insurgency in the country, that electricity supply in the country has worsened under his reign, that kidnapping and abductions have heightened; that unemployment has skyrocketed.

Mr. Jonathan is most likely to use this occasion to respond to his critics. He is most likely going to showcase his achievements in the past three years too.

12.00

The National Anthem has been sung and the opening prayers rendered. The declaration ceremony has now started in full swing after hours of preliminaries.

12.00

‎After the National Anthem and recognition of dignitaries, Israel Akanje, the FCT Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria, and the Deputy Chief Imam of National Mosque Abuja, Kabir Umar, said the opening Christian and Muslim prayers respectively.

12.02

In his opening prayers, Mr. Akanje remembered the numerous Nigerians who are suffering and prayed God to help them.

12.14

Peter Esele, former President of the Trade Union Congress speaks: President Jonathan is humility personified. “During the minimum wage saga, I had gone on AIT to throw punches at the President. Immediately I left the studio, I got a call and it was the president…. He signed the law.”

He said Jonathan never loses his cool even at the height of provocation.

12.20

‎The Chairman of the Declaration Committee, Haliru Mohammed, in a brief speech, welcomed all to the declaration and also informed the president that the entire crowd came to request him to offer himself for re-election in 2015.
He said the crowd is there to get answer to their request for him to run.
He said the president is requested to contest not just because he was loved, but because of the love Nigerians have for themselves and their desire for accelerated development.
He said Jonathan should come out and “say yes to our demands”.

12.22

‎Former TUC President Peter Esele said he led TUC under three Presidents and that of them all, Jonathan is “humility personified”.
He said during the labour protest minimum wage the president personally called him and pledged that he would sign the minimum wage into law and he fulfilled that promise.
He called on Nigerians to always do their best wherever they find themselves.

12.23

‎A father to one of the Almajiri kids enrolled into the almajiri school set up by the President came with his son to the podium. He said his son, who was roaming the street, can now read and write very well. He thanked the president for changing his son’s life.
He also called on Nigerians to identify with the laudable projects the president has delivered for the country.

12.24

Nigerian farmers as well as Fulani pastoralists at Eagle Square, endorse President Jonathan

12.24

A youth leader, Olawale Ajani, speaking said ‎the youth are in total solidarity with the President. He was on stage with the President of NANS and called on Nigerians to give Jonathan another chance to continue with his good works.
He said the President has created spaces for the youth in his government and called on the president to ensure the youth get the 30 percent affirmative action in 2015.

12.25

Hassan Adamu, Wakili Adamawa, speaking on behalf of the North-East, said the President has delivered and that the time has come for him to be rewarded appropriately.

12.29

Peter Odili, former governor of Rivers state, makes a rare public appearance, to speak on behalf of the South-South people. He said his people are full of thanks to the National Assembly for supporting the president in the past four years. He added that there are over 6million individuals demanding that the president runs for the #Nigeria2015 elections from his zone.

12.30

Jerry Gana spoke on b half of the Middle Belt region and pledged more support for Jonathan.

12.33

Bode George, a chieftain of the PDP from the South-West, said the president’s declaration is divine, happening on 11th day of 11 month.

He said the South-West will openly declare their support for Jonathan at the forthcoming Yoruba Unity Day.

12.35

Hassan Adamu who spoke on behalf of the people of the Boko Haram infested North-East said the region produced about 7 million signatures out of the 17.5 signatures who pledged to support him.
He also eulogised the president for setting up two universities in the zone and said it is time for the region to pay him back‎ for his kind gestures.

12.38

Attahiru Bafarawa spoke for the North West. He said the region was full of thanks for appointing so many Nigerians from the region into key positions in the government. He said the region was donating a bus to the campaign.

12.44

Former senate president, Ken Nnamani, spoke for the South East. He said the region was supporting the president because they do not want the Second Niger Bridge abandoned.

He also said the region wants the president to continue in office because the region’s busiest highway, the Enugu Onitsha highway, was in terrible condition and that only a Jonathan led government beyond 2015 can fix it. “We do not want trial and error,” he said.

He also added that the region’s only international airport in Enugu need to be completed.

12.47

Mr. Nnamani also He also said Jonathan as president will create a level playing field for all to compete favourably.

12.49

A short musical break. Bongos Ikwe delivered a rendition atop blaring noise from different dance groups within the square. “What’s gonna be gonna be. What goes up gonna come down,” he sings. For those who don’t know, that’s one of his classics.

