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2019: APC’s Sudden Support For Restructuring, Deceitful – Makarfi

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Former National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ahmed Makarfi has expressed doubt on the recent support of restructuring by the All Progressives Congress (APC), describing the move as “height of deception” and a ploy by the ruling party to win votes in 2019.
This was just as he declared that the PDP does not in anyway feel threatened by the Coalition for Nigeria Movement (NCM), the group formed by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Makarfi said this at the weekend in Lagos while speaking with journalists on the report recently submitted to the Presidency by the Malam Nasir El-Rufai-led APC Committee on Restructuring.
According to him,  the “sudden change in tone” of the ruling party regarding the issue of restructuring is the height of deception, urging Nigerians to be wary of what he termed “the antics of the APC.”
The PDP chieftain, who recalled a world press conference he addressed months back when the issue of restructuring came about, said he had on that occasion described the APC as a chameleon that changes its colour, declaring that the PDP had right from the beginning supported restructuring on the basis of which the party organized the National Conference in 2014.
“I addressed a world press conference when this matter came up many months ago and said that the APC is like a chameleon that changes its colour. Right from the beginning, the PDP supported restructuring and that was one of the reasons why we organized the National Conference in 2014.
“You will recall that not too long ago, the governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai and the National Chairman of APC, John Oyegun were on television for a one-hour programme and when they were asked about this, they said that it was not important and that it was not even part of their party manifesto. That was what they said.
“And the following day, I featured and I was asked the same question about restructuring and I repeated what I said during the press conference that all the processes leading to restructuring were initiated by former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan who were all members of the PDP.
“All the past national conferences were conducted by the PDP and some of them bothered by the need to restructure. We could not abandon what we started but what is important is that since restructuring means different things to different people, the starting point is to narrow down your understanding on it and proceed stage by stage because there are short, medium and long-term goals.
“For a party which had always spoken against restructuring to now turn around and say that they have to restructure because they want to win an election is deceitful. They have now changed their position because elections are approaching; that is a height of deception. And it is for Nigerians to take them for what they are; people who will use everything to remain in power not because they mean it,” Makarfi said.
On the formation of a political coalition by former President Obasanjo, Senator Makarfi said the coalition was not a threat to PDP, adding that its chief promoter had since declared that it was not a political party.
“We don’t feel threatened by the Coalition for Nigerian Movement because most of them are our friends and associates. They said they are not a political party, but time will tell. If they metamorphosed into a political party, we will see how the game would be played. But President Olusegun Obasanjo himself said that any day they change into a political party, he will cease to be a member,” Makarfi said.
He, however, said his desire was to see the coalition operate like the Independents in the United States with the primary focus of assessing candidates on whatever political platform before deciding on which one to support for the election.
“My take is that the coalition would act like the Independents in the US, who look at the candidates whether Republican or Democrats to decide which party to support. But time will tell what their agenda is, but whatever it is, we are not threatened,” the PDP chieftain said.

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CROSIEC Deploys About 8,000 Personnel For LG Elections

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Ahead of the next Saturday’s rescheduled Local Government elections in Cross River, about 8000 personnel are said to have been deployed across the state to ensure the smooth conduct of the elections.
The Chairman of the Cross River State Independent Electoral Commission, Dr. Mike Ushie, who disclosed this in Calabar while
speaking on preparations by the commission, said they are ready for the elections and one hundred percent compliant with post COVID-19
elections guidelines recently released by the Independent National Electoral Commission as well as the National Centre for Diseases
Control.
He said: “Eight thousand personnel have been mobilised to cover the two thousand, two hundred and twenty-six polling units in the state.
There will be three personnel per pooling unit, five at the accreditation centres, five at the local government and ward coalition centres.
“Accreditation and voting will take place simultaneously and  in line with INEC guidelines, there will be two levels of queuing  and voters
will vote in batches while maintaining social distance.
“We had to make sure that we are on course and lives are protected. Luckily INEC released the procedure for post COVID-19 elections and I
must say that we are in full compliance with it. INEC said we have to provide hand sanitizers, face masks and we have adopted all the
procedures one hundred percent.
“ We have gone beyond INEC  and have gone ahead to procure hand sanitizers, hand washing containers, a good number of face masks  and
we are working seriously to ensure that the right thing is done”, he said.
He added that the commission has given sufficient notice for the elections and confirmed that five political parties will be participating in Saturday’s elections.
From FRIDAY NWAGBARA, Calabar.
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Ambassador Desmond Akawor Inaugurated As New Rivers State PDP Chairman

