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2023: Nigerians are ready to support PDP – Elumelu



2023: Nigerians are ready to support PDP – Elumelu

… As Northwest Stakeholders optimistic of positive impact of APC Congresses on future elections***

The Minority Leader, House of Representatives, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, says Nigerians are solidly behind the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as long as its choice for the 2023 general elections reflects their aspirations for a new beginning.

Elumelu stated this on Thursday in Abuja at the 93rd National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the PDP.

He said that PDP’s resolutions at its last NEC meeting held on Aug. 28, in charting the way through its challenges, had brought a deep relief to Nigerians.

He said Nigerians were now confident that the party was the only viable option to rescue the nation at this critical time.

“With my vantage position as a parliamentarian, I make regular contact with Nigerians from all walks of life.

“I am happy to report to NEC that such confidence has been reinvigorated by the way and manner in which our party has handled our challenges.

“Nevertheless, it is ‘not yet uhuru’. The charge beckons on us all, now than ever before, to be even more united in jettisoning all personal interests and assuming a more nationalistic approach in all our decisions and discourses.

“This will provide our compatriots with the much-needed platform to forcefully rally for the task ahead.

“We must bear in mind that our decisions and activities will not only affect the fate of our party but that of Nigerians in general in their quest to salvage our nation from the All Progressives Congress (APC), “he said.

Elumelu said that Nigerians could not wait to see the PDP back to power to end killings, terrorism, banditry, economic hardship, poverty and hopelessness.

“The only assurance of security and a return to life of unity, peace, national cohesion and economic prosperity is in returning the PDP to power and Nigerians are determined to follow us to the end.

“In this regard, I charge every one of us to make sacrifices as we gear up towards the forthcoming national convention so that we will elect competent national officers who will eventually lead us to victory.

“In all, one thing is sure. If we work hard and not relent, the PDP will be reinstated to power, come May 29, 2023,” Elumelu said.

The Senate Minority Leader, Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe, urged the people of Anambra to vote PDP in the Nov. 6 governorship election.

He pledged PDP National Assembly members support for the party as it chats a course to take over Nigeria in 2023,  starting from its convention on Oct. 30.

“I enjoined every one of us to work hard for this party and I believe that, God willing, the sufferings of Nigerians today will be a thing of the past in no distant time,” Abaribe said.

In another development, Stakeholders in the Northwest have applauded the adoption of ‘Consensus’ approach by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in electing its officials, saying other options would have led to internal wrangling over authenticity of results.

Expressing their feelings during separate interviews with Correspondents of the newsmen in Kaduna, Kano, Sokoto, Katsina and Birnin Kebbi, most of them were of the opinion that the exercise would have positive impact on future elections.

Others, however, expressed their reservations about the possible gains of adopting the Consensus option, citing instances of irregularities in some states, resulting in the conduct of parallel Congresses.

They argued that the ‘carry-over’ of internal wrangling occasioned by the exercise, to the time of conduct of elections, might not augur well for the country.

Mr Alexander Aya, former Interim Management Council (IMC) Chairman of Kaura Local Government Council in Kaduna State, said in spite of all challenges, the All Progressives Congress (APC) would overcome its internal squabbles.

Also read: Lawyer drags governor, others to court over nonpayment of 10 years pensions, gratuities

He said like every other political party, APC had its peculiar challenges, which bordered on individual or group interests, and that such development would not have any negative effect on future elections in the country.

“Alleged irregularities associated with the party’s Local Government Congresses, is not peculiar to APC.

“Internal crisis in APC is as a result of interests certain individuals want to protect, but with the ongoing mediation, the party would surmount the challenges,” Aya added.

He said the party was magnanimous enough to have exempted Kaduna State from the conduct of the Local Government Congresses to allow the State concentrate on the Council Polls held on Saturday, Sept. 4.

Meanwhile, residents in parts of Kaduna metropolis, have expressed mixed reaction over alleged irregularities during the conduct of Saturday’s APC Local Government Congresses nationwide.

One of them, Ibrahim Yakubu, applauded the leadership role of the party, saying that decisions reached was for the benefit of members.

“If the leadership at the National Headquarters feels consensus approach of electing party leaders is the best option, I believe it is for the good of all,” he said.

On his part, Audi Adamu, an Educationist, urged party officials to ensure they involved members, especially at the grassroots so as to carry everyone along.

“There is always bound to be problems when a few individuals decide the fate of majority.

“Although the polity is heated, party stakeholders should endeavor it address its internal crisis in the best interest of the country,” Adamu said.

