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Edo: PDP In Tight Corner Over Gov. Obaseki’s Ticket Bid

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EDO State Governor Godwin Obaseki’s bid to join the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and pick its ticket to contest the September 19 election has put the party in a dilemma.

Obaseki was last week disqualified from bidding for his party – the All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket.

Expatiating on reasons for Obaseki’s disqualification while submitting its report, the party’s screening Appeal Committee Chairman, Dr. Abubakar Fari, at the weekend said: “In the affidavit sworn to by Godwin Obaseki before the High Court Abuja, he stated under oath that he graduated from the University of Ibadan with a BA degree in Classical Studies in 1976. However, the university certificate he attached to his nomination form bears 1979 which is a material contradiction.’’

The committee also said it found it hard to believe Obaseki gained admission to study at the university with three credits without a proper A-levels or a diploma.

It added that the governor was in possession of two separate voter cards which is illegal. Fari added that the attestation letter of the Institute the governor claimed to have attended after secondary school, was not on the letter head of the school.

The committee said it found inconsistencies in the forms Obaseki submitted for scrutiny.

The PDP’s nomination process closed on June 2 while screening of aspirants closed on June 5. Three aspirants have been cleared by the party to vie for the ticket.

Legal pundits said last night that only those cleared within the stipulated time, are qualified to contest in the primary. “Obaseki was not screened and so cannot participate”, a renowned lawyer said.

The PDP primary will hold on Friday. The Independent Electoral Commission (lNEC) option only allows parties seeking to field candidates for the Edo governorship election to replace candidates not later than July 13, but with a caveat: the new candidate must have participated in the primary.

“PDP should forget about Obaseki or risk serious litigation over his eligibilty and breach of its own rules”, another lawyer said last night.

The PDP guidelines indicate the following timelines for its governorship primary election: Notice of election to state chapter (May 15); Sales of expression of interest and nomination forms(May 20 –June 01); Last day for submission of forms (EOI and NOI) June 02; Screening of aspirants (June 05); Appeals on screening outcome (June 08); and Ward Congresses to elect a three-man Ad Hoc delegates (June 09).

Others are Ward Congresses Appeals(June13); Local Government Congresses to elect National Delegates and persons Living with Disability per LGA(June 16); LGA congresses Appeals(June 18); Publication of delegates’ list(June 18); Gubernatorial primary(candidate nomination) –June 19-20; Appeals on governorship primary(June 23); Certification of Deputy Governorship candidate by NWC and compilation of documents(June 25); Last day for submission of names of candidate and deputy to the Independent National Electoral Commission (June 29); Last day for withdrawal and replacement of withdrawn candidates( July 13); and last day for submission of agents names to LGA offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (September 01).

The aspirants cleared for the governorship primary are a member of the House of Representatives (Oredo Federal Constituency), Hon. Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama(Edo South); Mr. Gideon Ikhine (Edo Central), an engineer; and a foremost Educationist, Kenneth Imasuagbon (Edo Central).

As at last night, none of the candidates had shown interest in stepping down for Obaseki.

A PDP source said: “We are in a serious dilemma and our party is facing integrity test. Obaseki is trying to have his way at all cost to secure the PDP governorship nomination ticket.

“This is a governor who has not formally defected to the PDP. The options available are to ask all the aspirants to step down for him or to allow the primary election to hold and ask the eventual candidate to step down.

“But are we going to be fair to all the aspirants, especially the winner of the primary? And Obaseki is overstretching his luck by seeking to retain Deputy Governor Phillip Shaibu as his running mate.”

Another party leader said: “The issue at stake is beyond meeting with PDP governors for our ticket. How about discrepancies in his documents.

Some leaders are saying he will be prevailed upon to plead only his secondary school certificate. Yet, he said he has lost the certificate.

“But there is another allegation of having two voter cards. Can we take this huge risk as a party? Is Obaseki bringing an asset or liability to the party? Some of our leaders are already warning the party.”

