Osinbajo’s helicopter crash, INEC candidates’ list, others top political stories last week

The helicopter of Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo involved in a crash
The helicopter of Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo involved in a crash (Photo Credit: TVC News)

With only two weeks to the presidential election, political parties intensified their campaigns across the country last week.

Sunday

APC Removes Governor Okorocha As Imo Campaign Coordinator

The National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) removed Governor Rochas Okorocha as Imo State All Progressives Congress (APC) campaign coordinator, few days after the committee chaired by Mathew Omegara summoned the governor and six others to appear before it.

The National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu, who confirmed that the APC has removed Mr Okorocha as Imo campaign coordinator, said the decision followed the recommendation of the disciplinary committee set up by the Imo APC over allegations of anti-party activities levelled against the governor and others.

Monday

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Buhari meets APC senators, candidates

President Muhammadu Buhari hosted all senators and senatorial candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC), to a dinner.

The dinner held at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

APC appoints ex-governor jailed for fraud into campaign council

The All Progressives Congress (APC) appointed a former governor of Plateau State, Joshua Dariye, as a member of the campaign council for the re-election of Governor Simon Lalong.

Mr Dariye is currently serving a jail term at the Kuje prison over graft. He was in June 2018 sentenced to 14 years in prison by an Abuja high court for stealing Plateau funds while in office. The court of appeal in Abuja subsequently reduced the jail term to 10 years.

Mr Dariye, representing Plateau Central in the Senate, was jailed after being found guilty of diverting N1.7 billion state ecological fund when he was governor between 1999 and 2007.

Senate approaches Supreme Court, suspends plan to reconvene

The Nigerian Senate has filed a case at the Supreme Court to seek clariication on the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen.

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Relying on an order from the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), President Muhammadu Buhari last Friday suspended the chief justice replacing him with another Supreme Court justice, Tanko Mohammed.

On Monday, the Senate approached the apex court seeking its interpretation on whether President Buhari acted within the provision of the constitution in his suspension of Mr Onnoghen.

Tuesday

Reps pass new minimum wage bill

The House of Representatives passed the new National Minimum Wage bill, a day after conducting its public hearing.

The lawmakers, during plenary on Tuesday, considered the report of the ad-hoc committee clause by clause.

The Senate is expected to concur with the recommendations of the House when it returns from the elections break before transmitting to the president.

Buhari: I’ve fulfilled 2015 campaign promises

President Muhammadu Buhari said he had fulfilled the campaign promises he made to Nigerians in 2015.

He spoke in Imo and Abia states where he visited in continuation of his campaign for a second term.

Atiku capable of uniting country – Jonathan

Former President Goodluck Jonathan said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, is a man capable of bringing Nigeria together in unity and in peace.

Mr Jonathan spoke on Tuesday at Ox-bow Lake Pavillion in Yenagoa, when Mr Abubakar’s campaign train hit the Bayelsa State.

Elections: Nigeria can’t afford to fail – US Envoy

United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington, said Nigeria should get the 2019 elections right in order not to disappoint those that looked up to it after the feat recorded in 2015.

Mr Symington made the remarks when he paid a visit to the Police Command in Kaduna State.

Again, Nigerian govt alleges plans to cause violence during elections

The Federal Government of Nigeria again said it had uncovered plans by some politicians to cause violence during the forthcoming general elections.

The latest announcement was made by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno, on Tuesday in Abuja.

He made the claim while addressing governors of the 36 states of the federation.

Wednesday

Three reasons I support Atiku for president – Obasanjo

A former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has again defended his decision to support the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar.

Mr Obasanjo in a statement to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Lagos Island Club said he has been called several names for sticking his neck for his former deputy.

Thursday

APC out in Rivers, Zamfara as INEC lists 2019 governorship, state assembly candidates (FULL LIST)

The electoral commission, INEC, released the full list of candidates cleared to contest the state assembly and governorship elections.

The governorship and state assembly elections are scheduled to hold on March 2 across Nigeria.

In the list sent to PREMIUM TIMES by the commission, no candidates of Nigeria’s ruling party, APC, were listed for Rivers and Zamfara states.

Governors from Niger Republic join Buhari’s Kano rally

Governors of Zinder and Maradi from Niger Republic were among the dignitaries that attended the mega rally of President Muhammadu Buhari in Kano.

This was revealed in a tweet by Salihu Tanko Yakasai, the media aide of Governor Abdulahi Ganduje of Kano.

Lagos Gubernatorial: Jimi Agbaje’s campaign team attacked

A campaign vehicle of the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Jimi Agbaje, in Lagos was attacked on Thursday.

Mr Agbaje said the attack on his campaign bus in Lagos is a sign of the growing intolerance of the ruling party in the state against opposition figures and supporters.

According to a statement issued by Mr Agbaje’s campaign office on Thursday, some hoodlums believed to be supporters of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) attacked the PDP candidate’s convoy and left several people injured.

Atiku’s endorsement: Ohaneze Ndigbo suspends secretary general

The Igbo socio cultural organisation, Ohaneze Ndigbo has suspended its Secretary General, Uche Okwukwu, for allegedly misrepresenting the organisation.

A statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the organisation, Uche Achi-Okpaga, made available to journalists on Thursday in Enugu said the decision was taken at an emergency meeting.

Mr Achi-Okpaga said the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the organisation had evaluated the conducts of its scribe and found him wanting.

#Gandujegate: Supporting Ganduje doesn’t diminish Buhari’s corruption stance – Presidency

President Muhammadu Buhari dismissed claims that his association with Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano has diminished his commitment to the war against corruption.

Mr Ganduje is enmeshed in bribery allegations after being caught in a series of video clips receiving dollars from contractors to Kano State.

The presidency in a statement Thursday said that there is a difference between perception and reality.

I never threatened to break up Nigeria if Buhari rigs election — Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo denied a statement credited to him that he would fight to divide Nigeria if President Muhammadu Buhari rigs the February 16 presidential election.

Mr Obasanjo made the denial through a statement by his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, on Thursday.

He said as a Nigerian who fought for the unity of Nigeria and “spit part of my blood in the war front. I am a strong believer in non-divisibility of Nigeria…”

Mr Akinyemi said Mr Obasanjo spoke at the public presentation of a book, “Politics As Dashed Hopes in Nigeria”, written by Auwalu Anwar at the Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja.

Friday

PDP demands Buhari’s disqualification from February 16 presidential election.

The Peoples Democratic Party has called on the electoral commission, INEC, to disqualify President Muhammadu Buhari from the February 16 presidential election.

The National Chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus, made the call on Friday evening while speaking at the presidential campaign rally of his party in Enugu, South-East Nigeria.

Opposition parties criticise Buhari over Onnoghen’s suspension

Three Opposition Parties Have Criticised The Illegal Suspension Of The Chief Justice Of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen By President Muhammadu Buhari, Calling It An Abuse Of Power.

KOWA party, the Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP) and the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN) in seperate statements condemned the action which has also drawn widespread reactions including a boycott of courts for two days by lawyers.

KOWA also accused the media and relevant institutions of the government of “not doing their jobs” in curtailing the president’s action.

Saturday

Osinbajo survives as helicopter crash lands

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo survived as his helicopter crash-landed in Kogi State, his spokesperson said.

Mr Akande in a tweet said, “VP Osinbajo’s Chopper crash lands in Kabba, but he and the entire crew safe. He is continuing with his engagements and plans for the day in Kogi State.”

It is the second time Mr Osinbajo’s helicopter would crash-land.

In June 2017, he survived a similar accident when the chopper he was traveling in crash-landed shortly after take-off in Gwagawalada, Abuja.

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