Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has led members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Campaign Council to Ekiti State and charged the All Progressives Congress (APC) to be ready to accept defeat in good faith in the July governorship election.
Alhaji Abubakar, who said he was satisfied with the level of preparation of the PDP ahead of the election, charged the APC to accept defeat if it loses the election in the spirit of the 2015 election in which the PDP conceded defeat.
Abubakar said: “We are satisfied that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is prepared for this election. We hope that the All Progressives Congress (APC) will accept the outcome of the election.
“They should be democratic for the first time. We have seen how democratic they are, but for the first time in 2015 we have opposition party taking over from the ruling party, we expect them to do the same.”
He, therefore, charged the APC to “show its democratic credentials for the first” time by accepting the outcome of the July governorship election in good faith.
Governor Ayodele Fayose, while speaking on the occasion, said the PDP leaders and elders were in the state as part of their support for the party in the state, saying that they knew that the PDP had already won the election.
He alleged that the only thing the opposition APC was allegedly relying on was to rig the poll, and reiterated his claim that the PDP had already won the election.
Governor Fayose called on all those saddled with the responsibility of conducting the election to be above board, saying “we have told INEC that this is a pointer to the 2019 election. They should save their image.”
Fayose said: “The country is bigger than all of us. Let me tell them if rigging has been tried elsewhere it won’t work here. The people will defend this election. We are aware of plans to bring thugs here to disrupt the election, the people will stand up to them.
“The PDP leadership are in the state today to strengthen our hands and assured us of their support. I want to say that this election is about the people for the people and it must be so. Ekiti election is not only about Nigeria, the whole world is watching.
“We are looking forward to observers from all over the world because I am the voice they want to suppress. We are prepared for the election and we are going to win.”
The deputy president of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu; a former Senate President, David Mark; former governor of Kano state, Alhaji Ibrahim Shekarau; Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe, former Governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel among others.
Meanwhile, members of the State Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ekiti State have said they are solidly behind Governor Ayodele Fayose and that at no time did the governor plan to trade away the candidacy of the PDP candidate, Prof. Kolapo Olusola.
In a statement in Ado-Ekiti, last Monday, by the State Chairman, Barrister Gboyega Oguntuase, the PDP chairman said the statement by the All Progressives Congress (APC) that Fayose planned to trade away the candidacy of Olusola was fake and a product of an amateur blackmailer.
“My attention has been drawn to the product of amateur blackmailers who said the Ekiti State Working Committee of the PDP of which I am the chairman is accusing the State Governor, Dr Peter Ayo Fayose of planning to compromise the candidacy of the Aremo Osoko, Prof Kolapo Olusola Eleka.
“I, Barr Gboyega Oguntuwase, the State Chairman of PDP in Ekiti State, did not issue or sign the said statement. All the statements credited to the State Working Committee (SWC) in the said document are false and not known to us.
“Our belief in Dr Peter Ayo Fayose ( Peter the Rock) as the leader of the party and unrepentant champion of continuity is uncompromising. The statement which contained a lot of grammatical errors can only be a product of ignoramus and illiterates wanting to cause disaffection within a family that can never be divided.
“Our 100% commitment to continuity is personally encouraged and engineered by Dr Peter Ayo Fayose; no wonder we say ‘Fayose leads, we follow’. The said statement is a distraction to our intention to expose the violent nature of APC in Ekiti State which started on the day their candidate, Dr Kayode Fayemi came to start his campaign in the state with bad omens with bullets hitting one of our brothers and their member, Barr Opeyemi Bamidele and several others from their party.
“The violent activities of APC are noticeable in the destruction of our billboards in Ikere, Ikole, Oye and just yesterday in Ekiti West local government area where they stabbed people with broken bottles while other weapons were freely used. This we shall report to the appropriate agencies.
“Ekiti people know our integrity, those of us at the leadership of PDP are in a covenant relationship never to betray one another, on this resolution we stand forever.
“If the amateur blackmailer knew our pedigrees and the level of our integrity which is unassailable and without blemish, he would not have concocted such a cheap story. Behind Fayose we stand to establish continuity,” he said.
Meanwhile, Despite the reported decision by President Muhammadu Buhari not to meet with members of the new Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP), the Presidency has assured that he may yet have a session with them at the conclusion of the ongoing talks with the faction.
A report had emerged on Monday that Buhari would have nothing to do with the nPDP since their issue was a party matter.
But that position seemed to shift a bit on Tuesday when a top Presidency source revealed that the president’s meeting with the group has not be foreclosed.
The source who pleaded anonymity reiterated that Buhari has decided not to meet with the aggrieved party members in order not to be seen to be interfering with party matters.
However, it pointed out that the issue was already being addressed at top Presidency level with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo leading the discussion.
The source affirmed that Osinbajo has the blessing of the president who was expected to be briefed by the Vice President at the end of the talks.
It added that before then, the president will not intervene out of respect for the party.
The source said: ”A process has begun, with the party talking to those feeling estranged. The meeting has risen to the level of the Vice President. This is expected to continue.
