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APC Set To Hold Edo Governorship Primary Election

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) is set to conduct its primary election for the forthcoming governorship poll in Edo State.

This comes amid the lingering crisis in the party which led to the suspension of the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, and the exit of the incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki, from the party.

The Secretary of the APC Governorship Primary Election Committee, Ajibola Bashiru, told Channels Television on Sunday that nothing would stop the election from holding on Monday.

Bashiru, who was a guest on Sunday Politics, said, “We are set to conduct primary in Edo State. We have met with the leadership of the state. We have appointed presiding officers in line with the guidelines of the party at local government and ward levels.”

According to him, the exercise will commence by 8am at all 192 wards in 18 local government areas of the state.

The party is conducting the exercise despite the warning by the state government that the APC must apply for a waiver before organising a political gathering in any part of the state, as it battles the spread of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the Federal High Court in Benin City had fixed June 22 to decide on the mode of primary to be used by the party for the exercise.

The APC screening committee for the primary election had disqualified the governor and two other candidates, saying Obaseki was declared unfit to participate in the exercise because of his “defective certificates”.

In his reaction, Governor Obaseki rejected the committee’s decision and accused his predecessor of frustrating his effort of seeking re-election.

Oshiomhole, however, denied the allegation and explained that the party was only trying to ensure the best candidate was fielded in the September 19 election.

On Thursday last week, the APC National Working Committee (NWC)-backed acting national chairman, Hilliard Eta, inaugurated the Governorship Primary Election and Appeal committees.

The Governorship Primary Election Committee is chaired by Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, with Senator Bashiru as its secretary and five others as members.

On the other hand, the Appeal Committee has Dr Yusuf Naaji as chairman and Dr Kayode Ajulo as its secretary, with three others as members.

The party had inaugurated the committees two days after Governor Obaseki resigned his membership from the APC.

He later joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Friday last week and was granted a waiver to contest for an elective office on the party’s platform with about three months to the election.

The governor has since been screened by the PDP committee and has been welcomed into the party by the PDP Governors’ Forum, former presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, among other party leaders.

Following Obaseki’s exit from the APC, the crisis in the party took a new twist as two conflicting declarations emerged over the suspension of Oshiomhole from the party.

While about 17 APC executive members of Ward 10 in Etsako West Local Government Area (LGA) said the decision had been reviewed in the interest of peace, the ward chairman insisted that the embattled national chairman remained suspended from the party.

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Itse Sagay Wants Buhari To Sack NDDC Interim Management Committee

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The Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Professor Itse Sagay, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the interim management committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

He made this call on Tuesday during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics.

Professor Sagay also wants his principal to inject fresh members into the board in view of the allegations of corruption rocking the commission.

“I will suggest that everybody there should be cleared out and the President should not appoint a new set of people very quickly under temporary conditions so that a permanent board and management can be established in the place that will then be monitored.

“My view is that everybody should be removed right now. Clear the place, sweep it clean. Start afresh with a new set of people,” he said.

While describing the corruption allegations as mind-boggling, Sagay wondered why forensic auditing cannot be done despite having a regular board manning the affairs of the commission.

The professor recalled that when some appointments were made into the commission, he was against the character of two nominees then.

He regretted that the question mark posed on some members of the NDDC has given a bad impression about the Niger Delta region.

This comes shortly after the 2019 budget defence of the NDDC by the agency’s Interim Management Committee (IMC) suffered a setback.

The NDDC team comprising its acting Managing Director, Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei, Executive Director (Project), Dr Cairo Ojougboh, among appeared before the National Assembly in Abuja to defend the agency’s budget for the previous year.

They, however, could not successfully defend the agency’s budget as the lawmakers pointed out some discrepancies in the budget.

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Edo Election: PDP Confident Of Victory

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The National Campaign Council of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the Edo governorship election says the party is confident that its candidate, Governor Godwin Obaseki will win the election.

The party was optimistic of its victory after the inaugural meeting of the council held behind closed doors in Port Harcourt which was presided over by the River State Governor, Nyesom Wike.

In attendance at the meeting are Governors of Adamawa State Umaru Fintri, Oyo State Seyi Makinde, and other members of the National Campaign Council, chairmen and secretaries of all the sub-committees of Edo 2020.

Briefing journalists after the meeting, Adamawa State Governor, Umaru Fintiri said the meeting adopted the best strategies to retain what rightly belongs to PDP.

Governor Fintiri who is also the Deputy Chairman of the campaign council said they would leave no stone unturned in working with Edo people to deepen democracy.

“The election is already on the table for PDP. We have a sellable candidate, who is Governor Godwin Obaseki. Nigerians are moving forward with democracy and we have to deepen it together.

“Technically, Edo is a PDP state because, in the last election of 2019, we actually won all the elections. So, it is not coming as a surprise that Governor Obaseki has to shift his ground from APC to join us.

“Now, we are putting all the forces together, and there is nothing that’s left behind. So Edo is completely a PDP state and we are going in there to win the election,” he said.

Also speaking, Chairman of the Publicity Committee, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi said the Edo people are convinced that Governor Obaseki is the best candidate in the governorship race.

He explained that the national campaign council has given the state campaign council all the needed support that would ensure total victory for PDP.

” Those of us from Edo state are very clear in our minds that our candidate, Governor Obaseki is definitely the best candidate that can deliver and sustain the PDP ticket and also take the flag of the party to Osadebe House.

“For the South-South, it is a great challenge and honour to ensure that the six states in the zone belong to PDP. So, every support has been pledged by the leadership of the party; the governors, members of BOT, the national working committee. They are committed to ensuring that the flag of PDP will continue to fly in Government House,” he said.

Since the inauguration of the 77 member National Campaign Council by the National Working Committee of the PDP on the 7th of July, 2020
in Abuja, this is the first meeting of the council to work out strategies that will ensure victory on September 19th, 2020 in the Edo State governorship election.

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WTO: APC Governors Forum Back Okonjo-Iweala

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The Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) has called on member countries of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to support Nigeria’s candidate for election into the office of the Director-General, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala.

In a statement issued Wednesday in Abuja, chairman of the forum and Kebbi state governor and Governor of Kebbi state, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, said the main objective of establishing the World Trade Organization is to create a trading system that is equitable and with least distortions.

“Regrettably, while being an improvement on the Agreement on Trade and Tariffs GATT, the WTO is yet to deliver in achieving the objectives. Worst still is that it is perceived as impotent. The exit of UK from EU and the brickbat between the US and China is illustrative of the difficulties with bilateral trade agreements talk more of a global one. The failure of the WTO to reach an agreement on agriculture, for example is punitive to all of Africa”, he said.

According to Gov. Bagudu, the literal freezing of world trade occasioned by the Coronavirus Pandemic serves as a stark warning that the world needs to have a better trade system.

“Whoever imagined that one country can ‘seize’ medical supplies going to other countries? Fixing the global trading system is one of the most important challenges of our time and doing so shall contribute to global prosperity more than any agreement. In so doing poverty shall be reduced and global prosperity shall be more equitably shared. Reforming the World Trade Organization is at the heart of any of such quest, and thus the choice of the next leader of the Organization matters.

“In nominating our own Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, President Buhari is not just presenting a Nigerian Candidate but is presenting to the world one of its best, albeit from Nigeria, and one who is eminently qualified to lead the task of fixing the world trading system. An economist, international development expert and a global public servant, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala is one candidate that comes with all the experiences and expertise required to reposition the WTO. Both President Buhari and Dr. Okonjo-Iweala deserve commendation for giving the world the opportunity towards correcting the distortions in the world trading system.”

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