12.51

Governor Godswill Akpabio: PDP will win 29 or 30 states in the 2015 elections

12.53

Godswill Akpabio: “Dr. Goodluck Ebelo Jonathan, we PDP Governors are saying “carry go”. Is not going to be very smooth but at the end of the tunnel there will be victory

12.56

Godswill Akpabio, governor of Akwa Ibom state led the PDP Governors to the podium.

He said “We field commanders (Governors)” will ensure the PDP gets 30 states. He said they were the first to notice Jonathan’s transformation efforts in railways, power, agriculture, power, and economy.

He said after the recognisance, the PDP Governors decided not to contest against him. He admits the road to the 2015 election will be tough but said they will emerge victorious.

“Those who are behind you are more than those who are against you,” he said.

He said the opposition have no plan for Nigeria and accused them of plotting to destabilise nigeria and encouraging terror.

He is flanked by the PDP Governors as he speaks.

12.57

‎”Mr. President do not be intimidated and we are solidly behind you. Those who are behind are more than those against you,” Akpabio said.

Akpabio ended his speech saying: “We cannot handover Nigeria to the enemies of Progress”.

13.00

David Mark, the senate president is next on stage. But before that, Nigeria star rapper, Naeto C sings a stage version of his Ten Over Ten, for the president.

13.07

The senate president said Nigerians want a president who can be trusted, who is reliable and inspiring, and that Jonathan is that president.

He said the if he fails to return, the tangible projects he started might not see the light of the day.

“We trust and believe you can deliver the dividends of democracy to Nigeria,” he said.

13.10

President Jonathan has sat calmly in the VIP section listening to these speeches. At times, he smiles. At times, he is expressionless. But he must be a very happy man today. He could have wished for a larger crowd at his declaration ceremony.

13.14

The senate president apparently led all PDP members of the National Assembly to the event. The speaker of the House of Reps recently decamped to the opposition All Progressives Congress.

The senate president asked the president to heed the call by Nigerians and run for a second term. He said all over the world, performing candidates are endorsed to run for second terms.

He said everyone in the country must come together and support the president o overcome the challenges of insecurity posed by the Boko Haram sect

13.18

The Vice President, Namadi Sambo, would speak next. He left his position as governor of Kaduna state to join Jonathan shortly after the later took office in 2010 following the death of Umaru Yar’Adua.

He is expected to pledge his loyalty and underline the achievements of the Jonathan administration of which he is part. He is likely to remain the Vice President if Jonathan wins.

13.21

President Jonathan is in a deep conversation with his wife and a third party as the Vice President delivers his speech. The president repeatedly slices the air, horizontally, with his right hand,  through the conversation.

13.24

Mr. Sambo pledges his loyalty and calls on the president to come on stage to declare his ambition. Jonathan hugs his wife before departing for the podium.

13.27

At the stage, Jonathan adjusts his glasses, his speech papers, and did some more hand-waving to the crowd as a song by Onyeka Onwenu, Run, Jonathan Run, blares through the speakers.

13.33

Jonathan thanks Nigerians and party members for the support just before calling for a one-minute silence for students killed in a suicide bomb attack on Government Science Secondary School in Potiskum on Monday.

One minute over, the president declared, “May their souls rest in peace,” and the crowd sat back.

The president admits terrorism is a challenge and promises to bring back the Chibok schoolgirls who were taken hostage in April.

13.39

‎President Jonathan said he remains grateful for the trust reposed on him by Nigerians. He also said he is grateful to Nigerians for their understanding over the handling of the difficult insecurity challenges.
He pledges to defeat terror and also said the kidnapped Chibok girls would be released.
He said through the Safe School Initiative and victim support fund, his government has set aside N60bn to aide the victims of terror.

13.41

‎President Jonathan also thanked all the organs of the party for adopting him as the sole candidate of the party.
He said his government has pursued a power sector reform to “an irreversible progress”‎.
He also said additional Hydro power stations are being built in Zungeru and Mambila.
He said he has released N60bn for the Africa Green project and that tremendous progress had been made, with 37 new dams built‎.
He said various intervention in the irrigation sub sector has led to about N45bn revenue.
Mr. Jonathan also enumerated the various progress made on the railway sector.

“Very soon, people can stay in Kaduna and work in Abuja with the completion of the Abuja-Kaduna standard gauge,” he said.

13.44

‎He said his government has completed the dredging of the River Niger from Baro in Niger state to Warri in Delta state.
He said he made a commitment to build two new major bridges across the Rivers Niger and Benue and that work is at advance stages on the two bridges.