The aspirants have been on the field canvassing for votes for Saturday’s primary election.

One of the aspirants, Imasuagbon, said: “Obaseki is welcome to PDP any time.”

Asked if he is ready to step down for Obaseki, he swiftly added: “Step down for who and why? To step down for what? Are we in a jungle? Are there no rules and regulations guiding a party in a democracy? Forget it, my brother. I am on a campaign tour.”

Ikine said there is nothing wrong with Obaseki visiting his colleague governors but that he is not ready to quit, adding: “I have my eyes on the ball.”

He declined to comment further on Obaseki in his interview on Channels TV, because “he is not a member of the PDP.”

Deputy Governor Shaibu has been busy making frantic appeals to some PDP governors to allow him to be the party’s running mate.

But some leaders in the party were toying with the idea of Obaseki joining the party to assist it to defeat the APC instead of being the PDP governorship candidate.

A chieftain of PDP, Kassim Afegbua, a former Commissioner for Information, said: “The idea of having Governor Obaseki in PDP is already causing some ripples within the party because it will amount to political ambush.

“First, the purchase of nomination forms has closed. We have three viable aspirants running. I am supporting Hon. Ogbeide-Ihama for the primaries and hopefully he will emerge as the candidate.

“If a candidate emerges on Saturday, are you expecting the candidate to step down for someone who did not participate in the process, simply because he is a Governor? That will not only be an ambush, but an unfair reading of the situation.

“The governor is free to join the party. It is his constitutional right, but joining is one, becoming a candidate is another. He should join to support whoever emerges as the candidate, to face the APC candidate.

“Rather than be the candidate, which appears difficult at this injury hour, he should join hands with other party loyalists to ensure the APC is defeated. That would be like some kind of soft landing for him.

“Again, the Party has to understudy the report of the APC screening committee especially the obvious discrepancies in his submissions. You cannot have two certificates from one university bearing inconsistent dates with all manner of contradicting submissions.

“Beyond politics, the APC might have derived inspiration from the Bayelsa scenario, which the PDP must take notice of, so that we do not fall into another cul-de-sac. “Please tell Obaseki to drop his ambition, and join hands with whoever emerges on Saturday in PDP primary to give a good fight to the APC.

Making him a candidate will be an exercise in overkill, an ambush, and an abuse of process in terms of our party constitution, our rules and regulations.”

The PDP’s nomination process closed on June 2 while screening of aspirants closed on June 5. Three aspirants have been cleared by the party to vie for the ticket.

Legal pundits said last night that only those cleared within the stipulated time, are qualified to contest in the primary. “Obaseki was not screened and so cannot participate”, a renowned lawyer said.

The PDP primary will hold on Friday. The Independent Electoral Commission (lNEC) option only allows parties seeking to field candidates for the Edo governorship election to replace candidates not later than July 13, but with a caveat: the new candidate must have participated in the primary.

“PDP should forget about Obaseki or risk serious litigation over his eligibilty and breach of its own rules”, another lawyer said last night.

The PDP guidelines indicate the following timelines for its governorship primary election: Notice of election to state chapter (May 15); Sales of expression of interest and nomination forms(May 20 –June 01); Last day for submission of forms (EOI and NOI) June 02; Screening of aspirants (June 05); Appeals on screening outcome (June 08); and Ward Congresses to elect a three-man Ad Hoc delegates (June 09).

Others are Ward Congresses Appeals(June13); Local Government Congresses to elect National Delegates and persons Living with Disability per LGA(June 16); LGA congresses Appeals(June 18); Publication of delegates’ list(June 18); Gubernatorial primary(candidate nomination) –June 19-20; Appeals on governorship primary(June 23); Certification of Deputy Governorship candidate by NWC and compilation of documents(June 25); Last day for submission of names of candidate and deputy to the Independent National Electoral Commission (June 29); Last day for withdrawal and replacement of withdrawn candidates( July 13); and last day for submission of agents names to LGA offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (September 01).