However, Biatrice Mathew, a Legal Practitioner, expressed reservations over the suitability of the ‘Consensus’ option, describing it as a gesture that had created room for distrust amongst members.

“If the party is to be fair to all, then, it must abide by known democratic principles that will ensure equity, and by so doing, build confidence in party faithfuls,” she opined.

In Katsina State, APC Members and other stakeholders expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the Congresses, saying it started and ended without any controversy.

One of the stakeholders, who is also the Minister of Aviation, Alhaji Hadi Sirika, attributed the success to the adoption of Consensus options, adding that doing otherwise would have resulted in fall-outs capable of affecting unity among members.

“Choosing the Consensus option is a clear demonstration that the party members belong to one family, with one destiny.

“Everything went smoothly throughout the state, without any rancour or acrimony among our party members” he said.

Also speaking, a Chieftain of APC in Ingawa Local Government Area of the state, Alhaji Ibrahim Suleiman, said that the outcome of the Congresses was heartwarming.

He said this was an indication that such approach, if adopted by other political parties, could minimise acrimony in selection of party leaders, thereby enhancing the gains of democracy in the country.

Also, Malam Sambo Danchadi, Publicity Secretary of the APC in Sokoto State believed the Consensus option had made the party stronger than it was.

“As a party, we accepted consensus option in Sokoto State to strengthen our unity, and the goal seems to have been achieved,” he said.

According to him, the claim of alleged irregularities are figment of imagination of some people, adding that no single petition was filed by any member.

“It is natural that the political party cannot satisfy the need of every member and you cannot stop anybody from expressing his or her mind,” he said.

On his part, Malam Abdullah Muhammad, a Political Analyst, said that the Consensus option adopted by APC in some states, if conducted transparently, could strengthen the party and impart positively on the forthcoming general future elections.

“This is because genuine Consensus option will avert future crises as members will be united, as such there will be no division within the party.

“The reverse will be the case if the exercise is fraudulent, which can lead to crisis and emergence of factions, and the infighting can linger up to the time of the 2023 general election,” he said.

In Kebbi State, Chairman of the State Organising Committee of APC, Alhaji Abubakar Chika-Ladan, told newsmen that the Congress would have positive impact on upcoming elections as the option adopted relatively withered away rancour and disgruntlement.

However, a Political Analyst in Kebbi, Alhaji Sadisu Muhammad, thought otherwise, arguing that irregularities that featured in some states, had jeopardised credibility and fairness expected from the exercise.

“ The party Local Government Congresses is an avenue where three elected delegates from each of the 774 local government areas in the country, will in turn, elect the presidential candidate of the party.

“The irregularities in the country now have shown that already, before the National Convention of the party, the delegates will dance to the tune of their godfathers.

“Therefore, all the delegates that will elect the presidential candidate of their party, must be subservient to their godfathers, and will go for their interest, thereby negating the norms and principles of democracy.

“In essence, those who may emerge at the National Convention, have already being predetermined,” he explained.

Muhammad also opined that the irregularities might result in litigations, which would be inimical to the smooth conduct of the convention and its subsequent outcome.

“The success of the 2023 elections solidly depends on the successful outcome of the political parties’ conventions, because its time bound,” the analyst said.

On his part, Dr Mukhtar Bashir from the Department of Political Science, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, averred that party leadership had always dominated affairs of the party.

“Wherever you see a political party, no matter the democratic instrument that is in place, there is certain oligarchical tendency in such political party.

“In most cases, party leadership always dominates the affairs of the party, to the detriment of the majority faithful.

“This has, therefore, been applicable to the Nigerian context as regards to the application of ‘Consensus’ in selecting party leaders in the country,” he said.

According to him, wherever there is lack of internal democracy in any political party, at the end of the day, there will be cross-carpeting of aggrieved members during upcoming elections.

Bashir also opined that the aggrieved members would likely defect to parties they would get similar positions they were denied in their party.

“This sort of development could affect the party, just as witnessed in Zamfara state in 2019, where APC lost all political positions to opposition party that had the second highest number of votes,” Bashir noted.

In his contribution, Malam Yahaya Muhammad, a political commentator, stated that intra-party crises might eventually lead to a situation where courts, rather than votes, would determine winners of elections.

He said this was what obtained in 2019 governorship election in Zamfara State, when the court upturned the electoral mandate of the APC, to the advantage of PDP, which had second highest counted votes.

Meanwhile, residents of Kano metropolis and party stakeholders have expressed divergent opinions over the Local Government Congress held in the state.

Some of them who spoke to newsmen on Thursday in Kano said that the exercise was marred by irregularities, while others commended the conduct.