13.46

‎Mr. Jonathan said he has started a revolution in the Housing sector that will enable millions of Nigerians to become first time House owners. He said 66,000 mortgage requests from young Nigerians are already being processed.
He said 10 new districts are being developed in the FCT and that very soon Nigerians will start using the light rail from the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport to the city centre.

13.49

‎He said his government has succeeded in eliminating long queue in filling stations through consistent provision of petroleum products to Nigerians.
He said the private sector is investing bn in the petrochemical sector as a result of his government’s favourable policy.
He said his government has revolutionised the Agric sector by transforming it into a business.
“We ended the case of corruption in the fertiliser and seed ‎supply chain,” he said.
He said 14 million farmers, out of which two millions are women, have accessed fertiliser through the e-wallet system introduced by government.

13.59

‎He said the Dangote group has invested one billion dollars on rice production and that in five years, “Nigeria will become a net exporter of Rice.”
He said the government is encouraging high school students to begin to see agric as a commercial venture.
He said he has eradicated corruption in the agric sector and that that  success would be extended to other sectors.
He said going forward, he would double his effort in the fight against corruption and that corrupt government officials would  begin to face justice.

14.02

He said he has established 14 new Universities out of which two are specialised.
“Under my watch, every Nigerian state has a Federal University,” he sai‎d.
He said he has established 150 almajiri schools in the north.

14.04

The president recounted how he, the governors of Lagos and Rivers, and all Nigerians united to fight Ebola. He recalled how he declared a state of emergency and called for national action when Ebola came to Nigeria and that with the cooperation of all Nigerians, the nation was able to successfully contained the disease.
“Just as we stopped Ebola, we are on our way to eradicating polio in Nigeria,” Mr. Jonathan said as the crowd roared. “I promise that I will not handover polio to anyone.”

14.07

Buried deep in the lengthy speech is the key declaration of the day.  “After seeking the face of God and quite reflection with my Family…, I Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, has accepted to present myself” for the contest for the 2015 general elections, Jonathan announces to a cheering crowd. The crowd just won’t stop cheering …

By this words, the President has thrown his hat into the ring. The race begins… This is what the mammoth crowd here came to hear.

14.10

It appears the sound system broken down shortly after the president’s declaration.  A lot From where I stand in the crowd, I can’t hear the President any longer.

With the sound system dysfunctional, many people in here are barely listening to the president. Many are engrossed in other activities.

14.12

The president has rounded off his speech. He is escorted back to the VIP section by his wife and multitude of aides, political associates and supporters. Compared to his past deliveries, his presentation today is a lot smoother and assertive.  It was a long speech but he was able to wade through it slowly, and without losing steam.

14.15

The declaration event is formally brought to an end with the national anthem.

14.16

Thank you for following our live updates. Have a great day. Get the full declaration speech here.

Nigeria police to lock down Abuja for Jonathan

Abuja City Gate

The Nigeria police have issued a warning on the diversion of vehicular traffic around the Eagle Square in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal capital city.

In a statement, the police spokesperson, Emmanuel Ojukwu, said there will be traffic diversion around the Eagle Square on Tuesday for “a major event”.

Mr. Ojukwu also advised Abuja residents to make use of alternative routes, as vehicular traffic would be diverted from most of the roads leading in and out of Eagle Square Central Business District, Abuja between 5 a.m. and 8p.m. on Tuesday, November 11.

He also said the police regretted any inconvenience the vehicular diversion within the area would cause the public.

Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan, is scheduled to declare his ambition for re-election on Tuesday at the Eagle Square in Abuja.

Although, three other presidential aspirants: former head of State, Muhammadu Buhari, Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar who declared their ambition were given adequate security by the police in Abuja, precautionary measures as this one were not made available to them.

The city was not locked down even for Mr. Buhari who held his declaration ceremony at the same Eagle Square.

When asked for details of Tuesday’s “major event” and why there would be a lockdown of major routes in the city, the police spokesperson, Emmanuel Ojukwu, told PREMIUM TIMES, he could not say what event was taking place at the Eagle Square for security reasons.

“It is not the duty of the police to tell you who will be declaring or not but we are saying, there will be a major event tomorrow and that is it,” Mr. Ojukwu said.

He also said the police was only doing a public service which it had been assigned to for the citizens.

Jonathan did not concede tickets to 40 Senators, says Senator

President-Goodluck-Jonathan-360x225

A senator, Nurudeen Abatemi-Usman, has described as “untrue” the claim that President Goodluck Jonathan granted automatic tickets to 40 of the 72 Peoples Democratic Party senators to return to the Senate next year.

This is contained in a statement on Sunday by his media aide, Michael Jegede.