The aspirants cleared for the governorship primary are a member of the House of Representatives (Oredo Federal Constituency), Hon. Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama(Edo South); Mr. Gideon Ikhine (Edo Central), an engineer; and a foremost Educationist, Kenneth Imasuagbon (Edo Central).

As at last night, none of the candidates had shown interest in stepping down for Obaseki.

A PDP source said: “We are in a serious dilemma and our party is facing integrity test. Obaseki is trying to have his way at all cost to secure the PDP governorship nomination ticket.

“This is a governor who has not formally defected to the PDP. The options available are to ask all the aspirants to step down for him or to allow the primary election to hold and ask the eventual candidate to step down.

“But are we going to be fair to all the aspirants, especially the winner of the primary? And Obaseki is overstretching his luck by seeking to retain Deputy Governor Phillip Shaibu as his running mate.”

Read Also: Cracks in PDP over Obaseki

Another party leader said: “The issue at stake is beyond meeting with PDP governors for our ticket. How about discrepancies in his documents.

Some leaders are saying he will be prevailed upon to plead only his secondary school certificate. Yet, he said he has lost the certificate.

“But there is another allegation of having two voter cards. Can we take this huge risk as a party? Is Obaseki bringing an asset or liability to the party? Some of our leaders are already warning the party.”

The aspirants have been on the field canvassing for votes for Saturday’s primary election.

One of the aspirants, Imasuagbon, said: “Obaseki is welcome to PDP any time.”

Asked if he is ready to step down for Obaseki, he swiftly added: “Step down for who and why? To step down for what? Are we in a jungle? Are there no rules and regulations guiding a party in a democracy? Forget it, my brother. I am on a campaign tour.”

Ikine said there is nothing wrong with Obaseki visiting his colleague governors but that he is not ready to quit, adding: “I have my eyes on the ball.”

He declined to comment further on Obaseki in his interview on Channels TV, because “he is not a member of the PDP.”

Deputy Governor Shaibu has been busy making frantic appeals to some PDP governors to allow him to be the party’s running mate.

But some leaders in the party were toying with the idea of Obaseki joining the party to assist it to defeat the APC instead of being the PDP governorship candidate.

A chieftain of PDP, Kassim Afegbua, a former Commissioner for Information, said: “The idea of having Governor Obaseki in PDP is already causing some ripples within the party because it will amount to political ambush.

“First, the purchase of nomination forms has closed. We have three viable aspirants running. I am supporting Hon. Ogbeide-Ihama for the primaries and hopefully he will emerge as the candidate.

“If a candidate emerges on Saturday, are you expecting the candidate to step down for someone who did not participate in the process, simply because he is a Governor? That will not only be an ambush, but an unfair reading of the situation.

“The governor is free to join the party. It is his constitutional right, but joining is one, becoming a candidate is another. He should join to support whoever emerges as the candidate, to face the APC candidate.

“Rather than be the candidate, which appears difficult at this injury hour, he should join hands with other party loyalists to ensure the APC is defeated. That would be like some kind of soft landing for him.

“Again, the Party has to understudy the report of the APC screening committee especially the obvious discrepancies in his submissions. You cannot have two certificates from one university bearing inconsistent dates with all manner of contradicting submissions.

“Beyond politics, the APC might have derived inspiration from the Bayelsa scenario, which the PDP must take notice of, so that we do not fall into another cul-de-sac. “Please tell Obaseki to drop his ambition, and join hands with whoever emerges on Saturday in PDP primary to give a good fight to the APC.

Making him a candidate will be an exercise in overkill, an ambush, and an abuse of process in terms of our party constitution, our rules and regulations.”

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BUA Group Chairman’s Presidential Campaign Posters Flood Kano

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Campaign posters of the Chairman of BUA Group Alhaji Abdul Samad Rabiu have  flooded the city of Kano, indicating his interest under the banner of main opposition party Peoples Democratic Party PDP.