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The new Rivers State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Executive Council has been inaugurated in Port Harcourt.
Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly,  Mr Ikuinyi Ibani administered the oath of office on the new executives led by Ambassador Desmond Akawor.
In a charge, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike called on the new executives to work towards consolidating the gains of the immediate past Executive led by Bro Felix Obuah.
He commended immediate past Rivers State PDP Chairman,  Bro Felix Obuah for leading to victory .
He said: “We had challenges at the beginning, but that Executive was committed to service. Obuah has shown capacity to deliver.  It will not be easy for the new executives, but the new executives must start to prepare the party for the challenges ahead.
“Work hard to surpass the records of the past executives.  Working together is key, unity is key.”
Speaking further, Governor Wike said that the Rivers State Government will never condone criminality or any attempt to violate the law.
He said: “But for the steps that , the number of cases would have been more. What makes a leader is the ability  to be firm. I value life more than property.
“Since 2015, we have not demolished any property.  But, someone who was SSG superintended over the demolition of several properties.  Now the person is talking about the draconian process.
“My joy is that majority of Rivers people love what we are doing.”
Governor Wike added that from Information from the State Health Commissioner,  the State is likely to have more cases,  mostly oil workers.
National Chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus congratulated the new Rivers State PDP Executive Committee,  advising them to work for the growth of the party.
Commenting on the fight against coronavirus,  Uche Secondus blasted the Federal Government for refusing to assist State Governments and provide direction for the country.
He said: “The Governors are working without help from the Federal Government.  But for God, the situation would have been worse.
“Governors are running from pillar to post. We must be grateful to Governor Wike for the initiative that he took. What the Governor has done has helped to drastically reduce the number of cases.
“Rivers State is lucky to have Governor Wike at this time of crisis .”
He said those who spread negative propaganda do so out of hatred.
New Rivers State PDP Chairman,  Ambassador Desmond Akawor thanked ththe leadership and members of the party for giving him the opportunity to serve.
He said God has used Governor Wike to rebuild a new Rivers State.  He saluted the resilience of PDP in weathering the storm.
Akawor assured that the new Executive will serve the party diligently.
Immediate Past PDP State Chairman,  Bro Felix Obuah said that the Executive Committee under his leadership led the party to victory  since 2015.
He said that the outgone Executives will continue to work for the party  to ensure future victory.
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Bode George Urges FG To Relax Lagos Lockdown

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A former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George has urged federal government to relax the lockdown it imposed on Lagos State as a result of COVID- 19 pandemic.
George, who made the call in a statement in Lagos, yesterday said the lockdown imposed since March 29 was adversely affecting livelihoods and bringing up security challenges.
He said though government intended to curb the spread of the virus with the lockdown, the directive had left many Nigerians hungry at home without palliatives.
The PDP chieftain noted that there must be a balance between curbing the spread of the virus and protecting livelihoods and asked the government to relax the lockdown while putting safety measures in place.
“Everywhere in Lagos is now locked down. The markets, banking halls, the local grocery shops, the supermarkets, the transportation services are all halted, frozen by the federal government directives since March 29.
“On the surface level, the federal government’s position is to ensure safety, prevent communal spread of the virus and banish this scourge from our shores.
“Lagosians have been staying at home for about a month now. In a largely informal economy where most of our people depend on daily wages, the burden of lack of income is devastating.
“There is a natural growing anger in Lagos as the most vulnerable are ravaged with hunger,” George said.

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