Some members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State last Saturday defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The defectors were received by the PDP Chairman in the state, Chief Dan Orbih, at a rally in Fugar, Etsako Central Local Government Area.
Some of the defectors said they left the APC because of the absence of internal democracy.
A former Local Government Secretary and leader of the defectors, Retired Capt. Patrick Isede said they decided to join the PDP because the party symbolises peace.
He also expressed optimism that the PDP would ameliorate the present hardship in the country if victorious in the forthcoming general elections.
Also speaking, a former Executive Secretary of Etsako Local Government Council, Mr Benjamin Enakpene said he and his supporters left the APC because they could no longer endure the lack of internal democracy in the party.
He alleged that the APC machinery in the area had remained under the control of two individuals.
Another defector and former councillor, Mr Okauso Felix said he dumped his former party because the party lacked good leaders.
He said he and his supporters had waited for nine years for a change which had yet to come, adding that the PDP was more organised and democratic.
Earlier, Orbih had said that the defection was a signal of the party’s victory in the 2019 general elections.
He expressed happiness that the defectors were joining the party based on their personal convictions.
Orbih urged the people to ensure that they were registered, saying a vote for the party would be a vote for democracy.
Group Condemns Call For Jonathan’s Suspension
A political pressure group, the Niger Delta Youth Coalition (NDYC), has condemned calls by some stalwarts of PDP for suspension of the former President of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Jonathan for hosting the newly elected Governor of Bayelsa State, Hon David Lyon of the APC.
National Coordinator of NDYC, Prince Emmanuel Ogba, who reacted to the call for Jonathan’s suspension, Wednesday in Port Harcourt said what the former President did does not amount to anti-party activity because by his position, Jonathan is a father to Bayelsa State.
“ We in NDYC think that the former President should rather be applauded for openly embracing the new governor irrespective of the political party he belongs to.
“ As a former governor of the state and President of the country, we expect Jonathan to restrict himself to advisory and fatherly roles not only to Bayelsa State but in Nigeria at large.
“Those calling for his suspension based on anti-party activity are myopic and should grow up. Such myopic views are the things dragging us backward politically”.
Ogba rather commended former President Goodluck Jonathan for setting the right precedence for Nigerian politicians to follow, stressing that politics should be played with the spirit of sportsmanship.
According to the group leader, Nigerian politicians should emulate Jonathan’s open way and large heart in politics and shun the ‘winner takes it all syndrome’.
“ Are those calling for the suspension of Jonathan suggesting that he should have chased the new governor and his team away from his house as former Governor and President in the name of PDP?” he queried.
He noted that Seriake Dickson as governor did not take full advantage of the presence and advice of Jonathan and should naturally be allowed to face the consequences of his actions and inactions.
He said what happened in Bayelsa in the last governorship election is healthy for the nation’s politics and a big lesson for other sitting Governors who according to him, are behaving as if they have conquered their states and therefore could take the people for granted.
By: Chris Oluoh
…As PDP Denies Rift With Ex-President
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says it has nothing against former President Goodluck Jonathan over the just concluded Bayelsa governorship election.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan disclosed this in an interview with newsmen on Wednesday after a meeting of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) in Abuja.
There were reports in the media that Jonathan may be sanctioned by the party following the defeat of PDP by All Progressives Congress (APC), at the November16, governorship election in Bayelsa State.
Ologbondiyan said that the issue of Jonathan was not part of matters discussed at the NWC meeting.
“The issue of former President Goodluck Jonathan did not come up at the meeting and it was not discussed.
“You must know about the procedure and processes in our party. If we do not have a report or an issue before us, we cannot delve into.
“As we speak now, we do not have any matter concerning Jonathan before us in the party,” he said.
Ologbondiyan said that the only issue discussed at the meeting was the November 16 election in Kogi and Bayelsa, of which the National Chairman, Mr Uche Secondus would formally address the press on the party’s position yesterday.
“We have taken a decision to go to court long before but beyond that, we are going to take other measures which the national chairman will disclose.
“We have not done a post mortem of the election. We have only weighed the circumstances that surrounded the election.
“We have also looked at the global condemnation of the election. We have reviewed the role of INEC and the role played by security agencies. Formally, the party will come up with a position,” he said.
Ayade Presents N1.1trn Budget For 2020
Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State yesterday presented a budget of N1.1trillion for 2020 to the State House of Assembly.
The budget, tagged “Budget of Olimpotic Meristemasis”, has a capital expenditure of N911 billion representing 82.8 per cent and a recurrent expenditure of N188 billion, representing 17.2 per cent.
While explaining that meristemasis is the active cell that stimulates growth in a young plant, which in this case represented the state, he pointed out that, “the budget will catalyse into existence a great opportunity for the state to put all hands and legs on the pedal.”
He said the decision to set aside 82.8 per cent of the budget for capital expenditure, was indicative of government commitment that will continue to reduce recurrent expenditure and focus on capital expenditure.
On the sectoral breakdown, Ayade disclosed that the health sector has an allocation of N44 billion, education N38 billion, New City Development N35 billion while agriculture was allocated N22 billion and social housing N12 billion, among others.
The governor announced that his administration would sustain its current tax policy with adjustment.
“All low income people like civil servants earning below N100,000 will be exempted from tax.
“Small scale businesses like barbing saloon, hair dressing and others are hereby exempted from taxation,” he said.
He also abolished daily levy of between N500 and N1000 by taxis in the state, noting that they will now pay N2000 only every month.
“We must come to the understanding that indeed any state whose budget is driven by envelope size is limited in vision.
“There are two ways in business and public sector management that you place your budget. It is either that your budget comes as an expression of your envelope size or as an expression of your ambition.
“The prosperity agenda set for this state does not allow me the opportunity of an envelope budgeting,” he said.
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