Mr. Jonathan, accompanied by the National Chairman of the PDP, Adamu Mu’azu, had met with about 60 of the party’s senators last week over their agitation to seek re-election to the upper house.

The senate had called off sitting midway on two days last week in the bid to protest the refusal of the PDP to give them automatic tickets.

It was later reported (not by PREMIUM TIMES) that the President had requested the party to allow automatic tickets for 40 senators.

But Mr, Abatemi-Usman, who represents Kogi Central Senatorial District, said neither the president nor the national chairman conceded automatic tickets to the senators.

He alleged that the source of the erroneous report was a well-known Senator who has been trying to create the false impression that he is close to the national PDP leadership and the Presidency.

He said the senator even claimed recently that the president had endorsed him as the next Senate President.

“My colleague should be careful as he is becoming known as the purveyor of dubious information. I was at the meeting from the beginning to the end and at no point was any list of Senators drafted,” he said.

“It is unfortunate that a fellow Senator would peddle such rumours and that respected national newspapers would publish the report without checking the facts.”

Explaining what transpired at the meeting, Mr. Abatemi-Usman, said Mr. Mu’azu merely treated the case of each state on their merit.

He said, “What our national chairman did after some Senators had spoken their minds was to look at the situation in each state, and he said where there are issues they will be resolved amicably.

” If there was any such list my name definitely would have been included because the chairman said he is not aware that I am having any problem in Kogi Central while speaking on the situation in Kogi State. He said the problem in Kogi West will be resolved. That was the manner in which the Chairman went through all the States.

“Neither he, nor the President at any time mentioned names of Senators to be granted automatic tickets. It seems my colleague behind the purported report is being mischievous in spreading this story and the public should disregard his claims.”

#Nigeria2015: PDP reviews timetable for primaries

President Goodluck Jonathan

The ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP‎ has reviewed its timetable for the 2015 primary election for all offices.

The party had earlier  fixed October 29 and December 6 for its gubernatorial and presidential primaries respectively, while that of ‎the National Assembly seats was fixed for November 22.

But in a statement by its National Organising Secretary, Abubakar Mustapha, on  Saturday, the PDP has now rescheduled the primaries.

Under the new arrangement, the State House of Assembly primaries has now been slated for November 29, that for the House of Representatives December 6 and that for the Senate December 7.

Primary‎ elections to elect governorship candidates have also now been fixed for December 6, while the national convention to elect a presidential candidate is fixed for December 11, 2014.

President Goodluck Jonathan is widely expected to emerge candidate, although the party has recently thrown the race for the ticket open.

See the full Press statement below.

November, 8, 2014

Press Statement

PDP NWC Reviews Timelines For Primaries

In exercise of its powers under Section 29 (2) (a) and (b) of the

Constitution of our Great Party (2012 as amended), the National Working

Committee (NWC) has approved the review of timelines (Time-table) for

the conduct of Congresses/Primaries preparatory to the 2015 General

Elections.

The new time-table which supercedes the earlier one is as follows:

A. HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY:

a. Return of Forms –             06/11/14 (Completed)

b. Screening –     07-09/11/14 (Completed)

c.  Screening Appeal –     10/11/14

d    House of Assembly primaries-                29/11/14

e.  Appeals             30/11/14

B. NATIONAL ASSEMBLY:

a. Return of Forms –                 14/11/14

b. Screening and Appeals –                 19-21/11/14

c.  House of Representatives Primaries -            06/12/14

d. Senate Primaries           -      07/12/14

e.    NASS Appeals   -      08/12/14

C. Governorship:

  a. Return of Forms –                 14/11/14

b. Screening and Appeals –                 22-25/11/14

c.  Governorship Primaries -                        08/12/14

e.      Appeals                 09/12/14

D. PRESIDENTIAL:

a. Return of Forms –                 15/11/14

b. Screening and Appeals –                 26/11/14

c.  National Convention     10-11/12/14

It is noted that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)

has been notified of the review.

Signed:

Abubakar Mustapha MFR, mni

National Organizing Secretary

2015: Labour Party accuses APC of plotting to destabilise Nigeria

Labour Party

The Labour Party [LP] has accused the All Progressives Congress [APC] of plotting to destabilise Nigeria during the 2015 general elections.

The party’s National Secretary, Olukayode Ajulo, made this known in a statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday.

Going by what he described as “unguarded utterances and inciting statements,” Mr. Ajulo said it is evident the APC is interested in causing chaos rather than to win the 2015 polls.

Instead of assisting the government to tackle growing insecurity in the country, he said the APC celebrated insurgency and terrorism while also fanning the embers of chaos across the country.