The posters sighted in various parts of Kano Metropolis on Wednesday may yet be a strong indicator that the business mogul would throw his hat into the ring for the 2023 presidential race.

Alhaji Adamu Maina Waziri  a Board of Trustees (BoT) member  of the PDP and Minister of Police Affairs under President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan recently said in an interview with Daily Trust  that the presidential ticket of the party will be zoned to the North due to an  understanding to that effect.

While some party members are in support of a norther ticket, it is understood that there are those who oppose it.
BUA Group Chairman will be eligible to contest for the presidency under PDP if eventually zoning to the North holds sway in the party.

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Buratai, Other Former Service Chiefs Have Passed Test, Ready To Serve Foreign Missions – Nigeria First

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The Nigeria First movement has welcomed the confirmation of former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai (rtd) and other immediate past service chiefs as ambassadors designate by the Senate.

By their confirmation, the group noted the ex-COAS and his counterparts have passed the test, “unblemish in character and therefore fit to serve as heads of our foreign missions”.

Th group made this known on Thursday in a press statement in Abuja signed by its president, Chief Philip Agbese.

Owing to their trackrecord from a highly professional background, Agbese expressed optimism that they will deploy their wealth of knowledge and experience to bear on their new assignments.

He, however, urged the Federal Government to ensure that the diplomats are deployed to countries where their impact will be most felt.

While commending President Muhammadu Buhari for finding the former military chiefs worthy, Chief Agbese added that he should deploy them to countries with the needed military technology relevant to Nigeria’s current security situation which will help improve military cooperation between the two countries.

Read full statement below:

On behalf of NIGERIA FIRST, May l commend the Senate for performing this important function. This is a patriotic act.

One of the important ingredients of democracy is the separation of powers.It is on this tripod of this power separation that good governance thrives. The confirmation exercise by the Senate is therefore, a confirmation that arms of the Nigerian government are working in the overall interest of national development.

Ambassadors are important in world affairs.

They represent and protect the interest and nationals of their states. They also initiate and facilitate strategic agreements ,treaties,conventions,promote information, trade and commerce, technology, friendly relations etc.Their negotiation skills and expertise are therefore significant in  meeting these functions.

Having been confirmed as Ambassadors,the next thing is posting to their respective states. By their confirmation, Lt. Gen TY Buratai (rtd) and others have passed the test as unblemish in character and therefore fit to serve as heads of our foreign missions.

It’s instructive to note that these Nigerians have been called from highly professional backgrounds for this important assignment. We are optimistic that they will  deploy their wealth of knowledge and  experience to bear on their new ssignments

We therefore call on the federal government to ensure that our diplomats are deployed to countries where their impact will be most felt. This can be done by  taking advantage of their background to decide which country each is posted to.

For instance, our immediate past service chiefs can be deployed to such countries where their military background becomes handy in negotiating military pacts  on behalf of our country more so that our dear country is passing through security challenges. As service chiefs,their involvement in the nation’s defence system must have placed them in a strategic position to further improve  our security architecture.

In view of their background, we are tempted to conclude that posting them to countries with  the needed military technology relevant to our  current security situation in the country will help improve military cooperation between the two countries.

This is why we passionately appeal that the background of the Ambassadors be used as a yardstick for their posting .This way,we will feel the impact of their representation.

Once again, we commend  the  Senate for performing this important assignment of their confirmation .

We also most humbly commend President Buhari for finding them worthy to serve as our representatives abroad .

Thanks and God bless you.

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Ambassadors Designate: Sowore Suffering From Failed Revolution Hangover – NICreL

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The New Initiative for Credible Leadership (NICreL) says Omoyele Sowore’s attempt to incite Nigerians in the diaspora against the ambassadors designate shows that he is yet to recover from his failed insurrection bid.

The group, in a statement on Wednesday, said the former presidential aspirant is suffering from a waned revolution hangover, one that has impaired his capacity to process ideas, thoughts, utterances and actions expected of right-thinking members of the society.