A resident, Idi Ali, told newsmen that conduct of the exercise in some wards, was satisfactory, while in others, the exercise was not transparent, with only few people participating.

A party member, Labaran Sani, said that most members of the party who had trooped out with high expectations, were left disappointed as the party agreed on Consensus.

“The consensus adopted left many of us disappointed because some of the Party Executives are not living up to our expectations and we need change,” he said.

But a party stakeholder, Abubakar Bala, insisted that the Congress went on peacefully across the state, adding that the option was decided by party stakeholders.

Alhassan Dawakin-Tofa, APC stalwart, who conducted parallel Congress in the state, however lamented that internal wrangling might affect the party’s chances in 2023.

A Political Scientist, Annur Sadik, however, said that inter and intra party feud were normal and integral part of politics, but advised the major political parties in the country, to provide level playing-ground to its members, irrespective of who they supported.

He said such a measure would enable the seamless conduct of feature elections, devoid of hiccups, thereby enhancing the credibility of results.



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Security: Agbekoya Deploys 4,000 Security Personnel for S/West Farmers



…Says ‘We have decimated cases of kidnapping and clashes in our towns and farms

The Agbekoya Society of Nigeria, a Yoruba farmers and hunters association, says it has about 4,000 personnel providing security for farmers in the Southwest.

The Aare (President-General) of Agbekoya worldwide, Chief Kamorudeen Okikiola, disclosed this at a news conference to unveil activities for the 85th Anniversary celebration of the society in Lagos on Wednesday.

The Southwest governors, the Oni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, and other Yoruba leaders and farmers, will attend the anniversary scheduled to hold on Nov. 26.

“Today, Agbekoya is still leading as the biggest farmers’ association in Nigeria since 1938 and we will continue to provide security for our farmers.

“Agbekoya has done a lot for farmers and this has helped in feeding the nation. We have tried our best to eradicate anything that can make our farmers run away from farms.

*Chief Kamorudeen Okikiola, the Aare Agbekoya Worldwide (3rd Left) and other leaders of the society at a news conference on Wednesday in Lagos.

“Security in farms is relatively good now. We have done a lot in protecting farmers and their farms. We have put up several measures to ensure security for farmers,” he said.

Okikiola said being an association comprising farmers and hunters, it had its executive council and security wing in all towns in Yoruba land.

The Aare added: “We have decimated cases of kidnapping and clashes in our towns and farms. If you see any, they are very few.

“This is because our security arm swing into action in case of any hitch anywhere. We have about 4000 security personnel for farmers’ protection in southwest alone.”

According to him, the situation that forced many people to vacate farms for city because of insecurity has been decimated.

Okikiola said that Agbekoya had been very useful to conventional security outfits like Police to undertake certain difficult jobs that required going into forests to track down criminals.

“We don’t run away from creation of God. We are ready to challenge any battle that want to confront farmers in the southwest,” he said.

On the society’s achievements, Okikiola said that his leadership had grown Agbekoya membership from 49 members to 4.3 million members.

Commending a former minister of agriculture, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina for his efforts toward rebuilding the agbekoya society, Okikiola said the now President, the African Development Bank, believed in the society to achieve agricultural goals.

According to him, the society has not also relented efforts in training, educating and empowering farmers in partnership with local and foreign agencies and institutions as well as governments.

On the anniversary, Okikiola said the Ooni of Ife would be the Royal Father of the Day; the Olowu of Kuta, Oba Hameed Oyelude (Tegbosun III) Chairman and Chief Folashade Tinubu-Ojo, the Iyaloja General of Nigeria, as Mother of the Day.

He added that Aare Onikoyi of Yorubaland, Otunba Tomori Williams, would be the Chief Launcher with Iyalaje of Oodua, Princess Toyin Kolade among other eminent Yoruba leaders and farmers in attendance.

Okikiola said  the society would be celebrating  85 years of agricultural excellence and his 25 years as its  President-General.

“Since our inception in 1938, Agbekoya society of Nigeria, has stood as a guardian of agricultural interests, ensuring security and prosperity of our farming community.

“The 85th-anniversary celebration is a testament to our enduring commitment to the welfare of farmers and the sustainable development of agriculture,” he said.

Highlighting activities for the event, he said there would be a grand opening ceremony, exhibition/showcase of the evolution of agricultural practices and cutting-edge technologies.

He said there would also be a cultural extravaganza to explore the rich cultural heritage of the  agricultural community as well as performances, displays, and presentations.

Okikiola said pioneers of Agbekoya would be honoured to pay tribute to the visionaries and leaders who played pivotal roles in the success and growth of the society over the past 85 years.