“At the culmination of these meetings, the President will obviously be briefed.
“Before that point is reached, the President will not meddle or interfere.
“He is staying above it all, not arising from arrogance or snubbing anyone.
“The President expects that the due process should be observed in all situations and that is what he is doing.”
Members of nPDP broke out from the former ruling party to align with the opposition All Progressive Congress (APC) to win the 2015 general election.
It has in its rank the likes of Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, Governors Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto) and Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara).
The group, which had recently complained of being marginalized in the APC, issued an ultimatum to President Buhari to meet with them but the meeting never materialized.
Obasanjo, Abdulsalami, Sultan, Others Brainstorm On Insecurity
Rising insecurity and agitations for secession by different ethnic groups across Nigeria has attracted the attention of elder statesmen and other national leaders to a meeting in Abuja.
The meeting was organised by Interfaith Initiatives for Peace jointly led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, and Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan, and the National Peace Committee chaired by Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd).
Reporters were barred from taking part in the closed-door meeting, expected to proffer solutions to the ongoing security challenges threatening the peace and unity of the country.
It was also an exploratory meeting on pressing issues of national unity, security, peace, integration, economic revitalisation and development, women and youth welfare and general progress.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo; former Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd); Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; Tor Tiv, Prof Ortese Iorzua James Ayatse, Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan; President General (Ohanaeze Ndigbo), Prof George Obiozor; and Afenifere leader, Ayo Adebanjo; were all in attendance.
Others sighted at the meeting are President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba; CAN General Secretary, Joseph Daramola; JAMB Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede; Etsu Nupe, Yahya Abubakar; former Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, among several political and traditional rulers at the meeting.
Elder statesmen, Chief Edwin Clark, also attended the event at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, but could not participate in the meeting because he could not climb the staircase to the meeting room.
Fighting Corruption Difficult In Democratic Setting, Buhari Laments
President Muhammadu Buhari says fighting corruption in democratic setting is a difficult task to accomplish.
The president disclosed this during an interview with Arise Television which was televised, yesterday.
According to him, the war against corruption has not been easy for him since he became a democratically elected president six years ago.
He, however, stressed that his administration had succeeded in easing out corrupt public officials without making noise about it.
Buhari recalled that much was achieved in the fight against corruption when he was military Head of State in the early 80s “when a lot of people were sent to prisons before I was also booted out”.
The president frowned at the way and manner local government system was being managed, saying the local government administration was almost non-existent in the country.
He cited situation where state governors continued to starve the local governments of funds saying “in a situation where N300million is allocated to local government and they are given N100million is not fair”.
On activities of bandits and kidnappers particularly in the North-West and North-Central zones, Buhari said he had given the police and Armed Forces the instructions to be ruthless with bandits and vandals terrorising innocent citizens across the country.
He stated that he had told the security agencies to treat bandits and other criminals in the “the language they understand.
“Problem in the north-west; you have people over there stealing each other’s cattle and burning each other’s villages.
“Like I said, we are going to treat them in the language they understand.
“We have given the police and the military the power to be ruthless. You watch it in a few weeks’ time there will be difference.
”Because we told them if we keep people away from their farm, we are going to starve. And the government can’t control the public.
“If you allow hunger, the government is going to be in trouble and we don’t want to be in trouble.
“We are already in enough trouble. So, we warn them sooner than later you’ll see the difference,’’ he said.
On farmers/herders clashes, the president said the problem had persisted because old cattle routes and grazing areas had been violated by development, adding that those who had taken over such traditional arrangements would be dispossessed.
On the fight against insurgency, Buhari dismissed the assertion that majority of Boko Haram members were foreigners.
According to him, the majority of the Boko Haram members are Nigerians, saying this was further corroborated by Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum.
The president stated that his administration had done a lot to fight the terrorists and insurgents but the problem in the “North-East is very difficult.”
Igboho Declares June 12 Day Of Protest, Warns Buhari
Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, has declared June 12 as day of protest for Yoruba nation agitators.
The self-acclaimed Yoruba activist said the agitators will hold ‘peaceful rallies’ across the South-West region on Saturday, June 12.
Igboho, who spoke through his spokesman, Olayomi Koiki, in a live video programme aired, last Wednesday night, called on South-West governors to cooperate with the peaceful protesters during the exercise.
He warned the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration not to attack the agitators.
He said, “Let us warn the Federal Government that if there is bloodshed this weekend, the international community is watching, if the military kills any Nigerian this weekend, it is going to be very hot.
“The Yoruba nation rally will go ahead in every part of Yoruba land and the rest of the country where it will hold.
“Red alarm will begin on Friday. People should stock up food Items from Friday night.
“We are not backing down this weekend; we are ready to take back what belongs to us.”
He also enjoined agitators to ‘fast’ on Friday.
This is coming after NANS under the leadership of its National President, Comrade Sunday Asefon, had declared June 12 as National Day of peaceful protest to call on the government to act decisively towards addressing insecurity.
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