According to the statement signed by its Executive Director, Rev Steven Onwu, the NICreL urged Nigerians in the Diaspora to ignore Sowore, whom it noted, is goading them to possibly violate the laws in their countries of domicile while he shuttles between New York and Nigeria extorting high ranking persons through blackmail.

The group further cautioned Nigerians abroad to avoid anything that would lead to their repatriation to Nigeria and eventually become hirelings and rented protesters for Sowore’s failed revolution.

While describing the former service heads as worthy ambassadors who served the nation meritoriously as military chiefs, the group urged Nigerians to actively flag and report Sowore’s inciteful post.

The NICreL, however, advised the RevolutionNow convener to voluntarily commit himself to a mental health facility especially now that mental health issues are gaining better recognition and improving attention in Nigeria.

Read the full statement below:

The New Initiative for Credible Leadership (NICreL) has noted with disgust the attempt by failed revolutionist and pro-terrorists’ activists, Omoyele Sowore to incite Nigerians in the diaspora against the ambassadors designate recently confirmed by the Senate. We recognize that Sowore is suffering from failed revolution hangover, one that has greatly impaired his capacity to process ideas, thoughts, utterances and actions on the basis expected of right-thinking members of the society.

In a new low in Sowore’s rapid descent into the irresponsible, he wrote on his Facebook page that “Dear Nigerians in the Diaspora: If Tukur Buratai or any of the criminal former Buhari service chiefs is (are) sent to your domain anywhere in the world please chase them back to Nigeria in sustained protest! Remember they are only fit to be sent to the ICC in The Hague #BuhariMustGo #OccupyNigeria #RevolutionNow”

Ordinarily, knowing that Sowore is mentally and reality-challenged, efforts should not be dissipated replying to his rabidity against the ambassadors designate, who served the nation meritoriously as military chiefs. However, we are concerned that unwary Nigerians in the diaspora may be misled into heeding his criminal incitement, which would ultimately lead to such hapless persons being arrested for acting in the manner Sowore suggested and they will then be prosecuted, convicted, serve jail terms before being repatriated to Nigeria while the subjects of their misdirected anger continue to excel in their new roles.

Nigerians in the diaspora should note that Sowore is goading to possibly violate the laws in their countries of domicile while he shuttles between New York and Nigeria extorting high ranking persons through blackmail. Those in the diaspora would want to check the extant rules in their locations so that they will not be repatriated to Nigeria to become hirelings and rented protesters for Sowore’s failed revolution.

This common tout appears desperate in his bid to make other Nigerians into depressed persons as he has become after his serial attempts to overthrow the government of the day through mob action have failed repeatedly. He lost at the poll, his personae tainted the #OccupyNigeria movement, his devious nature truncated his #RevolutionNow movement and even protesters of under #EndSARS chased him away from their protests in Abuja because they know that he stains anything he touches with rot. So rotten is this entity that answers are yet to be found for what to his party’s campaign money in the 2019 Presidential Election he took part in.

NICreL is pleased to note that some of the comments on his inciteful post called him out as someone desperate to destroy Nigeria for reasons known to only him. We urge those who see through his evil plans to actively flag and report his posts as inciting violence so that Facebook and other social media platforms can treat those poisonous posts according to their community standards, which do not tolerate bad behaviour.

On the offline side, Nigerians must begin to educate each other on how there is nothing democratic about a Sowore, who refuses to acknowledge that the Senate exercised the powers bestowed on it by the Nigerian 1999 Constitution (as amended). It is tragic that this maniac once, even as a comedian, aspired to the highest position in the land. The disdain he has shown for the National Assembly and his total lack of decorum for diplomatic relations is confirmation that the 38,000 plus people who voted for him in 2019 should be held in asylums because they must constitute a risk to the country to see anything worth redeeming in Sowore.

We urge Sowore, for whatever it worth, that it is time he gives serious thoughts to voluntarily committing himself to a mental health facility especially now that mental health issues are gaining better recognition and improving attention in Nigeria.

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