According to him, there will also be an interactive forum which will engage stakeholders in discussions on the future of agriculture, sustainable practices, and the role of security in ensuring a thriving farming community.

He said the anniversary would reinforce the collective strength of agricultural sustainability for the good of the nation.

Okikiola said the society was dedicated to fostering a secure environment for farmers and ensuring the prosperity of agriculture through vigilant protection and advocacy.

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NNPP Heads To Supreme Court Over Appeal Court’s Sacking Of Kano Governor 



NAGAFF @23: Our Mission is Liberation of Industry Operators- Aniebonam

The New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) says it plans to appeal the judgment of the Court of Appeal which upturned the victory of Gov. Kabir Yusuf of Kano State at the Supreme Court.

Alhaji Abba Ali, the NNPP acting National Chairman, said this at a news conference on Saturday in Abuja.

Ali said that the judgment was a miscarriage of justice saying that Yusuf was given a popular mandate by the people of Kano State.

He said the party had already briefed its lawyers on the issue.

“Believing in the credibility of the judiciary and its ability to correct any error of judgment by the lower court, our party approached the Court of Appeal and prayed the appellate court to set aside the unjust ruling of the lower court.

“To our greatest shock and consternation, the Court of Appeal on Friday, Nov. 17 delivered a convoluted judgment that was anchored around their erroneous belief that Yusuf was not a member of the NNPP,” he said.

NAGAFF @23: Our Mission is Liberation of Industry Operators- Aniebonam
The NNPP Founder, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam

Ali said that to claim that Yusuf was not a member of the NNPP at the time of the 2023 general election, was mischief.
He wondered how Yusuf could have been successfully nominated on the INEC portal if his name was not submitted with the NNPP membership card.

“For our party, and we are sure for INEC as well, the issue of membership of candidates is a non-issue since the system of nomination is designed by INEC in such a way that only registered members can be nominated and uploaded onto the portal.

“It is therefore unbelievable that the Appeal Court would refuse to look at the merit of our party’s appeal and cling to the erroneous issue of membership that has already been settled severally by both the Appeal and Supreme Courts.

“We are therefore informing all members of the NNPP and indeed all Nigerians that our party has already briefed our lawyers to appeal this injustice at the Supreme Court.

“We believe that the Supreme Court will correct the errors of the tribunal and the Appeal Court and restore the mandate of the good people of Kano State by re-affirming Alhaji Yusuf as the duly elected Governor of Kano State,” he said.

Ali called on the judiciary to live up to its calling as the temple of justice and the last hope of the common man.


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Benue In N359bn Debt – Gov. Alia



Gov. Hyacinth Alia of Benue on Sunday disclosed that his administration inherited the sum of N359 billion as debt from the past administration in the state.

Alia disclosed this at an interdenominational church service to commemorate Nigeria’s 63rd independence anniversary.

The church service was organised by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Benue State Chapter, at the Methodist Cathedral, South Bank, Makurdi.

The governor,  who is a Catholic priest, said that in spite of the debt burden, he was determined to reposition the state by providing an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.

“God has accomplished his work,  and it is now left for us to make our state and nation to work. I am here to make things work.

“What we inherited was nothing to be proud of, but we will do what will make us all proud. I inherited over N359bn debt,” he said.

*Gov. Hyacinth Alia

He regretted that the state lost billions of Naira worth of agricultural produce and other property to herders’ attacks on farmers.

He said that the farmers must be supported to do their job well.

Alia said that the condition of rural dwellers following incessant herders’ attacks and fuel subsidy removal had become worrisome.

He said that his administration would find ways to support farmers by providing seedlings, fertilisers and other forms of support to enable them to work effectively in the coming farming season.

“My colleagues call me the governor of the richest state in Nigeria and I agree with them because we have numerous mineral deposits, we have the best yams and soya beans, among others.

“We will create billionaires in the state through our farms. We have everything it takes to do it.”

Alia ordered an immediate end to illegal mining in the state.

“The foreigners illegally mining gold in Kwande, Logo, Konshisha LGAs and other places in the state should desist from it immediately. This is an order,” he said.

He said that God blessed the state and the entire Nigeria abundantly and it was left for the leaders to make things work.

He decried the spate of kidnapping and other criminal activities in the state, pledging to tackle them.

The governor said that the future of the state lay in the hands of the youth, adding that his administration was training 10,000 youths in information technology for improved digital knowledge.

Alia gave the assurance that his administration would not accommodate corruption and nepotism.

The governor appealed to Benue’s sons and daughters to support the state in any way they could.

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