“The APC campaigns rather than being issue-based are characterised by name-calling, fault-finding and dirty diatribes devoid of plans for Nigerians,” the party secretary stated.

Mr. Ajulo, who made reference to a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by the APC’s National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, said the main opposition party has finally revealed its evil intention against Nigeria.

Mr. Mohammed had in the statement said President Goodluck Jonathan-led administration got swindled by an impostor in the botched Boko Haram ceasefire deal.

“President Jonathan owes Nigerians an explanation on what has now turned out to be an unprecedented global faux pas. Engaging in cheap damage control by insisting on the genuineness of the deal,” Mr. Mohammed is quoted to have said.

But Mr. Ajulo insisted the lampooning approach adopted by Mr. Mohammed showed how myopic and selfish the APC could go on an issue bordering on national security.

The LP secretary maintained that while vibrant opposition is necessary for democracy to flourish, the nation’s unity and peace must not be sacrificed on the altar of do-or-die politics.

“Apparently, the APC is not set out to win the 2015 general election as it lacks the vision, capacity and strategy to do so,” Mr. Ajulo said.

“Rather, their mission is to make the country ungovernable going by the utterances credited to one of its major presidential contenders.

“It is instructive that the same bellicose posture and politically infantile proclamations presaged the violence that visited the outcome of the presidential polls in 2011. And what is more, certain parts of the country have remained virtually ungovernable since then.

“Nigerians are not unaware of the antecedents of the APC major contenders. The nation will not be hoodwinked with rhetoric aimed at obfuscating the truth and refocusing attention from the personalities the party intends to present for the presidential polls.”

He argued that Nigerians desired presidential candidates who have direct and tenable answers to their basic yearnings, not politicians who promise to cause bloodbath if they fail to have their way at the polls.

Mr. Ajulo said the APC is playing politics with a serious issue like terrorism, a situation that is despised all over the world.

When the United States of America initiated the war on terror, he said both the Democrats and the Republicans viewed it as a national concern and did not reduce the issue to dirty politicking.

The LP, therefore, advised the APC to refrain from further inciting Nigerians and pay due attention to more palpable issues of their fast dwindling followership.

He said, “If the APC has nothing to sell to Nigerians, it should gallantly withdraw from the presidential race.

“Election is at hand. Nigerian workers obviously have a role to play in it and certainly they will determine who will be elected as power belongs to the people,” he said.

ECOWAS heads of government agree on immediate elections in Burkina Faso

ECOWAS Heads of State

The leaders of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, on Thursday agreed on the immediate lifting of the suspension of the constitution and holding of presidential and legislative elections within 12 months in Burkina Faso.

The agreement was one of the resolutions reached by the leaders during their meeting on Wednesday to find ways of resolving the lingering political crisis that culminated in the resignation of the country’s former President, Blaise Compaore, and the dissolution of his government.

The chairman of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, who is also the President of Ghana, John Mahama, said the lifting of the suspension on the constitution would enable the Constitutional Council to declare a power vacuum and the next steps for the formation of a transitional government.

The leaders, who also included Presidents Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria and Macky Sall of Senegal, called for the “urgent designation by consensus of a suitably eminent civilian to lead the transition.”

A communiqué at the end of the meeting said an agreement was also reached for the formation of a transitional government for a period of one year.

The agreement would pave the ways for a draft time table for the organization of presidential and legislative elections by November 2015 to guarantee the security of all Burkinabe, including political party leaders, members of the defunct government and National Assembly.

The leaders, the communiqué said, also agreed on the need to guarantee the protection of human rights and individual choices; initiation of an all-inclusive consultation among political party leaders, representatives of civil society organizations, religious and traditional leaders as well as the national arms forces to develop the structure and composition of the transition organs.

Recalling the contributions of Burkina Faso to the promotion of global peace and security as well as political stability within the region and Africa at large, particularly its active participation in peace keeping and mediation processes, the leaders urged the stakeholders to embrace dialogue in order to define a coherent and consensual transition arrangement.

While condoling with the bereaved families, the leaders also sympathized with the victims of the uprising of October 30 and commended the country’s armed forces for their professionalism in maintaining security, law and order and for their positive role in the effort to initiate a civilian-led transition process.

During the visit, the ECOWAS leaders met with the leaders of the country’s political parties, representatives of civil society, religious and traditional leaders, members of the armed forces, as well as the chairman and members of the Constitutional Council.

They are expected to report the outcome of the visit to the ongoing two-day Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government scheduled for Accra, Ghana, on Thursday.